Gut microbes and mental health

Gut Flora- Can it really affect your Mental Health?

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Do you know that about 10 to 100 trillion of microorganisms inhabit your gut flora! A number that even exceeds the total number of cells in a human body. The human gut flora consists of more than 1,000 species and 7,000 strains of bacteria. Recent studies (Experimental model of mental health conducted on rats) have shown that the gut flora is really vital as it can affect the mental health and brain.

A term “psychobiotics”  was coined by a psychiatrist Ted Dinan and his colleagues, when they discovered that the rats who were given the Probiotics, expressed very few signs of depression and anxiety.

Mental Health
Since 1800s, researches are trying to find correlation between millions of microbes present in our gut and how they contribute to fatigue, psychological disorders and our overall mental health. Latest research on gut bacteria in mice has shown that microbes’ does influence conditions like stress, depression and anxiety and involves a complex and potential mechanism. In humans this gut-brain axis is a complicated system and difficult to study.

So, it leaves us to one important question! Does changing our diet really change our gut flora? And the answer is YES, it does. But what’s debatable is whether there is any possible method of guiding our friendly bacteria so as to reap benefits from them. People suffering from particular disease or health characteristics have particular gut microbes, but this doesn’t specifically tell us about any connection between those microbes or the disease or those traits. All that is lacking is substantial clinical data linking the gut microbiome to mental disorders like anxiety or depression in humans and we shouldn’t forget that even day bio medicine reveals something new to us and you never know what new study might yield.

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