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Bacteria and Your Mood

You know that what we eat can change how we feel. But did you know the “good” and “bad” bacteria in our guts can affect our moods?

Knowledge of the gut-brain connection first emerged in the 1880s. Recently, researchers have begun looking at bacteria in the gut and its role in our moods. Dubbed the “microbiota-gut-brain axis,” this theory supports the idea that some good bacteria in the gut can help enhance mood, reduce anxiety and support cognitive function.

In a recent study, participants were randomized to receive either a probiotic blend of bacteria or a placebo for 30 days. The subjects answered questionnaires at the beginning and end of the study to determine their levels of depression, anxiety and other cognitive functions. After 30 days, the subjects who took probiotics had a decrease in depression, stress reactivity and circulating cortisol (stress hormone) levels. They also demonstrated better coping skills and reported feeling more focused.

The exact mechanism by which probiotics support mood is unknown. Theories include the reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines, preventing overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria and communication with the central nervous system.

Connect with a CarePro Advance Health pharmacist at [email protected] for more information about how daily probiotics can benefit you.