Is there a link between Gut Bacteria and Depression?
As the world begins to study and better understand a person’s digestive microbiome, it is becoming increasingly clear that the ‘bacteria, arched, fungi and viruses in the gut and intestines’ had a much greater effect on a persons’ health than was originally ascribed. (1) In fact, researchers now believe that they may have found a link between a person’s ‘gut health’ and brain function.
In a study entitled, ’The neuroactive potential of the human gut microbiota in quality of life and depression’, researchers found that a person’s microbiome that produced ‘Faecalibacterium and Coprococcus bacteria were consistently associated with higher quality of life indicators.’ Together with Dialister, Coproccus app. were also depleted in depression…’ (2) In short, that means that clinical depression could be affected by the amount of certain bacteria in the gut. Unfortunately, what the study was unable to determine was whether poor mental-health causes the depletion of the gut bacteria, or if the depleted gut bacteria exacerbates symptoms already present, however more studies are published every day, and I’m excited to see what they find.
Speaking of additional studies, in and amongst all my reading, I also discovered a recently published article from February 4, 2019 that stated, 2% of a person’s body weight is due to bacteria in the intestinal microbiome. That same article also said that scientists recently identified more than 100 new species of bacteria in the human gut! (3) It is no wonder that the microbiome is so complex and that imbalances could contribute to any number of diseases and conditions.
As technology advances, and our understanding of the intricacies of individual bacteria strains and species increases, it will be exciting to see what additional discoveries and understanding come to light regarding digestive health and its effect on mental health.