Gut Bacteria Can Regulate Nerve Fiber Insulation
According to new research published online at The Guardian by University College Cork and published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, gut bacteria may directly affect brain structure and function, offering new ways to treat multiple sclerosis and psychiatric conditions.
Instead of just helping you digest food, the bacteria in your gut may also influence your thoughts, moods and behaviors. It does this by affecting the structure and function of the brain by regulating myelination, which is the process by which nerve fibers are insulated so that they can conduct impulses properly.
The reason this research is significant is that in the future doctors could alter the composition of the gut’s microbial menagerie in some way or another to treat debilitating demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, and even psychiatric disorders.
As research into the gut microbiome has exploded in the last decade, there seems to be a strong connection between the gut and the brain. The study notes that, “The human gut microbiome seems to play important roles in health and disease, and alterations in its composition have been implicated in a wide range of neurological and psychiatric conditions, including autism, chronic pain, depression, and Parkinson’s Disease, although the links still remain somewhat tenuous.
The continuing research including this new breakthrough are reasons to rejoice and make sure we are keeping our microbiome happy.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.