A new study by Griffith University shows that eating probiotics such as yoghurt can help alleviate symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety for some people.
The study, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, looked at the results of seven previous studies which tested for psychological symptoms in over 300 healthy volunteers before and after probiotics.
Dr Natalie Colson from Griffith Menzies Health Institute Queensland said: “The overall result was significant in demonstrating that taking probiotics in some form – for example tablet or yoghurt – can help alleviate symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety in otherwise healthy people.
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“The research into the relationship between the gut and the brain is reasonably new however we are now starting to better understand this ‘gut brain axis’.
“We can see that if the gut microbiome is not operating at an optimal level, and it communicates with your brain, then it may well negatively affect the way that you feel and think. Therefore by adding what we believe to be a mixture of good ‘multi-species’ bacteria to your gut microbiome, this may reduce those negative feelings.”
Dr Colson says that more studies need to be conducted to determine if the consumption of probiotics could also help with symptoms in people diagnosed with clinical depression.
“We don’t know yet how far this could be used in the treatment of depression,” she said, “but it does appear that generally healthy people who are going through stressful periods could certainly benefit from adding probiotics to their diet.”