Gut Microbiota: The Mood Connection

It is understood that certain dietary patterns have a significant influence on the mood of the consumer. For example, consumption of the Mediterranean diet has been shown to decrease the risk of anxiety and depression. This is thought to relate to the high concentrations of vegetables, fruit and whole grains in the diet. One important aspect of the diet mood link is that the quality of the diet can affect the microbiota of the gut. It is known that the composition of the microbiota in the gut is able to influence the function of the brain through the neuronal and hormonal connection between the gut and the brain. This communication is bidirectional and the gut can therefore be thought of as directly connected to the brain. Further the gut is directly controlled and modulated by the bacteria and other microorganisms living in the gut, which in turn are influenced directly by the food present in the gut. The types of foods consumed, and their effect of the microbiota of the gut may therefore directly influence the mood of the individual.

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Bear, T. L., Dalziel, J. E., Coad, J., Roy, N. C., Butts, C. A. and Gopal, P. K. 2020. The Role of the Gut Microbiota in Dietary Interventions for Depression and Anxiety. Advances in Nutrition.

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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