University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Family Medicine


Dr. Tom Colletti


ABSTRACT Purpose: The purpose of this article is to explore the concept of using probiotics as either a sole treatment for depression and anxiety or as an adjunct treatment to typical first line medications for these disorders. Method: A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms “probiotics AND depression,” “probiotics AND anxiety,” and “probiotics AND gut health.” 27 pertinent articles were retrieved and served as the basis for this clinical review. Results: The research is limited, but there is evidence that probiotics may be a statistically significant adjunct or sole treatment for depression, especially in patients with resistant depression. Probiotics do not appear to be as effective on anxiety symptoms, but research is lacking. Conclusion: Depression and anxiety are extremely prevalent in Western Society. The most common medical treatment for these conditions are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Patients may experience significant side effects and discontinue these medications even if the medication improves their depressive/anxiety symptoms. Probiotics may be an effective adjunct treatment or sole treatment for depression with minimal adverse effects. Further research is needed on a larger scale in order to validate this treatment method. Keywords: Probiotics, Anxiety, Depression, Gut Microbiome


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