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Probiotics a Potential Treatment for Mental Illness

23 november 2013

Investigators reviewed studies that examined the effect of "psychobiotics," live organisms that when ingested may produce health benefits in patients suffering from mental illness. The term "psychobiotic" was created as recent studies have begun to explore a possible link between probiotics and behavior

 Probiotics, which are live bacteria that help maintain a healthy digestive system, are now often promoted as an important part of dietary supplements and natural food products. As a class of probiotic, these bacteria are capable of producing and delivering neuroactive substances such as gamma-aminobutyric acid [GABA] and serotonin, which act on the brain-gut axis. Several preclinical studies showed a link between specific probiotics and beneficial behavioral effects. These included one in which rats with depressive behaviors resulting from maternal separation displayed normalized behavior and an improved immune response after ingesting the Bifidobacterium infantis probiotic.

The review is published in the November 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

 

 

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Dhr. Bram Querido

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