Did you know your stomach can tell your mood?

According to new research, those who suffer from depression often have more gastrointestinal issues – both issues are a result of having low serotonin levels.

The study analyzed mice with low serotonin in neurons that were in the gut. The mice were shown to have constipation and other stomach issues and also had a genetic mutation that mirrored depression in humans – it was found that after distributing serotonin to the mice,  their constipation was alleviated  and assisted with their depression too (“A moody gut”, 2019).

“Up to a third of people with depression have chronic constipation and a few studies report that people with depression rate their accompanying bowel difficulties as one of the biggest factors reducing their quality of life,” (“A moody gut”, 2019).

The gut has been called a “second brain” on various occasions because of the significant amount of neurons it contains alongside the amount of neurotransmitters it holds (being the same as in the brain) (“A moody gut”, 2019).

With distribution of an experimental drug created by the study’s co-authors, serotonin levels were raised specifically in the gut and alleviated the mices’ constipation.

“The discovery of this connection between a brain and a gastrointestinal disorder suggests that new 5-HTP slow-release therapies could treat related brain-gut conditions simultaneously,” (“A moody gut”, 2019).

Reference: Columbia University Irving Medical Center. (2019, May 7). A moody gut often accompanies depression: New study helps explain why. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 12, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190507080148.htm