You really are what you eat: How the gut plays key role in your personality


The gut is the unsung hero of our bodies. It regulates digestion, your mental health, and new research finds it can also affect your personality. A recent study from Clarkson University finds that the gut microbiome and gut metabolomic pathways influence personality traits involved in mental and physical energy.

While a bad diet and unhealthy life choices such as smoking or heavy drinking can shift the balance from a healthy to an unhealthy microbiome, most of the time, the gut is relatively unchanged. Similarly, personality changes are stable throughout one’s life and it may take years to change it. Previous work from the study authors suggested that mental energy, mental fatigue, physical energy, and physical activity are four different biological moods.

“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,” says Ali Boolani, an associate professor of physical therapy at Clarkson University in New York, in a media release. “Since we are still learning about the gut microbiome, we don’t know whether if we try to change our personality trait, we might see a change in gut microbiome; or if we try to change our gut microbiome, we might also change our personality trait. Additionally, these findings may help explain some of the interpersonal differences that we see in response to the anti-fatiguing effects of nutritional interventions.”


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