Researchers from Brigham Young University in Provo, US, found that stress may be as harmful to our health as junk food, at least for women.
For the study, the researchers completed an analysis of fecal samples taken from the mice before and after stress exposure to determine how their gut microbiota had been affected by diet and stress. The team found that female mice demonstrated gut microbiota changes in response to stress that was similar in response to the high-fat diet. Those changes were not found in male mice.
Study co-author Laura Bridgewater from the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology at Brigham Young University, explains: “In society, women tend to have higher rates of depression and anxiety, which are linked to stress. This study suggests that a possible source of the gender discrepancy may be the different way gut microbiota responds to stress in males vs. females.”