Recently, there have been many studies linking gut microbiome to PTSD. But how exactly are they connected?
Humans have an infinite number of organisms creating a unique composition of bacteria in the gut. It has been suspected before that any number of combinations of these gut microbiome can affect our health in different ways. One way is that they can cause neuropsychiatric disorders like PTSD or even just weaken mental toughness. Either way, the topic of gut microbiomes is definitely worth researching.
A recent study conducted by 22 scientists at Stellenbosch University in South Africa showed that compared to healthy, unaffected people, those with PTSD had noticeably lower levels of three gut bacteria: Actinobacteria, Lentisphaerae, and Verrucomicrobia. However, it was also noted from that study that the loss of these three gut bacteria may have occurred in earlier stages of life rather than the later stages when people generally develop PTSD.
According to a study conducted by researches of Oregon State University, when someone suffers from stress, their gut microbiomes become disordered and start to act oddly. Therefore, the lower levels of the three gut microbiomes could indicate that the levels of those microbiomes are throwing off the balance that is needed to maintain a stress and anxiety free mind which can prevent PTSD.
There is one catch about this result: that correlation does not confirm anything. Scientists conducting studies could only identify a correlation with gut microbiome and PTSD, but could not determine a cause.
Although we do not know if these three gut microbiomes cause PTSD or come with PTSD, we do know that we are now one step closer to finding a cure or at least a better treatment for PTSD.