Mind-altering microbes: how the microbiome affects brain and behavior: Elaine Hsiao at TEDxCaltech


Translator: Marta Gysel
Reviewer: Ariana Bleau Lugo It never ceases to amaze me that each of us carries around a 3 pound mass of cells in our heads that controls literally everything we do. Importantly though, the brain doesn’t act in isolation from the body, but rather responds to the needs and experiences of each
of our organ systems. Now, here is a staggering statistic that some of you may have heard before. Our bodies are comprised of 10 times more microbial cells than our own human eukaryotic cells. These microbes,
which are primarily bacteria, but also viruses and protozoa, they are part of our normal flora and they make up what is called
the commensal microbiome. In the intestines there are
a hundred trillion of these bugs, reflecting over 10 thousand
unique species, and contributing 150 times more genes
than our own human genomes. It is even estimated that, collectively, these microbes would weigh 2 to 6 pounds, which is up to twice the weight
of an average adult human brain. More and more we are learning
that these commensal microbes that make up us have co-evolved to play fundamental roles in normal brain development and function. So, we can study the role
of commensal microbes by raising mice as completely germ free and recolonizing them with whichever
microbes are of interest. And by these types of studies
we are learning that commensal microbes regulate
several complex behaviors, like anxiety, learning and memory,
appetite and satiety, among lots of other behaviors. So, you can see now that by studying
this microbe-brain interaction we can learn really important lessons about how microbes can contribute
or affect our brain health and disease. So, you might be wondering
how in the world does the microbe that lives
in your gut affect your brain, and there are many different mechanisms. One way is by activating the vagus nerve. So, the vagus nerve contacts
the gut lining and extents all the way up
to the brain stem itself. And this is the mechanism
by which the bacterium called Lactobacillus rhamnosus effects depressive-like behavior in mice. So, in a task that measures
depression-related despair mice that have been treated with this bug exhibit less depression-like symptoms, and this is not seen
if the vagus nerve is severed. Another way by which microbes
can affect the brain is by activation of the immune system. About 80% of the body’s immune cells
reside in the gut, and immune abnormalities contribute
to several neurological disorders. This is one mechanism by which
the bacterium Bacteroides fragilis prevents a mouse version
of multiple sclerosis. Mice that have been treated with this bug are more resistant to the disease, as shown by the red line in this graph, and this depends on the activity
of a special subset of immune cells, called regulatory T cells,
that expresses the marker CD25. So if we block the activity
of this immune cell then the beneficial effects
of the bugs are prevented. Another way by which bugs
can affect the brain is by activating the gut endocrine system. So gut endocrine cells
are primary producers of neuropeptides and neurotransmitters. Gut microbes themselves
can also produce metabolites that could affect brain function. And this is one pathway that we think is involved in the microbe-based treatment that we
in the Patterson and Mazmanian labs here at Caltech have used to treat autism-like
symptoms in mice. So, by treating mice with this bacterium
Bacteroides fragilis we’re able to correct
core abnormalities, such as the communication deficit
that is depicted here. That’s a hallmark symptom
or diagnostic symptom of autism. So, here, mice that are autistic-like
display less communication, as depicted by the blue bar, and treating them with the bug
corrects this effect, as shown by the red bar. So, I think that the implications
of these discoveries is huge, because what if we could,
without a single invasive procedure, treat disorders like autism, depression
and multiple sclerosis. Microbe-based therapeutics
might offer us a way to build a stable community structure that can impart long-lasting effects without the need for continuous treatment. Also, since microbes are
relatively easy to manipulate, and even eliminate, they can be readily modified for better functioning,
regulatory control, targeting and even delivery. So, as a take-home message,
I want you to remember that not only are we made up
of mainly microbial cells, but that some of these cells
can be truly mind-altering, affecting our brain development,
function and even our behavior. And also, in light
of several studies showing important roles of commensal microbes in a variety of biological processes from nutrition and immunity to now brain and behavior, consider all the things that we do on a day-to-day basis
(Laughter) to change or disrupt our microbiome and how this might affect our health
and predisposition to disease. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Mind-altering microbes: how the microbiome affects brain and behavior: Elaine Hsiao at TEDxCaltech

  1. Finally, the word is getting out! Had the honor of meeting Paul Patterson and had a whole hour with him to ask questions about immune issues and Autism. He brought to my attention a great meeting in September 2012 about Autoimmune Issues/CNS and got to see him for a bit while there. We need to get this out of the clinic soon as the Autism rates are not getting any lower.

