The findings are very preliminary and, so far, only in mice…but, according to Science Daily, new research suggests that a bacteria found in yogurt may be able to reduce symptoms of depression.
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine recently found that the amount of the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus in the gut affects the level of the metabolite kynurenine (which is related to depression) in the blood. When Lactobacillus goes down, kynurenine goes up.
In the study, the researchers subjected the mice to stress, which caused their Lactobacillus level to decrease, bringing with it depression symptoms. Then they fed the mice Lactobacillus, and their behavior returned to “almost normal.”
The researchers are planning to test the theory on humans. If the results hold, they could have big implications for how depression is treated.
For now, even though the results are preliminary, it probably wouldn’t hurt us all to eat a little more yogurt.