22 Jul 2013

Can bacteria in the gut fight depression?

6:25 am on 22 July 2013

The University of Canterbury is conducting a trial to see if probiotics (friendly bacteria) found in the gut, can help fight depression.

Researcher Amy Romijn said recent studies on the way the gut and the brain communicate have indicated that inflammation of the gut may contribute to the development of depression.

She said the trial will be carried out over 16-weeks, using probiotics to treat 80 people with symptoms of depression.

With use of anti-depressant medication widespread, Ms Romijn said many people find they are not effective or cannot tolerate the side effects - highlighting that other avenues of treatment are needed.