Beat depressing thoughts with multi-species probioticsReflecting on life’s lessons about a difficult time in your life can be beneficial, and even instructive.

Looking back, however, can become unhealthy if your mind gets stuck ruminating, and replaying the same situation over and over again, causing you to focus more on what you might’ve done rather than how to solve the issue or avoid it.

When taken to an extreme, according to the American Psychological Association, ruminating doesn’t offer new insights at all. Instead, it can feed depression and make it harder for you to shake negativity.

There are lots of strategies you can use to beat the rumination cycle, using cognitive skills you can learn on your own, or with the help of a licensed therapist or a trusted friend.

A new study appearing in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity identified a familiar weapon — multi-species probiotics — which can also be helpful in breaking the depression-rumination cycle too.

Psychologists at the Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition (located in the Netherlands) tested the effect of probiotics containing proprietary strains of various beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus lactis, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium lactis on 40 healthy patients.

(These five strains represent half of the beneficial bacteria contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.)

Half of the patients received a drink made of lukewarm water or milk containing probiotics or a placebo for four weeks. At the beginning and end of the study, patients completed questionnaires that measured their sensitivity to depression.

Patients who were given the multi-strain probiotic experienced significantly fewer ruminative thoughts, compared to those assigned the placebo.

“Even if preliminary, these results provide the first evidence that the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood,” says Dr. Lorenza Colezato, co-researcher of the study in a press release.

“As such, our findings shed an interesting new light on the potential of probiotics to serve as adjuvant or preventive therapy for depression.”

Considering the results of a recent study that identified specific beneficial bacteria in your gut responsible for the production of serotonin, as well as more evidence of the gut-brain axis, these results were not unexpected.

In addition to multiple species of beneficial bacteria, EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Jr. contain no artificial colorings, sugar, dairy products, preservatives or gluten and both are certified kosher.