Scientists: microbes can cause alcoholism

Scientists: microbes can cause alcoholism

Research by scientists from Switzerland and the USA has shown a relationship between the composition of the intestinal microbiome and the tendency to alcohol addiction, KP reports . A Swiss team led by Benjamin Butrel tested rodents for their vulnerability to alcoholism through a series of experiments by making alcohol more difficult to access and introducing negative stimuli in the form of mild electric shocks. As a result, some rats showed significant resistance and continued to seek alcohol despite obstacles, which was interpreted as a sign of addiction.

After a period of abstinence, the researchers analyzed the gut microbiome of these rodents and found differences in the composition of the microflora in alcohol-dependent rats compared to those who did not show such tolerance. An American team led by Drew Kiraly continued the research, destroying beneficial bacteria in the intestines of one group of rodents and observing their increased cravings for psychostimulants.

These findings strengthen the hypothesis that a strong connection between the gut and the brain influences behavioral responses and addiction tendencies. Andrew Day from Tufts University in the US suggests several mechanisms through which the gut microbiome may influence susceptibility to alcoholism, including changing signals sent to the brain, increasing gut permeability, leading to chronic inflammation. It also talks about the possible influence of the fungus Candida albicans, which increases the desire to drink alcohol.

These studies open new perspectives for understanding and treating alcohol dependence, highlighting the importance of the gut microbiome and its potential impact on mental health and behavior.

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