  2. A Japanese researcher published that lactobacillus LKM512 causes much greater mouse longevity as a result of the bacteria producing spermidine, Another researcher has actually patented spermidine as an oral beauty pharmaceutical video at youtube watch?v=kF73fDd2wC8 or search lkm512 longevity

  3. Brilliant. Have seen reports in the media of parents completely adjusting their child's diet, which has affected autism symptoms in positive ways. There's no question that diet is everything.

  4. Such a good speaker and presentation….this is be the next 50 years of medicine…."we are what we harbor"…..kind of different than…."we are what we eat"….

    It will be proven that…."that which we harbor" protects of kills us.

    There will be the combined recognition of self DNA and microbiota DNA for self healing.
    It's only logical…one not need be a "Ph.D" or Caltech scientist.

    People are not changing their' lives by having something called FMT; namely and mostly for c.Diff problems

  5. I know they have some studies regarding Helicobacter pylori, possibly with that in mind. Browsing through the Sarkis Mazmanian Lab website may help

  6. I work with people with Autism. They ALL are on high sugar high carb diets, not what we choose but what their families have given them. Some will only drink Coke. Nearly all have stomach issues, I've never met an Autistic child that has a healthy whole food diet.

  7. It is extremely sad that this video which has some of the most important recently discovered about how our brain works only has 20k views!  

    Obviously everyone needs to know this information: That what lives in your gut affects your brain, directly!!  I suffered from an anxiety disorder all my life, it got really bad a few years ago.  before seeing this video a year ago I did the candida diet and cured myself of that horrible ailment.  Using probiotics and anti-fungal/anti-bacterial foods my gut is much more healthy and my brain works so much better.

  8. Fantastic; I can't wait for the flood of Facebook posts from people not understanding that "autism-like symptoms in mice" does not equal "autism spectrum disorder" in humans.

  9. Probably too simplistic, but would this support an argument against antibacterial hand gel? That stuff is the worst, for obvious reasons, but who knows? Maybe even worse than I already believed…

  10. NO ONE EVER MENTIONS THE SKIN GERMS BACTERIA VIRUESES ALL COLONISE THE SKIN TOO EPIDERMIS AND TOTALLY AFFECT BOTH BODY HEALTH BRAIN HEALTH IMMUNE SYSTEM AND MIND THOUGHTS PROCESSES TOO DEPENDING ON WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW SEVERE THE INFECTION IS

  11. any work on glyphosate and its impacts on the microbiome? It seems this descaler agent found in Round Up is an antibiotic!

  12. I've been wondering if the duality of our mind has something to do with our inner ecosystem? Who's really is in control?

  13. I personally find this fascinating because I have Asperger's Syndrome.  For me, straight milk gives me trouble.  I'm not lactose intolerant, because I don't have trouble in my gut.  The issue is that it causes a lot of 'static' in my head.  I can't concentrate and I become much more sensitive to things.  When I switched to lactose-free milk, my symptoms cleared up.

    I had already heard elsewhere that microbes in the gut could get one of the causes of autistic symptoms.  So hearing that it really is possible to remove the worst of it and allow people like me to function on a higher level is promising.

    I can already pass as a person with full capabilities, but people tend to forget that I don't function quite as good as they might need me to.  I hope that more is discovered in the near future for myself and many others who can benefit.

  14. Would have been better if she elaborated on how autism like symptoms are determined in mice instead of just saying "this is seen in the lower red bar" and not even commenting on what each y-axis is

  15. So my stomach can override my brain? This idea is congruent with capitalistic notions of miracle cures and special diets. The ecosystem of the stomach should be considered an internationally sovereign area, like Antarctica.

  16. human brains have become smaller since agriculture. Neanderthal brains on average were 25% larger. Is the reality we create because of the little critters we consume and grow in us? Maybe eating grasses produces a violent behavior- or a Machiavellian behavior. Wouldn't that be a funny realization. Then you would have groups trying to rid this food source and others who prefer it, trying to deliver s much as possible. Fill the stomach but not the mind.

  17. how can she say that, " Our bodies are comprised of 10 times more microbial cells than our own, human eukaryotic cells."
    DAFUQ, so then WTF ?????????

  18. Great talk. On a side note: At 0:57 there is an estimate of the ratio for microbial to human cells. Newer estimates for the average man are at 1.3:1 with some wide latitude for uncertainty because of the inherent difficulty in measuring a system as complex as this. I am pretty sure this fact does not take away any of the inductive points in this video.

    http://www.nature.com/news/scientists-bust-myth-that-our-bodies-have-more-bacteria-than-human-cells-1.19136

  19. I have recently started having problems with yeast in my gut and even mycillium in my BM. Around the same time I started getting extream anxiety and even flight fight responces at mealtimes. I would never have believed this before it happened to me. Now I am trying to rid myself of this condition but it keeps coming back. I get a sore stomach in my lower digestive tract especialy. It seems like the yeast are spoiling my meals so they can eat? How do I get my microbiom back under controll without starving myself? There are so many quacks out there I need a educated opinion 🙂 can anyone help?

