Research now shows that chronically elevated levels of inflammation throughout the body and brain can be one of the underlying causes of depression and other mood and cognitive disorders. This is from University Health News.
Inflammation can be a result of poor gut health and specific probiotics (sometimes called psychobiotics) could have a positive effect on the brain by lowering inflammation. Scientists are working to identify which probiotics boost mood and cognitive function and decrease stress and anxiety-like symptoms.
What are psychobiotics?
Psychobiotics are live organisms that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produce a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness. This definition coined in 2013 is now felt to be too limiting. Latest research shows that you don’t need to have clinical depression, an anxiety disorder, or some other psychiatric disorder in order for psychobiotics to have a positive impact on your brain. Anyone suffering from chronic stress, low mood or anxiety-like symptoms has the potential to benefit from this class of probiotics.
Research study: Psychobiotic Probiotics
Currently psychobiotic probiotics with scientific research undertaken include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacterium bifidum (2 billion CFUs each). After eight weeks, patients who received these probiotics had reduced total scores on the Beck Depression Inventory, a popular test used to measure depression severity, in comparison to a placebo.
Another study tested a probiotic containing Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175 (Probio’Stick®). This was proven to help alleviate psychological distress, particularly depression, anger-hostility, and anxiety, and improved problem solving when taken for 30 days.
The results of these studies and others show that psychobiotics have the potential to positively impact brain function, boost mood, treat depression and anxiety, and help you handle stress.You can read more about this study here.