Can Probiotics be Used to Treat Depression?

probiotic depression

Nowadays, a serious mood disorders belongs to the list of most common disease: depression. The consequences of this disease are affecting the way you feel, think and perform daily activities, is perturbing the sleeping, eating, even working habits.

The use of probiotics for treatment of depression is a new practice, with high expectations from patients and doctors.

Depression is a mood that experience feelings like sadness, anxiety, hopeless, irritability, anger and pain – and is commonly treated with medication such as cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride).

People affected by depression are losing interest in some activities, once enjoyable, are managing the relationships with difficulties and can conduct to suicidal tendencies.

Concentration problems, lack of energy, low memory level, are signs for beginning of depression. Depression is more than low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your mental health and physical status.

We don’t know exactly what causes a depression, some combinations of recent events and personal long-term factors are determinant factors.

Life difficulties (like unemployment, an abusive relationship, loneliness or problems inside family, stress caused by work conditions) are causing depression and damage health level of people.

Recent events with bad potential can act as a `triggers` for persons at risk, because of previous experiences or personal behavior.

Personal factors that can determinate depression are: family history, own personality, serious medical problems, drug and alcohol use.

The people having relatives with depression have an increased risk of being depressed, also people with low self-esteem, tendency of worry, pessimistic and negative persons.

The ones who are dealing with a permanent pain due a chronic disease can suffer depression, during stress and serious illness period. Drug and alcohol can together lead to depression.

Life events and some changes are encouraging the depressive mood, like: menopause, financial difficulties, problems in carrier, troubles in relationships, separation or divorce, dead of loves ones and mourning period, social rejection and sometimes collective events (war, natural disasters).

Symptoms of depression occur most of days and may include: loss of interest and pleasure in normal daily activities, insomnia or sleep abuse, lack of energy, tiredness, anxiety, changes in appetite, troubles in concentration, slow thinking, feelings of guilt and blame, suicidal thoughts.

Not all people are experiencing all these symptoms, but if you are dealing with some of them, for a period longer than weeks, then the best advice is to consult a doctor for a diagnosis.

Children and teenagers present similar symptoms and sign of depression as adults, manifested by sadness, worry, the refuse of daily activities, problems of weight, poor performance at school, use of drugs or alcohol, sleeping routine modifications.

Older persons are experiencing depression in a more discreet way, they can feel helpless, tired, can provide changes in their personality.

At any age, depression is a serious problem that must be discussed with close persons, as friends or family, a health care professional or someone else of trust.

Some forms are different, or the depression may develop under special circumstances, like:

    • Dysthymia (chronic depressive disorder) is a form of depression that lasts for at least two years. As a chronic disorder, this type of depression may pass not noticed, as the patients are not discussing their symptoms with doctors, friends or family members.
    • Post-partum depression, a serious form of”baby blues„, is a full-blown major depression during or after birth. The feelings of women who suffer from this form of depression may make difficult to complete daily activities for them and new born babies.
    • Psychotic depression happened when a person has severe depression and a form of psychosis, such false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things – hallucinations .The psychotic and depressive symptoms typically have a recurrent “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
    • The seasonal disorder is directly related to winter months, when natural sunlight is less intense. Sometimes associates with social withdrawal, these kinds of depression increase sleep and give a bad mood. Usually is lifted in the spring period.
    • Bipolar disorder is not a typical depression, but episodes of low moods can be similar to a major depression, alternating with high euphoric periods.

Untreated depression is a serious health problem. Major depression is a disease who involve body, mind and thought of the person, and influence the whole lifestyle of the patient. Is affecting the way the person feels about herself, the way he eat and sleep, even his thoughts.

Living with a depressed person is sometimes very difficult and stressful for family members; it’s often helpful to have a family member involved in the evaluation and treatment of a depressed relative. Sometimes family therapy is indicated.

The good aspect is that more than 80% of people with clinical depression can be successfully treated under condition of early recognition, fast intervention, and support.

Depression affects almost 19 million people each year, including a large portion of the working population. People with untreated depression can usually get to work.

But once there, they may be irritable, fatigued, and have difficulty concentrating. Untreated depression makes it difficult for employees to work well.

Depression medication may be the most recommended treatment for depression, but that doesn’t mean that this treatment is the most effective. Depression is not just a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Medication may help relieve some of the symptoms of depression, but it doesn’t cure the underlying problem. Usually is not a long-term solution. It is definitely worth looking into medication with dopamine in it. Dopamine is well known to help boost someones mood, motivation and positive attitude, so looking at tablets like this one boosts dopamine in your blood system and will have positive side effects.

Alternative and complementary treatments for depression are including vitamins and herbal supplements, acupuncture, and relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga.

Many supplements are widely available, in many cases, their efficacy has not been scientifically proven.

If your depression symptoms are in part due to nutritional deficiency, you may benefit from vitamin supplements, but this should be on the advice of your doctor. If you decide to try natural and herbal supplements, remember that they may have some side effects and drug or food interactions.

