DOI: 10.14704/nq.2019.17.6.2189

Psychobiotics, as Promising Functional Food to Patients with Psychological Disorders: A Review on Mood Disorders, Sleep, and Cognition

Aydin Tabrizi1, Leila Khalili, Aziz Homayouni-Rad, Hadi Pourjafar, Parvin Dehghan, Fereshteh Ansari


Objective: Manipulating the intestinal microbiota for the benefit of the mental health is a concept that has become widely acknowledged. Prebiotics, the nondigestible nutrients, can proliferate intrinsic beneficial gut bacteria, and so provide an alternative strategy for effectively altering the enteric ecosystem, and then brain function. This review summarizes findings from studies using prebiotics to improve mental health and psychological disorders.

Methods: Pub Med, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Science Direct databases were searched by using “prebiotics”, “psychological disorders”, “mood disorders”, “depression”, “anxiety”, “stress”, “sleep”, and “cognition” for searching the studies aiming the application of prebiotics and the beneficial effects of them in mental health and psychological disorders’ control and/or treatment.

Results: Prebiotic consumption improved psychological and biological measures of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and stress in individuals with mood disorder. Overall, the results show that, through modulating the gut microbiota composition, prebiotics can beneficially affect mental health, modulate psychological disorders, and improve cognitive function and sleep/wake cycle disruptions.

Discussion: Prebiotics can improve mental health, mood, and psychological function. Habitual diets rich in dietary prebiotics would be linked to reduced risk of developing symptoms of psychological disorders; however, additional studies are necessary.


prebiotics, psychological disorders, mood, depression, anxiety, tress, sleep, cognition

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