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4520583 tn?1358497340

Your Gut makes you depressed?

I was doing some light reading and came across some interesting research. I hope to obtain an expert’s opinion on this:

My conclusion (please verify) is: The imbalance of gut bacteria affects mental health such as mood, behavior and psychological disorders (anxiety and depression).

This claim done was based on some findings that while 5% of our ‘happy hormone’ serotonin is found in our head, 95% is produced in the gut by good bacteria. In some research, animals who lack gut bacteria exhibit high anxiety-like behaviors while another concluded that gut bacteria may influence mammalian early brain development and behavior, indicating bidirectional communication between our gut and brain.

It was also pointed that our brain and gut are created out of the same type of tissue, where one becomes our central nervous system while the other our enteric nervous system. Even so, they are connected by vagus nerves, explaining how our nervousness translates to butterflies in our tummy.
With 95% of happy hormone produced by our gut, it has been interestingly referred as our “second brain”.

Some has even gone so far as to relate such findings into exercise and fitness. One such study conducted found that the ratio of certain good / bad bacteria strains were significantly different among obese and lean persons, and that subsequent weight loss by the obese group resulted in a confident swing in ratios towards more good bacteria.

Are the above true and none from bogus studies? If valid, does this also mean that apart from stimulating endorphins, creation of new neurons and providing that psychological feel good factor to make us happier, exercise also additionally promotes a healthy gut which then secretes more happy hormone? Or it may not be a casual effect? I’m very curious. Please offer your opinions. Thanks!
7 Responses
4520583 tn?1358497340
I'm truly sorry if this offends anyone. My post sounds insensitive, reasoning with science and addressing psychological disorders technically. I don't mean to. I know logic doesn't always apply when it comes to the human mind.

The reason why I post this is because I'm trying to prevent ever falling back into the abyss. I used to have depression. It was so bad that I hurt the people I love for years. I never want to go back. I'm just trying to understand more deeply, especially my condition so I don't hurt anyone again.
Avatar universal
I am no expert. However I found this interesting and have to put my two cents in.

My psychiatrist once told me that there was a study done that shows that the amount of endorphins released in 1 hour of moderate exercise is equal to 1 antidepressant. So exercising to secrete more "feel good hormones" I truly do believe works.
Avatar universal
I do agree with the gut connection.

But I believe our whole body is connected. Mind. Body. Soul.

I have had a bad gut since I was a baby. Due to virus? Poor nutrition? Who knows.

All I know is there is a connection between them.

Have you read The Yeast Connection? Good read.

Avatar universal
hi you raised an interesting point...none whatsoever offensive..i guess its just different points of view..., if there was any one answer then all problems would be solved.. but i do believe that stress can be the utmost cause in problems concerning the gut,stomach,bowel etc.....
Avatar universal
I found the article you referred to in Scientific American. It is consider a
"soft" science magazine rather than a serious or hard-core scientific journal. From what was written, minimal experiments were performed and certainly not described. Journals, rather than magazines, describe what was done, how it was done and quantitative outcomes. Until I can read this, I place little stock in the findings of this article. To find the article I googled brain intestine connection. Came right up.....this all comes from my statistical background. I guess one of the things that strikes me is that it doesn't matter how much seretonin is in the gut, but how much is in the synapses of the brain cells.
4520583 tn?1358497340
I agree that access to journals are limited unless paid so studying their methodology and results would be tough. The research was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry under “The Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis During Early-Life Regulates the Hippocampal Serotonergic System in a Sex-Dependent Manner", so I trust the research done must have been pretty comprehensive for Molecular Psychiatry to approve of their publishing, then being cited in articles featured on S.American, Science Daily, Wall street Journal and even the Economist.

Then again, Science are but theories yet to be disproven. I'm wondering if this above theory is connected to exercise & fitness more intimately.


Avatar universal
Thanks for the citation of the scholarly article. I'll try to access it.
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