There are a number of pathways linking the gut microbiota and the CNS/central nervous system: the vagus nerve, the circulatory system and the immune system. The gut microbiota have a direct impact on anxiety and depression via these pathways.
The 2015 paper referenced in the above slide is: Control of brain development, function, and behavior by the microbiome
More recently, studies have suggested that gut bacteria can impact neurological outcomes–altering behavior and potentially affecting the onset and/or severity of nervous system disorders. In this review, we highlight emerging evidence that the microbiome extends its influence to the brain via various pathways connecting the gut to the central nervous system. While understanding and appreciation of a gut microbial impact on neurological function is nascent, unraveling gut-microbiome-brain connections holds the promise of transforming the neurosciences and revealing potentially novel etiologies for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.
This slide and study was part of Professor Karsten Kristiansen’s keynote presentation at The Society for Mental Health Research conference in Sydney last month: “A gut feeling – the gut microbiome in health, diseases and behavior.” I had the pleasure of attending and meeting Professor Kristiansen. He gave me permission to share some of the highlights which you can watch in the video below.
Professor Felice Jacka, nutritional psychiatry researcher and founder of ISNPR introduced him and his presentation on the gut-brain connection.
It was really wonderful to finally Professor Felice Jacka in person. I have been following her research work since her first food mood study in 2010: Association of Western and traditional diets with depression and anxiety in women. You may recall our wonderful interview on The Anxiety Summit: The Research – Food to prevent and treat anxiety and depression?
Here are 2 position statements on nutritional psychiatry from ISNPR:
- Nutritional medicine in modern psychiatry: position statement by ISNPR
- Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry
It was also wonderful to see Felice’s name on so many of the microbiome and mood-diet posters that were presented at the conference!
We appreciate Professor Kristiansen, Professor Felice Jacka and all the research work they and their teams of researchers do!