Review of studies suggests a potentially useful link between gut bacteria and mental disorders — ScienceDaily
People who experience anxiety symptoms might be helped by taking steps to regulate the microorganisms in their gut using probiotic and non-probiotic food and supplements, suggests a review of studies published today in the journal General Psychiatry.
Anxiety symptoms are common in people with mental diseases and a variety of physical disorders, especially in disorders that are related to stress.
Previous studies have shown that as many as a third of people will be affected by anxiety symptoms during their lifetime.
Increasingly, research has indicated that gut microbiota — the trillions of microorganisms in the gut which perform important functions in the immune system and metabolism by providing essential inflammatory mediators, nutrients and vitamins — can help regulate brain function through something called the “gut-brain axis.”
Recent research also suggests that mental disorders could be treated by regulating the intestinal microbiota, but there is no specific evidence to support this.
Therefore a team of researchers from the Shanghai Mental Health Center at Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, set out to investigate if there was evidence to support improvement of anxiety symptoms by regulating intestinal microbiota.