Recently a new paradigm called metaflammation (or sometimes metainflammation) has emerged and is suggested to play a role in various chronic diseases, including mental health disorders.
The term was first coined in 2008 and is currently defined as a chronic low-grade inflammatory state. Gut microbiome imbalance — dysbiosis, leaky gut — leads to this chronic, systemic inflammatory response (metaflammation).
Metaflammation, regardless of how it presents, follows a common pathway rooted in a disrupted, dysbiotic gut microbiome and leaky gut. This condition allows bacteria, toxins, and other small molecules to leak into the bloodstream. Once in circulation, these undesirables trigger the body’s immune system, which can lead to a widespread inflammatory response and degradation of the blood-brain barrier.
Does Metaflammation Affect Mental Health?
Where there is chronic, smoldering inflammation in the body, there is also inflammation in the brain. Neuroinflammation (leaky brain) can then lead to any number of cognitive and mood disorders, ranging from brain fog to major depression.
Dr. Dave Scheiderer, Integrative Psychiatry’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of Education, authored an in-depth, peer-reviewed article on metaflammation and his personalized approach to treating it for Psychology Today‘s Mood, Mind and Microbes blog.
The blog is a collaborative effort by TeamBiotic, a cohort of university researchers, their students, and healthcare practitioners focused on the gut-brain connection to better understand and address the microbiome’s influence on mood and cognition.