The human gut is home to an abundant and diverse community of microbes—each of us carries roughly 100 trillion, representing more than 1,000 different species. The composition of one’s gut microbiota is individually specific, dynamic, and influenced by genetics, diet, age, metabolism, medication use, stress, and geography. These bacteria perform a range of necessary and beneficial functions, including breaking down our food and supporting our immune systems.
But mounting evidence suggests that immunity and digestion are just a small part of what all of those microbes actually accomplish. Researchers are finding that microbes seem to play a role not only in intestinal health but also in psychiatric health, including an individual’s proclivity to depression.
Read the whole story at IEEE Pulse: Gut Feeling.