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Gut-Brain again !!

I recently read a really interesting article written by researchers at University College Cork that reviewed various animal studies that give strong evidence for the connection between microflora ( bacteria and yeasts) that colonise the gut and brain function -  termed the microbiome-gut-brain axis.

 

I know that we need to be cautious when it comes to extrapolating research on animals to the human condition, but the advantage of using germ-free mice is the degree of manipulation of gut microflora that can be achieved.  Specific strains of probiotic and patghogenic infections have been tested and levels of anxiety and other behaviours assessed leading the authors to conclude that " there is an increasing need to understand the molecular, cellular and physiological basis of enteric microbiome-gut-brain communication".   The interesting thing is that these researchers were looking at inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome and yet it supports much of the research findings about autism.

Posted; August 2012

Source: Cryan & O'Mahony, 2011 'The microbiome-gut-brain axis: from bowel to behaviour' Neurogastroenterology & Motility 23 p187-192  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2982.2010.01664.x/pdf

 
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