The Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis and Resilience to Developing Anxiety or Depression under Stress

Author: Tracey Bear1,2,3, Julie Dalziel3,4, Jane Coad1, Nicole Roy3,5,6, Christine Butts2, Pramod Gopal2,3
1 School of Food and Advanced Technology, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
2 The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited, Palmerston North 4410, New Zealand.
3 Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
4 Smart Foods Innovation Centre of Excellence, AgResearch, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
5 Department of Human Nutrition, Otago University, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand.
6 High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge, Auckland 1145, New Zealand.
Conference/Journal: Microorganisms
Date published: 2021 Mar 31
Other: Volume ID: 9 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 723 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9040723. , Word Count: 152

Episodes of depression and anxiety commonly follow the experience of stress, however not everyone who experiences stress develops a mood disorder. Individuals who are able to experience stress without a negative emotional effect are considered stress resilient. Stress-resilience (and its counterpart stress-susceptibility) are influenced by several psychological and biological factors, including the microbiome-gut-brain axis. Emerging research shows that the gut microbiota can influence mood, and that stress is an important variable in this relationship. Stress alters the gut microbiota and plausibly this could contribute to stress-related changes in mood. Most of the reported research has been conducted using animal models and demonstrates a relationship between gut microbiome and mood. The translational evidence from human clinical studies however is rather limited. In this review we examine the microbiome-gut-brain axis research in relation to stress resilience.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; enteric nervous system; gut microbiota; gut-inflammation; gut-permeability; mood; probiotics; stress; vagus nerve.

PMID: 33807290 DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms9040723