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Happiness Determined by Gut Bacteria


Happiness Determined by Gut Bacteria

(epharmanews)- In a research that was published in the leading international psychiatry journal, Molecular Psychiatry, scientists found that the amount of bacteria in the gut during early life regulate brain level of serotonin, or the ‘happy hormone’.

Scientists at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre in University College Cork (UCC) used a germ-free mouse model to show that serotonin concentrations in the brain in adulthood are significantly affected by the absence of bacteria during early life. This influence is sex dependent as it affects males more than females. Finally, when the scientists colonized the animals with bacteria prior to adulthood, they found that many of the central nervous system changes, especially those related to serotonin, could not be reversed indicating a permanent imprinting of the effects of absence of gut flora on brain function.

“As a neuroscientist these findings are fascinating as they highlight the important role that gut bacteria play in the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain, and opens up the intriguing opportunity of developing unique microbial-based strategies for treatment for brain disorders”, said Professor John F. Cryan, senior author on the publication and Head of the Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience at UCC.

This research builds on earlier work, carried out by Dr. Gerard Clarke, Professor Fergus Shanahan, Professor Ted Dinan and Professor John F Cryan and colleagues at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre in UCC, showing that a microbiome-gut-brain axis exists that is essential for maintaining normal health which can affect brain and behavior.

This research has multiple health implications as it shows that manipulations of the microbiota (e.g. by antibiotics, diet, or infection) can have profound knock-on effects on brain function. “We’re really excited by these findings” said lead author Dr. Gerard Clarke. “Although we always believed that the microbiota was essential for our general health, our results also highlight how important our tiny friends are for our mental wellbeing.”


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Prepared by: Marcell Shehwaro


Source :

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