  20. http://www.sciencealert.com/bacteria-cells-don-t-actually-outnumber-human-cells-in-our-bodies-study-finds AND we have discovered that microbes do communicate with the brain once the vagus nerve has been cut also.

  21. …n symptom assured , no one would or believed if these tests not done very ethicalLy n been the black mold intoxication no standing out along drug or ilLness episode. …fachinating truly…yet,.. there is a reason in the end mold is 'home'. … …some signed court evidence naming it 'dilLucions about spiders n walks around w gloves'. … some cant relate to any linked to me w/o abusing it. ..like folLowing shaman

  22. this bacteria that was eating my fucking brain out i extracted with the strength of my chi>>> i riped all the shit bacteria that was fucking shewing on the left emisfere of my brain>>> and what came out is attached to my howl body they have teeth the vibrate they hammer into my skin and since i blocked them frome geting back into my brain they have grown out of proprtion the smallest won is at least 5cm long they are on my chine my lips my teeth my tung my throat my hand my feet >>> im gona fucking kill you SHIT HEADS

  23. so>>>>>> i extracted this gut bacteria that was giving me killer migrains>>> i thaught a first that i was just geting rid of a head ack>>> i focused all my chi into my left index finger to target the pain and pull it out of my head>>> and it came out like popcorn frome my head crackeling and poping and releasing masses of preshur in my brain>>> once i got all the different areas of pain out of the left emisfere of my brain i felt like i was on top of the hiest mountain and felt so bright and relived i got the head ack out>> but all of a sudden hundrends and thousends of prickely spiky things started pushing and forcind on the top of my skull to get back in>> at first i dident manadge to resiste and they got back in my head and i felt them fill back up my head like it was there home>>> and so the migrains started again>> so i got fed up and pulled them out this time knowing what i was pulling out>> and i resisted with all my strength to keep them out of my head but now for the last five years there clinging all over my body my chin my lips my tung my throat under my eyes all over my hands and feet and ancles>>> and thes come frome mental hospital medication>>>> im raging these things absorb emotions and memories>>> and if i try to pinch them and pull them of my lips and hands they will secreet a amnesia toxine that makes me spite all the time>>> im going to tack the mental hospital were i was in france to the tribunal >>> i want the truth and nothing but the truth >> i want this bacteria off of me as soon as possible and for someone to pay for all the suffering iv been throu these last 5 years>>> im realy pissed off>>> im so angry that i could shove my hand up scientists asses rip there intestins out and fucking make them eat it>>> you se how pissed off i am>>> i used to be so beautifull >>> now i feel like a monster slowly eaten away by parazits that you created >>> you better do something to help me

  24. and when it was out the left side of my face and left side of my brain was itchy for a week as my brain was healing frome the surgical intervention i did on my self>>> how is that for prouf that ther allready using this SHIT in french mental hospitals>>> im going to haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  25. iv tryed colloidal silver>>> salt baths everything nothing seems to budge them and theyv got so big that they cant get back into my head

  26. they riggle constantly all over me as specialy if someont is angry around me they react to other poeples vibes>>> its fucking insan find a way to sort it out what can i do>>>???

  27. stop fucking around with the brain>>> its allready perfect wy all the shit??? if bacteria is in the intestin it means its not ment to be in the fucking brain stop fucking around with poeples brains im warning you

  28. tell me what to do and i will do it to cure my self>>> i will not shut up until this problem is solved

  29. This information validates that due to the microbes and viruses in the brain, people have also created religions…which is one of the schizophrenia.

  30. I have to sleep with gloves on every night necause of your shit… Just to stop them riggling between my fingers and to manadge to get to sleep… Your creating hell you fucking dumb scientiste… Iv started my caut case in france and will never stop until i get aresulte… You take poeple for shit… Fuck you! Your in hell

  31. Hello, I have a question for you on how this might affect mental health?  My son killed himself so I am wondering would microbes have an effect on what people might do?

  32. A bit out of date now as we know that it is about a 1:1 ratio of human cells to bacteria cells … this field changes with the technology. Never the less, the gut bacteria is now being studies as an "Organ" and many consider is as important as the liver.
    70 Going On 100

  33. She failed to mention to EAT YOUR SALADS!!!!! And don't use artificial ANYTHING in your food. This is includes industrially derived oils like so-called canola oil. Stick with olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, etc., oils that you might find in a less industrialized society.

