Research of two large groups of Europeans showed that most types of gut bacteria in people with depression are missing.
The researchers can’t tell whether the absence is a cause or an effect of the disease, but they have shown that many gut bacteria can produce substances that influence the function of the nerve cells — and even mood.
Several mice experiments have shown that gut microbes can influence behavior, and small people studies have indicated that this microbial range is altered in depression.
Dutch people whose microbiomes were also sampled — they found that the same two organisms were absent in those who were depressed, and in seven subjects suffering from extreme psychiatric depression they were absent too.
According to Sara Campbell, a physiologist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the absence of the bacteria to depression "makes sense physiologically. Resolving the microbiome-brain link “could lead to new treatments,” Raes suggests. Nevertheless, no one knows how microbial compounds produced in the gut would influence the brain.
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