A recent study brings to light that the use of probiotics can improve depression. The research adds to the whole field of the microbiota-gut-brain axis and provides proof that bacteria affect behavior.
McMaster University Research
In research conducted by McMaster University, it was found that probiotic use may relieve symptoms of depression and also aid in curing gastrointestinal upset.
As per the study of Gastroenterology, a medical journal, a group of researchers of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute brought to light that twice as many adults who suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) reportedly noticed improvements from co-existing depression after they consumed a specific probiotic as compared to adults with IBS who consumed a placebo.
Dr. Premysl Bercik, a senior author, who is an associate professor of medicine at McMaster and a gastroenterologist for Hamilton Health Sciences says the study offers more evidence of the microbiota environment in the intestines and say that they are directly linked with the brain.
He says the study reveals that the use of a specific probiotic can boost both symptoms of the gut and psychological issues in IBS. The study paves way for the treatment of patients with functional bowel disorders and also for patients with primary psychiatric diseases.
One of the most common gastrointestinal disorders prevalent in the world is IBS. And it is highly prevalent in Canada. IBS takes a toll in the large intestine and patients undergo abdominal pain and altered bowel habits leading to diarrhea and constipation among others. The patients also frequently face chronic anxiety or depression.
Altogether, 44 adults with IBS and mild to moderate anxiety or depression were included in the pilot study. The participants were followed for 10 weeks. Half of them consumed a dose of the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 daily. The rest took a placebo.
It was seen at 6 weeks, 64% (14 of 22) of the patients who consumed the probiotic had decreased depression scores as compared to 7 of 22 (or 32%) of patients who took a placebo.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) revealed that the improvement in depression scores was associated with alterations in numerous brain areas that were involved in mood control.
Bercik said it is the result of a long journey undertaken for a decade; a journey from spotting the probiotic, testing it in preclinical models and inspecting the ways through which the signals from the gut arrive at the brain.
Dr. Maria Pinto Sanchez, the first author and a clinical research fellow of McMaster said the findings of this pilot study are very promising. However, they have to be established in the future, in a larger scale trial.
There is mounting evidence of a microbial gut-brain axis in which bacteria can aid the function of the brain.
In a study conducted by researchers from Canada, it was revealed that mice from a shy species became more active and curious when they received a gut microbial transplant from less inhibited mice. It is known that a number of strains of bacteria in the intestine generate compounds which influence the nervous system or metabolites that change the blood-brain barrier, a barrier that filters the molecules that pass from the body to the brain. Though the precise mechanisms are not known yet, it’s quite apparent that the gut microbes can influence mood and the behavioral patterns.
If you suffer from depression or anxiety, it would be wise to start consuming probiotic supplements. Probiotics show promise in offering symptom relief for patients with depression. And additionally, probiotics are safe to use. Just make sure you are consuming probiotic supplements with live bacteria in them for more effective results, this is why we recommend 2oz of ZanaJuices daily as your preferred probiotic.