PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Researchers believe that eating yogurt may reverse depression symptoms in humans.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
The role of the gut microbiome – the bacteria that live inside us – has been of tremendous interest to researchers studying depression and other health conditions, both mental and physical.
Lead researcher Alban Gaultie set out to see if he could find a concrete link between depression and gut health.
“When you’re stressed, you increase your chance of being depressed, and that’s been known for a long, long time,” he said. “So the question that we wanted to ask is, does the microbiome participate in depression?”
Researchers tested the theory on mice.
Looking at the composition of the gut microbiome before and after mice were subjected to stress, Gaultier’s team found that the major change was the loss of Lactobacillus–a probiotic bacteria found in yogurt.
With the loss of Lactobacillus came the onset of depression symptoms, said researchers.
Feeding the mice Lactobacillus with their food returned them to almost normal.
“A single strain of Lactobacillus,” Gaultier observed, “is able to influence mood.”
Gaultier notes that mice have no way to communicate they are feeling depressed but called the symptoms “depressive-like behavior”.
He believes those symptoms are widely accepted as the best available model for looking at depression in creatures other than humans.
To learn more about the study, CLICK HERE.