Are Probiotics the New Prozac?

Joined: April 20th, 2010, 12:23 pm

July 14th, 2013, 8:03 am #1

Are Probiotics the New Prozac?
By Lisa Collier Cool
Jul 12, 2013

Probiotics, the healthy bacteria in yogurt and certain fermented foods, may be mind-altering microbes that could be used to help treat depression and anxiety, according to cutting-edge new research.

A new “proof of concept” study using functional MRI offers the first evidence that bacteria consumed in food can affect human brain function, UCLA researchers report. The study found that women who eat probiotic yogurt regularly had altered activity in brain regions that regulate emotions and internal body sensations.

For example, during an emotional reactivity test involving viewing pictures of angry or frightened faces, the women who had consumed probiotics twice a day for a month showed decreased activity in these regions. This is an indication of reduced anxiety, according to neuropsychiatrist Daniel Amen, MD, a brain imaging specialist who was not involved in the research.

Conversely, women who didn’t consume probiotics had stable or increased activity in these regions during the emotional reactivity test. The study, which included 36 women, was published in the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology.

Can Probiotics Make People Happier?
"Our findings indicate that some of the contents of yogurt may actually change the way our brain responds to the environment,” Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, associate professor of medicine at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine and lead author of the study, said in a statement.
“When we consider the implications of this work, the old sayings 'you are what you eat' and 'gut feelings' take on new meaning,” added Dr. Tillsch.

A psychology researcher at University of Canterbury in New Zealand is so enthusiastic about the potential of probiotics to improve mood that she has launched a new study in which 80 patients with depression will receive probiotic supplements for four months.
“I hope my study will find that treatment with probiotics changes levels of certain substances in the blood and brain, essentially making people happier,” researcher Amy Romijn told 3 News.

An estimated one in 10 adults suffers from depression, according to the CDC.
“We urgently need a new approach to depression, because current therapies don’t have a very good success rate,” says Dr. Amen, who is also the author of Unleash the Power of the Female Brain: Supercharging Yours for Better Health, Energy, Mood, Focus, and Sex. “When you combined published and unpublished studies of antidepressants, the treatments we have today are no better than they were 50 years ago.”
Quote
Like
Share

gracie
Heaven Bound
Heaven Bound
gracie
Heaven Bound
Heaven Bound
Joined: October 28th, 2004, 4:10 pm

July 28th, 2013, 8:51 am #2

Fascinating! more and more, I hear of research connecting the gut and the brain... I will be eager to hear how the next study goes as they will be using a supplement rather than just eating the yogurt. Thanks for sharing this here!
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: April 20th, 2010, 12:23 pm

July 28th, 2013, 7:24 pm #3

I have some more really good articles coming up too. I like to read these and then decide, initially, and then for sure. Glad you like food studies, Grace.
Quote
Like
Share

gracie
Heaven Bound
Heaven Bound
gracie
Heaven Bound
Heaven Bound
Joined: October 28th, 2004, 4:10 pm

May 20th, 2015, 3:37 am #4

I was at an all-day manager meeting today. One of our vendors brought in lunch for us and gave a training on their latest products: probiotics. They had specific ones targeted for "mood" and another for "weight loss".

Basically, like the study in the article you posted, it is being documented again and again that gut health makes a difference in our brain/mood. Apparently, we don't eat as many cultured and fermented foods as we once did... and many of the things we do eat as well as our lifestyles contribute to a loss of a good bacteria in our guts. If only I would learn to like sauerkraut... :-p
Quote
Like
Share