Can Probiotics Treat Depression?

Friday, 15 Nov 2013 12:32 PM

By Nick Tate

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Probiotics in yogurt, dietary supplements, and natural food products have been shown to improve digestive health and even boost the immune system. But intriguing new research suggests the beneficial live bacteria may also offer a promising new drug-free way to treat depression.
 
The authors of a new review of studies, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, have found substantial evidence that some probiotics offer enormous potential for the treatment of depression and other stress-related disorders.
 
Timothy Dinan and his colleagues from University College Cork in Ireland said such "psychobiotics" can be modulated by diet and many other factors and may contribute to mental health. They also noted early life stress, such as maternal separation, can induce long-term changes in human gut bacteria.
 
Dinan and his colleagues cited one study that assessed the potential benefits of a specific probiotic, B. infantis, in rats displaying depressive behavior due to maternal separation. The probiotic treatment normalized the behavior in the animals and boosted their immune response.
 
In another cited by the researchers, healthy volunteers received either a probiotic combination (L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum) or an inactive placebo for 30 days. Those who received the probiotics reported lower stress levels. In a related study, volunteers who consumed a yogurt containing probiotics reported improved mood.
 
The researchers suggested these studies and others like them strongly support the notion that some probiotics have the potential to exert behavioral, mental, and immunological effects.
 
"What is clear at this point is that, of the large number of putative probiotics, only a small percentage have an impact on behavior and may qualify as psychobiotics," said Dinan.
 
The development and marketing of products that contain probiotics — live bacteria that help maintain a healthy digestive system — have exploded in recent years.
 
Some psychobiotics have been shown to ease inflammation in the body, which has been tied to stress and depression.
 
According to the authors, "the intestinal microbial balance may alter the regulation of inflammatory responses and in so doing, may be involved in the modulation of mood and behavior."

© 2014 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Selenium Found to Boost Cancer Treatment

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 16:50 PM

Selenium - naturally found in such foods as garlic and- may help in the fight against certain types of cancer, a new stu . . .

Football Players Suffer Brain Damage From Even Mild Impacts: Study

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 16:43 PM

Researchers using new, enhanced imaging can now identify brain damage that occurs in professional football players follo . . .

Healthy Gut Bacteria Prevent Metabolic Syndrome: Study

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 16:35 PM

Promoting healthy gut bacteria, also known as "microbiota," can help treat or prevent metabolic syndrome, a new study f . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved