Of particular concern among scientists and the public is the effect that gut flora may have on mental health, as a mounting body of research suggests that gut bacteria can have a significant impact on the way we think, feel and behave, and also on the development of neurological conditions. Last year, a major neuroscience symposium called the investigation of gut microbes a "paradigm shift" in brain science.
A number of diseases and disorders have been linked to abnormalities or instability in gut flora, and the microbiome is an important area of research for these conditions. However, it's important to note that while research has linked these conditions to alterations in the microbiome, it does not mean that in every case gut bacteria is the cause of the problem.
Here are a handful of physical and mental health problems that have been linked to imbalances and abnormalities gut bacteria.