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Probiotics ease depressive symptoms after pregnancy

In this study, 380 women between 14 and 16 weeks pregnant began taking lactobacillus rhamnosus or a placebo daily through six months after giving birth. Doctors asked the women to report their symptoms of depression and anxiety by recalling when their child was one to two months old.

Compared to placebo, women taking the probiotics reported significantly fewer symptoms of postpartum depression, and had lower anxiety scores on standard depression and anxiety tests. Moms whose babies had colic reported higher depression and anxiety scores than mothers of non-colicky babies, but probiotics still significantly reduced both depression and anxiety in these women.

Commenting on the findings, doctors said, “The results are astonishing—that one capsule containing lactobacillus rhamnosus could have such an important effect.”

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