The bacteria that live in our intestines are likely to affect our desires and emotions, let us eat the foods that these bacteria want, and these foods often drive us to obesity.
In an article published in the journal BioEssays, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, Arizona State University, and the University of New Mexico reviewed recent scientific literature and found that gut microbes can affect human eating behavior and dietary choices.
Although it is unclear exactly how this happened, the researchers believe that intestinal microbes can influence our decision by releasing signal molecules into our intestines. Because the gut is associated with the immune system, the endocrine system, and the nervous system, these signals can affect our physiological and behavioral responses.
Studies have shown that intestinal bacteria may partially affect our dietary decisions through vagal action. Microorganisms have the ability to manipulate our behaviors and emotions by altering the neural signals of the vagus nerve, altering the taste receptors, producing toxins that make us feel bad, and releasing reward-like chemical signals that make us feel good. In mice, certain strains in bacteria have been found to increase anxiety behavior.
In humans, a clinical trial found that those who are depressed have improved their mood after drinking probiotics containing Lactobacillus casei. Maley, Aktipis and first author Joe Alcock suggested that further research is needed and that intestinal bacteria affect our minds. For example, transplanting bacteria that require algae nutrition to the intestines will lead the human host to eat more seaweed?