Questions for ‘Belly bacteria can shape mood and behavior’


You may not notice, but your guts and brain are in constant communication. And from what scientists have been learning from rodent studies, those chats between gut microbes and the brain can have a whole range of important, hidden impacts.

tommaso79, Dr_Microbe/iStockphoto; Adapted by L. Steenblik Hwang

To accompany feature “Belly bacteria can shape mood and behavior”


Before Reading

1.     What reasons can you think of that your brain and your gut might need to work together?

2.     Have you ever noticed a difference in your mood or feelings after eating certain types of food? If so, what foods were they and how did they make you feel?

During Reading

1.      What is the gut-brain axis?

2.      What are two ways the brain sends messages to the gut?

3.     How do signals from the gut reach the brain?

4.     How did the diet that Margaret Morris fed her rats affect their memory?

5.     What is a probiotic?

6.     What did Mark Lyte discover about how stress levels affect gut bacteria in mice?

7.     What did Jiah Pearson-Leary find that supports the idea that gut bacteria can affect behavior?

8.     What are three different classes of microbes in our gut microbiome?

9.     What role do viruses seem to play in the gut changes seen after stress?

10.   What effects did men report after taking Bifidobacterium longum for four weeks?

After Reading

1.     Why might it be good for our bodies to house such a complex gut ecosystem?

2.     In light of our gut ecosystem, why is a healthy diet important?