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  • Writer's pictureBridget Supple

Disrupted Gut Microbiome a Key Driver of Major Depression?


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is linked to disruptions in energy and lipid metabolism, possibly caused by the interplay of the gut microbiome and blood metabolome, new research suggests.


Investigators found that MDD had specific metabolic "signatures" consisting of 124 metabolites that spanned energy and lipid pathways, with some involving the tricarboxylic acid cycle in particular. These changes in metabolites were consistent with differences in composition of several gut microbiota.


The researchers found that fatty acids and intermediate and very large lipoproteins changed in association with the depressive disease process. However, high-density lipoproteins and metabolites in the tricarboxylic acid cycle did not.


"As we wait to establish causal influences through clinical trials, clinicians should advise patients suffering from mood disorders to modify their diet by increasing the intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as these provide the required fuel/fiber to the gut microbiota for their enrichment, and more short-chain fatty acids are produced for the optimal functioning of the body," study investigator Najaf Amin, PhD, DSc, senior researcher, Nuffield Department of Population Health, Oxford University, United Kingdom, told Medscape Medical News.



"At the same time, patients should be advised to minimize the intake of sugars and processed foods, which are known to have an inverse impact on the gut microbiome and are associated with higher inflammation," she said

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