First Advisor

Taylor Schwab

Date of Award

Winter 3-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Public Health Studies: Community Health Promotion and University Honors


Health Studies




gut-brain axis, gut health, mental health, depression, psychobioitics, public health


In recent decades, research on the gut-brain axis has evolved due to an increasing interest in the connection between gut health and mental health. The gut-brain axis presents a new frontier of health for both medical professionals and psychologists as there is expanding evidence illustrating the comorbidity of gut disorders and mood disorders. Due to the complex nature of studying the gut-brain axis and the myriad of influences on mood disorders such as depression, research has yet to find significant results definitively tying the two together. Nonetheless, the current body of literature on the topic provides a promising outlook on mitigating depressive symptoms through psychobiotic intervention and dietary changes. This literature review seeks to illuminate the connection between gut health and mental health through an analysis of current murine model research and randomized clinical trials that illustrate the potential psychobiotic strategies for reducing depressive behaviors, emphasizing them within the context of the gut-brain axis. Additionally, applying a public health lens in this review will further elucidate the intersection between gut health and population-level health strategies.

Persistent Identifier