For people with arthritis, exercise reduces pain and lowers levels of inflammatory cytokines. Exercise also increases the production of natural endocannabinoids. Researchers found the way exercise promotes these changes was due to altered gut microbes.
Endocannabinoids actively balance neural connections, allowing cells to either activate or inhibit each other. The findings shed light on the role endocannabinoids play in learning and some psychiatric disorders.
The release of 2-AG, a natural endocannabinoid that is suggested to be the brain’s equivalent to THC, dampens down seizure activity but increases post-seizure oxygen deprivation in the brain.
GABA accelerates the breakdown of endocannabinoids in the brain. Endocannabinoids are critical for emotional processing. The findings could lead to the development of new treatments for emotional behavioral disorders.
An imbalance in gut bacteria can cause the reduction of some metabolites, resulting in depression-like symptoms. The findings contribute to the growing body of evidence for the role the microbiome plays in brain function and mental health.
Anandamide, an endogenous compound produced in the body, plays a role in reversing memories of traumatic events. The findings could lead to new treatments for PTSD.