A new study backed by Nestle` shows a specific strain of a probiotic, Bifidobacterium longum, helped relieve symptoms of depression as well as alleviating gastrointestinal upsets.
Over 40 adults who had experienced Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in addition to mild to moderate amounts of depression or anxiety participated in this study. Half the group took a dose of Bifidobacterium longum (B. longum) daily and the other half of the group took a placebo. After six weeks researchers found 64% of the patients taking the probiotic experienced reductions in depression scores when compared to 32% of the participants taking the placebo. Additionally functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), showed depression score improvements were associated with changes in multiple areas in the brain involved with mood control. No changes were seen in anxiety scores however improvements in quality of life were seen in the group supplementing with the probiotic.
Although the results of this study are promising, larger scale trials are needed.
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