Not long ago, researchers found that the composition of the intestinal microbiota (population of microbes living in the gut) depends largely on the temperament and emotions of children.
Now, however, it became clear that the sphere of influence of intestinal bacteria even wider.
In the new work, Dr. Katherine Johnson (Katerina Johnson) from Oxford University found a correlation between the composition of intestinal bacteria and individual personality traits of adults.
the study involved 655 men and women from twenty countries. The average age of volunteers was 42 years.
Johnson got the fecal samples of participants and analyzed the composition of intestinal bacteria.
in addition, all volunteers completed a questionnaire that included questions about lifestyle, health, diet and behavior. Based on this information the scientist drew conclusions about the key personality traits of the respondents.
Explain that most psychologists there are five main features that characterize humans and can serve as evaluation criteria to determine personality type. This neuroticism (characterized by emotional instability, anxiety, low self-esteem), extroversion (sociable, energetic behavior), openness to new experiences (creative research, intellectual curiosity), benevolence (trust and cooperation) and integrity (awareness and concentration, attention to detail).
These symptoms are known as the Big five, are manifested to a greater or lesser degree in all people, regardless of gender and race.
the Study showed that there is an obvious correlation between the composition of intestinal bacteria and certain personality traits.
For example, it was found that the types of bacteria that scientists previously associated with autism, are also associated with differences in levels of sociability, and possibly neuroticism among people in General.
In particular, the most sociable volunteers had more bacteria Akkermansia, producer Lactococcus and Oscillospira. It is known that populations of these mmikroorganizmov in the intestine of patients with autism are few.
At the same time, the least communicative of men addicted to intraverse identified high levels of bacteria Desulfovibrio and Sutterella. And those same bacteria are abundant in the intestines of people with autism.
“This suggests that the intestinal microbiota can help change social behavior,” explains Johnson.
In her opinion, these data experts will be able to develop new strategies for the treatment of autism and depression.
Another interesting finding is that the wider social network of people (friends and social connections), the more varied the composition of their gut bacteria. According to Johnson, the relationship of this kind is confirmed in humans for the first time.
meanwhile, participants with higher levels of stress or anxiety had a less diverse microbiota.
they Also found that a more diverse intestinal microbiota in people prone to new experiences in culinary experiments.
in Fact, food and lifestyle in General, significantly affect the composition of gut bacteria.
For example, it was found that people who as children were fed with formula milk, have less diverse microbiota in adulthood. And the participants, which in infancy were fed breast milk, the composition of intestinal bacteria was more diverse.
in addition, it was found that the diversity of intestinal melkovaty people correlates with the amount of international travel. (Although immigration, in contrast, reduces the diversity of gut bacteria.)
Finally, Johnson notes that a more diverse intestinal microbiota were those participants who consumed foods with a high content of probiotics (fermented cheese, sauerkraut) and prebiotics (bananas, beans, asparagus, onions). But supplements with probiotics, this effect is not provided.
Meanwhile, among people who rarely consumed dairy products, intestinal microbiota was less diverse.
Note that in his article, presents in the edAANII Human Microbiome Journal, Katherine Johnson does not claim that intestinal bacteria directly determine the identity of the person. In her opinion, most likely, there is a two-way communication. Intestinal bacteria can influence behavior, developing brain affecting substances. But behavior, in turn, probably affects the composition of intestinal microbiota.
by the Way, before “Conduct.Science” reported that a change in the composition of intestinal bacteria helps to cope with anxiety.