Gut microbes may contribute to depression in obese

Updated:3 months, 1 week ago IST

New Delhi, Jun 18 (ANI): Turns out, Gut microbes may contribute to depression and anxiety in obesity. Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center studied mice that become obese when put on a high-fat diet. The Joslin scientists found that mice on a high-fat diet showed significantly more signs of anxiety, depression and obsessive behavior than animals on standard diets. His lab has long studied mice that are prone to developing obesity, diabetes and related metabolic diseases when given high-fat diets. One of the ways the researchers showed this was an effect of the microbiome was by transferring gut bacteria from these experimental mice toto germ-free mice, who did not have any bacteria of their own. The animals who received bacteria from mice on a high-fat diet showed began to show increased levels of activity associated with anxiety and obsessive behavior. The Joslin team went on to link the microbiome alterations to the production of certain neurotransmitters--the chemicals that transfer signals across the brain. Kahn and his colleagues are now working to identify specific populations of bacteria involved in these processes. The eventual goal is to find drugs or supplements that can help to achieve healthier metabolic profiles in the brain.

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