Microbes in your gut may play a role in certain personality traits, according to a recent exploratory study out of Clarkson University.
The authors of the study published in the journal Nutrient, said the purpose of the study was to identify potential correlations between gut microbiota and a person’s long-standing pre-disposition, known as a trait, to mental and physical energy and fatigue.
“Although we are still learning about the gut-brain connection, based on these exploratory findings we can see that there may be a connection between gut bacteria and trait level energy and fatigue,” Ali Boolani, who conducted the research along with several colleagues from various Universities, told Fox News.
The authors found that distinct bacteria was associated with certain personality traits. The bacteria that perform metabolic functions is most often correlated with feelings of energy while the bacteria associated with inflammation is most often correlated with feelings of fatigue. One bacterium was associated with three of the four personality traits, but none were noted between all four traits, the authors said in the study.
Boolani told Fox News that the findings shed light on the need to explore the gut micro biota to see if it determines mood and cognitive responses to various nutritional interventions, rather than just focusing only on neurotransmitters.
The study looked at 20 physically active adults. Boolani and his colleagues noted that larger studies are needed to confirm these exploratory findings.
“These new findings support my previous work where we report that feelings of energy are associated with metabolic processes, while feelings of fatigue are associated with inflammatory processes.” Boolani also said. “Since we are still learning about the gut micro biome, we don’t know whether if we try to change our personality trait, we might see a change in gut micro biome; or if we try to change our gut micro biome, we might also change our personality trait.”
Boolani and his research team plan to duplicate the study with a larger number of participants, with samples from a much larger number of participants at both Clarkson and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.