From Science Daily:
Anxiety might be alleviated by regulating gut bacteria
Review of studies suggests a potentially useful link between gut bacteria and mental disorders
People who experience anxiety symptoms might be helped by taking steps to regulate the microorganisms in their gut using probiotic and non-probiotic food and supplements, suggests a review of studies published in the journal General Psychiatry.
Increasingly, research has indicated that gut microbiota — the trillions of microorganisms in the gut which perform important functions in the immune system and metabolism by providing essential inflammatory mediators, nutrients and vitamins — can help regulate brain function through something called the “gut-brain axis.”
Recent research also suggests that mental disorders could be treated by regulating the intestinal microbiota, but there was no specific evidence to support this. Therefore a team of researchers from the Shanghai Mental Health Center at Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine reviewed 21 studies that had looked at 1,503 people collectively. Of the 21 studies, 14 had chosen probiotics as interventions to regulate intestinal microbiota (IRIFs), and seven chose non-probiotic ways, such as adjusting daily diets.
The researchers concluded: “We find that more than half of the studies included showed it was positive to treat anxiety symptoms by regulation of intestinal microbiota.” They also suggested that, in addition to the use of psychiatric drugs for treatment, “we can also consider regulating intestinal flora to alleviate anxiety symptoms.”
Read the full article at Science Daily: