High fiber foods help fight stress-related disorders like anxiety, depression
Eating high fibre foods - such as legumes and vegetables - may help fight stress related disorders such as anxiety, depression and irritable bowel syndrome, a study has found.
Bacteria in the gut produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are the main source of nutrition for cells in this region of the body. Foods such as grains, legumes, and vegetables, contain high levels of fibers and will stimulate the production of these SCFAs.
This means undigested food particles, bacteria and germs will pass through the leaky gut wall into the blood and cause persistent inflammation. Treating with the SCFAs can also reverse this "leakiness".
These results provide new insights into mechanisms related to the impact of the gut bacteria on the brain and behaviour as well as gut health. Developing dietary treatments which target these bacteria will be important for treating stress-related disorders.
Using behavioural tests the mice were assessed for anxiety and depressive-like behaviour, stress-responsiveness, cognition and sociability as well as how easily material passes through the gut.
The exact mechanisms by which SCFAs facilitate their effect remain undetermined. SCFAs had no effect on an increase in body weight caused by stress therefore understanding why SCFAs only affect certain stress-induced effects will be important.
"There is a growing recognition of the role of gut bacteria and the chemicals they make in the regulation of physiology and behaviour," said John F Cryan, corresponding author on the research published in The Journal of Physiology.
The role of short-chain fatty acids in this process is poorly understood up until now. It will be crucial that we look at whether short-chain fatty acids can ameliorate symptoms of stress-related disorders in humans," said Cryan.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)