And depression too
The connection of the intestinal microbiome with depression was confirmed in a large-scale study
Marina Astvatsaturyan, Echo of Moscow
The microbiome, the totality of microbes with which we coexist, affects the state of health in different ways: along with the microorganisms that support it, there are also those that shift the balance of the microbiome towards microorganisms associated with diseases, and not only infectious ones. The study, based on medical data from thousands of people living in Finland, identified bacterial species potentially associated with some cases of depression, reports Science.org. Currently, many links have been established between the intestinal microbiota and brain health. For example, people with autism and affective disorders have a deficiency of some intestinal bacteria.
Whether it is the cause of the disorders is unclear, but recently the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry published data on the use of fecal microbiota transplantation to relieve symptoms in two patients with depression (Doll et al., Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) as an Adjunctive Therapy for Depression – Case Report).
Guillaume Méric, a bioinformatician at the Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute of Australia, did not aim to identify microbes that cause depression. He and his colleagues analyzed data from a large study on health and lifestyle received from Finland. It was part of a 40-year effort to find out the causes of chronic diseases in Finns. Within the framework of this project, in 2002, a genetic study of 6,000 participants was conducted, their intestinal microbes were identified, detailed information about diet, lifestyle, medications taken and general health was obtained. The participants' medical data was tracked up to 2018.
Merik and his colleagues analyzed health information from the point of view of the possible impact of diet and genetic characteristics on the microbiome. Two parts of the human genome seemed strongly dependent on which microbes are present in the intestine, scientists report in the journal Nature Genetics (Qin et al., Combined effects of host genetics and diet on human gut microbiota and incident disease in a single population cohort). One of these parts contains a gene responsible for the assimilation of milk sugar, lactose, and the other part contains genes that determine the blood type. The authors also looked for genetic variants that may influence the presence of certain microbes, and tried to find out which of these variants is associated with 46 common diseases. In the case of depression, two bacteria that cause nosocomial infection, Morganella and Klebsiella, according to researchers, may be the cause of this mental disorder. In particular, the level of Morganella was significantly higher in the microbiological examination of 180 people who later developed depression.
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