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Research shows that probiotics help eliminate anxiety and depression


Previous studies have linked mental health problems and developmental disorders to gut health. Now, a team of British scientists has shown that foods (collectively probiotics) that broaden the profile of useful bacteria in the gut help alleviate anxiety and depression.

Researchers at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the University of Brighton in the UK have determined whether foods containing bacteria that positively affect the gastrointestinal microbiota will affect the treatment of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. I was aiming to do that.

Intestinal microbiome

The digestive tract is home to trillions of microbes and at least 400 species of bacteria in the gut. This means that there are more bacteria in the intestine than there are cells in the body. These microbes are essential for food digestion, elimination of potentially pathogenic and harmful microbes, and vitamin synthesis.

Enterobacteria, the intestinal microbiome, help control intestinal digestion and the immune system, and probiotics are beneficial bacteria used to help grow a healthy intestinal flora.  Image credit: nobeastsofierce / Shutterstock

Enterobacteria, the intestinal microbiome, help control intestinal digestion and the immune system, and probiotics are beneficial bacteria used to help grow a healthy intestinal flora. Image credit: nobeastsofierce / Shutterstock

The brain has long been known to communicate with the gut, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NCCIH), but recent studies have shown a two-way connection. In addition, the gut microbiota can affect behavior and emotions, and can affect brain chemistry. Altering bacteria in the gut through certain diets can help treat stress-related disorders such as autism and hyperactivity disorder, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

What are prebiotics and probiotics?

Prebiotics and probiotics help the body maintain healthy colonies of bacteria and other microbes in the intestine. These bacteria help digestion and support intestinal health.

Prebiotics are high in many different types of carbohydrates and fibers that humans cannot digest. These are essential food sources for the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Probiotics, on the other hand, are live bacteria found in certain foods and supplements that offer many health benefits.

the study

To reach their discoveries, British Medical Journal (BMJ), The team focused on 71 studies published between 2003 and 2019 to find out how probiotics and prebiotics help adults with anxiety and depression disorders.

The researchers identified seven studies. All of these studies showed an improvement in one or more results measuring the effect of taking prebiotics and probiotics compared to no treatment or placebo.

Findings suggest that the use of prebiotics and probiotics may be potentially valuable adjunctive therapies in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition, the team found that patients with comorbidities such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) could benefit from such treatment more meaningfully.

“Our results confirm that pre/probiotic therapy justifies further investigation. Effort should aim to elucidate whether it was perceived Efficacy of Pre-/probiotic therapies for depression or anxiety disorders can be replicated in a larger study population and whether such effects are maintained after continued treatment or discontinuation,” the researchers concluded.

“Interventions also need to be investigated alone, rather than in combination, to see where the observed effects are attributable. Efforts to generate mechanistic explanations for such effects should be a priority” They added.

Anxiety and depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 300 million people will have depression in 2015. Many also suffer from anxiety disorders that are experienced at the same time.

There are two main diagnostic categories of common mental disorders: depressive disorder and anxiety disorder. These disorders are experienced by many people around the world and affect the mood and emotions of those affected.

Major depression is a common mental health disorder in the United States. An estimated 17.3 million people have at least one major depressive episode, accounting for 7.1% of all adults in the United States. The prevalence of depression is higher in women than in men, and by age it is more common in people between the ages of 18 and 25.

NIMH also reports that an estimated 19.1% of US adults have anxiety disorders over the past year, which is higher in women than in men.


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