Summary: A recent pilot study conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London has found that supplementing the diet with a probiotic blend containing 14 strains of bacteria can potentially help individuals who are being treated for major depressive disorder with antidepressants. The study demonstrated the potential of probiotics in supporting improvements in depression and anxiety scores over an eight-week period. This research offers a new potential pathway for supporting mood and mental health.
– The study utilized a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled design.
– Participants were adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder who showed an incomplete response to antidepressants.
– The study found that the probiotic group showed greater improvements in their symptoms from week four onwards.
– The improvements were measured against gold standard rating scales for depression and anxiety.
Opinion (as a psychiatrist): The findings of this pilot study are significant as they provide evidence of the potential benefits of probiotics as an adjunctive treatment for major depressive disorder. The study demonstrated that probiotics are well-tolerated and can lead to meaningful improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms. These results pave the way for further research to explore the therapeutic potential of probiotics in larger populations of patients. The gut-brain axis is a rapidly evolving area of research, and this study contributes to our understanding of the role of probiotics in promoting mental health. However, it is important to note that this was a pilot study, and further research is needed to establish the efficacy and safety of probiotics in treating depressive disorders. Patients should always consult with their healthcare providers before considering any dietary supplements or changes to their treatment plans.
Dr Sophie Smith, MD, Cure of Mind