Many people turn to ice cream when their troubles are getting them down, but maybe yogurt is a better option. According to a study in the journal Medical Hypotheses, probiotics (good bacteria) like those found in yogurt can actually help to improve the mindset of people with major depression.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a particular mental illness where the patient feels extremely withdrawn and sad. It is extremely complicated and there are a number of body hormones, fatty acids, and other products that are expected to be involved in this disorder. Oxidative stress and inflammation are often increased in the patient who has this condition. This seems to be related to the fact that people with this condition have low body levels of omega- 3s and micronutrients.
Now, probiotics could potentially help treat the problem. It is suspected that stress can increase the levels of bad bacteria in the stomach and offset the good bacteria. In turn, the absorption of nutrients is decreased. This snowballs through the body, leading to increased levels of stress and lowered serotonin, which exasperates depressive symptoms. By adding probiotics to the diet, this process could be halted.
Probiotics could help minimize depressive symptoms, although they would not get rid of them entirely. This means that probiotics may be an effective complimentary therapy in treating people with depression. It’s safe, inexpensive, and may be worth a shot. However, clinical trials still need to take place to prove if this form of treatment would be effective.