How gut microbiome and diet can affect depression

February 17, 2017, Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

An international group of researchers headed by André Carvalho has published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics a paper that provides new data and prospects for the links between the intestinal flora and several disorders, notably depression.

Persistent low-grade immune-inflammatory processes, oxidative and nitrosative stress, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation are integral to the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder. The microbiome, intestinal compositional changes, and resultant bacterial translocation add a new element to the bidirectional interactions of the gut-brain axis. New evidence implicates these pathways in the onset of major depressive disorder. In addition, abnormalities in the gut-brain axis are associated with several chronic non-communicable disorders, which frequently co-occur in individuals with depression, including but not limited to , , obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The composition of the gut microbiota is influenced by several genetic and environmental factors (e.g. diet). Several lines of evidence indicate that gut-microbiota-diet interactions play a significant pathophysiological role in depression and related medical comorbidities. Gut dysbiosis and the may influence several pathways implicated in the biology of , including but not limited to immune activation, oxidative and nitrosative stress, and neuroplasticity cascades. However, methodological inconsistencies and limitations limit comparisons across studies.

Authors conclude that intestinal dysbiosis and the leaky gut may constitute a key pathophysiological link between depression and its medical comorbidities. This emerging literature opens relevant preventative and therapeutic perspectives.

Explore further: Changes in blood-brain barrier, intestinal permeability found in individuals with autism

More information: Anastasiya Slyepchenko et al. Gut Microbiota, Bacterial Translocation, and Interactions with Diet: Pathophysiological Links between Major Depressive Disorder and Non-Communicable Medical Comorbidities, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (2017). DOI: 10.1159/000448957

Related Stories

Changes in blood-brain barrier, intestinal permeability found in individuals with autism

January 18, 2017
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has the dubious distinction of being the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With 1 in every 68 children born in ...

Ischemic stroke therapy – does the gut microbiota hold the key?

June 20, 2016
As the world's population grows older, the burden of stroke continues to increase. Epidemiological data indicates that around 17 million people suffer a stroke each year, making it the second leading cause of death in the ...

Inflammatory pathways could be key to resolving heart disease and depression link

March 24, 2016
Heart health scientists are working to establish therapies to combat the physical link between cardiovascular disease and depression.

Bacterial imbalance contributes to intestinal inflammation and carcinogenesis

January 2, 2013
Instability in the composition of gut bacterial communities (dysbiosis) has been linked to common human intestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer; however, it is unclear if dysbiosis ...

Study suggests gut bacteria can aid recovery from spinal cord injury

October 17, 2016
Researchers from The Ohio State University have discovered that spinal cord injury alters the type of bacteria living in the gut and that these changes can exacerbate the extent of neurological damage and impair recovery ...

Altered purine metabolism linked to depression

May 17, 2016
People suffering from major depressive disorder may have altered purine metabolism, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital. Purines are nitrogenous compounds that serve ...

Recommended for you

Young children use physics, not previous rewards, to learn about tools

February 23, 2018
Children as young as seven apply basic laws of physics to problem-solving, rather than learning from what has previously been rewarded, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge.

Study: Tinder loving cheaters—dating app facilitates infidelity

February 23, 2018
The popular dating app Tinder is all about helping people form new relationships. But for many college-aged people, it's also helping those in relationships cheat on their romantic partners.

Looking for the origins of schizophrenia

February 23, 2018
Schizophrenia may be related to neurodevelopmental changes, including brain's inability to generate an appropriate vascular system, according to new study resulted from a partnership between the D"Or Institute for Research ...

Color of judo uniform has no effect on winning

February 22, 2018
New research on competitive judo data finds a winning bias for the athlete who is first called, regardless of the colour of their uniform. This unique study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, puts to rest the debate on ...

Antidepressants are more effective than placebo at treating acute depression in adults, concludes study

February 22, 2018
Meta-analysis of 522 trials includes the largest amount of unpublished data to date, and finds that antidepressants are more effective than placebo for short-term treatment of acute depression in adults.

Infants are able to learn abstract rules visually

February 22, 2018
Three-month-old babies cannot sit up or roll over, yet they are already capable of learning patterns from simply looking at the world around them, according to a recent Northwestern University study published in PLOS One.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.