DOI: 10.12968/gasn.2024.21.10.18 ISSN: 1479-5248

Anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic: role of the gut–brain axis

Payam Gonbari Milani, Sima Vadaei, Armaghan Nazari, Farimah Rezaie, Roya Abedi Soleimani, Aziz Homayouni Rad
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Medical–Surgical Nursing

The COVID-19 pandemic had a profoundly negative impact on the general public's mental health. The crucial role of diet and nutrition in various aspects of mental wellbeing is now widely recognised. People in confinement or isolation may experience heightened tension, anger, panic attacks and anxiety. Psychosocial pressures, including interpersonal loss and social rejection, cause changes in mind–body interactions. An individual's physical health influences their physiological reaction (in terms of psychological stress) in COVID-19-afflicted patients. There is a growing body of research on the phenomenon termed the microbiome and the brain. According to preclinical data, this axis is essential for controlling both brain activity and behaviour. Given the strong connection between our dietary choices and our mental state, this review explores the relationship between diet and mental health. It also considers how food and the use of psychobiotics can alleviate psychological distress caused by stress, anxiety and depression, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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