Sunday November 19, 2017

Probiotics so-called “good” bacteria can act as Mood Elevator and ease Symptoms of Depression: Researchers

The finding adds to a growing body of evidence that what happens in the gut affects the brain.

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A new study suggests probiotics show promise in decreasing anxiety and depression.Source-VOA

Canada, May 25, 2017:  A new study suggests that probiotics, so-called “good” bacteria that aid in digestion, may also ease symptoms of depression. The finding adds to a growing body of evidence that what happens in the gut affects the brain.

Some 300 to 500 bacterial species inhabit the human gut, many aiding in digestion and the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.

Experts say some of these bacteria produce proteins that communicate with the brain.

Your gut, your mood

The gut flora not only play a role in helping to orchestrate the neural responses that regulate digestion, scientists say, but evidence is emerging that gut bacteria can also affect a person’s mood.

Premysl Bercik, a gastroenterologist at Ontario Canada’s McMaster University, researches what he calls the microbiota-gut-brain axis, or the communication between the gut and the brain through the millions of bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tract.

Bercik said between 40 and 90 percent of people with irritable bowel syndrome, a distressing intestinal disorder, also battle symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Research led by Bercik suggests the gut bacteria themselves may have an effect on mood.

In Bercik’s pilot study of 44 patients with irritable bowel syndrome and mild to moderate anxiety or depression, half of the patients received a daily probiotic — a beneficial gut bacterium called Bifidobacterium longum — and the other half were given a placebo. The participants were followed for 10 weeks.

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“What we found was that the patients that were treated with this probiotic bacterium improved their gut symptoms but, also surprisingly, decreased their depression scores,” Bercik said. “That means their mood improved. And this was associated also with changes in the brain imaging.”

Depression, anxiety improve

At the beginning of the study, the patients’ levels of depression and anxiety were scored. The patients also underwent high-tech brain imaging to see which structures were activated in response to happy and sad images.

At six weeks, 64 percent of patients taking the probiotic had a decrease in their depression scores compared to 32 percent of the placebo patients.

A second round of imaging showed changes in multiple brain areas involved with mood control in the patients who felt better.

While the participants’ gut symptoms improved, Bercik said it was not to a statistically significant degree, suggesting the probiotic may have improved their anxiety and depression independent of symptom relief.

Results of the study were published in the journal Gastroenterology.

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More study needed

Bercik says larger studies are needed to confirm the findings.

“However, I think that it shows a great promise,” he said. “I mean new treatments, not only for patients with functional bowel disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, but it may also offer some new treatments for patients with primary psychiatric disorders like depression or anxiety.”

B. longum was developed by Nestle, a Swiss food and drink company, which funded the study. It is not yet commercially available.

However, Bercik says it’s possible other probiotics found in the gut have the potential to improve mood. And he doesn’t stop there. Bercik says he envisions a form of personalized medicine using genome sequencing techniques to create microbiome profiles of individuals, which can be tweaked with oral probiotics for maximum health. (VOA)

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‘At one point, I even had suicidal thoughts and wanted to end things’, says Bollywood Actress Ileana D’Cruz

Actress Ileana D'Cruz was once suffering from depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Watch out what she has to say.

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Actress Ileana D'Cruz
Actress Ileana D'Cruz . wikimedia commons
  • Actress Ileana D’Cruz, who suffered depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, says at one point in her life she felt suicidal.
  • But once she accepted herself, she started feeling better.

Actress Ileana D’Cruz suffered from Body Dysmorphic Disorder

At the 21st World Congress of Mental Health here on Sunday, Ileana had a tete-a-tete with Organising Chairman Sunil Mittal on her struggle with depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Ileana was also awarded the Woman of Substance Award for her efforts towards raising awareness about mental health, read a statement.

She said: “I was always a very self-conscious person and was picked on for my body type. I used to feel low and sad all the time but didn’t know I was suffering from depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder till I got help. All I wanted to do was to be accepted by everyone.

“At one point, I even had suicidal thoughts and wanted to end things. However, all of it changed when I accepted myself and what I was going through. I think that is the first step towards fighting depression.”

The “Barfi!” and “Rustom” actress said depression is “real” and people shouldn’t shy away from seeking help.

“It is a chemical imbalance in your brain and needs to be treated. Don’t sit back and think it will get okay but go get help. Like you have a sprain and go get yourself checked if you have depression, seek help,” she said, urging people to be like Winnie the Pooh. “He wore a crop top, ate his favorite food all day and loved himself, you can too.”

Ileana D’Cruz, whose mother was her biggest pillar of strength throughout, also said imperfections are a part of life.

“I am not saying that I had this miraculous recovery, every day is a process, every day is a step towards healing yourself and getting better. You are a human being and are allowed to be imperfect, and you are allowed to be flawed. There is a lot of beauty in your imperfections, in your uniqueness.

