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The intake of probiotics may prevent depression

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The intake of probiotics may prevent depression
The intake of probiotics may prevent depression. wikimedia commons
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London, Dec 27, 2017: Besides keeping your gut healthy, consuming a diet rich in probiotics – also called as “good” or “helpful” bacteria — may help protect against depression, finds a mice study.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for health, especially the digestive system.

The findings showed that rats which lived solely on the fatty diet were found to develop behaviour similar to depression, while the rats receiving the probiotics-enriched drinking water remained neutral in their behaviour.

Further, the rats that did not receive probiotics had an increased number of white blood cells in their brain tissue, which can be a sign of chronic inflammation, and is also seen in the fatty tissues and livers of overweight people and diabetics.

Conversely, these cells were found decreased in the brains of the rats with probiotics in their drinking water.

“This may indicate that one of the things the probiotics do is work to reprogramme the immune system. In this study, the rats offset the consequences of the fatty diet with the help of probiotics, so that they were on par with their peers in the control group,” Anders Abildgaard, researcher at the Aarhus University in Denmark.

“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.

In the study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, the rats were divided into groups and were fed an extra fatty and fibreless diet, while the other group drank water with probiotics.

After 12 weeks, the researchers observed that the rats on the fatty compound feed without probiotics behaved more depressively when they were given a swimming test.

Although it is difficult to say whether the results can be transferred to people with depression, it is possible to imagine some of the people who suffer from depression benefiting from probiotics, Abildgaard said. (IANS)

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Probiotics Not Effective in Reducing Anxiety: Study

For anxiety, the number one thing is to seek professional treatment. That should be the first action

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Probiotics Not Effective in Reducing Anxiety: Study
Probiotics Not Effective in Reducing Anxiety: Study. Pixabay

If you are expecting eating yogurt, which is rich in probiotics, to reduce your anxiety, you might be wrong. While consuming probiotics may be good for your digestive system, it may not be effective in decreasing your anxiety levels, say researchers.

The study found evidence that probiotics found in yogurt and supplements can reduce anxiety in rodents, but not in humans.

“Probiotics did not significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety in humans,” said lead author Daniel J. Reis from University of Kansas.

However, the researchers said their findings should not close the door on probiotics as the micro-organisms in yogurts and other products that take up residence in our guts may be a potentially useful therapy for anxiety and other cognitive issues in the future.

“We’re in the early days of this research into probiotics. We’re not saying they do nothing, but we have a lot to figure out before we know if they can be used therapeutically,” Reis said.

Also Read: Bacteria in The Gut May Lead to Anxiety, Depression

“I’ve seen a lot of stories hyping probiotics as helpful for anxiety but I wouldn’t recommend using them to treat anxiety at this stage,” he added.

In the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, the team reviewed data from 22 preclinical studies involving 743 animals and 14 clinical studies of 1,527 individuals.

The results from the subgroup analyses revealed a significant reduction only among diseased animals.

For people experiencing anxiety, Reis suggested reaching out for expert help.

“For anxiety, the number one thing is to seek professional treatment. That should be the first action. There are some good therapies out there that can help with various anxiety disorders,” he noted. (IANS)

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