The gut microbiota and mental health in adults

Ellionore Järbrink-Sehgal, Anna Andreasson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


A growing body of evidence point toward the bidirectional gut microbiota–brain axis playing a role in mental health. Most of this research is conducted on animals why we in this review summarize and comment upon recent studies evaluating the gut microbiome in mental health in humans. Further support for the relevance of the bidirectional gut microbiota–brain communication in mood disorders has been presented, such as the effect of probiotics on brain connectivity and mental health outcomes and pregnancy related stress on gut microbiota in the newborn child. However, the heterogeneity between studies precludes conclusions regarding differences in microbiota composition in mental disease and health and many of the studies are limited by a cross-sectional design, small sample sizes and multiple comparisons. Thus, well-designed longitudinal studies with larger sample size, accounting for confounders are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-114
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Early online date9 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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