“You may look at us actors and think that ‘Oh my God, they are so pretty, so perfect’. But that’s not how it is. It takes two hours to get ready and look like this. Love yourself for who you are and trust me if you are happy from within, you are the most beautiful person and your smile is your best asset.”

Ileana D’Cruz said she decided to open up about her struggle because “as someone people look up to, even if I can help a handful of people cope, it is worth talking about it”.

The World Congress was organized by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), a global alliance of mental health professionals, national health associations, NGOs, policy experts and other institutions.( IANS)

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5 Things You Can do to Treat Your Depression Instantly

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Depression
Heal your depression instantly by making the most out of your life. Pixabay.
  • Depression is a very tense and grave situation that a person can ever suffer.
  • Only someone who’s been through the depression phase must be knowing how difficult it is.
  • Most of us don’t realize that depression is affecting our daily lives until it has created the worse by taking away our hopes and dreams into avail.

It may take days, weeks or even months to treat depression, but it will eventually pass. You may not be able to see it, but there’s surely a way out to heal. We’ve all been there and it’s really okay to not be okay. So, for the next time when you feel low about yourself and your life over depression, try out these.

Keep Yourself Busy 

Depression
Practice your hidden hobbies to heal your depression. Pixabay.

Being busy is the best thing to not only treat your depression but to clear out all your procrastination. When you’re feeling low and depressed, you start becoming hopeless and pathetic about yourself. You may not realize, but your thought process will not flow in a proper direction and make you ponder over your own sadness. Try to do various kinds of activities be it your hobby or work, don’t leave your mind go into astray.

Realise your own self

Depression
Pen down your thoughts during the depression. Pixabay.

If you really want to daydream, think about the times when you were proud of yourself even for a minor thing. Make a list of all your strengths and achievements to heal depression. If possible, start practicing to pen down your thoughts in a diary or an online journal. Write down whatever crosses your mind and what you could have done as an alternate option to a situation. Provide importance to realize your own self and gain the inner confidence because only you know that you are the best to run or ruin your life.

Share your feelings

Depression
Find a Confidante who won’t judge your depression issues. Pixabay.

Keeping your thoughts to yourself will not solve your problem of depression, instead, it will worsen the more. You must find a confidante who won’t judge you and understand your thoughts. It can be your best friend or a family member whom you really trust. Open up and talk about anything and everything. They would definitely do anything to make you happy once again.

Talk to a stranger if you are an introvert

Depression
Your depression will heal once you start confiding your thoughts to someone.Pixabay.

Carrying a baggage on yourself of being an introvert makes you hurtle through every situation. But, it’s not a certain problem that you should deal with, it’s just your fear of being judged and rejected. Sometimes, you need someone out of your known circle to talk with. It’s much easier to talk to a stranger who doesn’t feel sympathetic about your depression. Try making new friends and disclose your life to them. You’ll be amazed to understand how easy it is to open up to someone you know nothing about and vice-versa.

Get some entertainment and Fun in life

Depression
Go out for an evening karaoke night to relax your depressed mind. Pixabay.

Entertainment is the key to happiness unless it’s socially addictive, treating your depression effectively. Make the most out of your life by going on a thrilling adventure or watch something hilarious when you’re alone which makes you feel happy about. You’ll end up realizing that no matter how sad your life is, but some funny things are never going to cease. Just sit back and watch online series like GOT or FRIENDS or maybe try out a Karaoke night who knows you’ll find that confidante there itself.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

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Foods that Fight Depression: Brighten Your Mood with a Rainbow of Food

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vegetables and fruits.
A well stocked stand of vegetables and fruits. VOA

A chocolate bar may make you feel better when you’re down, but a cup of yogurt or a handful of cashews might be a better choice for the foods that fight depression.

“I think about our body in some ways like a car engine,” says therapist Leslie Korn. “We need to give it the right fuel. And each of us has a need for a particular combination of proteins, and carbohydrates and fats.”

Korn has been treating people for trauma and depression for more than 40 years. She noticed that when her patients changed their diet and began eating foods like dark chocolate, sweet potatoes, eggs, and cherries, they had much more success in lifting their depression and decreasing their pain.

She turned her observations into a book: The Good Mood Kitchen. It contains recipes and nutrition tips that can help put you in a good mood.

Fat for the brain

Fats, she explains, are not the nemesis many diets have made them out to be. We need fats in our diet because our brain is made up of fat. “It’s made up of chemicals that talk to each other and that are lubricated by the fat in order to communicate across the synapses and contribute to our ability to focus, to apply attention and to lift our mood. Indeed, there is some very good research going on in the military looking at the role of Omega 3 fatty acids for not only treatment of depression and anxiety, but also for suicide prevention.”

Taking care of the digestive system, which breaks down the fat, is essential for the brain to benefit, and Korn has a suggestion for that, too.

“For example, if your liver and if your gallbladder is not working, you can’t break down fats that are absorbed into the bloodstream and then support brain function. What we know is that the greens, in particular, bitter greens, help us digest fats and send those fats to the brain where we need it.”(VOA)