The gut-brain axis has been discussed, directly or indirectly, for centuries, with the ideas of the gut affecting anything from moods to overall physiology being discussed across the centuries. With a recent explosion in research that looks to the microbiota as a mechanistic link between the gut and the brain, one sees that the gut-brain axis has various means of communication, such as through the vagus nerve and the enteric nervous system and can use the metabolites in the gut to communicate to the brain.
The purpose of this review is to view the gut-brain axis through the lens of stress and how stress, from the prenatal period all the way through adulthood can impact the physiology of a human being. Studies have shown multiple mechanisms of measurable change with disruption in the microbiota that lead to behavioral changes. There are also effects of gut inflammation on the brain and the corresponding systemic response observed.
The overall literature is encouraging that the more understanding of the gut-brain axis, the greater ability to wield that understanding for therapeutic benefits.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.