Previous post has discussed nutrition for depression.  Other posts discuss nutrition for anxiety, here and here.

A recent study look at probiotics as an  effective add on treatment for depression.

What was the study?

The study, which was conducted in the United Kingdom, included 49 adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) who were taking antidepressant medication. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a multi-strain probiotic (8 billion colony-forming units per day) or a placebo daily for 8 weeks.

What were the results?

  • The results of the study showed that the probiotic group had significantly greater improvements in depressive and anxiety symptoms than the placebo group.
  • The probiotic group also had a lower dropout rate than the placebo group.

What are some caveats?

  • These findings suggest that probiotics may be a promising new treatment option for depression.
  • However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and to determine the optimal dose and strain of probiotic for treating depression.
  • The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and ADMH Protexin.
  • The study was conducted in a single center, so the results may not be generalizable to the wider population.
  • The study was relatively small, so more research is needed to confirm the findings.

Additional thoughts:

Probiotics can interact with other medications, so it is important to check with your prescriber and make sure that they are safe for you to take.

While there are studies looking at single food groups or single food items and their impact on mental health, an overall eating plan that has more research to support it and has a greater potential to benefit depression can be found on  the following link:

By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS Psychiatrist

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.


Nikolova VL, Cleare AJ, Young AH, Stone JM. Acceptability, Tolerability, and Estimates of Putative Treatment Effects of Probiotics as Adjunctive Treatment in Patients With Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online June 14, 2023. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2023.1817


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Posted by R. Ryan Patel DO, FAPA OSU CCS Psychiatrist at 3:55pmPosted in Nutrition depressionNutrition mental health Tagged probiotics anxietyprobiotics depressionprobiotics mental health


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