Sunday February 24, 2019

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.

0
//
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.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

“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.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

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)

Next Story

Eating Junk Food Can Increase the Risk of Psychological Disorder

For the study, the team of researchers reviewed data from over 2,40,000 telephone surveys conducted between 2005 and 2015.

0
junk food, depression
High-sugar consumption was found to be linked with bipolar disorder, while fried foods or processed grains were associated with depression. Pixabay

Feeling depressed? It’s time to cut out the unhealthy junk food from your diet as it increases the risk of psychological disorders including bipolar disorder and depression, say researchers.

Junk food is not only harmful for metabolism but also increases the risk of psychological problems such as bipolar disorder and depression, irrespective of personal characteristics such as age, gender, education and marital status, according to the study, published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.

High-sugar consumption was found to be linked with bipolar disorder, while fried foods or processed grains were associated with depression.

junk food, depression
Junk food is not only harmful for metabolism but also increases the risk of psychological problems. Pixabay

“Perhaps the time has come for us to take a closer look at the role of diet in mental health because it could be that healthy diet choices contribute to mental health,” said lead author Jim E Banta, Associate Professor at Loma Linda University, California.

“More research is needed before we can answer definitively, but the evidence seems to be pointing in that direction,” Banta added.

The findings provide “additional evidence that public policy and clinical practice should more explicitly aim to improve diet quality among those struggling with mental health”.

 

junk food, depression
It also pointed out that “dietary interventions for people with mental illness should especially target young adults, those with less than 12 years of education, and obese individuals.” Pixabay

ALSO READ: Consumption of Allium Vegetables Like Onion, Garlic May Lower Risk of Colorectal Cancer

It also pointed out that “dietary interventions for people with mental illness should especially target young adults, those with less than 12 years of education, and obese individuals.”

For the study, the team of researchers reviewed data from over 2,40,000 telephone surveys conducted between 2005 and 2015. (IANS)