Microbes are linked to mental health through the gut-brain axis. The gut is linked to the brain by many nerves and neurons. Interestingly enough, the gut is known as the “second brain” because of its neurological capabilities. When microbes enter the stomach, cytokines and neurotransmitter precursors get released and have the ability to control the brain by moving through the gut-brain axis. For example, a study finds that when animals are germ-free (which causes a missing gut microbiome), there shows to be abnormalities in brain development.
Once again through the gut-brain access, hormones, neurotransmitters, and steroid production can affect the gut microbiome.The hormone norepinephrine is often released when someone is experiencing stress, and it can cause the equilibrium within the gut to become off balanced.
The relationship between the gut and brain can cause many changes to the health of an individual. Improving mental health will benefit gut health, and good gut health will benefit mental health. Overall, it would be beneficial to focus on the health of the gut-brain axis in order to encourage one’s health and to lower the risk for diseases associated with gut.