Can Gut Bacteria Influence Personality? Like?

In a statement, the Porto institute clarifies that the project, entitled Microbi-A, intends to study the impact of the human microbiome on mental health and its interaction with personality characteristics.

To understand how they relate, the team of researchers, which also includes specialists from the Faculty of Dental Medicine, University of Porto (FMDUP), will recruit citizens to participate “in this initiative that aims to reveal a still hidden side of neurosciences” .

Quoted in the statement, Benedita Sampaio Maia, lead researcher of the project, says that the participants, over 18 years old, will “perform an assessment of psychological parameters and provide samples for analysis of the microbiome and the metabolites and molecules associated with it”.

The purpose of the project is “to relate microbiological characteristics, namely, the type and quantity of bacteria that inhabit our intestines with characteristics of our personality”, explains the researcher.

The human microbiome has become, in recent years, an “important target” for study by “notoriously” influencing the balance between health and disease.

“The micro-organisms that inhabit our body are related to inflammatory states and chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, among many others”, stresses i3S, adding that in addition to these already established relationships, they are now in place. other hypotheses.

Also quoted in the statement, Carolina Costa, who is also a member of the research team, clarifies that some of these hypotheses relate to: “how individual differences in personality are associated with differences in brain function and how gut bacteria are able to communicate with the brain through the bidirectional brain axis, the microbiome may be related to personality differences.”

Some studies also point out that the microbiome may be associated with mental health, namely that the bacteria that inhabit the intestine have a relevant impact on the brain, something that Benedita Sampaio Maia says is “a very recent area of ​​research”.

“Although this is a topic of great interest to the scientific community, the number of available studies is still very limited, hence the importance of this project that we want to develop in Portugal”, he adds.

The project, which brings together researchers from i3S, from the Neuropsychophysiology laboratory of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto and the University of Oxford, will run for four years.

Citizens who want to participate in the study can register on the project’s website.

Also Read: Human Gut Bacteria Produce Compounds That Inhibit SARS-CoV-2

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