‘Knowing It in Your Gut’: Cross-Talk Between Human Gut Bacteria and Brain

Stephen "Gut-Busting" Colbert. Photo: Cliff (CC)

Stephen "Gut Feeling" Colbert. Photo: Cliff (CC)

ScienceDaily reports:

A lot of chatter goes on inside each one of us and not all of it happens between our ears. Researchers at McMaster University discovered that the “cross-talk” between bacteria in our gut and our brain plays an important role in the development of psychiatric illness, intestinal diseases and probably other health problems as well including obesity.

“The wave of the future is full of opportunity as we think about how microbiota or bacteria influence the brain and how the bi-directional communication of the body and the brain influence metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes,” says Jane Foster, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

Using germ-free mice, Foster’s research shows gut bacteria influences how the brain is wired for learning and memory. The research paper has been published in the March issue of the science journal Neurogastroenterology and Motility.

The study’s results show that genes linked to learning and memory are altered in germ-free mice and, in particular, they are altered in one of the key brain regions for learning and memory — the hippocampus.

“The take-home message is that gut bacteria influences anxiety-like behavior through alterations in the way the brain is wired,” said Foster.

Foster’s laboratory is located in the Brain-Body Institute, a joint research initiative of McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton. The institute was created to advance understanding of the relationship between the brain, nervous system and bodily disorders.

“We have a hypothesis in my lab that the state of your immune system and your gut bacteria — which are in constant communication — influences your personality,” Foster said.

Does this mean some mental illnesses could be cured by healthier diets?  Read more here.

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  • Voidthought

    “Does this mean some mental illnesses could be cured by healthier diets?” Why certainly!! Watch the documentary Food Matters and it talks about increased intake of Vitamin C helped the founder of AA manage(cure?) his depression; also the Simply Raw docu. explains that most type 2 diabetics can cure their diabetes through diet. This is an issue that most doctors recognize but largely ignore because the more drugs they push for the big pharma companies the more money they make. I worked construction and I remember working with a guy who was 6’5 or ’6 and weighed about 350 pounds said one day, “People just don’t put any love into cooking anymore.” Irony but a simple truth; most fastfoods are devoid of nutrition and most people don’t even know the first thing about nutrition.

  • Voidthought

    “Does this mean some mental illnesses could be cured by healthier diets?” Why certainly!! Watch the documentary Food Matters and it talks about increased intake of Vitamin C helped the founder of AA manage(cure?) his depression; also the Simply Raw docu. explains that most type 2 diabetics can cure their diabetes through diet. This is an issue that most doctors recognize but largely ignore because the more drugs they push for the big pharma companies the more money they make. I worked construction and I remember working with a guy who was 6’5 or ’6 and weighed about 350 pounds said one day, “People just don’t put any love into cooking anymore.” Irony but a simple truth; most fastfoods are devoid of nutrition and most people don’t even know the first thing about nutrition.

  • RoscoeMG

    All I know is that my gut tells me maybe.

  • RoscoeMG

    All I know is that my gut tells me maybe.

  • chinagreenelvis

    Why is there a photo of Colbert in this article? Fuck you.

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