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Probiotics Might Provide Relief For Depression, Encourages Gut-Mind Connection

Having an upset stomach usually doesn’t come with a good mood. When we don’t feel good in our gut, we tend not to feel good at all. Discomfort in our gut can feel like discomfort in our entire being. Researchers are increasingly paying attention to the connection between the gut, specifically meaning the bacteria in your stomach, called gut bacteria, and the mind.

A new study published in Gastroenterology used a placebo-controlled trial to show a connection between the use of probiotics and mood in people with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, which has high rates of depression as well as anxiety. According to TIME, 44 adults were followed for 10 weeks to watch the effect of probiotics on their “mild to moderate anxiety or depression.” Half of the group took Bifidobacterium longum each day while the other took a placebo. Bifidobacterium longum is a probiotic which helps the gut produce healthy bacteria. The results were considerable.

For clinical trials observing depression, depression is evaluated on a scale which calculates a score. Called a clinical scale, these scores help doctors diagnose depression and the severity of depression. After six weeks of the trial, the article reports, “twice as many people who took the probiotic had decreased depression scores compared to those who took the placebo.” The numbers were 64% compared to 32%. After the full ten weeks of the trial, the results were similar. Another component was used to evaluate the effect of the probiotics on depression. Researchers used functional MRI scans and “found that improved depression scores were associated with changes in activity of several brain areas involved in mood regulation.” Mood lives in the brain. Changes in mood mean changes in brain chemistry. The trial proves that the relationship between the gut and the mind is significant. A healthy gut could mean a happier mind.


Probiotics are part of a healthy living lifestyle which can contribute to recovery. Recovery should be taken with a whole-person approach, taking the mind, the body, and the spirit into consideration. Enlightened Recovery Solutions creates a compassionate environment of healing by fusing integrative approaches to treatment. Our programs include nutrition, food education, and holistic health in order to empower clients toward fulfillment. For information on our dual diagnosis partial care programs, call us today at 833-801-5483.

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