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The latest gut science, from Dr. Miguel!

Microbiome research is a cutting-edge field, with constantly emerging new discoveries. Our Head of Research and Development Dr Miguel Toribio-Mateas breaks down the latest science for you, in plain English.

Gut-Brain Connection Confirmed

You probably already know that your emotional state and your intestinal conditions are closely linked by “brain-gut interactions.” Many psychiatric disorders are accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms, like IBS. But scientists have struggled to pin down exactly why this is so, because they haven’t been able to replicate it in animals. Until now! In this new study, Tokyo University of Science researchers exposed mice to repeated psychological stress, and then examined their intestinal conditions. They found that the mice had a faster “transit time” (think diarrhoea) and this effect lasted for over a month afterwards. Researchers then used a Japanese herbal medicine called “kampo” used to treat IBS, to successfully get the mice back to normal. Their conclusion? The Gut-Brain axis is a thing, even for mice! Or, in science-speak: “We demonstrate here for the first time that psychological stress alone causes IBS-D-like symptoms in mice.”1Yoshioka T, Ohashi M, Matsumoto K, Omata T, Hamano T, Yamazaki M, Kimiki S, Okano K, Kobayashi R, Yamada D, Hada N, Kato S, Saitoh A. Repeated psychological stress, chronic vicarious social defeat stress, evokes irritable bowel syndrome-like symptoms in mice. Front Neurosci. 2022 Oct 6;16:993132. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.993132.2Image created with BioRender.com

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