A Huffington Post article was recently circling on social media regarding a study from Oxford University about Prebiotics (yes, pre-not pro) and their connection with anxiety and depression. The article suggests there is a definite link between gut health and mental health. Specifically depression and anxiety, which are major symptoms of PCOS. This study gives us some hope in treating our symptoms, naturally.
What are prebiotics? Here’s an excerpt from the article:
While probiotics consist of strains of good bacteria, prebiotics are carbohydrates that act as nourishment for those bacteria. With more evidence that gut bacteria may exert some influence on brain function and mental health, probiotics and prebiotics are being studied for the potential alleviation of anxiety and depression symptoms.
These days our bodies don’t have the amount of ‘good bacteria’ in our gut that they need. This is due to all the processed food and fast food in our diets. Prebiotics are naturally found in chicory root, dandelion greens, garlic, onion, asparagus, bananas, leek and wheat bran.
Here are the results of the study:
The results of one of the tests revealed that subjects who had taken the prebiotic paid less attention to negative information and more attention to positive information, compared to the placebo group, suggesting that the prebiotic group had less anxiety when confronted with negative stimuli. This effect is similar to that which has been observed among individuals who have taken antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication.
The researchers also found that the subjects who took the prebiotics had lower levels of cortisol — a stress hormone which has been linked with anxiety and depression — in their saliva when they woke up in the morning.
How does this relate to us PCOS sufferers?
Well many of us suffer from depression and anxiety, maybe these simple food changes can help us with these symptoms.