Probiotics may Help Fight Depression and Stomach Pain

by Chrisy Ngilneii on Dec 30 2017 4:32 PM

Probiotics may Help Fight Depression and Stomach Pain
Consuming a diet rich in probiotics may not only keep the gut healthy but also help fight against depression and anxiety.
Probiotics can reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but little is known about their effects on psychiatric comorbidities. A prospective study was conducted recently to evaluate the effects of Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 (BL) on anxiety and depression in patients with IBS.

The study found that the probiotic diet reduces depression but not anxiety scores and increases the quality of life in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). These improvements were associated with changes in brain activation patterns that indicate that this probiotic reduces limbic reactivity.

The fMRI analysis showed that diet rich in probiotics reduced responses to negative emotional stimuli in multiple brain areas, including amygdala and fronto-limbic regions. Individuals who have been consuming a diet rich in probiotics showed reduced urine levels of methylamines and aromatic amino acids metabolites. At week 10, depression scores were reduced in patients given probiotic-rich-diet.

"This is a fascinating discovery that supports the conclusion that probiotics, which primarily work in the intestines, also affect the brain. That makes the result interesting for the treatment of depression," Abildgaard added.

  1. Maria Ines Pinto-Sanchez, Geoffrey B. Hall et al. Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 Reduces Depression Scores and Alters Brain Activity: A Pilot Study in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Journal