The microbes that inhabit our intestines seem to have some influence on our mental health, although at the moment the way in which this impact occurs has been studied more in animals than in people. In mice, for example, it has been observed that when feces of humans with depression are introduced they develop symptoms typical of this disease. In humans, it has been seen that modifying the intestinal ecosystem can reduce anxiety states, but there is a lack of information on what can be done with more serious ailments.
Today, a team led by Jeroen Raes, of the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology, publishes an analysis in which it links the absence of some specific types of bacteria with depression and suggests that a significant number of them can produce compounds capable of affecting our state of mind.
In their work, which is published today in the journal Nature Microbiology, the authors explain how they took information on the microbiome collected from feces and diagnoses of depression of 1,054 individuals participating in the Flamenco Intestinal Flora Project. In their analysis they found that two genera of bacteria, the Coprococcus and the Dialister, were scarce among people suffering from depression.