A series of conferences over the last few months entitled Microbiota and Mental Health has focused the attention of doctors and psychologists on the influence exerted on our neuro-psychic functions by the microbiota, the set of good bacteria that live in symbiosis with us in the intestine. It is a connection that over the years has seen the accumulation of various studies on insomnia, headaches, autism, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Probiotics The renewed interest in the gut-brain link has been rekindled, among others, in particular by a study published in Frontiers of Behavioural Neurosciences by American researchers from Colorado University, from which it emerges that the probiotic Lattobacillo rhamnosus it would improve nighttime rest, increasing REM sleep, thanks to an increased production of short-chain fatty acids, such as butyric acid, acting on the expression of genes responsible for sleep-wake rhythms. Moreover, this bacterium would also be protective against stress, both in terms of prevention and post-traumatic recovery. On the contrary, sleep worsens if, as a study by the University of Verona published in Frontiers of Psychiatry, the concentration of bifidobacteria is reduced in the microbiota.

Depression

With their reduction, anxiety and mood disorders also increase because a greater amount of tryptophan is demolished in the intestine, the amino acid source of serotonin, a fundamental neurotransmitter in depression. In a research published on Nature Microbiology (Flemish Gut Flora Project) Belgian researchers from the Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research had discovered that two other intestinal bacterial strains are also implicated in this disorder: Coprococcus and Dialister. Their reduction favors mood sickness by altering the concentration of another neurotransmitter, dopamine, involved in the regulation of psychic motivation, reinforcement and homeostasis.


March 31, 2021 (change March 31, 2021 | 20:17)

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