Probiotic bacteria helps with depression

could be yogurt

Probiotic bacteria are very powerful. Usually discussed in the context of intestinal disorders and homeopathic fixes, researchers now say the good stuff can alter brain neurochemistry and treat anxiety and depression-related disorders. The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead scientist Dr. Javier Bravo and colleagues found that mice fed with Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 showed significantly fewer stress, anxiety and depression-related behaviors than the ones fed with broth alone. Additionally, ingestion of the bacteria resulted in much lower levels of the measurable corticosterone, the stress induced hormone.

“The study identifies potential brain targets and a pathway through which certain gut organisms can alter mouse brain chemistry and behavior. These findings highlight the important role that gut bacteria play in the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain, the gut-brain axis, and opens up the intriguing opportunity of developing unique microbial-based strategies for treatment or stress-related psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression,” said John F. Cryan, senior author on the paper and Professor of Anatomy and Principal Investigator at eh Science Foundation Ireland at UCC.

Regular feeding with Lactobacillus caused changes in the receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA. It’s the first time a direct effect has been documented. The researchers also discovered that the vagus nerve is the main communicator nerve between the gut and the brain. This is also known as the microbiome-gut-brain axis and the findings highlight the role of bacteria in the communication process. This could be useful in adjunct therapies in stress-related psychiatric diagnoses.

Source: University College Cork, ScienceDaily

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