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Can probiotics help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

Can probiotics help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

Did you know you taking probiotics daily can help beat the winter blues, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

Symptoms of SAD include lack of energy, weight gain, difficulty concentrating, hopelessness, fatigue, anxiety that result in an overall feeling of depression.

New studies indicate healthy gut bacteria (also certain strains of probiotics) can reduce symptoms of SAD, anxiety and other mood disorders.¹

Since the gut is connected to your brain, it can have a direct effect on your mood and mental well-being.

Microorganisms or microbes in your gut are part of the enteric nervous system, or "second brain." In addition, to these bacterial microbes, the enteric nervous system is also composed of 100 million nerve cells called neurons.

Besides controlling digestion, the nerves in your enteric nervous system seem to experience sensations that translate to feelings of nervousness, stress or excitement.

Up to 90% of neurons in the enteric nervous system are responsible for sending messages to the brain, including emotional impulses that influence mood.²  And gut microbes actually play a role in this communication process.

When you simultaneously, feed the good bacteria in your gut with prebiotics such as fiber and probiotics, this contributes to a healthy, and balanced gut microbiome which can have an overall effect on brain function and mood. 

Sources
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5319175/
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25470391/