Gut bacteria regulate happiness


Scientists from the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre in Cork, Republic of Ireland have found that levels of serotonin – the happiness regulator – in the brain are influenced by levels of bacteria in the gut in early life. They used a germ-free mouse model to show that absence of bacteria in early life significantly reduces levels of serotonin in the brain in adulthood.

Serotonin is involved in the regulation of mood and emotion, and is altered at times of stress, anxiety and depression. The results of the study show a more marked reduction in male mice than in female mice. They also found that the central nervous system changes that occurred by the absence of bacteria could not be reversed – meaning that the absence of bacteria in the gut during early development has a permanent effect on brain function.

Source: Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre

Journal: Molecular Psychiatry


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First Publishd in June 2012

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