  34. Exellent Elaine. Your speach further reinforces what have experienced/ observed with aquatic animals ( aquaculture) and have been "defending"/promoting for 30 years. In fact I published 2 papers relating the importance of these microbes and that our current civilization quasi-obcessive desire to eliminate microbes is naive, unnatural and counter productive. What we should be doing is promoting the growth of selected beneficial microbes to overcome the detrimental ones. We have to join forces with the billion old evolution and "wisdom" of Nature, not fight against it! I have no doubt that this field will grow immensly and will spread to most areas of our lives and industries.

  35. I wonder if neurologists take this fact into consideration when dealing with mental disorders and their causes!!

  36. Finally the probable cause of autism. Semi-sometimes-friends & close relatives report their sons, so-called step-sons having Parkinson's & MS. You notice close symptoms of each that're temporary: inability to sign your own name etc. You discount suggestibility bc the symptoms occurred b4 you were told. This rigged sim existence is incomprehensible.

  37. this is why I take Plexus. Just after two months I am no longer taking anxiety meds and my thinking is much sharper. feeding the good stuff and getting rid of the bad. #healthymicrobiome

  38. and foods can have a narcotic effects i.e. endorphins Scientists stunned to learn that gut bacteria seem to have control over your moods and brain function

  39. I bet if you put plants in your room so that you can filter out dust, and some of the dirt of the vase will fly onto your mouth to help give you probiotics.

  40. You can get "mesophilic" yogurt online. This is yogurt that you put a little in milk then it turns to yogurt the next day, then put some of that in more milk and get more yogurt. You can also freeze the yogurt in case you leave the yogurt to ferment to long. Probiotics for cheap! Yogurt is much more filling than the milk that it comes from while having fewer calories, and being able to absorb more of the nutrients because of lactic acid.

  41. I supercharge my Biome once a week. I call it "Power Biome Thursday." My wife calls it "you sleep on the couch tonight."

  42. the higher powers will not allow pro biotics
    as a treatment it will only 3rd party and something the modern medical model will not promote because then they cannot use their poison that doesn’t work to make money off sick people

  43. Love the presentation! But I don't like how she refers to the microbiome as 'bugs', why would she do that? Other than that it was very cool!

  44. If we could find a way to improve health through microbial treatment, which we can and we do, you can bet that the pharma companies and AMA would be all over it to stop it because it wouldn't be profitable for them.

  45. I took parasite medicine in october of 2002. The doctor told me "there wont be anything alive in your stomach or digestive tract" after taking it. I had traveled a lot, so I took 2 rounds of them to make sure. this was before we knew about gut health.

    at the time, I was in charge of 200 people in a foreign country, speaking the language, traveling, having the success I had always wanted. 2 months after taking the pills I was tossing and turning all night, sweating all over, skin burning like it was on fire at times, got hit with a depression darker than I knew could exist. I couldn't get control of my mind for 6 months, stopped communicating with others and climbed into a cave in my mind that i've stayed in for the most part of 15 years now.

    Never knew what happened, I just knew I changed. Disconnected from all friends and family for 15 years, thinking I had some sort of nervous breakdown. Now I realize I started operating at 10% serotonin and have been slowly climbing, but without knowledge of bacteria until recently. I'm thinking this is my road back to health.

    what are the best probiotic replacements you have found?

  46. This is Completely in line with what parents are doing for their autistic kids teating their bowels with MMS also known as chlorine dioxide. The kids do an ATEC test to measure autistic traits. Kids score 90% less after doing strict enema routines.

  47. Food does affect our mental health ,my anxiety was the worst in college when I ate a lot of sweets and snacks and junk food,I had no idea at the time ,why I felt so bad,also some food make people more aggressive ,this is why fasting is done in religion, to ease the spiritual battle and help our spiritual fight against lust ,envy,hatred,anger etc..

  48. This one study is so true. It solve my problem of chronic fatigue and systemic pain. By learning how to balance these microbiomes. I have improved my health and mind plus my energy. And now at 75 i can have a good life after 50 yrs of suffering

  49. So everything that dr. Andy WAKEFIELD published so many years before was the truth, this is shameful and unscientific environment. How nobody from scientific community still doesn't speak out about Andy or give him any support. All these was discovered long time ago by Wakefield and everything that was published nowdays are copycats.

  50. Man is a macro cosm…..
    Trillions and trillions of microorganisms involved….
    What is life do you think an electronic or a proton is not live……
    Everything is alive…..
    Everything changes…
    Electrons and protons has more life… More dynamic…..
    Think deep, be profound…

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