Association Between Gut Microbiota and Depressive Symptoms: A Cross-Sectional Population-Based Study in South Korea

Sun Young Kim, Eunkyo Park, Weon Jeong Lim, Soo In Kim, Sang Won Jeon, Yoosoo Chang, Seungho Ryu, Hyung Lae Kim, Han Na Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective This study aimed to investigate the association between gut microbiota and depressive symptoms in a large population cohort of Korean adults. Methods Overall, 1238 participants were included in the study. Participants were categorized into depressed or non-depressed groups, based on the depressive symptoms reported on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Rating Scale for Depression, with a cutoff score of 16, and their fecal microbiota was profiled using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. Several alpha and beta diversity measures were also estimated. The association between depressive symptoms and gut microbiota was analyzed using generalized linear models. The inferred function of the metagenomes was compared between the two groups. Results There were no consistent differences in alpha and beta diversity between the depressed and non-depressed groups. However, the continuous measure of depressive symptoms was inversely associated with one of four measures of alpha diversity (Shannon's diversity, p =.021). We also found a substantial difference between the depressed and non-depressed groups in the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity among the four beta diversity indices (p =.004). Participants whose depressive symptoms exceeded a clinical cutoff score had a lower relative abundance of the genus Faecalibacterium when compared with controls (coefficient = -0.025, q = 0.047). However, the depressed group had a significantly higher abundance of the genus Oscillospira than did the non-depressed group (coefficient = 0.002, q = 0.023). Conclusions Our findings contribute to the identification of potential relationships between the gut microbiota and depressive symptoms and provide useful insights for developing microbiota-based interventions for patients with depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-765
Number of pages9
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Volume84
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • ASVs = amplicon sequence variants
  • BMI = body mass index
  • CES-D = Center for Epidemiologic Studies Rating Scale for Depression
  • depressive symptoms
  • FFQs = food frequency questionnaires
  • gut microbiota
  • gut-brain axis
  • MaAsLin = multivariate association with linear models
  • MDD = major depressive disorders
  • PICRUSt2 = phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states 2

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