Gut Microbiome and Mental Health

#7

Photo by julien Tromeur on Unsplash

All of us know that when we were alone, actually we are not alone.
Yes!! Inside our bodies, there are numerous invisible microorganisms.
A collection of microorganisms including bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, algae, to viruses that inhabit a certain place are called microbiota. When these microbiotas perform various activities that involve the genome and genes, they are referred to as microbiomes.

The human microbiome is critical to human health. It plays a specific role depending on where it lives. These sites include the mouth, nasal cavities, throat, gastrointestinal tracts, urogenital tracts, and skin.

For instance, Streptococcus, Veillonella, and Fusobacterium lay a role in preventing pathogenic species from adhering to mucosal surfaces. Candida and other fungi can also be found on the skin’s surface and have a negative impact.

The gut microbiome, which is found in the gastrointestinal tracts, is the most important for human health. The gastrointestinal tract is responsible for food digestion, nutrient absorption, and production of many enzymes, probiotics, and other important nutrients by indigenous microorganisms.

There is a lot of research going on right now about the relationship between the microbiota-gut-brain axis and human behavior. The microbiota-gut-brain axis is referred to the bidirectional communication between the central nervous system and gut microbiota. This interaction is influenced by many factors, such as immunity, metabolic products, and metabolic pathways related to stress hormones and neurotransmitters.

Some research is reported that the gut microbiota and its metabolite are likely to be involved in modulating behaviors and brain processes including stress responsiveness, emotional behavior, pain modulation, and brain biochemistry. Also, dysbiosis and gastrointestinal symptoms are often reported in psychiatric illnesses. Such as eating disorders, weight change, then diarrhea, and nausea caused by anxiety disorders.

Changes in the gut bacterial composition are influenced by many factors such as diet, age, medication, physical activity, and physiological stress. For example, stress can increase gastric juice production and change the gut bacterial composition. Furthermore, it affects metabolite production in gastrointestinal tracts.

Thus, the gut microbiome’s production of metabolites influences behavior and mental health.

Such as Flavoniflactor, a genus of bacteria that have been shown to induce oxidative stress and inflammation, is associated with bipolar disorder. Smoking habits can increase the number of bacteria in this genus. Several studies in bipolar disorder patients have also revealed a decrease in the number of Faecalibacterium. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, one of the species in this genus, acts as a butyrate producer, has anti-inflammatory properties against colitis, and aids in the maintenance of gut microbiota balance.

In addition, probiotics from the bacteria genus Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus have been shown to reduce anxiety and stress and increase immunity in patients with bipolar disorder and depressive disorder.

Intestinal bacteria can ferment non-digestible prebiotic carbohydrates and produce neuroactive metabolites such as butyrate, propionate, and acetate. They have the ability to pass through the epithelial cell layer and influence gene expression, neurotransmitter signaling, and metabolism. Prebiotics has been shown in numerous studies to reduce the severity of disease, including mental disorders.

Prebiotic nondigestible carbohydrates such as oligosaccharides, fructans (fructooligosaccharides, inulin), and galactooligosaccharides can be obtained from various foodstuffs such as milk, onions, honey, wheat, soybeans, rice, and others.

Photo by American Heritage Chocolate on Unsplash

Aside from food, we can increase the number of gut microbiota through a variety of activities such as physical activity, avoiding activities that cause oxidative stress, and getting enough sleep. Increased physical activity can improve the composition of the microbiome as well as the production of beneficial metabolites.

So, if your body is under stress, don’t hesitate to eat. Go and get a good meal! Have a strong immunity!! and Let’s be happppyyyyyyy!

References:

Aya V, Flo´rez A, Perez L, Ramı´rez JD. 2021. Association between physical activity and changes in intestinal microbiota composition: A systematic review. PLoS ONE. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247039

Butler, M.I., Morkl, S., Sandhu, K.V., Cyran, J.F., Dinan, T.G. 2019. The Gut Microbiome and Mental Health: What Should We Tell Our Patients?. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1177/0706743719874168

Chudzik, A., Orzyłowska, A., Rola, R., and Stanisz, G. J. 2021. Probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics on mitigation of depression symptoms: Modulation of the brain-gut–microbiome axis. Biomolecules. https://
doi.org/10.3390/biom11071000

Madigan, M.T., Martinko, J.M., Bender, K.S., Buckley, D.H., Stahl, D.A. 2015. Brock Biology of Microorganism, 14th Edition.

Lu, Q. et al. 2019. Gut Microbiota in Bipolar Depression and Its Relationship to Brain Function: An Advanced Exploration. Front. Psychiatry. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00784

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