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Probiotic Supplementation May Help Improve Mood

Moderate depression is a mood disorder that is severe enough to effect daily life at home and at work and in a person’s social life. According to a recent study, supplementation with probiotics may help improve mood in people with mild to moderate depression.

Seventy-one adults with mild to moderate depression participated in the study. Half were given a probiotic supplement containing 8 billion CFUs of the probiotic strains Bacillus subtilis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium infantis,, B. longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactococcus lactis ssp. Lactis and, Streptococcus thermophilus daily for 4 weeks. The other half were given a placebo.

Participants completed the PHQ-9 to assess mood, the Positive and Negative Affect Scale to assess affect, and the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory to assess anxiety at baseline and at the end of the study period.

Participants in the probiotic group saw a 50% decrease in depression scores compared to baseline by the end of the study period. They also saw improvements in cognitive measures of reward learning and interference word recall.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Oxford. It was published online ahead of print on February 7, 2022, in the journal Psychological Medicine.

A previous study found that probiotics may help support the immune system.

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