Gut Brain Axis

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Research & Practice

This Chinese study aimed to characterize the gut microbiota of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD): one group of patients with acute MDD (who scored high on a depression scale, indicating clinically significant depression), called 'active-MDD', and a second group of patients with a history of MDD who had responded to treatment (achieving a 50% reduction in depression scale scores…

Paul Enck
Prof. Dr. Paul Enck, Director of Research, Dept. of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany. His main interests are gut functions in health and disease, including functional and inflammatory bowel disorders, the role of the gut microbiota, regulation of eating and food intake and its disorders, of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness, and the psychophysiology and neurobiology of the placebo response, with specific emphasis on age and gender contributions. He has published more than 170 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 250 book chapters and review articles. He is board member/treasurer of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and of the German Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and has served as reviewer for many international journals and grant agencies.

This Chinese study aimed to characterize the gut microbiota of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD): one group of patients with acute MDD (who scored high on a depression scale, indicating clinically significant depression), called 'active-MDD', and a second group of patients with a history of MDD who had responded to treatment (achieving a 50% reduction in depression scale scores…

Paul Enck
Prof. Dr. Paul Enck, Director of Research, Dept. of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany. His main interests are gut functions in health and disease, including functional and inflammatory bowel disorders, the role of the gut microbiota, regulation of eating and food intake and its disorders, of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness, and the psychophysiology and neurobiology of the placebo response, with specific emphasis on age and gender contributions. He has published more than 170 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 250 book chapters and review articles. He is board member/treasurer of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and of the German Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and has served as reviewer for many international journals and grant agencies.

A study by De Palma, et al. used germ-free and specific pathogen-free mouse models to investigate the effects of early-life stress. Researchers reported that stress (maternal separation) altered the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in mice. Colonizing adult germ-free mice with the same microbiota led to distinct microbial profiles in mice who had experienced early-life stress. After colonization, behaviour was altered in the stressed…

Paul Enck
Prof. Dr. Paul Enck, Director of Research, Dept. of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany. His main interests are gut functions in health and disease, including functional and inflammatory bowel disorders, the role of the gut microbiota, regulation of eating and food intake and its disorders, of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness, and the psychophysiology and neurobiology of the placebo response, with specific emphasis on age and gender contributions. He has published more than 170 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 250 book chapters and review articles. He is board member/treasurer of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and of the German Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and has served as reviewer for many international journals and grant agencies.

A study by De Palma, et al. used germ-free and specific pathogen-free mouse models to investigate the effects of early-life stress. Researchers reported that stress (maternal separation) altered the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in mice. Colonizing adult germ-free mice with the same microbiota led to distinct microbial profiles in mice who had experienced early-life stress. After colonization, behaviour was altered in the stressed…

Paul Enck
Prof. Dr. Paul Enck, Director of Research, Dept. of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany. His main interests are gut functions in health and disease, including functional and inflammatory bowel disorders, the role of the gut microbiota, regulation of eating and food intake and its disorders, of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness, and the psychophysiology and neurobiology of the placebo response, with specific emphasis on age and gender contributions. He has published more than 170 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 250 book chapters and review articles. He is board member/treasurer of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and of the German Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and has served as reviewer for many international journals and grant agencies.

Fermented foods are not included in the recently revised ISAPP definition of probiotics, since the bacteria they contain are uncharacterized. But scientists are nevertheless studying how these foods may affect health, including brain function. This blog post covers a correlational study on fermented food consumption and social anxiety. The study found that young adults who consumed more fermented foods and fruits/vegetables, and those who engaged…

Mary Ellen Sanders
Mary Ellen Sanders is a consultant in the area of probiotic microbiology, with special expertise on paths to scientific substantiation of probiotic product label claims. Dr. Sanders served as the founding president of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) and is currently the organization’s Director of Scientific Affairs/ Executive Officer. This international, non-profit association of academic and industrial scientists is dedicated to advancing the science of probiotics and prebiotics (www.isapp.net). Through numerous written, oral and video pieces, including a website, www.usprobiotics.org, she strives to provide objective, evidence-based information on probiotics for consumers and professionals. Key activities include: Panels to determine GRAS status of probiotic strains ; member of the American Gastroenterological Association Scientific Advisory Board for AGA Center for Gut Microbiome Research and Education ; World Gastroenterology Organisation Committee preparing practice guidelines for the use of probiotics and prebiotics for GI indications (2008, 2011, 2014) ; working group convened by the FAO/WHO that developed guidelines for probiotics (2002).

