Mental health and Microbiology
September 28th, 2020
It has been emerging in the literature for years now that your intestinal microbiome has direct bidirectional crosstalk with your brain. Dr. Valles-Colomer and colleagues published a lovely article in Nature Microbiology looking at the microbes and the patient's mental phenotype. They found that butyrate-producing Faecalibacterium and Coprococcus bacteria were consistently associated with higher quality of life indicators. Together with Dialister, Coprococcus spp. were also depleted in depression, even after correcting for the confounding effects of antidepressants. (Valles-Colomer et. al. 2019)
There are volumes of data now showing that our mind is massively influenced by the gut microbiome including the maternal microbiome that is transferred to the infant. The big question that remains to be answered is how to alter the intestinal microbes to our benefit pharmacologically or neutriceutically. We know that the Standard American diet is a net massive negative while the Mediterranean diet is a net positive on this front.
I don't see a significant benefit to probiotics yet in this space, however, I do see fiber as a big player over time. All forms of fibrous vegetable and fruit matter are known to influence the microbes of the gut in a positive manner. From six months of age on, we should focus our collective efforts on getting large volumes of fiber into our children to grow a profound and strong microbiome to resist mental stress.
Mother's to be should also focus on fiber well before conceiving to have a powerful positive microbial makeup for her babe to receive as a gift.
Fiber, plus time equals mental health,