Gut Microbiome and Diet May Affect Depression

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17 Feb 2017 --- An international group of researchers have published a study in the paper, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic, that demonstrates new links between the intestinal flora and several disorders such as depression.

Persistent low-grade immune-inflammatory processes, such as 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 irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, 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 leaky gut may influence several pathways implicated in the biology of major depressive disorder, including but not limited to immune activation, oxidative and nitrosative stress, and neuroplasticity cascades.

However, methodological inconsistencies and limitations limit comparisons across studies.

The 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.

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