Probiotics may stop sadness turning into depression by helping people let go of the past, a new study finds.
Researchers at the Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition found that probiotics stopped people ruminating so much.
Rumination is when people focus on bad experiences and feelings from the past.
Dr Laura Steenbergen, the study’s first author, said:
“Rumination is one of the most predictive vulnerability markers of depression.
Persistent ruminative thoughts often precede and predict episodes of depression.”
In the study 40 people were given a sachet to take with water or milk every day for four weeks.
Half of the people received sachets that contained a multispecies probiotic.
The other half received a placebo for the four weeks.
Before and afterwards people’s so-called ‘cognitive reactivity’ was measured.
‘Cognitive reactivity’ is the extent to which a sad mood can turn into something more serious.
The authors explained the results:
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