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Taking a probiotic if you have IBS can help gut, banish depression

Taking a probiotic if you have IBS can help gut, banish depression

July 5th, 2018 by Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. in Features

LeBron James, in happier times, recalled: "Warren Buffet told me to always follow your gut When you have that gut feeling, you have to go with it." But, if you're bugged by some unpleasant gut feelings, physically and emotionally, we bet you want them to go away (like LeBron right about now)!

Ten to 15 percent of American adults experience persistent intestinal distress associated with irritable bowel syndrome caused by an imbalance of bugs in their guts. A new study demonstrates that when the microbes in the gut are out of balance, it can affect both digestion and emotional equilibrium.

Researchers at McMaster University found that twice as many adults with IBS reported improvements from co-existing depression when they took the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001, as did adults with IBS who took a placebo. The researchers also did imaging that showed that post-probiotic improvement in depression was associated with changes in the areas of the brain that control mood!

This gut-microbiome-brain axis connects your body's central nervous system—the brain and spinal cord—with the enteric nervous system in your gastrointestinal tract. The microbiome acts as a middleman between the brain and the gut, helping shuttle hormones, nerve messages and immune system info along the axis.

If you have IBS, try stress-busting techniques like meditation. Also take probiotics and try keeping a diary of your diet to help you dodge foods triggering symptoms (possibly, specific carbohydrates).

 

(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D.

and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

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