Rats exposed to 7 weeks of chronic mild stress showed a decrease in microbiome diversity (a marker of gut health) and a subsequent increase in both sucrose drinking (a marker of anhedonia) and despair-like behavior in a forced swim test (phenotypic for depression in rats). When the stressed microbiome was transplanted into control mice, behaviors shifted toward the depression-like phenotype within 5 days. Transplantation of the control microbiome into the stressed rats did not reverse the behavioral changes.
-Gut-Brain axis. The microbiome is a 4.4 pound organ in the body whose known functions are growing logarithmically. While we are beginning to appreciate the clinically importance of the microbiome, we are still waiting for direction about which probiotics in what doses. Nonetheless, I do recommend probiotics for my patients. I agree with the wisdom on the street that it makes sense to rotate organisms (i.e. finish one or two bottles of this and then one or two bottles of that, etc.). In this product category, it makes good sense to use professional brands. In a healthy person without a big antibiotic history who has a good diet, consumption of organic raw vegetables (probiotics live inside!) and fermented foods (found in nearly all indigenous diets) may be sufficient. However, our patients working through psychiatric syndromes, including Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), don
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Symptoms, irritable bowel syndrome, and metabolic syndrome at about 50 billion cfu per day. Otherwise, maintenance dosing is about 25 cfu daily. For those with autoimmune disorders or inflammatory bowel disease, dosing should be more aggressive (100 cfu daily or more). Here are five recent studies that illustrate recent advances.