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Brain and Gut Link: New Support

There are a growing number of studies correlating the brain and the gut.  How does what happen in our digestive system affect our mental state?  One more study shows further connections between the two.

WHERE: McMaster University in Ontario, Canada

WHO: Premysl Bercik, MD and colleagues

PUBLISHED: Science Translational Medicine, today, March 1, 2017

STUDY BASICS: Fecal microbiota from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients with anxious behavior introduced and colonized in the guts of healthy mice.


  • After 3 weeks mice with IBS Microbiota had the following:

    • Higher gut permeability

    • Increased Immune Activation and Inflammation

    • Presentation of Anxiety symptoms

  • Study identified distinct bacterial taxa and metabolites associated with anxiety from humans paralleled in mice

POTENTIAL BENEFIT: Understanding of specific causative factors of the gut-brain interactions.

“Our work shows that the gut Microbiota from patients with IBS has the capacity to induce the same gut dysfunction in mice that we see in the patient, suggesting that the gut bacteria are at least one main contributor to IBS,” said Bercik.


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  • De Palma et al., “Transplantation of fecal microbiota from patients with irritable bowel syndrome alters gut function and behavior in recipient mice,” Science Translational Medicine, doi:10.1038/nature21356, 2017.
  • The Scientist: Human Gut Microbe Transplant Alters Mouse Behavior