People focus less on bad feelings and experiences from the past (i.e. rumination) after four weeks of probiotics administration.
Linking probiotics and mood
Probiotics are live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, are fundamental in improving digestion and immune function. Steenbergen and her fellow researchers were the first to investigate whether the administration of multispecies (containing different strains) probiotics for at least 4 weeks has a beneficial effect on rumination (i.e., recurrent thoughts about possible causes and consequences of one’s distress). “Rumination is one of the most predictive vulnerability markers of depression” says Steenbergen. “Persistent ruminative thoughts often precede and predict episodes of depression.”
Less rumination through probiotics
Compared to subjects who received the placebo intervention, participants who received the multispecies probiotics intervention showed significantly reduced ruminative thoughts. Colzato: “Even if preliminary, these results provide the first evidence that the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood. As such, our findings shed an interesting new light on the potential of probiotics to serve as adjuvant or preventive therapy for depression.”