New research supports the old adage, “you are what you eat”.
The new study suggests there are distinct bacteria and metabolomes associated with each personality trait.
“This reinforces many of the public health concepts related to nutrition and health,” says study author Matthew Lee Smith, an associate professor in the department of environmental and occupational health at Texas A&M University.
“The gut microbiome could affect the way you are, not just the way you are today. These findings are more indicative than definitive, but they have contributed to our understanding of what gut health can do and how it makes people feel ”.
Researchers investigated the correlation between mental energy (ME), mental fatigue (MF), physical energy (PE), physical fatigue (PF), and gut microbiome. They found that the bacteria and metabolome associated with metabolism were associated with mental or physical energy, while the bacteria associated with inflammation were associated with mental or physical fatigue.
“What you eat determines the bacteria and microbiome in your gut,” says lead author Ali Boolani, an associate professor in the physical therapy department at Clarkson University. “With this study, we created an exploratory link between a person’s microbiome and her mood.”
Fatigue is a known problem that contributes to poor academic and work performance and can be attributed to many diseases and ailments among middle-aged adults and the elderly, but it is a little known problem.
When someone says they are fatigued, it is more often than not attributed to a lack of energy. However, more recent evidence has shown that the two are not as related as we have previously been led to believe. Fatigue and energy were distinct moods, not necessarily opposite to each other.
One area that has been shown to contribute to fatigue is nutrition, or a lack of it. Food is the greatest source of energy, and a healthy diet can help combat some of the pitfalls associated with fatigue. However, that’s not the only factor.
For the diary study Nutrients, the researchers studied a subset of individuals from a larger study that studied the gut microbiome. Participants completed a short survey that was used to identify potential correlations between the gut microbiota and mental and physical energy and fatigue.
They found that the four traits, ME, MF, PE, and PF have unique but overlapping intestinal bacterial profiles, suggesting the need to further explore the role of the gut microbiota in understanding long-standing feelings of energy and fatigue.
“We know that energy and fatigue can be affected by so many things like what you eat, your physical activity, your sleep, your chronic conditions or the medications you take for these conditions,” says Smith.
“Understanding how nutrition and malnutrition are linked to fatigue and energy is important because falls, chronic fatigue and lack of energy can reduce the health and quality of life of older people living with chronic diseases.
“I think part of the fun here is looking at some of these relationships and being able to better see this interaction and how what you eat can affect those things,” she says.
Other co-authors are from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; the American public university system; and Molecular Research LP.
Source: Texas A&M University