Study suggests changes in the gut can influence your mind

A pickle.
(Image credit: iStock)

The next time you feel uneasy, grab a pickle and chomp away — researchers from William & Mary and the University of Maryland say they have found a possible connection between decreased social anxiety and eating fermented foods.

Researchers asked 700 college students about the amount of fermented foods they ate, and found that those who consumed higher amounts of sauerkraut, kimchi, and the like had less social anxiety. The effect, researchers said, was greatest among those at genetic risk for social anxiety disorder as measured by neuroticism. "It is likely that the probiotics in the fermented foods are favorably changing the environment in the gut, and changes in the gut in turn influence social anxiety," Prof. Matthew Hillmire of William & Mary said. "I think that it is absolutely fascinating that the microorganisms in your gut can influence your mind."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us