New research shows that probiotics or "good bacteria" found in yoghurt could help in the treat depression and anxiety. TODAY
Nutritionist Joanna McMillan explains how it works.
How bacteria found in yoghurt could help treat depression
The report was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Article from www.dailymail.co.uk/health
Yoghurt instead of anti-depressants? Scientists explored probiotic bacteria on mice (posed by a model)
Bacteria found in yoghurt could stave off depression, research has suggested.
Probiotics, or 'good' bacteria, found in the dairy product have the potential to alter brain chemistry and may help in the treatment of anxiety and depression-related disorders, the study found.
Irish scientists studied mice fed with the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and found they showed fewer signs of stress, anxiety and depression-related behaviour than those fed on broth.
The results also showed significantly lower levels of the stress hormone corticosterone.
It is the first time a probiotic has been shown to affect brain chemistry.
The scientists say that bacteria in the gut 'communicate' with the brain via a nerve called the vagus.
Professor John Cryan of University College, Cork, said: 'By affecting gut bacteria, you can have a very robust and quite broad-spectrum effects on brain chemistry and behaviour.
'Without overstating things, this does open up the concept that we could develop therapies that can treat psychiatric disorders by targeting the gut.
'You could take a yoghurt with a probiotic in it instead of an antidepressant.'
But he emphasised that people suffering from depression couldn't just go out and buy any kind of yoghurt at their local supermarket, as its effectiveness would depend on the strain of probiotic which is included in the food.
He added: 'These findings highlight the important role of bacteria in the communication between the gut and the brain, and suggest that certain probiotic organisms may prove to be useful in stress-related disorders.'
For more information visit www.drjoanna.com.au.