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.
"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.
- 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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2017.05.003