Probiotics can alleviate the symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders as well as depression!
The medical journal Gastroenterology recently published a study in which researchers at the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Research Institute found that probiotics can alleviate bowel problems as well as symptoms of depression!
They mainly focused on diseases known as IBS.
IBS – a disease indicating irritable bowel syndrome, is the most common gastrointestinal disorder in the world. It affects the colon and patients have pain, diarrhea or constipation. Often, they also suffer from chronic anxiety or depression.
The study found that twice as many people who had irritable bowel syndrome experienced improvement of depression when taking a specific probiotic supplement compared to people who used only placebo.
The pilot study included 44 adults with IBS and mild to moderate anxiety or depression. They were monitored for 10 weeks when half of the subjects were taking a daily dose of probiotics while others received placebo. Already after six weeks of use, 64% of patients taking the probiotic reduced the depression compared to patients receiving placebo.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging has confirmed that improvement in depression has been associated with changes in the brain area involved in mood control.
“The study provides further important evidence of microbial organisms in the intestines that are in direct communication with the brain.” This is the result of a ten-year long journey – from identifying probiotics, testing in preclinical models, and exploring ways to get signals from the intestines into the brain, said lead author Dr. Přemysl Berčík, associate professor of medicine, McMaster, and gastroenterologist, Hamilton Health Sciences.
“This study shows that consumption of a particular probiotic can improve both intestinal and psychological problems, providing new options not only for treating patients with intestinal diseases but also for patients with psychiatric illnesses,” added Dr. Berčík.