Do you use anti-depressants? Your gut may be taking notice.

According to new research, serotonin targeted drugs can make a huge effect on the body’s “gut microbiota, the 100 trillion or so bacteria and other microbes that live in the human body’s intestines.”

This may not come as a surprise, considering “90% of the bodies serotonin is produced in the gut” – which influences emotions and happiness (“Study shows”, 2019).

To study how anti-depressants affect the gut, researchers distributed the drug Prozac to mice, and found that the gut bacteria, Turicibacter sanguinis, transported less serotonin. But why does the gut produce so much serotonin in the first place? (“Study shows”, 2019).

Exploring this question, researchers took a look at the gut bacteria that specifically produces serotonin – Turicibacter and Clostridia bacteria were found to be the main producers of serotonin after distributing serotonin in the drinking water of mice (“Study shows”, 2019).

Turcibacter is responsible for transporting serotonin within the gut, but once an anti-depressant is introduced, the bacterium is found to transport much less of the neurotransmitter (“Study shows”, 2019).

“‘Our new study tells us that certain gut bacteria can respond to serotonin and drugs that influence serotonin, like anti-depressants. This is a unique form of communication between bacteria and our own cells through molecules traditionally recognized as neurotransmitters,’” stated Thomas Fung, a postdoctoral researcher on the study (“Study shows”, 2019).

Reference: University of California – Los Angeles. (2019, September 6). Study shows how serotonin and a popular anti-depressant affect the gut’s microbiota. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 8, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190906092809.htm

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