The microbiota and the brain communicate with each other via various additional routes including the immune system, tryptophan metabolism and the enteric nervous system. Each of these routes involves chemicals produced by the microbiomes microbial metabolites such as human neurotransmitters. It has also been shown that the microbiome can consume and potentially react to neurotransmitters produced by the human host. This production and consumption of neurotransmitters by the gut microbiome strongly suggest that good gut health is intrinsically linked to good mental health.7,8,9
Many factors can influence microbiota composition in early life, including infection, mode of birth delivery, use of antibiotic medications, the nature of nutritional provision, environmental stressors, and host genetics. At the other extreme of life, microbial diversity diminishes with aging. Stress, in particular, can significantly impact the microbiota-gut-brain axis at all stages of life.5,10
All of this means it is vitally important to ensure you help support this microbiome in not only eating a well balanced diet but at the correct time with your circadian rhythm.
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. Strandwitz, P. (2018). Neurotransmitter modulation by the gut microbiota. In Brain Research (Vol. 1693).
. Malagelada, J. R. (2020). The Brain-Gut Team. Digestive Diseases, 38(4).
. Allen, A. P., Dinan, T. G., Clarke, G., & Cryan, J. F. (2017). A psychology of the human brain–gut–microbiome axis. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 11(4).
. Cryan, J. F., O’riordan, K. J., Cowan, C. S. M., Sandhu, K. v., Bastiaanssen, T. F. S., Boehme, M., Codagnone, M. G., Cussotto, S., Fulling, C., Golubeva, A. v., Guzzetta, K. E., Jaggar, M., Long-Smith, C. M., Lyte, J. M., Martin, J. A., Molinero-Perez, A., Moloney, G., Morelli, E., Morillas, E., … Dinan, T. G. (2019). The microbiota-gut-brain axis. Physiological Reviews, 99(4).