Effects of Microbiota Imbalance in Anxiety and Eating Disorders: Probiotics as Novel Therapeutic Approaches.
Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 26 ;22(5). Epub 2021 Feb 26. PMID: 33652962
Anxiety and eating disorders produce a physiological imbalance that triggers alterations in the abundance and composition of gut microbiota. Moreover, the gut-brain axis can be altered by several factors such as diet, lifestyle, infections, and antibiotic treatment. Diet alterations generate gut dysbiosis, which affects immune system responses, inflammation mechanisms, the intestinal permeability, as well as the production of short chain fatty acids and neurotransmitters by gut microbiota, which are essential to the correct function of neurological processes. Recent studies indicated that patients with generalized anxiety or eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorders) show a specific profile of gut microbiota, and this imbalance can be partially restored after a single or multi-strain probiotic supplementation. Following the PRISMA methodology, the current review addresses the main microbial signatures observed in patients with generalized anxiety and/or eating disorders as well as the importance of probiotics as a preventive or a therapeutic tool in these pathologies.