Psychoactive Probiotics!

Recently I have come across several articles citing psychoactive bacteria (where the bacteria was from a probiotic).  I thought it would be fun to do a review of such.   Psychobiotics: a novel class of psychotropic[2013]. “…including Bifidobacterium infantis ….Evidence is emerging of benefits in alleviating symptoms of depression and in chronic fatigue syndrome.”

Also see my earlier post on depression and diet

  • “We previously have demonstrated that administration of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (JB-1) to healthy male BALB/c mice, promotes consistent changes in GABA-A and -B receptor sub-types in specific brain regions, accompanied by reductions in anxiety and depression-related behaviors.”[2016] [2014] [2014]
    • “Within minutes of application, JB-1 increased the constitutive single- and multiunit firing rate of the mesenteric nerve bundle, but Lactobacillus salivarius (a negative control) or media alone were ineffective.” [2013]
  • “These results suggest that chronic ingestion of Lactobacillus plantarum strain PS128 could ameliorate anxiety- and depression-like behaviors and modulate neurochemicals related to affective disorders.Thus PS128 shows psychotropic properties and has great potential for improving stress-related symptoms.” [2015]
    • “PS128 is safe and could induce changes in emotional behaviors…These findings suggest that daily intake of the L. plantarum strain PS128 could improve anxiety-like behaviors and may be helpful in ameliorating neuropsychiatric disorders.”[2016]
  • “One study showed improved mood in healthy volunteers following 3-week consumption of a probiotic-containing milk drink that contained Lactobacillus casei Shirota” [2007]
    • “administration of the probiotic, L. casei Shirota, decreased anxiety in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.”[2009]
  • L. helveticus and B. longum, for 30 days demonstrated significantly less psychological distress,” [2011]

The negatives

  • “higher anxiety scores in IBS patients and healthy controls were associated with lower fecal microbial diversity supporting a link between microbiota and psychological state” [2014]
  • “Gut microbiota alterations have also been reported in a substantial number of children with autism, particularly citing a 10-fold increase in Clostridium numbers as well as greater diversity” [2011]
  • Alistipes, a genus in the phylum of Bacteroidetes was overrepresented in depressed patients.”[2012]
    • Alistipes is also overrepresented in chronic fatigue syndrome [2013 Kenny De Meirleir]and in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) [2011]
    • “it has been shown that Alistipes levels and other gut microbiota can be modified through dietary intervention”[2014] i.e. less meat.
      • soluble dietary fiber (soluble resistant maltodextrin) may decrease [2015] – likely any significant (MAJOR) increase in fiber will help.
    • Bacillus subtilis may increase Alistipes [2015]
    • “the three β-lactam antibiotics(Ceftriaxone Sodium, Cefoperazone/Sulbactam and meropenem), showed consistency in inhibiting Papillibacter, Prevotella and Alistipes while inducing massive growth of Clostridium.”[2015]

Bottom Line

Above we found that there is evidence that one common probiotic (Bacillus Subtilis) may actually make depression worst! Reducing meat and increase fiber in a major shift may also improve depression. All of the Lactobacillus cited above are acceptable for CFS (but L. helveticus is questionable).