Adding probiotic supplements to a depression treatment plan has the potential to boost the effectiveness of the treatment, according to a recent study.

Study details: 49 participants received either four capsules daily of probiotics with two billion live bacterial microorganisms per capsule…or a ­placebo. The probiotic supplement—Bio-Kult Advanced—contained 14 bacterial strains that had shown antidepressant effects in previous studies.

Results: After eight weeks, participants who received the probiotic supplement experienced greater improvements in their depressive and anxiety symptoms compared with those who took the placebo. These findings represent an important step in our understanding of the role of probiotics in mood and mental health.

How the gut affects the brain: The brain and the gut communicate through various pathways including neuronal connections, the immune system and hormonal signaling, all of which are involved in major depressive disorder (MDD). Now a growing body of evidence, including this new study, has shown that the gut microbiome—the vast bacterial community residing in our digestive tract—is a key player in this complex network. Result: A surge in microbiome-targeted solutions for mental well-being, including probiotics for depression. Bio-Kult Advanced is available over the counter—discuss taking it with your doctor or therapist who can help you assess its benefits.

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