Soil as a serotonin booster

front_page_thumbHere is some very interesting information, again showing us the benefits and healing properties of the beautiful earth we stand upon:

‘UK scientists suggest that a type of friendly bacteria found in soil  – Mycobacterium vaccae – may affect the brain in a similar way to antidepressants.

Researchers from Bristol University and University College London discovered using laboratory mice, that a “friendly” bacteria commonly found in soil activated brain cells to produce the brain chemical serotonin and altered the mice’s behaviour in a similar way to antidepressants.

Yellow roseDr Lowry and colleagues became interested in the project when they heard that cancer patients treated with the bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae reported increases in their quality of life. They speculated this could be because the bacteria were activating brain cells to release more serotonin.

When they treated mice with Mycobacterium vaccae they found that it did indeed activate a particular group of brain neurons that produce serotonin – in the interfascicular part of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRI) of the mice, to be precise. They established this by measuring the amount of c-Fos in the area, a biochemical marker whose presence indicates that serotonin releasing neurons have fired.

You can read more on this and also about how harvesting your own crops can lead to a rush of dopamine by reading this lovely article

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1 Response to Soil as a serotonin booster

  1. Anne says:

    I founds this really interesting, and must have something to do with the fact that once someone starts gardening they become so enthusiastic. Would be a good thing for drs/hospitals to suggest instead of consistentlyh prescribing anti-depressants.

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