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Re: Gut microbiome disturbances linked to major depres

Posted by linkadge on December 6, 2020, at 8:05:16

In reply to Re: Gut microbiome disturbances linked to major depres, posted by PeterMartin on December 5, 2020, at 22:12:34

I recently tried a good quality probiotic with some positive effects (but like yourself, a little bit inconsistent).

Again, it's hard to tease apart the chicken vs. egg in terms of gut bacteria and mental health. For example, increased stress itself might promote the growth of certain bacteria vs. others, which then has a reciprocal effect on brain function.

Taking a probiotic will introduce new strains, but this doesn't necessarily mean that those strains will 'take' and become predominant. Other strains want to live too (turf warfare).

What may be more important is whether the gut environment is conducive to one bacterial strain vs. another. To this extent, stress and diet also likely play a major role.

There is likely a bidirectional relationship between mood and gut bacteria. Taking a probiotic may help to shift the balance, but may not be enough. Perhaps (although I don't recommend) wiping out the gut bacteria with an antibiotic, and then re-introducing certain strains would be beneficial.

I put forth the theory too that the supplement GABA may be working predominantly outside the brain. It could reduce inflammation in the digestive system and circulation, which could then create knock on effects in the brain. Certain gut bacteria turn GABA into butyrate (which does cross the blood brain barrier) which has antidepressant and anxiolytic effects. In fact, it may also have anticonvulsant effects (sharing some properties to vapropate). I think he gut can also manufacture valeric acid (which is also present in valerian).

So, perhaps depending on the specific clinical state, some strains may be more beneficial (i.e. antidepressant vs. anti-anxiety, or even anticonvulsant).

Again, I don't think the gut bacteria hypothesis explains all depression. I.e. genes probably play another major role. However, altered gut bacteria could be a mechanism by which some of the suffering could be alleviated.

Another thought is this. Could some psychiatric medications be working (or harming) via their effects on gut bacteria??





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