Probiotics May Improve Negative Psychological Symptoms
Probiotics are most commonly associated with improved gut health, but more studies are being released suggesting that they may have a positive affect on other parts of the body as well. A recent study suggests that consuming probiotics may improve mental health by improving the psychological symptoms of perceived stress, depression, and anxiety.
For their analysis, researchers examined seven studies with over 300 healthy volunteers that included data about pre and post probiotic supplementation. All of the studies examined preclinical psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress.
After examining the data, the researchers found that probiotic supplementation was associated with a statistically significant improvement in psychological symptoms when compared with the placebo. They called the relationship between the gut and the brain the “gut brain axis.”
Researchers from Griffith University and Menzies Health Institute in Australia conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 14, 2016, in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
While probiotics are most commonly linked to improving digestion and gut health, they have also been shown to have other health benefits, including a stronger immune system, and a reduced risk of chronic disease.
Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. You may also consider taking a high quality supplement but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.