Wisdom, Loneliness and your Intestinal Multitude

Microbiota News 2

Credit: UC San Diego Health Sciences

As in introduction, Loneliness and wisdom have opposite effects on health and well-being. Loneliness is a serious public health problem associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Wisdom is associated with better health and well-being. We have consistently found a strong negative correlation between loneliness and wisdom. The present study aimed to investigate the association of loneliness and wisdom with the gut microbiome. One hundred eighty-four community-dwelling adults (28–97 years) completed validated self-report-based measures of loneliness, wisdom, compassion, social support, and social engagement.

As hypothesized, higher levels of loneliness and lower levels of compassion, wisdom, social support, and social engagement were associated with decreased phylogenetic richness and diversity of the gut microbiome. We further evaluated the multivariate relationship of alpha-diversity with psychosocial variables, and found that the PLS component comprising of all psychosocial variables were significantly associated with alpha-diversity. Wisdom and compassion were associated with both microbial diversity and microbial community structure and composition.

DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.648475

Authors: Tanya T. Nguyen, Xinlian Zhang, Tsung-Chin Wu, Jinyuan Liu, Collin Le, Xin M. Tu, Rob Knight and Dilip V. Jeste.

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