A study by the Ohio State University (OSU) found that gut bacteria do affect a toddler’s temperament.

€œAfter examining the stool samples of 77 kids aged 18-27 months, the researchers concluded that it was time to step outside and get some fresh air. They also concluded that mood, curiosity, sociability, impulsivity, and €” in boys €” extroversion were linked to more genetically diverse bacterial species.

There is definitely communication between bacteria in the gut and the brain, but we don’t know which one starts the conversation, says the OSU study’s co-author Dr. Michael Bailey. Maybe kids who are more outgoing have fewer stress hormones impacting their gut than shy kids. Or maybe the bacteria are helping mitigate the production of stress hormones when the child encounters something new. It could be a combination of both.€œ

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