Food & mood: a review of supplementary prebiotic and probiotic interventions in the treatment of anxiety and depression in adults


Main idea: The current article affirms that pre/probiotic therapy can be beneficial in mood disorders formation.


There is a bidirectional relationship between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. Foods containing bacteria that positively influence the gastrointestinal microbiome are termed probiotics. Compounds that promote the flourishing of these bacteria are called prebiotics. Whether microbiome influencing therapies could treat psychiatric conditions, including depression and anxiety, is an area of interest.

In this review, 7 studies were identified. All demonstrated significant improvements in one or more of the outcomes measuring the effect of taking pre/probiotics compared with no treatment/placebo, or when compared to baseline measurements.

They prove that utilizing pre/probiotics may be a potentially useful adjunctive treatment. Furthermore, patients with certain comorbidities, such as IBS, might experience greater benefits from such treatments, given that pre/probiotics are useful treatments for other conditions that were not the primary focus of this discourse. Our results are limited by several factors: sample sizes (adequate, though not robust); short study durations, long-term effects, and propensity for remission undetermined.


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