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Title: Fermented foods, the gut and mental health: a mechanistic overview with implications for depression and anxiety.
Austin Authors: Aslam, Hajara;Green, Jessica;Jacka, Felice N;Collier, Fiona;Berk, Michael;Pasco, Julie;Dawson, Samantha L
Affiliation: Environmental & Genetic Epidemiology Research, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Australia
IMPACT Strategic Research Centre, School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
Food & Mood Centre, IMPACT Strategic Research Centre, School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Australia
Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Disease, Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia
School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
The Department of Psychiatry and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health Department, The Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Orygen, Australia
Issue Date: Sep-2020 2018-11-11
Publication information: Nutritional neuroscience 2020; 23(9): 659-671
Abstract: Mental disorders including depression and anxiety are often comorbid with gut problems, suggesting a bidirectional relationship between mental health and gut function. Several mechanisms might explain this comorbidity, such as inflammation and immune activation; intestinal permeability; perturbations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; neurotransmitter/neuropeptide dysregulation; dietary deficiencies; and disturbed gut microbiome composition. The potential of modulating the microbiome-gut-brain axis, and subsequently mental health, through the use of functional foods, is an emerging and novel topic of interest. Fermented foods are considered functional foods due to their putative health benefits. The process of microbial fermentation converts food substrates into more nutritionally and functionally rich products, resulting in functional microorganisms (probiotics), substrates that enhance proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut (prebiotics), and bioactive components (biogenics). These functional ingredients act biologically in the gastrointestinal tract and have the ability to modify the gut microbiota, influence translocation of endotoxins and subsequent immune activation, and promote host nutrition. This narrative review explores the theoretical potential of the functional components present in fermented foods to alter gut physiology and to impact the biological mechanisms thought to underpin depression and anxiety. Pre-clinical studies indicate the benefits of fermented foods in relieving perturbed gut function and for animal models of depression and anxiety. However, in humans, the literature relating to the relevance of fermented food for treating or preventing depression and anxiety is sparse, heterogeneous and has significant limitations. This review identifies a critical research gap for further evaluation of fermented foods in the management of depression anxiety in humans.
DOI: 10.1080/1028415X.2018.1544332
ORCID: 0000-0002-6023-1658
PubMed URL: 30415609
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: anxiety
fermented foods
gut health
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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