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Probiotic May Reduce Risk Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Mood changes are common after giving birth, but sometimes mood changes can progress to postpartum depression and anxiety. A recent study suggests that consuming the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 during and after pregnancy may reduce symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety in mothers.


Participants in the study included 423 pregnant women who were given either 6 billion colony-forming units of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 or a placebo daily. They followed their intervention from recruitment at 14 to 16 weeks into the pregnancy through six months after the baby was born.


At six and 12 months after the baby was born, all of the women completed a questionnaire regarding their psychological wellbeing when the baby was one to two months old. The researchers used the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the State Strait Anxiety Inventory 6 item version to measure depression and anxiety, respectively.


After examining the data, the researchers found the women who took the probiotic supplement reported significantly lower levels of anxiety and depression than those who took the placebo.


Researchers from the University of Auckland and the University of Otago conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on September 15, 2017, in EBioMedicine.


Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 is a probiotic that is thought to have the most health benefits of any probiotic. Previous studies suggest it may help reduce diarrhea, improve immunity, and aid urinary tract health.

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