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Probiotics may reduce hospital stays in bipolar disorder

This is the first known study of probiotics in bipolar disorder; the alternating periods of depression and elevated, or manic, mood.

In this study, 66 participants with bipolar disorder began taking a daily placebo or the probiotics bifidobacterium lactis and lactobacillus rhamnosus, along with standard bipolar medication, after being admitted to the hospital for a manic episode.

Over the 24-week observation period, 24 of the 33 taking the placebo had to be readmitted to the hospital compared to 8 of the 33 taking probiotics. Hospital stays were also shorter for probiotics, lasting 2.8 days on average, compared to 8.3 days for placebo. Doctors said the results add to evidence of the mind-gut connection.

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