Could gut bacteria help make you more anxious?

From ABC Science, 29 July 2015:

Stress during childhood can affect the make-up of our gut bacteria and this, in turn, could influence our mental health as adults, a new mouse study suggests.

The research found transplanting gut bacteria from mice stressed when they were young could encourage anxiety-like behaviour in some recipients.

The researchers say, among other things, the study raises questions about how faecal transplants in humans might affect our brains as well as our guts.

“Many of my patients are those who have functional bowel disorders – whether it’s irritable bowel syndrome or functional dyspepsia – and a significant proportion of them they have some psychiatric comorbidities [such as] depression or anxiety,” co-author and gastroenterologist Dr Premysl Bercik of McMaster University in Canada.

The new study, published today in Nature Communications, is part of ongoing research into how the gut influences behaviour. Read more.

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