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The human gut is home to trillions of microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoans) with the potential to influence human health. Recently, there has been a surge of scientific and public interest in the possibility that the composition of this community could affect cognitive development and risk for mental illness via the ‘microbiome:gut:brain axis’. Initial support for this hypothesis came through animal studies. In particular, multiple reports show that manipulating the intestinal microbiota of rodents alters anxiety-related behaviors. In humans, altered gut microbes have been reported in people with autism, depression, schizophrenia, and eating disorders, but the direction of causality remains unclear
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