Trust Your Gut

Money can’t buy happiness…but can bacteria?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Bacteria that live in our guts help us digest food. However, these little microbes do more than that! Recent studies show that the bacteria living in our bellies can influence overall physical health. But what about psychological health?

Mireia Valles-Colomer from the Rega Institute for Medical Research has the scoop on poop! Her team collected stool samples from over a thousand people. The subjects also provided information about their mental health. About one hundred and seventy of them had previously been diagnosed with depression.

Using DNA sequencing techniques, the researchers catalogued all the microbes present in everyone’s….specimens. They compared their findings between the diagnosed depressed and non-depressed individuals.

And? Turns out that TWO TYPES of bacteria were totally absent from the people WITH depression. The researchers think that exploring how these microbes relate to brain function could lead to new depression therapies. More studies are needed, but this discovery is a promising step!

So your poo could predict your tuuuude! Who knew, Dude?!