A number of mice studies and a few human studies have now evaluated whether manipulation of the gut microbiota through probiotics can affect behaviour. It appears that probiotics can modulate a wide range of behavioural conditions, including depressive related behaviour. However several questions regarding the underlying mechanisms remain unanswered. One of these questions is whether probiotic treatment may be the concurrent with diet. Diet has a major impact on the gut microbiota. Particularly a Western pattern diet, containing high-fat low-fibre, is associated with changes in the gut microbiota composition and poor microbial diversity.
In this new study the researchers investigated whether the habitual diet may interact with the effect of Ecologic® Barrier on depression-related behaviour and further examined some potentially involved mechanisms underlying the microbe-mediated behavioural effects.
The mechanisms the researchers investigated were:
1) hippocampal and hypothalamic HPA axis regulations
2) cytokine profile of stimulated immune cells and
3) plasma metabolomics profile.
For their experiments Winclove provided them with Ecologic® Barrier, a multispecies probiotic specifically developed to strengthen the intestinal barrier function and decrease inflammation. Winclove had no further role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish the results.