While trying to find research articles within the realm of Psychosynthesis, I have been looking at the "collective unconscious"

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  1. Lower Unconscious
  2. Middle Unconscious
  3. Higher Unconscious
  4. Field of Consciousness
  5. Conscious Self or "I"
  6. Higher Self
  7. Collective Unconscious

Conducting a Google Scholar search for "collective unconscious" I stumbled on an article by Dinan, et al. (2015) which states:

  • Gut microbes are part of the unconscious system influencing behavior.
  • Microbes majorly impact on cognitive function and fundamental behavior patterns.
  • Disorganisation of the gut microbiota can negatively impact on mental health.
  • Psychobiotics are probiotics with a potential mental health benefit.

they also talk about bidirectional communication between gut microbes and the brain occuring via a number of routes including the vagus nerve (cranial nerve X), the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) and cytokines produced by the immune system.

Bacteria also have the capacity to generate many neurotransmitters and neuromodulators. For example, certain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species produce gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA); Escherichia, Bacillus and Saccharomyces spp. produce norepinephrine (NE); Candida, Streptococcus, Escherichia and Enterococcus spp. produce 5HT; Bacillus produces dopamine (DA); and Lactobacillus produces acetylcholine (Lyte, 2011, Lyte, 2013, Wikoff et al., 2009). Some probiotics can modulate the concentrations of opioid and cannabinoid receptors in the gut epithelium (Rousseaux et al., 2007). However, how this local effect occurs or translates to the anti-nociceptive effects seen in animal models of visceral pain is currently unclear.

My question is can poor mental health affect the bidirectional communication between gut microbes and the brain, and can consuming products containing probiotics be used to help with mental health problems? If so, will consuming products containing probiotics when well cause mental health problems?


Dinan, T. G., Stilling, R. M., Stanton, C., & Cryan, J. F. (2015). Collective unconscious: how gut microbes shape human behavior. Journal of psychiatric research, 63, 1-9.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.02.021

Lyte, M. (2011). Probiotics function mechanistically as delivery vehicles for neuroactive compounds: microbial endocrinology in the design and use of probiotics. Bioessays, 33(8), 574-581.
DOI: 10.1002/bies.201100024 Free PDF: Semantic Scholar

Lyte, M. (2013). Microbial endocrinology in the microbiome-gut-brain axis: how bacterial production and utilization of neurochemicals influence behavior. PLoS pathogens, 9(11), e1003726.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003726

Rousseaux, C., Thuru, X., Gelot, A., Barnich, N., Neut, C., Dubuquoy, L., ... & Ouwehand, A. (2007). Lactobacillus acidophilus modulates intestinal pain and induces opioid and cannabinoid receptors. Nature medicine, 13(1), 35.
DOI: 10.1038/nm1521

Wikoff, W. R., Anfora, A. T., Liu, J., Schultz, P. G., Lesley, S. A., Peters, E. C., & Siuzdak, G. (2009). Metabolomics analysis reveals large effects of gut microflora on mammalian blood metabolites. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences, 106(10), 3698-3703.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0812874106

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    $\begingroup$ Check out youtu.be/2ycHwcV9MvM $\endgroup$ – Arnon Weinberg May 12 '18 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting. Thanks @ArnonWeinberg $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers May 12 '18 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ The diet I am on now for Hashimoto thyroiditis using Steven Gundry's The Plant Paradox basically takes the view you have presented here giving priority to the gut microbiome or more generally holobiome. It would not just be for mental health. $\endgroup$ – Frank Hubeny Sep 6 '18 at 11:20

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