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DEPRESSION AND THE GUT MICROBIOME
July 27, 2021
It is easy to think that everything medical other than Co-Vid virus research has come to a halt, but in actual fact some recent work has been going on relating depression and anxiety to the gut micro biome - that is the microorganisms including bacteria, archaea and fungi that live in the digestive tracts of humans and other animals.
Scientists are coming to think of this micro biome as an organ in its own right with recent research by neurobiologists investigating the possibility that the link between the brain's hypothalamus and the signals it receives and sends to the gut are much more interconnected and relevant to our health and wellbeing than thought of before. The hypothalamus governs the signals that control our hunger and metabolic rates, but these latest findings suggest that the bacteria that live and flourish in our intestines have some very specific tastes, and those that love fatty and sugary foods, can actually override the signals sent from the brain that tell us to stop eating when we are full. Not good news for anyone trying to lose weight through dieting.
Psychological studies are also showing that when our brains are tired or stressed, our capacity to resist temptation is lowered even further.
While immunity studies have already commenced in view of the current viral crisis and the link between poor gut health and more severe forms of Covid-19, there are developing theories that a healthy gut biome will also impact positively on obesity, diabetes, allergies, some cancers as well as depression and anxiety.