Probiotics are live and active microorganisms that can be found in foods such as yogurt, kombucha and kefir. These are friendly good bacteria that help to keep your gut healthy. They can also be found in supplementation form.
Not all strains are the same and different strains have different benefits.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is arguably the most widely recognized and used species. This species helps the gut absorb nutrients and digest dairy foods as well as support the body’s immune system.
There are increasing amounts of studies linking probiotics and gut health to mental conditions and overall mental health.
A review of 15 human studies found supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for a couple of months can improve anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), autism and memory.
Studies show that those who consume probiotics daily had better mood, less depression, anxiety and less stress.
A lack of beneficial good bacteria in the gut has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.
Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus has the most evidence showing that it can significantly reduce anxiety and stress levels.
Certain strains of probiotics appear to influence the central nervous system. They can also affect behavior via the microbiota-brain-gut axis.
Increasing evidence from pre-clinical and clinical studies has demonstrated that probiotics pose preventive as well as the therapeutic potential for Alzheimer’s disease. It is thought that probiotics could ameliorate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by decreasing inflammation and counteracting oxidative stress.
Another study shows that people with major depression who took a probiotic supplement containing three bacteria strains for eight weeks had lower scores of depression than their initial starting point.
Probiotics for Overall Mental Health
Probiotics seem to be important in overall mental health and well-being. They can help with stress, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.
It is recommended to intake them daily either from food or supplementation for overall mental health. This can go alongside any other natural therapy as long as there are no adverse reactions.
Probiotics go very well with enzymes and can be taken together daily. This can help heal the gut, heal the brain and help better fight off the bad bacteria while fixing the intestinal lining of the gut.
You may also want to test your food sensitivities and heal your gut through nutrition.