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Brain-Gut Connection to Depression

Brain-Gut Connection to Depression

Can probiotics improve depression and anxiety?Psychobiotics are live organisms that can produce health benefits in patients suffering from psychiatric illness. A recent pre-clinical study of the probiotics used on mice at McMaster University proved beneficial to some abnormal behavior. It also showed changes to chemistry in the brain.  The study was then extended to individuals with irritable bowel disease (IBS) and co-morbid anxiety or depression. Forty patients were divided into two groups, half treated with placebos and half treated with a probiotic. Two-thirds of probiotic-treated patients showed improvement in the anxiety or depression scores. Activity in the mood regulating areas of the brain decreased. Unfortunately, the bacterial strain tested is not yet available for human consumption. More testing is needed. Listen as Dr. Premek Bercik joins Dr. Susanne Bennett to share the results of the study.