Probiotics Alleviating Depressive Symptoms (PADS)

Recent evidence shows there is extensive and direct communication between the brain and gastrointestinal tract, where nutrients are absorbed, and that intestinal microbiota have a role in healthy brain function. This study aims to look at the effects of probiotics, live bacteria that inhabit the gut and can help improve your health, on the mood, cognition, and sleep of depressed patients. We hypothesize that by increasing the integrity of the gastrointestinal wall, probiotics reduce the amount of toxins leaking out into the bloodstream, thus reducing overall levels of inflammation, which are increased in the brains of depressed patients. If shown to be effective, these results could have a major impact for those seeking antidepressant treatment and allow them to use basic nutrition to help improve their symptoms and an lead to an increase in the development and demand of more natural treatment approaches.

Intern: 
Caroline Wallace
Faculty Supervisor: 
Roumen Milev
Province: 
Ontario
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