Gut Bacteria Linked to Human Behavior, Anxiety & Depression

RoseTracker| Researchers at McMaster University have conclusively connected bacteria residing in the gut with brain chemistry and behavior.

Scientists have long made intuitive connections between gastrointestinal disease and anxiety or depression.

For each of us, our gut is home to about 1,000 trillium bacteria that perform functions vital to our health.

Working with healthy adult mice, the researchers showed that disrupting the normal bacterial content of the gut with antibiotics produced changes in behaviour; 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. via Science Daily

With the cessation of antibiotics, behavior returned to normal.

In a followup experiment researchers colonized germ-free mice bred to have a passive behavior with mice carrying bacteria with more exploratory behavior, the quiet mice became more active and daring.