You know this awful gut feeling walking in a room full of strangers? Where you suddenly want to be alone at home and never chat to anyone again? Well it might be your bacteria. You’re not awkward, but your microbes are.

A new article published by the pope of the gut-brain axis Pr John F. Cryan of Cork University shine a new light on our fear of small talk.
We all know what is social anxiety, but it can sometimes be a whole disorder, a long term crippling fear and avoidance of social situations. The good news? It usually gets better with age. The even better news? If scientists can understand how it works and where it comes from, they can find a solution.

What’s the news?

The Cryan team has proven that the root of the Social Anxiety Disorder might be in the gut.

How did they do this?

They took the gut microbiome (yes ok, they took the poo) of 6 people with Social Anxiety disorder and transferred to into some mice. And then surprise! The mice got shy and avoided other mice at the mice Christmas party. Their oxytocin levels also dropped.
The mice that received normal poo from chatty people didn’t have any change in behaviour, and were probably happily talking about their favourite mice movie at the office watercooler.

Why it’s great?

Because fear of people is the only thing that changed in these mice. Not depression or anxiety, just fear of new people.
Could you ever imagine that such a character trait might have been linked to your gut microbes? Isn’t science amazing?

Tell us your worst social disaster that still make you cringe! I’ll start: once I was in a conference in London and I stood up to ask a question to the speaker in front of 200 people. My French accent was so strong he didn’t understand me, made me repeat my question 5 times and then just… took another question. I still wince thinking about it.

Dr. Marie Drago, Founder of Gallinée Microbiome Skincare