Probiotics may relieve signs of depression, as well as aid in gastrointestinal upset, research from McMaster school has determined.
In research published in the scientific journal Gastroenterology, researchers of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute determined that twice as many adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) mentioned improvements from depression after they took a certain probiotic than adults with IBS who took a placebo.
The study provides additional evidence of the microbiota environment within the intestines being in direct communication with the brain, mentioned senior writer Dr. Premysl Bercik, an associate professor of medicine at McMaster and a gastroenterologist for Hamilton Health Sciences.
According to him, “This study shows that consumption of a specific probiotic can improve both gut symptoms and psychological issues in IBS. This opens new avenues not only for the treatment of patients with functional bowel disorders but also for patients with primary psychiatric diseases.”
IBS is essentially the most common gastrointestinal problem on this world, and is highly accepted in Canada. It impacts the large intestine and sufferers endure from abdominal discomfort and altered bowel habits like diarrhea and constipation. They’re also mainly affected by chronic nervousness or depression.
Results of the study: Depresson scores decreased
The pilot study involved 44 adults with IBS and mild to moderate anxiety or depression. They were followed for 10 weeks, as half took an everyday dose of the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001, while the others had a placebo.
At six weeks, 14 of 22, or 64%, of the sufferers taking the probiotic had decreased depression scores, in comparison with seven of 22 (or 32%) of the patients given placebo.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) confirmed that the development in depression scores was related to alterations with changes in multiple brain areas in mood control. According to Bercik, “This is the result of a decade long journey — from identifying the probiotic, testing it in preclinical models and investigating the pathways through which the signals from the gut reach the brain.”
According to Dr. Maria Pinto Sanchez, the first author and a McMaster clinical research fellow, “The results of this pilot study are very promising but they have to be confirmed in a future, larger scale trial.”
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