According to the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Physical health is therefore inseparable from mental health. For each of us, throughout life, taking care of our physical and mental health maintains or improves our well-being, reducing the effects of stress, for example. Taking care of yourself goes through an appropriate diet, quality sleep and physical exercise, among other things.
These 3 factors are also known to have an impact on the gut microbiota and the role of nutrition is the most documented. During the Gut Microbiota for Health World Summit 2020, we had the chance to interview Professor John Cryan, from the APC Microbiome Ireland, around the concept of psychobiotics. Under this term are grouped interventions capable of modulating the gut microbiota (prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics and some fermented foods), which could be key on managing, preventing and even treating mental illnesses.