Gut Biome Diversity Might Shape Personality, Energy Levels – DISCOVER Magazine

by | May 9, 2022 | Energy

It doesn’t take long to recognize these two types: People who seem to have boundless reserves of energy, and those who struggle to roll out of bed each morning, stupefied until their second cup of coffee. The two distinct personalities — lively vs. bone-idle — may stem from differences in the types of bacteria living in our guts, according to a small, exploratory new study published in the journal Nutrients.The research on 20 subjects suggests that four different personality traits — mental energy, physical energy, mental fatigue and physical fatigue — might be associated with distinct microbial profiles. Bacteria commonly found in energetic people are those which perform metabolic functions, while bacteria associated with inflammation were more likely to be found in people who experience fatigue.Our digestive system is host to trillions of microbes, collectively known as the gut microbiome, that help us break down tough food molecules. In turn, the food we eat influences the species and abundance of bacteria in our gut. This microscopic menagerie communicates directly with the brain, through what scientists refer to as the “gut-brain axis,” churning out neurochemical signals that influence our moods and even aspects of our personality.Read More: Gut Bacteria’s Role in Anxiety and Depression: It’s Not Just In Your HeadSpecific gut bacteria have previously been implicated with how sociable people are. Lactococcus and Oscillospira bacteria, for example, are depleted among people with autism, who often struggle with social interaction. Variations in the gut microbiome have also been linked with differences in sociability among the general population, with social people having more microbial diversity than their more withdrawn counterparts. In contrast, people with low microbial diversity experience higher levels of anxiety and depression.A Gut FeelingTo determine whether the gut microbiome differs between people with different energy levels, researchers from Texas A&M University School of Public Health sequenced bacterial RNA from stool samples obtained from a small group of volunteers. The 20 participants completed a brief survey to identify correlations between gut bacteria and mental and physical energy and fatigue. The presence of certain gut bacteria is associated with the different personality types, the study found. For instance, high levels of mental energy and low mental fatigue was linked to the presence of Anaerostipes, a bacterial genus known to break down fats. Variou …

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