Could Germs in Your Gut Send You Into Depression?

Certain bacteria dwelling in the human gut might feed depression, according to a new study that adds evidence to the theory.

Researchers found that among over 2,100 adults, those with depression showed differences in specific groups of gut bacteria. And people with higher concentrations of certain other gut bugs generally reported better mental well-being.

The research, published online Feb. 4 in Nature Microbiology, is the latest to uncover links between human health and the gut microbiome. The term refers to the trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in the intestines.

Those microbes are believed to do much more than aid in digestion. Research suggests they are involved in everything from immune system defenses to producing vitamins, anti-inflammatory compounds and even chemicals that influence the brain.

But most research on such “gut-brain” communication has been done in animals, said Jeroen Raes, the senior researcher on the new study.

Read the full article here.

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