Overview on Microbiome and Mental Health

Ross Pelton’s review of recent study:
How the Microbiome may affect mental state

Dec 07, 2016


How the Microbiome May Affect Mental State

I would like to make the following observations based on the above-mentioned study, which I believe is a very important insight into the microbe and mental health.

  • This study shows that chronic stress decreases Microbiome diversity
  • In addition to the stress-induced changes in the Microbiome, the rats also began experiencing loss of pleasure and “despair-like” behavior. 
  • And…. what is really fascinating is that when these microorganisms were transferred from the stressed rats to a new group of animals that had not been stressed, Dr. Emily Jutkiewicz found that these new animals also began to demonstrate these same behavioral changes after 5 days, suggesting a potential causal mechanism. (i.e.…the changes in the Microbiome are causing the behavioral changes)
  • In human studies…similar changes in the Microbiome are found in people with bipolar disorder and major depression…resulting in high anxiety, sleep problems and increased incidence of other general health problems.