You depend on your gut microbiome for good physical health. Those legions of bacteria, yeasts, and fungi living in your digestive tract process food for you, supplying you with energy and nutrients. Now new research suggests those microscopic creatures can have a dramatic impact on your mental health as well.
Microbiome. It’s a word that has seen a great deal of press coverage of late, for good reason. Your microbiome is the collection of bacteria living on and within your body. Hundreds of species, and billions of individual bacterial cells, make it up. Many of them you simply cannot live without. They process food in your gut, transferring nutrients to your bloodstream. Some boost your immune system by acting as a first line of defense against infection.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, known technically as myalgic encephalomyelitis, appears to be caused by any of several factors: infection, hormonal changes, issues with the immune system, or a combination of these. Intriguing new research points to an additional possibility: damage to mitochondria in living cells.