Can Probiotics help our emotional adjustment?
What are probiotics? They are the critters that live in our gut. There are happy critters, those we call probiotics, and mean, ornery critters. The good critters keep the bad ones in check and they also help us digest food, they give us nutrients as a side effect of their metabolism, and are generally helpful.
When you take antibiotics, you ought to be on a post-antibiotic course of probiotics. You can get them through eating fermented vegetables, like homemade sauerkraut and homemade (sugar free!) yogurt. Or you can buy them in pill form.
Now comes a meta-analysis of studies showing that compared with placebo, probiotics raise our mental health (that is, reducing anxiety and depression) by about a third of a standard deviation! That is a healthy effect size, particularly with something so simple. As a comparison, most antidepressants raise mental health by about 2/10ths of a standard deviation, so the probiotics can be more effective than antidepressants. Plus, they aren’t mutually exclusive, so they can be used in conjunction with antidepressants. In conclusion, you may want to consider adding a daily probiotic supplement.
(Please note: All supplements should be taken under the advisement of a professional.)
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