Study under review: Clinical and metabolic response to probiotic administration in patients with major depressive disorder: A randomized, doubleblind, placebo-controlled trial
Almost 20% of the population is affected by major depressive disorder (MDD) at some point during their life. Not only is this depressing news, but a number of studies have shown a link between MDD and biomarkers of inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and other medical comorbidities.
A number of emerging treatment options exist for depression, including the use of probiotics. Although probiotics are more often thought of as helpful for IBS or even lowering cholesterol, it is possible they can also provide benefits for people with mood disorders like depression. You may remember a previous article from NERD #8 discussing a study that showed the effect of probiotics on reducing the likelihood of future sad mood in people who were currently healthy. Multiple other studies have shown improvements in mood states, as well as markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, after probiotic supplementation in a variety of participant populations.
The reason that probiotics might have an effect on a person’s mood relates to the gut-brain axis, as shown in Figure 1. Communication between the gut and brain exists through a variety of neural, endocrine, and immune pathways that interact with intestinal microbiota. Supplementation with probiotics is not always effective, however, for improving mental health.
Adapted from: Foster and Neufeld. Trends Neurosci. 2013 May.Despite a number of promising studies looking at the effects of probiotics on mood states, the effect of supplementation on depressive symptoms and metabolic biomarkers in patients specifically having MDD had not been assessed. Therefore, the aim of this new study was to determine the effects of a multi-strain probiotic supplement on symptoms of depression, markers of glucose control, lipid concentrations, biomarkers of inflammation, and oxidative stress in people with MDD.
Almost 20% of people may be affected by major depressive disorder (MDD) at some point in their lives. Probiotics represent a potential intervention that can improve symptoms of depression, but it’s yet to be studied in people with MDD.
Other Articles in Issue #16 (February 2016)
Dieting, with a side of extra protein
For many lifters, it’s been a mantra that you just can’t gain muscle while being in a heavy calorie deficit. That statement was put to the test in this trial of a high protein diet.
Promoting ‘high quality’ weight loss: protein and weights
By Stuart Phillips, PhD
Vitamin E bioavailability isn’t always the same
The vast majority of people don’t meet the recommended intake level for vitamin E. And it turns out that certain people may not absorb vitamin E as well as others, and they might actually be the ones who need it most.
Spice up your satiety?
The active ingredient in spicy food, capsaicin, seems to have some effect on satiety. But researchers weren’t quite sure what it was or how it happens, until this highly controlled experiment was done
Fish oil incorporation: where do other fats fit in?
When you buy and take a fish oil supplement, the story doesn’t end there. It still needs to be incorporated into cell membranes. This study looked at how other fats may impact that process
The Tyranny of the Outlier: Focusing on the best of the best sometimes diminishes the rest of us
By Lou Schuler
Have a nice trip, see you next fall
Some preliminary evidence has pointed to a potentially greater risk of falls for elderly people taking vitamin D. That’s put to the test in this year-long randomized trial.
A vitamin D-efense against multiple sclerosis
MS involves a complex interplay between the nervous and immune systems (and potentially others as well). This is the first trial looking at the safety and immune impact of vitamin D supplementation for MS patients.
The newest index on the block… the hydration index!
Hydration has become more of a marketing term than a scientifically accurate one. These researchers created an index to specifically measure the hydration impact of different beverages, from milk to coffee to beer