Stomach Bacteria Influences Your Mood And Behavior

bacteria These little guys may be doing the thinking for you. Science Daily reports:

For the first time, researchers have conclusive evidence that bacteria residing in the gut influence brain chemistry and behavior.

The findings are important because several common types of gastrointestinal disease, including irritable bowel syndrome, are frequently associated with anxiety or depression. In addition there has been speculation that some psychiatric disorders, such as late onset autism, may be associated with an abnormal bacterial content in the gut.

For each person, the gut is home to about 1,000 trillion vital bacteria with which we live in harmony. Any disruption can result in life-threatening conditions, such as antibiotic-induced colitis.

Working with healthy adult mice, the researchers showed that disrupting the normal bacterial content of the gut with antibiotics produced changes in behavior; the mice became less cautious or anxious. This change was accompanied by an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has been linked to depression and anxiety.

When oral antibiotics were discontinued, bacteria in the gut returned to normal. “This was accompanied by restoration of normal behaviour and brain chemistry.”

To confirm that bacteria can influence behavior, the researchers colonized germ-free mice with bacteria taken from mice with a different behavioral pattern. They found that when germ-free mice with a genetic background associated with passive behaviour were colonized with bacteria from mice with higher exploratory behavior, they became more active and daring. Similarly, normally active mice became more passive after receiving bacteria from mice whose genetic background is associated with passive behavior.

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  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Man…I forget the guys name…but there was a doctor working on a similar theorem regarding intestinal/digestive health almost a decade ago…looks like he was onto something. If they back this up with some solid research and applicable therapies for key ailments…it could show enormous worth. Yay science!

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Man…I forget the guys name…but there was a doctor working on a similar theorem regarding intestinal/digestive health almost a decade ago…looks like he was onto something. If they back this up with some solid research and applicable therapies for key ailments…it could show enormous worth. Yay science!

    • Andrew

      I wonder how many will be willing to change their diets?

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        A good point. Changing people’s behavior patterns is hard enough as it is. It would take extremely compelling data just to shift a few percent of people in the direction of change. Although I adamantly oppose closing the marketplace to any harmful substance (alcohol, tobacco, fat, sugar etc)…I do admit that getting adequate info out there so that people can make informed choices (for better or worse) is essential and right.

  • Andrew

    I wonder how many will be willing to change their diets?

  • Andrew

    I wonder how many will be willing to change their diets?

  • Guest

    GMO’s  can be used the same way in humans

  • Guest

    GMO’s  can be used the same way in humans

    • Bob

      Oh! Shit.. Pun innuendo!

  • Wanooski

    Who’s really in control? 

  • Anarchy Pony

    Who’s really in control? 

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    A good point. Changing people’s behavior patterns is hard enough as it is. It would take extremely compelling data just to shift a few percent of people in the direction of change. Although I adamantly oppose closing the marketplace to any harmful substance (alcohol, tobacco, fat, sugar etc)…I do admit that getting adequate info out there so that people can make informed choices (for better or worse) is essential and right.

  • Bob

    Oh! Shit.. Pun innuendo!

  • CancerJesus

    So that’s why my Dad hits me every time he has a stomach ache… And this whole time I thought it was because he was an asshole. Thanks Science!

  • CancerJesus

    So that’s why my Dad hits me every time he has a stomach ache… And this whole time I thought it was because he was an asshole. Thanks Science!

  • DeepCough

    So what kind of bacteria would make George W. Bush’s gut tell him to go to war?

    • NinetyNine

      I don’t know, but they were probably of the christian variety..

  • DeepCough

    So what kind of bacteria would make George W. Bush’s gut tell him to go to war?

  • NinetyNine

    I don’t know, but they were probably of the christian variety..

  • BuzzCoastin

    I’ve got a gut feeling about this study.

    • Voidthought

      Way to piss out a banal cliche…

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    I’ve got a gut feeling about this study.

  • JoiquimCouteau

    The paper is here
    http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0016-5085/PIIS0016508511602308.pdf
    and it says nothing about antibiotics.

    More like, ‘sterile mice inbred for hundreds of generations who are force-fed the intestinal contents of other mice become brain damaged to varying extents and have different intestinal environments’
    Disinfo really needs to step up its fact checking

  • Anonymous

    The paper is here
    http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0016-5085/PIIS0016508511602308.pdf
    and it says nothing about antibiotics.

    More like, ‘sterile mice inbred for hundreds of generations who are force-fed the intestinal contents of other mice become brain damaged to varying extents and have different intestinal environments’
    Disinfo really needs to step up its fact checking

  • Voidthought

    Way to piss out a banal cliche…

  • You

    what people need to realized that this is not restricted to stomach bacteria.  Your entire body is a vehicle of consciousness, ergo your consciousness is equally proliferated throughout your organs and flesh.  The condition of differing portions will always have an effect upon your consciousness.  Our brain is indeed a very complex machine, but it is not the sole proprietor of consciousness, its function is the processes of logical thought progression, but any human can tell you, this is not the exclusive function of consciousness.

  • You

    what people need to realized that this is not restricted to stomach bacteria.  Your entire body is a vehicle of consciousness, ergo your consciousness is equally proliferated throughout your organs and flesh.  The condition of differing portions will always have an effect upon your consciousness.  Our brain is indeed a very complex machine, but it is not the sole proprietor of consciousness, its function is the processes of logical thought progression, but any human can tell you, this is not the exclusive function of consciousness.

  • You

    what people need to realized that this is not restricted to stomach bacteria.  Your entire body is a vehicle of consciousness, ergo your consciousness is equally proliferated throughout your organs and flesh.  The condition of differing portions will always have an effect upon your consciousness.  Our brain is indeed a very complex machine, but it is not the sole proprietor of consciousness, its function is the processes of logical thought progression, but any human can tell you, this is not the exclusive function of consciousness.

  • Scientist

    -_- “This change was accompanied by an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic
    factor (BDNF), which has been linked to depression and anxiety.”

    Actually, LOW levels of BDNF can cause anxiety and depression, not lowered levels.

  • Scientist

    -_- “This change was accompanied by an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic
    factor (BDNF), which has been linked to depression and anxiety.”

    Actually, LOW levels of BDNF can cause anxiety and depression, not lowered levels.

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