Belly bacteria boss the brain

Belly bacteria boss the brain

Gut microbes can change neurochemistry and influence behavior

By Tina Hesman Saey, 17:30 PM August 29, 2011

Friendly intestinal bacteria not only keep the gut happy, they may help keep their host happy, too, a new study in mice finds.

Mice fed broth fortified with a type of friendly intestinal bacteria called Lactobacillus rhamnosus behaved less anxiously than mice fed broth without bacteria. Those behavior changes were accompanied by differences in levels of a brain-chemical sensor and stress hormones.

The bacteria telegraph these brain-chemical and behavior-changing messages via the vagus ner...

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