Probiotics for Anxiety and Depression?

We are always eager to find evidence supporting safer and more effective treatments, especially for mental health conditions.

Recently a meta-analysis suggested probiotics have a positive impact on the central nervous system by regulating critical neurotransmitters like serotonin implicated in depression or anxiety – similar action to common prescription agents like Celexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor or Prozac.

There is still much more research to be done before probiotics can be considered a front-line treatment for treating anxiety and depressive symptoms, namely which strains of bacteria (single or multiple) work best as well as dosing and duration of use.

For now, probiotics like lactobacillus could be considered as an adjunct (add-on) therapy, just as Fish Oil or omega-3 supplements can be used (1-2 grams daily) for depression. They clearly do not have sufficient evidence to support their use in place of front line prescription agents for now.