Psychobiotics conjure up images of a music festival or a Beatles song, but they are not as crazy as they sound. Psychobiotics have an impact on our mental state because they interact with our gut microbiome. A growing area of research in the management of conditions that involve the brain is known as the gut-brain axis.

When it comes to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, there is a link between the two. An improvement in gut health could lead to an improvement in mental health conditions.

The experts talked to us about psychobiotics.

Psychobiotics is the name given to a group of organisms that can affect the brain. He says thatbiotics have benefits. Prebiotics are growth enhancers for beneficial microbes.


Professor Glenn Gibson

A review in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis states that psychobiotics are a group of organisms that affect the central nervous system. Prebiotics are included in the definition of psychobiotics in the journal of Trends in Neuroscience.

  • Related: Prebiotics vs Probiotics: differences, benefits and foods 

Dr Deborah Lee is a medical doctor and writer for Dr Fox Online Pharmacy.

The way the brain and the gut communicate has become more important in recent years. Gut health is related to mental functioning.

Dr Deborah Lee medical doctor

According to a review in the journal Biological Psychiatry, psychobiotics show promise in treating depression and chronic fatigue syndrome, possibly due to the anti- inflammatory properties of psychobiotics.

Research into psychobiotics is still going on. This is looking at how diet can influence psychobiotics to make neurotransmitters in the gut but not in the brain. He states that the vagus nerve is involved.

Psychobiotics may be helpful in treating the effects of early life stress, which can cause development issues, according to a review published in the journal Progress in Neuroscience and Biological Psychiatry. The impact of childhood adversity could be mitigated by this.

Gutbacteria affect the hypothalamo-pituitary axis and reduce the stress response.

Chronic stress leads to raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which switch off the local immune response. The normal environment can be restored if the gut microbiota is restored to a healthy flora.

human microbiome illustration

(Image credit: Getty Images)

According to Lee, the range and diversity of thebacteria that make up the gut microbiome affects the production of cytokines. In normal circumstances, the gut wall is protected by a cell layer that protects it from foreign substances and organisms. Foreign organisms, and other substances, can enter and damage the host's defense. The research shows that people with depression have higher levels of inflammatory cytokines. People with depression are more likely to have higher levels of interleukin-1 and interferon-.

There is a link between the appearance of the idiosyncrasy in the idiosyncrasy and the appearance of depression, according to a review in the Nutrients journal.

Lee says that the brain makes neurotransmitters in the gut. She says that the gut produces a range of neurotransmitters. Short- and long-chain fatty acids can be produced by certainbacteria.

All sorts of cognitive issues are on the agenda when it comes to psychobiotic research. He says that he is involved in a project that uses scans of the brain and gut to look at chemical signaling in response to a certain type of food.

Lady scientist in microbiology laboratory working with E coli culture

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A review in the journal of Modern Trends in Psychiatry shows that a varied, plant-based diet rich in ferments may help patients with depression.

There is still a lot to be learned about the future role of psychobiotics. The fact that we could potentially prevent or cure many mental health conditions through diet is an exciting prospect. Specific strains ofbacteria that could benefit specific conditions and their exact mechanism of action are the things that need to be identified. We need to understand how different parts of the body, including the skin, the mouth and the vagina, can be affected by different types of flora.

The article is not meant to give medical advice.