Background: Mood disorders are a significant public health concern. Recent studies have shown a connection between healthy gut flora and mood. Due to the overwhelming association between poor gut flora health and common mood disorders, many providers are turning to probiotics as a safe, affordable, and effective therapy for their patients. This review will investigate the utility of probiotics on mood.
Methods: An exhaustive literature search using MEDLINE-Ovid, Web of Science, CINAHL, and Research Gate was conducted. The following search terms were used: “probiotics” and “mood disorders.” The bibliographies from several relevant background articles were used and inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied.
Results: The initial search yielded 39 articles for review. After eliminating duplicates and screening these results for relevant articles using eligibility criteria, there were a total of 2 articles. Study 1 was a randomized, triple-blind study, and Study 2 was a randomized, double-blind study. Two other randomized double-blind articles were excluded based on the population that was studied or the primary outcome did not include mood response. Both studies resulted in a significant improvement in mood after the use of probiotics.
Conclusion: Probiotics have the potential to be used to improve mood in a generally healthy population. Further studies are required in order to determine the mechanism of probiotics on mood. The importance in further understanding probiotics stems from the potential to provide a safe, affordable, and effective therapy to help generally healthy patients improve mental health and well being. Once an understanding of probiotics on the mood of healthy individuals is achieved, this may be applied to individuals with specific mood disorders.
Keywords: Probiotics and mood disorders
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