Stress, similar to junk food, can cause harm to your body by disturbing the microbiota in your gut, claims a recent study.
"In society, women tend to have higher rates of depression and anxiety, which are linked to stress," said Bridgewater.
The researchers took a large group of 8-week-old mice and exposed half of the males and half of the females to a high-fat diet. After 16 weeks, all of the mice were exposed to mild stress over the course of 18 days.
For the study, they then extracted microbial DNA from the mice fecal pellets before and after the stress to test how the gut microbiota was affected. They also measured mouse anxiety based on how much and where the mice travelled in an open field arena.
However, it was only in female mice that stress caused the gut microbiota composition to shift as if the animals were on a high-fat diet.