Probiotics may reduce anxiety and depression,
Probiotic bacteria may have the potential to alter brain neurochemistry, affecting anxiety and depression-related disorders, says new research.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrated that mice fed with Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 showed significantly fewer stress, anxiety and depression-related behaviours than those fed with just broth, and resulted in significantly lower levels of the stress-induced hormone, corticosterone.
These findings highlight the important role that gut bacteria play in the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain, the gut–brain axis.
The neurochemical and behavioural effects were not found in vagotomized mice, identifying the vagus as a major modulatory constitutive communication pathway between the bacteria exposed to the gut and the brain.
Together, these findings highlight the important role of bacteria in the bidirectional communication of the gut–brain axis and suggest that certain organisms may prove to be useful therapeutic adjuncts in stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression.