It’s safe. It’s affordable. There are no side effects (well, except GOOD ones that is). And it can effectively relieve depression, according to researchers at the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute.
I’m talking about probiotics. As exciting new research confirms gut bugs could turn out to be the all-natural solution to driving away the blues.
The key is a kind of bacteria called Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001, already found naturally in your gut. But you can also get them in probiotic supplements.
In a new study, published in the journal Gastroenterology, the belly bug tackled depression in well over half of the volunteers who took the supplement.1
In the pilot study, 44 folks with IBS who were suffering from mild to moderate depression or anxiety were followed for 10 weeks. Half of the volunteers took a Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 supplement, and half took a placebo.
Probiotic improved depression in 64% of users
At week six researchers were stunned by what they found. The folks taking the probiotic were TWICE as likely to have experienced an improvement in their depression. Fourteen of the twenty-two volunteers taking the probiotic, or 64 percent, had their depression scores plummet.
And here’s where it gets really interesting!
Plus, it wasn’t just that the folks felt better either. They DID. But the researchers were also able to see the actual changes taking place in their brains.
Then, using fMRI, the volunteers depression scores were matched to the areas in their brains which are linked to mood.
In other words, the researchers were able to literally track their depression as it lifted!
This latest study adds to a growing stack of research on the relationship between our belly bugs—known collectively as our gut microbiome—and our brains.
In fact, experts say there’s evidence that our gut bacteria are in direct communication with our brains. As a result, these powerful bugs can even create and respond to hormones and neurotransmitters.
GABA triggers relaxation and relieves stress
For example, the Bifidobacterium, in particular, produces the amino acid neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA sends chemical messages through our brains and nervous systems.2,3
Studies show GABA significantly increases alpha waves and decreases beta wave activity in our brains. And the neurotransmitter triggers relaxation and relieves anxiety.4
Both animal studies, and now a groundbreaking human study, confirm Bifidobacterium longum can help relieve anxiety and depression, too.5,6 And while more study is needed the good bug’s connection to GABA could be a clue to how the bacteria help fight depression.
Our gut microbiota and our brains are linked. There’s no denying it. If you sometimes struggle with depression or anxiety why not put that connection to work for you? Talk with your doctor about making probiotics a part of your treatment plan.
Buy Bifidobacterium longum supplements online or anyplace that sells supplements.