Fermented foods are not included in the recently revised ISAPP definition of probiotics, since the bacteria they contain are uncharacterized. But scientists are nevertheless studying how these foods may affect health, including brain function. This blog post covers a correlational study on fermented food consumption and social anxiety. The study found that young adults who consumed more fermented foods and fruits/vegetables, and those who engaged…

Mary Ellen Sanders
Mary Ellen Sanders is a consultant in the area of probiotic microbiology, with special expertise on paths to scientific substantiation of probiotic product label claims. Dr. Sanders served as the founding president of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) and is currently the organization’s Director of Scientific Affairs/ Executive Officer. This international, non-profit association of academic and industrial scientists is dedicated to advancing the science of probiotics and prebiotics (www.isapp.net). Through numerous written, oral and video pieces, including a website, www.usprobiotics.org, she strives to provide objective, evidence-based information on probiotics for consumers and professionals. Key activities include: Panels to determine GRAS status of probiotic strains ; member of the American Gastroenterological Association Scientific Advisory Board for AGA Center for Gut Microbiome Research and Education ; World Gastroenterology Organisation Committee preparing practice guidelines for the use of probiotics and prebiotics for GI indications (2008, 2011, 2014) ; working group convened by the FAO/WHO that developed guidelines for probiotics (2002).

Microglia are important immune system cells in the brain that can destroy target cells. They are important for proper brain development and associated with neuropsychiatric or neurological disorders in humans. A team of researchers set out to address this question: what controls microglia maturation and function under normal conditions? They found that host microbiota contributed substantially to microglia homeostasis. Germ-free…

Paul Enck
Prof. Dr. Paul Enck, Director of Research, Dept. of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany. His main interests are gut functions in health and disease, including functional and inflammatory bowel disorders, the role of the gut microbiota, regulation of eating and food intake and its disorders, of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness, and the psychophysiology and neurobiology of the placebo response, with specific emphasis on age and gender contributions. He has published more than 170 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 250 book chapters and review articles. He is board member/treasurer of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and of the German Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and has served as reviewer for many international journals and grant agencies.

Microglia are important immune system cells in the brain that can destroy target cells. They are important for proper brain development and associated with neuropsychiatric or neurological disorders in humans. A team of researchers set out to address this question: what controls microglia maturation and function under normal conditions? They found that host microbiota contributed substantially to microglia homeostasis. Germ-free…

Paul Enck
Prof. Dr. Paul Enck, Director of Research, Dept. of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany. His main interests are gut functions in health and disease, including functional and inflammatory bowel disorders, the role of the gut microbiota, regulation of eating and food intake and its disorders, of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness, and the psychophysiology and neurobiology of the placebo response, with specific emphasis on age and gender contributions. He has published more than 170 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 250 book chapters and review articles. He is board member/treasurer of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and of the German Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and has served as reviewer for many international journals and grant agencies.

90% of the human body's serotonin (also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine, or 5-HT) is produced by enterochromaffin (EC) cells in the gut and is used for enteric functions. A paper in Cell by Yano and colleagues demonstrates that the microbiota play a vital role in regulating serotonin in the host. In the gut microbiota of mice and humans, spore-forming bacteria promote…

Paul Enck
Prof. Dr. Paul Enck, Director of Research, Dept. of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany. His main interests are gut functions in health and disease, including functional and inflammatory bowel disorders, the role of the gut microbiota, regulation of eating and food intake and its disorders, of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness, and the psychophysiology and neurobiology of the placebo response, with specific emphasis on age and gender contributions. He has published more than 170 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 250 book chapters and review articles. He is board member/treasurer of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and of the German Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and has served as reviewer for many international journals and grant agencies.

90% of the human body's serotonin (also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine, or 5-HT) is produced by enterochromaffin (EC) cells in the gut and is used for enteric functions. A paper in Cell by Yano and colleagues demonstrates that the microbiota play a vital role in regulating serotonin in the host. In the gut microbiota of mice and humans, spore-forming bacteria promote…

Paul Enck
Prof. Dr. Paul Enck, Director of Research, Dept. of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany. His main interests are gut functions in health and disease, including functional and inflammatory bowel disorders, the role of the gut microbiota, regulation of eating and food intake and its disorders, of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness, and the psychophysiology and neurobiology of the placebo response, with specific emphasis on age and gender contributions. He has published more than 170 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 250 book chapters and review articles. He is board member/treasurer of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and of the German Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and has served as reviewer for many international journals and grant agencies.