Psychobiotics for Patients with Chronic Gastrointestinal Disorders Having Anxiety or Depression Symptoms

J Multidiscip Healthc. 2021 Jun 10:14:1395-1402. doi: 10.2147/JMDH.S312316. eCollection 2021.


Purpose: Using psychobiotics to modify the gut microbiome has been shown to improve the anxiety and depression situation of patients with chronic gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. This study evaluated changes in depression, anxiety, GI symptomss and side effects when patients used a multispecies probiotics product.

Patients and methods: A single-center uncontrolled trial was conducted in patients with chronic GI symptoms, anxiety and depression who used a multispecies probiotics product. The patients were screened for anxiety and depression symptoms using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Those who had a component score of 8 or higher were given the multispecies probiotics product for 2 months and followed up after 1 and 2 months. All data are collected and managed in a case report form.

Results: Eighty-three patients were enrolled, with a mean age (SD) of 43.9 (12.3) years; 73.5% of the patients were female. Of these patients, 8 met the Rome IV criteria for irritable bowel syndrome. The HADS scores displayed significant improvement at follow-up. The mean (SD) total HADS scores were 20.0 (6.3), 7.2 (5.4), and 4.9 (5.1) at baseline, 1 month, and 2 months, respectively. Quality of life also improved significantly. A small proportion (<5%) of patients developed mild symptoms, including fullness, diarrhea, and sleep complaints.

Conclusion: After 2 months using the probiotic product, the symptoms of anxiety and depression improved significantly. Mild gastrointestinal or constitutional symptoms developed in some patients.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; probiotics.