Researchers know that there is a strong relationship between gut microbes and mood. New research is confirming that storyline and even naming some of the main actors. In a large Flemish study of over one thousand people (that’s right, this is a human study), researchers correlated both depression and quality of life to specific bacteria. Notably, bacteria that produce butyrate were found to be associated with higher quality of life. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that is like ambrosia for the cells lining the gut, and it has even been shown to stop some colon cancers.
They found three microbes, from the genera Faecalibacterium, Coprococcus and Dialister, that were all associated with better health and mood.
Better tools and larger studies are exactly what are needed to advance the field of psychobiotics, so we have a lot to thank the Flemish for!