select search filters
roundups & rapid reactions
before the headlines
Fiona fox's blog

expert reaction to study of deep meditation and gut microbes

A study published in General Psychiatry looks at alteration of faecal microbiota balance related to long-term deep meditation.


Dr Arianna Basile, Research Associate, MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Cambridge, said:

“In the press release, they state “Meditation is increasingly being used to help treat mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, traumatic stress, and eating disorders as well as chronic pain,” which is true but it’s very important to recognise that evidence suggests this is only the case in milder mental illness.

“The researchers were able to look at the different functions of the faecal microbiota and, while they speculate on the impact of these functions, the study was not able to predict if they would actually change chemical processes in the body, and therefore the various health outcomes.

“It’s also important to note that the sample size is small and while their 16S sequencing technique is fine, other techniques such as a metagenomic shotgun analysis would be able to analyses the gut microbiome at a species level which would have been much more informative.”



‘Alteration of faecal microbiota balance related to long-term deep meditation’ by Ying Sun et al. was published in General Psychiatry at 23:30 UK time on Monday 16th January.

DOI: 10.1136/gpsych-2022-100893



Declared interests

Dr Arianna Basile: “I do not have any relevant conflict.”


in this section

filter RoundUps by year

search by tag