What can your poo tell you about your mental health? 24



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Let’s face it: pooing isn’t the most pleasant of topics but everyone does it and it’s relevant to all of us. The subject of whether we’re regular or not and what that means for our overall health is often something we think about.

But now there has been another interesting link between our number-twos and our health, however it isn’t our physical health in question… it’s our mental health.

If you are depressed, there is a higher likelihood that you have a lack of antibiotic resistance in your stool, meaning it’s more difficult to treat infections.

Scientists at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre Biosciences Institute at University College Cork discovered that the mix of bacteria in your gut could have a direct effect on your mood.

Professor Ted Dinan and Professor John Cryan decided to test this by organising the first study to investigate whether depression can in some way be transmitted through gut bacteria.

The results were astonishing, with Professor Dinan finding brain function in humans was “very much dependent” on the products from the gut bacteria.

“There are fundamental differences in the microbiota of depressed and non-depressed people”, he said.

In the study, rats’ microbiota was cleared using antibiotics and then a faecal transplant was given from a human donor with clinical depression.

The otherwise healthy rats began to show sings of depression, experiencing anxiety, weight loss and fatigue, much like human sufferers of the condition.

While tests are ongoing, these early findings have been very valuable to clinicians who administer faecal transplants.

If the research proves conclusive in later testing, those who offer their faeces for faecal transplants may need to be screened for depression and other mental disorders before donating.

In case you were wondering about faecal transplantation, it is a newer type of treatment and can help ward off stubborn bacteria. The recipient benefits from the billions of useful bacteria that are in our lower digestive tracts and it has proven to be highly effective.

Tell us your thoughts below.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Probiotics like Yakult can make a big difference even in getting rid of a persistent cough! Worked for me!

    2 REPLY
    • Probiotic tablets work out much cheaper and have billions more bacteria than Yakult, you can usually buy them on sale at Chemist Warehouse really affordable, I swear by them, made a huge differenc to me.

    • Thanks Marilyn. I’ll try that. The Yakult tastes nice but it is a pain to open the bottles!

      1 REPLY
      • If you buy the 10 pack they come with straws that poke easily through the foil lids.
        Aldi have a cheaper version but you need to feel in the carton for loose straws.

  2. Yes I buy one packet of Yakult with 10 in it then don’t have buy any for months they do work for pain in the lower bowl

    3 REPLY
  3. I also swear by pro biotics, made a big difference to my health and wellbeing. I take in tablet form daily.

  4. what a lot of garbage. Do these scientists get to much money or are they all crazy and are trying to cure themselves?

    1 REPLY
    • This is not a load of rubbish. Scientists all over the world have been studying the gut and its affect on bowel health as well as mental health. These studies get tested in double blind tests and the tests and outcomes can be replicated by others.
      And no, our scientists do not get too much money, they get far too little and far too many scientific projects have been stopped by lack of funding by our scientifically ignorant government. we are rapidly becoming a very stupid uneducated country.

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