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2012-06-21

Don't Worry, Be Happy (by Eating Bacteria)

Another study adds evidence to how normal human brain and cognitive function depends on the presence of gut bacteria during growth and development. Very interesting indeed, and great timing to follow the publication of the Human Microbiome Project I discussed last week.

This new study is just an animal study on mice, but shows that the absence of bacteria during early life, significantly affects the brain's serotonin level during adulthood. The research also highlighted a possible influence of sex, with greater effects in male compared with female mice.

"These findings are fascinating as they highlight the important role that gut bacteria play in the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain, and opens up the intriguing opportunity of developing unique microbial-based strategies for treatment for brain disorders," said a senior author of the study.

The results demonstrate that health of the nervous system and nerve signals/communication can be significantly disturbed by the absence of a normal gut bacteria. The significance of this research is that it shows that alterations of the microbiome (by antibiotics or probiotics) could have profound effects on brain health, cognition, and mood.

However, don't discount the fact that sometimes it's just the little simple things that can bring joy and happiness to one's existence...like a subscription to Know Guff. Go ahead, subscribe. You deserve it.  :)

Source: The microbiome-gut-brain axis during early life regulates the hippocampal serotonergic system in a sex-dependent manner

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