Gut-Brain Connections

A recent article in Nature, a scientific journal, outlines several recent and on-going studies concerning the gut microbiome. A lot of different areas are covered but the underlying theme suggests that hard evidence will arise showing how gut bacteria can influence brain function. Of specific interest is the thought that gut bacteria may influence production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters within the brain. However, the end result may not be in just taking a specific kind of probiotic. Our genes may select out and hinder the colonization of certain types of bacteria while promoting other species; in that case, taking probiotics would be worthless unless one were assured that our gut would welcome them. What is more interesting is that the compounds that gut bacteria produce from the food we eat may be helpful in brain and behavioral development. Read the Nature article here.