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Gut Microbes, Brain, and Behavior Essay

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Updated: Apr 12th, 2022

Many people (especially youth) often underestimate the role of people’s diets and lifestyles. It has been acknowledged that a healthy diet prevents development of numerous diseases and helps people look and feel good. However, researchers have identified an important concept of “a microbiota-gut-brain axis” (Cryan and Dinan 701). In simple terms, microbiota affects people’s behavior and mood. It also has a direct effect on cognition (Cryan and Dinan 703). Therefore, it is essential to pay exclusive attention to proper functioning of one’s digestive system.

There are a number of ways microbiota affects CNS function (Fig.1). Thus, microbiota have an impact through altering microbial composition, immune activation, affecting vagus nerve, tryptophan metabolism, microbial metabolites, microbial neurometabolites and bacterial cell wall sugars. Such health conditions as pain, obesity, autism and multiple sclerosis are thought to be related to improper microbiota.

Clearly, there are still numerous gaps in the field and researchers have many discoveries yet to make. For instance, it is still quite unclear how to create the appropriate microbiota in people as experiments only involved mice.

Nonetheless, it is obvious that to avoid negative consequences of improper development of the gut microbiota, it is essential to pay special attention to the diet and lifestyle. Each individual is responsible for his/her health and further research on the matter can be helpful for everyone.

The effects of microbiota on the gut-brain axis
Figure 1. The effects of microbiota on the gut-brain axis

Works Cited

Carter, Christine. Happiness Is Being Socially Connected. 2008. Web.

Cryan, John F., and Timothy G. Dinan. “Mind-Altering Microorganisms: The Impact of the Gut Microbiota on Brain and Behavior.” Nature Reviews 13 (2012): 701-712. Print.

Palermo, Tonya M., Cecelia R Valrie and Cynthia W. Karlson. “Family and Parent Influences on Pediatric Chronic Pain: A Developmental Perspective.” American Psychologist 69.2 (2014): 142-152. Print.

Sleep Apnea. Web. 2015.

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