About probiotics

Probiotics are defined as microorganisms who can offer a form of health benefit to the host – they can be found in different foods.

Probiotics are believed to play important roles in regulating the proper intestinal function and digestion – by balancing intestinal micro flora. Probiotics are special types of bacteria & yeasts living naturally in a healthy person’s body.

Several foods/drinks are the most natural and traditional way to benefit from probiotics. These traditional probiotic have thousands of years of healing tradition and are known in many cultures.

Here are examples of probiotic foods: Kombucha, Water kefir, Traditional Yogurt, Kimchi (Korean), Sauerkraut (German), and are very easy to make at home, by natural ingredients.

Probiotics are used to increase the number of good bacteria in your digestive tract.

Probiotics can help to keep the digestive system to function optimally, to restore normal flora, and could support immune system function, especially when a person is taking antibiotics.

Probiotics are an effective treatment for diarrhea, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, vaginal yeast infections, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

There are probiotics that may contain a single strain and others probiotics that contain 15 different strains or more.

Many healers believe that more strains will have a better chance of getting your Candida overgrowth under control, but this is really about finding what works for you. As long as the probiotic strains suit you, it should work well.

Here are some of the strains you should look out for:

  • Lactobacillus Acidophilus is the most popular strain of probiotic. Research has shown it to enhance your immune system and cut down the duration of a Candida overgrowth.
  • Bacteria Bifida is another strain that you will often see in probiotics. It helps with digestion, supports your immune system, and aids in the synthesis of B vitamins, keeping a healthy balance of intestinal micro flora, vaginal health for women, supporting the immune system.

Probiotic side effects are uncommon, and most people can use them without any adverse effects. Some people do get a kind of flatulence and minor stomach discomfort when they first start to use products but this typically stops as the body becomes to adjust.

Very rarely, probiotics can cause infections or extreme responses, from the immune system, but this usually only happens for people who already possesses compromised immune systems.

Clinicians are using antibiotics for treatment of some rare side effects when they occur. Flatulence is harmless, but potentially embarrassing, a side effect of probiotics.

It’s often possible for healthy people to prevent flatulence and stomach pain from probiotics by starting with a small amount, usually half the recommended dosage.

Gradually introducing the good bacteria of probiotics is giving to the body the time to adjust, which reduces the risk of discomfort.

Some people accidentally take probiotic overdoses it when starting out because they’re unaware that probiotic is naturally found in fermented foods, so it’s important for people to consider their entire diet when starting to take probiotic products.

Probiotics for treating depression, studies and results

Scientists are now interested in analyzing if some probiotics (strains of good bacteria) or carbohydrates that serve as food for those bacteria could be used to treat anxiety or even depression, or if the substances may improve the patients’ response to psychiatric drugs.

The researchers found that probiotic supplements designed to boost healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract may have an anti-anxiety effect.

Taking probiotics, therefore, increases the numbers of all species of good bacteria which will theoretically have beneficial effects.

Probiotics are eliminating the most of the toxic stomach bacteria linked to depression and other mood disorders.

Bifid bacteria increase levels of tryptophan in the brain, a chemical that makes patients feel much better.

The consumers noticed an improvement in their digestion, less bloating and are reducing their inflammations.

It has now been proven that a good nights sleep makes the probiotics work much more effectively. The patients found that after spending some money on a new mattress the effects were much greater.

The discoveries are very important, the patients felt less anxious, calmer and better, they are able to manage their illness, are sleeping better in their new queen size mattress.

Some of the subjects reported fewer heart palpitations and less anxiety and fear symptoms. Probiotics truly have a role to play in the management of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and other symptoms associated with this disease.

Rather than going into medications, which can give easily side effects, it’s a safe, very easy way to manage problems.

In a study group from England, 45 healthy men and women, aged from 18 to 45, took a probiotic or a placebo daily, for three weeks.

Each person participates in a computer test in order to analyze how they processed information, for example, positive or negative words. The probiotics seemed to be effective.

The study demonstrates that people who took them, paid less attention to negative information and more of positive information.

For the participants who were taking medicine pills for anxiety or depression, the probiotic prove to reduce anxiety level of participants.

The participants who took the probiotics and not a placebo also had lower levels of cortisone tested in their saliva in the morning. Higher cortisone levels are related to the level of stress, anxiety and depression.

Some new researches advanced the understanding of psychiatric illness and their connections with level of disturbances in gastrointestinal tract. The existence of bidirectional communication between the brain and the gut has been proven.

Clinical tests are sustaining the hypothesis that cognitive and emotional processes are influenced through the brain-gut axis.

On the other hand, micro biome may influence brain function and behavior giving to the specific microorganisms a psycho biotic potential.

This is typically named: gut-brain axis. But in this case, can be noticed that there is another element of the axis in our gut’s microbial health.

The link between the brain and the gut has been known for quite some time in medicine- even among the oldest medicine – Ayurveda.

Today we trace the mechanism to the fact that between the gut and the brain can be found the vagus nerve. Thus, the state of our mental well-being and behavior will affect our intestinal well-being.

