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Stress Affects the Balance of Bacteria in the Gut and Immune Response

Stress can change the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the gut, according to research published this month in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

"These bacteria affect immune function, and may help explain why stress dysregulates the immune response," said lead researcher Michael Bailey.

Exposure to stress led to changes in composition, diversity and number of gut microorganisms, according to scientists from The Ohio State University. The bacterial communities in the intestine became less diverse, and had greater numbers of potentially harmful bacteria, such as Clostridium.

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