The Gut Microbiome and Diet in Psychiatry: Focus on Depression

Sarah Dash; Gerard Clarke; Michael Berk; Felice N. Jacka


Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2015;28(1):1-6. 

In This Article

Determinants and Role of Gut Microbiota

The influence of the gut microbiome extends across multiple physiological domains. For example, bacterial colonization of the intestine is considered essential for the development of the immune system[9] as well as the regulation of gastrointestinal motility and maintenance of gut barrier function.[4] The diverse functional repertoire of the gut microbiota has seen it classified in terms of both a metabolic organ[10] and an endocrine organ[11] in addition to its key role in immune system development.[12] The understanding of the gut microbiota as a primary driver of host development and physiology[13] now extends to key features of brain and behaviour.[14] The microbial composition of an individual begins to establish itself at birth[15] and can vary depending on infant delivery method and feeding.[16,17] The gut microbiome stabilizes in the first few years of life[18] but continues to be influenced by age, genetics,[19] geography,[20] medication use[21,22] and, most relevant to this review, diet.[23]