You know that when you’re hungry, you can become irritable or emotional (just like this clever Snickers commercial). But did you know that the link between your body and mind goes beyond just your appetite, to the little microorganisms in your gut? In a study recently published in Brain, Behavior, & Immunity, researchers wanted to see if consuming probiotics could reduce certain negative thoughts.
Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that are important for healthy digestion. In the study, some participants received a food supplement that contained 10 species of probiotics, and others received a placebo, or a supplement that did not have any probiotics. After four weeks of taking these supplements, those who received probiotics showed a significant decrease in rumination and aggressive thinking.
It is thought that these good bacteria release chemical signals that our nervous system detects. Regardless of the exact mechanisms, the study points to the importance of having healthy gut flora, and how certain probiotics may even be a future preventive therapy for depression.
Image: Migle via Flickr