Probiotics decrease depression

New research finds that our gut bacteria linked with negative thinking – and supplementing probiotics can reduce negative thoughts.

Negative thinking is defined as a spiraling of thinking that takes a person from one negative thought to the next. Often this is lightly attributed to getting up on the wrong side of the bed. But now we find it may also be a case of ‘bad bugs’.

Could the little microbes teeming in our gut have anything to do with negative thinking? Surely not, you say smugly.

Think again.

Triple-blind study finds probiotics affect negative thoughts:

Research from the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition in The Netherlands has determined that one’s gut bacteria indeed will affect our negative thinking and cognitive state.

The research studied 40 healthy people for four weeks. The group was split into two groups. One group was given a probiotic supplement each day. The other group was given a placebo for the same period. This was a triple-blind study.

After the four weeks, the patients were tested for negative thinking and cognitive reactivity for moods of sadness. The researchers found a significant reduction in negative thinking among the probiotic group. They also had lower cognitive reactions to sadness compared with the placebo group.

The researchers concluded:

“These results provide the first evidence that the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood.”

The probiotic species used in the formula were: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactococcus lactis and Lactobacillus salivarius.