Depression Diseases Health

Eating Yogurt May Help Fight Depression


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Recent polls from the CDC have found that about one in 10 adults suffer from depression.  Many patients need to take antidepressants to improve their mood. However, some people may be able to improve mild depression problems by changing their diet. Recent studies have shown that eating yogurt may be a good way to help people improve their mood.

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Studies Show Yogurt Can Improve Mood Problems

Many health scientists have found that frozen yogurt can help treat depression and other mood problems. One of the most compelling studies was conducted by Dr. Emeran Mayer, a medical research professor at UCLA. Mayer’s study was published earlier this month.

Mayer and his team conducted MRI scans on the brains of thousands of volunteers. He analyzed relationships between brain structures and the bacteria in their guts. He said that people who had higher bacteria gut levels had better moods.

Mayer cautioned that the correlation doesn’t necessarily mean that higher bacteria levels will reduce symptoms of depression or other mood problems. However, it is something that deserves a closer look. Mayer is still skeptical of his study and suggests follow-up studies, but other studies have shown similar relationships.

Dr. Jonathan Wright also wrote about another study by his colleagues this past summer.  The study found women who ate probiotic rich yogurts had remarkable changes in their brain scans. This study was particularly compelling, because it showed that there may be a causal relationship between eating yogurt and reducing symptoms of depression. Mayer’s research didn’t establish such a relationship.

Of course, this study needs to be verified with follow-up research as well. However, Wright believes that the study is very compelling. He believes natural solutions are preferable in helping people overcome emotional problems and said changing diets and exercising more frequently can be more effective than using drugs. Depression sufferers may consider purchasing ingredients to make yogurt to get more probiotics in their system.

Choosing Yogurts to Fight Depression

This research is encouraging to many sufferers of depression. However, that doesn’t mean that people should expect eating any type of yogurt will help alleviate mood-related problems.

You should eat yogurt that has high levels of probiotics. Unfortunately, most yogurts in the store have never been tested for probiotic levels. People can make their own probiotic-rich frozen yogurts instead. Using fermented ingredients and ingredients from different cultures can help ensure they get the right levels. You have more flexibility with possible ingredients when you choose to make your own yogurt.  You will have higher levels of probiotics if you use fresh fruits and vegetables. Apples and kefir are particularly good sources of probiotics. You may also want to include ingredients rich in Vitamin E and other nutrients that may help alleviate mood problems.

Treating mood disorders without medication is generally preferable. You may want to eat more probiotic-rich yogurt if you are suffering from mild symptoms of depression. Of course, you may take medication if it is needed, but it is best to do so as a last resort.