04-02-2007, 04:50 PM
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Exposure to a soil bacterium can boost happiness
Mon, 02 Apr 2007
Indo Asian News Service
Exposure to a type of bacteria found in soil boosts happiness levels and could help restore healthy immune functions in people who are depressed and prone to infection, says a study.
British scientists led by Chris Lowry at Bristol University treated lung cancer patients with the bacteria, named 'bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae', and found improvement in their quality of life, reported the online edition of BBC News.
However, they said more work is needed to determine if the bacteria has anti-depressant properties through activation of serotonin neurons - a chemical in the brain that helps maintain a 'happy feeling', and seems to help keep our moods under control by helping with sleep, calming anxiety and relieving depression.
Mice exposed to the bacteria made more of the brain's 'happy' chemical serotonin, the researchers told the journal Neuroscience.
The study may help understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health.
'They also leave us wondering if we shouldn't all spend more time playing in the dirt,' Lowry said.
(c) Indo-Asian News Service
"In the uptake of nutrients from the soil food web, sulphur is the catalyst for carbon chemistry, boron gives us sap pressure and silicon builds the capillary action that transports plant sap. Only then can calcium, magnesium and amino acids be delivered to cell division sites for chlorophyll manufacture. As chlorophyll catches light, phosphorous transfers energy into sugar production—after which a mix of sugars and more complex products follow potassium through the silica pathways to provide energy or its storage wherever required in the plant."