If the microbiome affects our mood and well-being, why isn’t the gut-brain axis explored further by pharmaceuticals?

I’m sure they are. After all, the market for antidepressant drugs is over $15B[1] , so there is a lot of money to be made here. But it won’t be easy. And if you think about the process of drug discovery, you’ll see why. Some drugs are indeed discovered fortuitously. The discovery of penicillin is Read More …

Gastroenterology: Is there really a link between gut bacteria and depression or is this just fancy pop science?

The evidence for a link between gut bacteria and depression/anxiety disorders is compelling. The gut microbiome of clinically depressed patients is substantially altered[1], and gut disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease show both an altered microbiome and an increased risk of depression[2] . We also know that recurrent antibiotic use, which inevitably disrupts the gut microbiota[3] , Read More …

What distortions in my gut microbiome can have a dramatic impact on my health?

Gut microbiome composition, with exceptions that I’ll discuss below, is remarkably stable, particularly in adults. Although probiotics are expected to be a $45B business by 2018, their effects on microbiome composition are small and transient. A recent meta-analysis of seven randomized control trials found “a lack of evidence for an impact of probiotics on fecal Read More …