Probiotics such as bacterium bifida and Lactobacillus acidophilus produce signals that increase gut motility and gut immunity. Meanwhile, pathogenic bad bacteria such as Escherichia coli can block these processes.

That’s one theory. Other theories include the anti-inflammatory properties of these good bacteria, as well as the idea that probiotics may influence the activity of brain structures involved in the processing of emotions like anxiety, mood, and aggression.

The fact that probiotics may help to improve your mood and reduce your stress degree is a good news, but you may be wondering how exactly these little bacteria do it. Well, unfortunately, we don’t have a good answer for you.

The researchers admit that despite the growing interest in the role of probiotics in revealing stress, anxiety and depression, the process is still quite unclear to the medical community.

Conclusions

Depressions and feeling of sadness and anxiety don’t just make us feel down, but also the negative effects they have on our energy levels, memory, learning ability, work performance and family life can be devastating.

Being able to use a good quality product which can be purchased on- line through the internet or in any organic food store , a product who can get significant results in a matter of weeks, with only good side effects, could be a chance for changing anyone’s life.

If you’ve ever thought the treatments for mood disorders or depression are not for you, probiotics could be the better alternative you’ve been looking for a lower price than traditional medication.

But the question is which probiotic should we use? Not all probiotics are equal and if you choose the wrong one, the results will disappoint you. Here’s what you should know to choose the right probiotic.

When you choose a probiotic to enhance your mood, you must be sure that the product contains a variety of these strains: Bifid bacterium and Lactobacillus, these types of bacteria are the most effective in boosting mood through gut health, like the studies and researches provided.

What you eat is related to your emotional well-being, if you like it or not. More of that, if you found yourself feeling down, regardless of all the positive things mentioned above, probably a nutrition reboot should be done.

If you love what you’re eating, and it is mainly a comfort food for you (maybe it brings back good memories), this food is going to boost your mood. It is scientifically proved that certain food groups affecting emotions chemically.

Any food that contains a lot of minerals and nutrients is going to increase your mood naturally. Any product that is helping your digestion will also help your mind-body balance and will improve your mental health.

If you suffer from bad digestion or some food sensitivities, then what you eat is influencing also to your mood and well-being. If your diet is naturally high in fiber, then the food will help your digestion and will provide good nutrients for your health.

Probiotics are naturally delicious, just think about yogurt and all natural dairy products. For your health, it is better to obtain these probiotics from natural food, but instead of this, some quality probiotic pills will have same benefic result.

This research area of probiotic effects may open in the future new possibilities for other treatments dedicated to people who are facing depression, anxiety and several mental problems.

The probiotics are increasingly being accepted as having good results for improvement of digestion and immunity.

The idea that some benefic bacteria are affecting our mood was en extreme idea, at the beginning. Now this revolutionary concept becomes a hot topic for all researchers in the probiotic area of interest. A range of probiotics is used to provide anti-inflammatory effects.

Is a very important issue, because depression and anxiety and stress are associated with body inflammation.

For example diseases like syphilis or Lyme disease can also induct depressive states of mind. Immune activations, via a kind of psycho biotic action, could alleviate the depressive state.

Also, the microbial balance can alter the regulation of inflammatory response, and also can be involved in variations of the mood or behavior.

Our world faces a common issue nowadays, stress and anxiety. Around 50 millions of prescriptions are written every year in the UK for anti-depressive treatments, and our century claims depression as the main disease of a whole generation.

Over the past few years, studies have been undertaken to explore the possible impact of probiotics on human mental. It is within this context that the concept of a psycho biotic has arisen. Latest studies on effects of probiotics are very positive and full of hope.

Once considered as a strange idea, a growing number of researchers are interested in probiotics as a treatment for anxiety and depression and also mental health problems.

The researchers demonstrate the evidence that these bacteria, when ingested in adequate amounts, offer enormous potential for the treatment of depression and other stress-related disorders.

Recommendations from your healthcare practitioner or doctor may help guide you to reliable and high-quality products from proven manufacturers.

It is always advisable to check with your doctor before taking any new supplements, as some of the probiotics do have the potential to interact with some medications. Add probiotics to your diet today for having a healthy body and a brilliant mind.

About the Author

Maya Caplin
Maya Caplin
My name is Maya Caplin and I am the creator of ProBiotics America. I love to write about probiotics. Why is that? Because I firmly believe that you can substantially improve your health by taking probiotics supplements. Your body craves beneficial bacteria so it can continue to function at peak levels. As a probiotics expert, I've created this website so you can easily access all you need to know about how to create your own probiotics lifestyle. It's easier than you think. Changing your thinking to include the importance of what you eat is fundamental to everything about a new lifestyle. That's where I come in. My strong belief is that given the right information about anything, and you will be able to make accurate decisions that will bring you the best benefits. Learning all you can about probiotics is my number one goal for you. It's what I do best, and what I want to give to you. Choose your best life, and stay informed. My research is always thorough and I stay informed so you don't have to do the hard work yourself. Just keep us bookmarked for the best in probiotic information you will ever receive.

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