A new study addressed the impact of marital quality on changes in depressive symptoms, and gut diversity, richness, and permeability.
The gut microbiota plays a role in a wide range of diseases and disorders, with low microbial diversity and richness emerging as notable risk factors.
The results confirmed the reciprocal influence between the mood and the functioning of our bodies.
On two occasions an average of 90 days apart, 162 people provided stool and blood samples, and completed questionnaires.
Depressive symptoms increased from visit 1 to visit 2 in those with clinically significant relationship problems, in contrast to the lack of change among their more satisfied counterparts.
These changes in depression were consequential: the gut microbiota’s diversity and richness decreased in tandem with the increase in depressive symptoms.
Lower relationship satisfaction also foreshadowed increases in lipopolysaccharide binding protein from visit 1 to visit 2, reflecting greater translocation of bacterial endotoxin from the gut to blood circulation, a process that fuels inflammation.
Scientific research increasingly indicates inflammation as an element that underlies imbalances and dysfunction in our bodies.
Lower diversity and richness provide a pathway from depressive symptoms and marital distress to subsequent health risk.
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For more information
The gut reaction to couples’ relationship troubles: A route to gut dysbiosis through changes in depressive symptoms
Janice K.Kiecolt-Glaser, Stephanie J.Wilson, M. Rosie Shrout, Annelise A.Madison, Rebecca Andridg, Juan Peng, William B.Malarkey, Michael T.Bailey
This post is also available in: Italian