According to new research, probiotics which are found in yoghurt and certain fermented foods have been found to help treat depression and anxiety. A functional MRI was used in the new study to show the effects of probiotics on the brain’s functions. The study had also found that women that ate probiotic yoghurt regularly had brain functions altered in the areas that control emotions and internal body sensations.
One study was done where women were shown photos of angry or frightened faces. The women who consumed the probiotics regularly had decreased activity in the area of the brain that controls their reactive emotions. This showed a reduced level of anxiety occurring.
Dr. Kirsten Tillisch stated that this study indicated that some of the contents in the yoghurt had the potential to change the way the brain responds to the environment around us. She is the lead author of the study.
A new study is being conducted by a psychology researcher at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand because she was so excited about the prospect of what probiotics can do for us. In this study 80 patients who have depression will get probiotic supplements for four months. She is hoping that the outcome of the study is that it will make the patients happier by altering the way the brain processes emotions.
A new approach to treating depression is desperately needed as data indicates one in ten adults suffers from depression. Current therapies do not have a very good success rate. Anti-depressant medications have not come far in the last 50 years so new studies are being done to try and find a more natural way to help people who suffer from depression.