The Relationship between Emotional Suppression and Diversity of Gut Microbiome and the Impact of Happiness on Certain Bacteria Levels

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The gut microbiome is an ecosystem of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract and play a crucial role in maintaining human health. Recent studies have shown that emotional states can affect the composition of the gut microbiome.

Emotional suppression, which is the tendency to inhibit or conceal emotions, has been associated with negative health outcomes, including an increased risk of depression and cardiovascular disease.

In this article, we will explore the relationship between emotional suppression, gut microbiome diversity, and physical health outcomes, with a focus on the mechanisms underlying these connections.

The Gut-Brain Axis: The gut and brain are connected by a bidirectional communication network known as the gut-brain axis. The gut microbiome plays a key role in regulating this axis by producing neurotransmitters, metabolites, and other signaling molecules that affect the brain’s function and behavior.

Emotional states can also affect the gut microbiome by altering its composition and diversity. For example, chronic stress and emotional suppression have been shown to reduce gut microbiome diversity, leading to dysbiosis, which is an imbalance in the gut microbiome that is associated with negative health outcomes.

Emotional Suppression and Gut Microbiome Diversity: Studies have shown that emotional suppression is associated with a less diverse gut microbiome compared to individuals who express their emotions freely. This reduction in diversity is thought to be caused by changes in the gut environment, such as increased inflammation and oxidative stress, that occur as a result of emotional suppression.

In addition, emotional suppression has been linked to a reduction in the abundance of beneficial bacterial taxa, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are important for maintaining gut health and regulating the immune system. This reduction in beneficial bacteria can lead to an increase in harmful bacterial taxa, such as Prevotella and Bacteroides, which are associated with negative health outcomes.

Physical Implications of Emotional Suppression and Gut Microbiome Dysbiosis: The negative impact of emotional suppression and gut microbiome dysbiosis on physical health outcomes is becoming increasingly evident. Chronic stress and emotional suppression have been associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and immune dysfunction. Dysbiosis, characterized by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a reduction in beneficial bacteria, has been linked to a range of health problems, including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and allergies.

Positive Emotions and Gut Microbiome Diversity: Recent studies have shown that positive emotions are associated with increased gut microbiome diversity, compared to individuals who report fewer positive emotions. This increase in diversity is thought to be caused by changes in the gut environment, such as increased gut motility and secretions, that occur as a result of positive emotions. In addition, positive emotions have been linked to a higher abundance of beneficial bacterial taxa, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are important for maintaining gut health and regulating the immune system.

Lower Levels of Certain Bacterial Taxa: While positive emotions have been associated with a higher abundance of beneficial bacterial taxa, they have also been linked to lower levels of certain bacterial taxa. Specifically, studies have found that individuals who report happier emotions have lower levels of certain bacterial taxa, such as Coprococcus and Dialister. These bacterial taxa are associated with negative health outcomes, such as inflammation and autoimmune disorders, and their lower abundance may contribute to the beneficial effects of positive emotions on physical health outcomes.

Physical Implications of Positive Emotions and Gut Microbiome Diversity: The beneficial impact of positive emotions and gut microbiome diversity on physical health outcomes is becoming increasingly evident. Studies have shown that a more diverse gut microbiome is associated with a lower risk of developing chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, the presence of beneficial bacterial taxa, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, has been linked to a reduced risk of inflammatory bowel disease and improved mental health outcomes.

The Brain and Physical Health: The link between positive emotions, gut microbiome diversity, and physical health outcomes is thought to be mediated by the gut-brain axis. Positive emotions are known to improve mental health outcomes by regulating the release of neurotransmitters and other signaling molecules that affect brain function and behavior. These signaling molecules can also affect the gut microbiome, leading to changes in gut microbiome diversity and the abundance of specific bacterial taxa.

The Brain and Physical Health: The gut-brain axis is also involved in the regulation of physical health outcomes. The brain can affect physical health outcomes by regulating the release of stress hormones and other signaling molecules that affect the immune system and the body’s response to inflammation. Emotional suppression and chronic stress have been shown to increase the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol, which can lead to a range of physical health problems, including hypertension, impaired glucose metabolism, and a weakened immune system.

A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has linked bacteria in our gut to positive emotions like happiness and hopefulness and healthier emotion management skills.

Methods

Participants were from the Mind-Body Study (N = 206, mean age = 61), a sub-study of the Nurses’ Health Study II cohort. In 2013, participants completed measures of emotion-related factors. Two pairs of stool samples were collected, 6 months apart, 3 months after emotion-related factors measures were completed. Analyses examined associations of emotion-related factors with gut microbial diversity, overall microbiome structure, and specific species/pathways and adjusted for relevant covariates.

Results

Alpha diversity was negatively associated with suppression. In multivariate analysis, positive emotions were inversely associated with the relative abundance of Firmicutes bacterium CAG 94 and Ruminococcaceae bacterium D16, while negative emotions were directly correlated with the relative abundance of these same species. At the metabolic pathway level, negative emotions were inversely related to the biosynthesis of pantothenate, coenzyme A, and adenosine.

Conclusions

These findings offer human evidence supporting linkages of emotions and related regulatory processes with the gut microbiome and highlight the importance of incorporating the gut microbiome in our understanding of emotion-related factors and their associations with physical health.


reference link : Gut feelings: associations of emotions and emotion regulation with the gut microbiome in women – https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/abs/gut-feelings-associations-of-emotions-and-emotion-regulation-with-the-gut-microbiome-in-women/F1AA1EBBD2C4680CEC7310B6FCD95734

  • https://www.nature.com/articles/nrn3346 –

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