Here at I Love Nature, we're really into the science behind gut microbiomes. The research behind it is fascinating and we're learning so much about the future of medicine and the way our body works in harmony.
Thanks to a new article published in The Atlantic, we're learning a lot more about the effect bacteria has on mental health.
Some of the most intriguing work has been done on autism. For decades, doctors, parents, and researchers have noted that about three-quarters of people with autism also have some gastrointestinal abnormality, like digestive issues, food allergies, or gluten sensitivity. This recognition led scientists to examine potential connections between gut microbes and autism; several recent studies have found that autistic people’s microbiome differs significantly from control groups. The California Institute of Technology microbiologist Sarkis Mazmanian has focused on a common species called Bacteroides fragilis, which is seen in smaller quantities in some children with autism. In a paper published two years ago in the journal Cell, Mazmanian and several colleagues fed B. fragilis from humans to mice with symptoms similar to autism. The treatment altered the makeup of the animals’ microbiome, and more importantly, improved their behavior: They became less anxious, communicated more with other mice, and showed less repetitive behavior.
The other interesting thing about the study is that researchers have discovered two strains of bacteria in lab mice that affect anxiety and depression. These same strains have been found in humans, and when scientists transferred the anxiety bacteria to a microbiome that was previously known for displaying calm traits and the host of that microbiome became anxious.
Read the entire article. It's fantastic. And keep an eye on this space for more fascinating science of the human body.