Dr Bollmann, Skin Care Specialist, Anti-Aging Expert

Gut microbiota (formerly called gut flora) is the name given today to the microbe population living in our intestine. Our gut microbiota contains tens of trillions of microorganisms, including at least 1000 different species of known bacteria with more than 3 million genes (150 times more than human genes).

High-fat diets have long been known to increase the risk for medical problems, including heart disease and stroke, but there is growing concern that diets high in fat might also increase the risk for depression and other psychiatric disorders.

Mice who received a microbiota shaped by a high-fat diet showed multiple disruptions in behavior, including increased anxiety, impaired memory, and repetitive behaviors. Further, the animals fed the high-fat diet showed many detrimental effects in the body, including increased intestinal permeability and markers of inflammation. Signs of inflammation in the brain were also evident and may have contributed to the behavioral changes. Observing that: “The mice given [high-fat diet] microbiota had significant and selective disruptions in exploratory, cognitive, and stereotypical behavior,” the study authors conclude that: “these data reinforce the link between gut dysbiosis and neurologic dysfunction and suggest that dietary and/or pharmacologic manipulation of gut microbiota could attenuate the neurologic complications of obesity.” This idea is still in the early stages and needs further investigation, but evidence that the microbiota influences health is becoming more prominent.


  • Things we know:
  • The gastrointestinal microbiome is associated with host health status.
  • Structure and composition of the microbiome defines functional gene expression of the community, pathogen abundance and physiology, and the host response.
  • Prenatal and early postnatal microbial exposures impact immune response development and define predisposition to the development of inflammatory diseases.
  • Specific microbes have demonstrated roles in immune response modulation.
  • Manipulation of the microbiome through pro-, pre- or synbiotic supplementation may prove an alternative approach for improving host health status.


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