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The impact of stress on the intestinal microbiome shown in mice

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan26,2024

The impact of stress on the intestinal microbiome shown in mice

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Chronic stress causes a biochemical ripple effect that modifies the composition of the microbiome.

The Canadian Press

Chronic stress triggers a biochemical ripple effect that modifies the composition of the intestinal microbiome, shows a study carried out on mice by Chinese researchers.

This allows us to better understand how chronic stress increases the risk of different health problems, from irritable bowel syndrome to depression, say the authors.

The most studied mechanisms are those that extend from the intestine and the intestinal microbiota to the brain, commented Professor Vincenzo Di Marzio, a specialist in the intestinal microbiome at the University's Faculty of Medicine. Laval. On the other hand, the mechanisms that leave the brain and arrive at the intestinal microbiota are not very well known, so I believe that this is a very important study.

Chinese researchers discovered that mice that were exposed to chronic stress for two weeks subsequently had fewer cells whose role is to protect the intestines from pathogens.

Even more precisely, they found that a substance produced by intestinal bacteria which proliferate in the presence of stress interferes with the mechanism which normally allows intestinal stem cells to transform into protective cells.

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The study does not, however, clarify how stress causes the proliferation of these bacteria, said Professor Di Marzo.

[The researchers] have identified a novel mechanism by which the brain, stress, changes the activity of the autonomic peripheral nervous system that affects the gut.

A quote from Vincenzo Di Marzio, specialist in the intestinal microbiome at the Faculty of Medicine of Laval University

And in a way that is not yet well understood, it affects the composition of the intestinal microbiota by increasing species of bacteria that produce a metabolite that affects the proliferation of intestinal stem cells.

The researchers then found high levels of these bacteria and the substance in question in the stools of humans suffering from depression, compared to the stools of healthy humans.

It's no secret that stress plays a leading role in the manifestation of several psychosomatic illnesses. Multiple studies have also demonstrated, in recent years, that the intestinal microbiota has an influence that we are only beginning to measure on multiple facets of health.

New knowledge which allows us to understand a little better the association between stress and the microbiota is therefore very useful, estimated Professor Di Marzo, and not only because it shed light for the first time on the relationship from the brain to the intestine rather than the other way around.

If there is a way for the brain to control the production by the intestinal microbiota of certain metabolites, the brain could also direct the microbiota to have protective functions or functions that contribute to diseases, through the intestine of course, he said. he concluded.

The findings of this study were published by the journal Cell Metabolism< em> (New window) (in English).

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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