Researchers believe that bacteria in the human gastrointestinal tract may influence what we eat. It is believed that these gut microbes generate hormones that interact with the host's nervous system. The researchers contend that these bacteria also synthesize neurotransmitter and amino acids which can be converted to the mood altering neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.
According to researcher Vic Norris, "The gut microbiota respond both to both the nutrients consumed by their hosts and to the state of their hosts as signaled by various hormones." The researchers intend to focus on whether or not gut bacteria can influence our choice of food. Experiments will involve correlating brain images of areas related to appetite and pleasure with the presence of bacterial metabolites.
Learn more about this study, see:
- Are Bacteria Making You Hungry? (Science Daily)