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Probiotics – an Answer to Depression?

Did You Know… that the safest, most affordable and most effective alternative to anti-depressants may be… bacteria?

Did You Know… that the safest, most affordable and most effective alternative to anti-depressants may be… bacteria?

More than 50 million people worldwide take antidepressant drugs. Unfortunately, mounting evidence suggests that antidepressants are much less effective and potentially far more dangerous than previously believed.

That’s why a brand new study from researchers at McMasters University in Ontario is such great news for anyone who struggles with depression. The study showed a strong link between gut health—especially the healthy bacteria in your gut—and brain function, including mood.

In other words, your gut literally “talks” to your brain.

Because of this “cross-talk,” the level of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract has a huge health impact throughout your body. Healthy bacteria levels obviously contribute to digestive health and most likely to prevention of obesity.

But now, according to neuroscientist Jane Foster and her lab team at McMasters, we know that healthy bacteria in the gut is also connected to preventing depression and other psychiatric illnesses.

Probiotics are organisms that replenish the “good” bacteria of the gut… and probiotic supplements may very well be the best, safest alternative to beating depression without antidepressant medications.

The Perils of the Prozac Nation

Antidepressants represent big money in the United States. Since 1994, antidepressant use has shot up by over 400%. In 2010 alone, 225 million prescriptions were written. Antidepressant sales worldwide total over $20 billion yearly.

Meanwhile, research and post-marketing surveys continue to reveal that these drugs are barely more effective than placebo, yet carry high risks of serious side effects, including…

  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Restlessness, anxiety, and agitation
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increased suicide rates
  • As you can see, several of those side effects are the same as the symptoms the drugs are meant to be treating!

How to Treat Depression – Ditch Antidepressants: Go with Your Gut

The McMaster study along with several others suggest that probiotics may be a much better way to treat depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other imbalances of the central nervous system.

A study done at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at University College Cork in Ireland demonstrated for the first time that probiotics “have a direct effect on brain chemistry.” These findings indicate that probiotic organisms have great potential as a treatment option for stress-related psychiatric disorders.

How to treat depression with probiotics, which work to boost mood in two important ways:

Generating a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
By enhancing brain receptors for GABA
According to Emily Deans, M.D., “GABA is a nice glass of wine in front of the fire. GABA is restful sleep. GABA is tranquility and yoga.”

Naturally produced GABA does many beneficial things for your body, including:

Calming the nervous system
Promoting tranquil sleep
Minimizing anxiety
Alleviating depression
In addition, experts caution you to keep two very important guidelines in mind when it comes to depression:

Anyone struggling with significant depression should always seek professional help, even for natural treatments.
Never stop taking an antidepressant medication without your doctor’s supervision.