The Gut Microbiota and Psychiatric Disorders

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

The recent study by the Institute of Life Sciences of the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj – Romania, and the Faculty of Food Science and Technology, of the same University, “Guts Imbalances the Brain: A review of Gut Microbiota Association with Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders [1] ” call attention because the correlation between gut microbiota and neurological as well as psychiatric disorders.  

“The gut microbiota provides essential capacities for the fermentation of non-digestible substrates like dietary fibers and endogenous intestinal mucus. This fermentation supports the growth of specialist microbes that produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and gases [2] .” “The gut microbiota imparts specific function in host nutrient metabolism, xenobiotic and drug metabolism, maintenance of structural integrity of the gut mucosal barrier, immunomodulation, and protection against pathogens [3] .”

Once we understood the role of gut microbiota, we can mention the background of the study and their importance in the mental health: “The health and neuropsychiatric condition of an individual can be influenced by both internal and external factors, including lifestyle choices, dietary patterns, and medication usage. Lifestyle habits have a significant impact on the interplay between gut microbiota and the brain are considered one of the contributing factors to the multifactorial etiology of psychiatric disorders, alongside genetics, inflammation, and neurotransmitter dysregulation [4] .”

“The bidirectional communication between the central nervous system and gut microbiota, referred to as the gut-brain-axis, has been of significant interest in recent years. Increasing evidence has associated gut microbiota to both gastrointestinal and extra gastrointestinal diseases. Dysbiosis and inflammation of the gut have been linked to causing several mental illnesses including anxiety and depression, which are prevalent in society today. Probiotics have the ability to restore normal microbial balance, and therefore have a potential role in the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression. This review aims to discuss the development of the gut microbiota, the linkage of dysbiosis to anxiety and depression, and possible applications of probiotics to reduce symptoms [5] .” 

According to the study, neurological disorders and alterations in microbiota affect [6] :

  • Depression: The Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) “is commonly managed through the administration of antidepressants. These medications work by increasing the densities of neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft and inhibiting the corresponding brain transporters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, The transporters and receptors implicated in depression have been identified in the gastrointestinal tract, which is closely interconnected or modulated by the gut microbiota.”
  • Anxiety: “The onset of various psychiatric disorders is associated with the intersection of dysfunctions in both the amygdala and microbiota. The gastrointestinal tract inflammation prompts the release of cytokines that are pro-inflammatory in nature. The escalation of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin 6 (IL-6 [7] ) cytokines is directly associated with the manifestation of anxiety-like symptoms.”
  • Bipolar disorder: “bipolar disorder patients exhibit heightened bacterial translocation markers that originate from the intestinal lumen, which may contribute to the increased inflammation observed in these individuals when compared to their healthy counterparts.”
  • Autism: “The modification of gut microbiota caused by medication, antibiotic treatments, or insufficient nourishment is strongly associated with atypical emotional behavior and neurological dysfunction, which can lead to the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

In conclusion, as News Medical Life Sciences states: “the bidirectional interaction between the brain and the gut via the microbiome-gut-brain axis has been identified as a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of prevalent neurodegenerative disorders, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, autism, and bipolar disorder [8] .”










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