Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health: from Metchnikoff to modern advances: part III — convergence toward clinical trials
Rapid scientific and technological advances have allowed for a more detailed understanding of the relevance of intestinal microbiota, and the entire body-wide micro biome, to human health and well-being.
Rodent studies have provided suggestive evidence that probiotics (e.g. lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) can influence behavior.
More importantly, emerging clinical studies indicate that the administration of beneficial microbes, via supplementation and/or fecal microbial transplant (FMT), can influence end-points related to mood state (glycemic control, oxidative status, uremic toxins), brain function (functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI), and mental outlook (depression, anxiety).
However, despite the advances in the area of gastro-biological psychiatry, it becomes clear that there remains an urgent need to explore the value of beneficial microbes in controlled clinical investigations. With the history explored in this series, it is fair to ask if we are now on the cusp of major clinical breakthroughs, or are we merely in the quicksand of Autointoxication II?