Digesting feelings

The past may be history, the future may well be a mystery, and what is happening right now might well be a gift which is why we call it the present…but that doesn’t stop us dwelling on things past, does it? It is so tempting mentally to go over what has happened yesterday, or even five years ago. There is always the possibility of learning from what you have done but too often those backward thoughts are just mulling what has happened rather than growing from it. Perhaps you might be feeling that you can’t do anything about that useless mulling over past events but in fact you might be able to change your mind with some of the right bacteria in your intestine.

This was revealed in a new study which asked subjects to take a daily sachet containing powder that was either placebo or containing multispecies probiotics (probiotics are live microorganisms that when administered are able to improve digestion and other health parameters like immunity. At the beginning of the study and then after four weeks the subjects filled in questionnaires as to their propensity to depression and ruminative thoughts.

The results showed that compared to the placebo group, those who received the probiotics showed significantly reduced ruminative thoughts. Rumination, defined as recurring thoughts about possible causes and consequences of your distress, is one of the most definitive predictors of vulnerability to depression.

The researchers say that these results, although preliminary, suggest that probiotics may be a way to reduce negative thoughts associated with a sad mood. For the laterally minded it also suggests that ruminants, such as cattle, could benefit hugely from probiotics…imagine how happy a cow could be with seven stomachs full of the right bacteria!

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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