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Brain-Gut Connection to Depression

From the Show: Wellness for Life
Summary: Can probiotics improve depression and anxiety?
Air Date: 7/28/17
Duration: 25:25
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest Bio: Premek Bercik, MD
Dr. Premek BercikDr. Premek Bercik graduated with an MD from Charles University, Prague, Czechoslovakia. He obtained a fellowship from the Swiss National Foundation to work with Professors Pavel Kucera and Andre Blum at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where he studied myogenic and neural control of gastrointestinal motility as a theme of his doctoral thesis.

After clinical residency training in Charles University and the Central Military hospital in Prague, he worked as postdoctoral research and clinical fellow at McMaster University with Professor Stephen Collins, focusing on animal models of functional gastrointestinal diseases and the role of low grade inflammation on gut function.

Currently, he is Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, and director of Clinical Motility Laboratory and Celiac Clinic at McMaster University. His basic and clinical research, funded by CIHR and NIH, investigates the role of intestinal bacteria in gut-brain axis signaling, and its pathogenic importance in functional gastrointestinal diseases and gluten-related disorders.

He has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers, with current h-index of 39.
Brain-Gut Connection to Depression
Psychobiotics are live organisms that can produce health benefits in patients suffering from psychiatric illness.

A recent pre-clinical study of the probiotics used on mice at McMaster University proved beneficial to some abnormal behavior. It also showed changes to chemistry in the brain. 

The study was then extended to individuals with irritable bowel disease (IBS) and co-morbid anxiety or depression. Forty patients were divided into two groups, half treated with placebos and half treated with a probiotic. Two-thirds of probiotic-treated patients showed improvement in the anxiety or depression scores. Activity in the mood regulating areas of the brain decreased.

Unfortunately, the bacterial strain tested is not yet available for human consumption. More testing is needed.

Listen as Dr. Premek Bercik joins Dr. Susanne Bennett to share the results of the study.
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