Eye-opening new research (using animal models) shows how social stress changes the gut microbiome, which in turn could lead to self-destructive changes in the immune system. This could provide clues for autoimmune disorders which affect 1 in 5 people.

The social stress was mice being put in a cage with much more aggressive mice for 10 days compared to mice left alone. This daily stress was linked to changes to the microbiome and epigenetic changes.

"The researchers then analyzed both groups’ gut microbiota and found differences in their bacterial compositions, with the biggest changes in two particular types: bilophila and dehalobacterium. Both types have been linked with autoimmune disorders in humans, notably multiple sclerosis.

The researchers followed with a genetic analysis and found genes linked to “violent traits” switched on, which, according to the study, increase growth, movement, and signaling between bacteria and host. In other words, the bacteria appear to have turned into destructive pathogens with enhanced ability to travel through the body and infect tissue."

My take-home message - be nice to each other to reduce levels of social stress. Or live completely on your own.

What do you think?

Article link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/neuronarra...

Research link: Werbner M et al., mSystems, 2019 https://msystems.asm.org/content/4/4/e00292-18