Could Yoghurt Be a New Alternative for Treating Mental Illness and Living Longer?

A new study found that consuming probiotics, bacteria found in probiotic-containing yoghurt (usually labels says “live and active cultures) showed that those who consumed probiotic-containing yoghurt for 3 weeks had significantly improved mood compared with those who received placebo (Dinan & Crayan, 2013).

When ingested in adequate amounts, probiotics, or what the study’s authors are calling “psychobiotics” due to their antidepressant or anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) activity, have been shown to produce health benefits in individuals suffering from certain mood disorders. “Evidence is emerging of benefits in alleviating symptoms of depression and in chronic fatigue syndrome. Such benefits may be related to the anti-inflammatory actions of certain psychobiotics and a capacity to reduce hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity” (Dinan & Cryan, 2013, p.720).

You can look for live culture / probiotic containing yoghurt in stores, but I choose to make my own probiotic greek yoghurt with the Dash Greek Yoghurt Maker a product designed and manufactured by one of the brands owned by my brother’s company, Storebound.  For great recipes, check out the Dash Brand website here.

This is not the first study of it’s kind as researchers in Europe discovered as a class of probiotics, these bacteria are capable of producing and delivering neuroactive substances such as gamma-aminobutyric acid and serotonin in the brain (Benton, Williams, & Brown, 2007).

Eat Probiotic Yoghurt & Live Longer?
The term, probiotic is actually derived from the Greek meaning ‘for life’ and the first formal description of a probiotic was provided by the Nobel laureate Metchnikoff in 1908.  Metchnikoff observed that the people living in a certain region of Bulgaria who regularly ingested yoghurt, or at that time, a fermented milk product had a longer lifespans than those citizens living in the region who did not ingest this milk product (Dinan & Quigly, 2011).

So, eat your yoghurt, feel better and live longer?  I’m in!

Disclaimer: Although, my brother owns and operates the above company and brand, I receive no compensation for mentioning his products, brand, or company (although he is very generous and almost always picks up the tab when we grab a bite together, especially with our kids).  I was not requested to mention his products, but wanted to share how I save a lot of money making my own Greek Yoghurt. My blog serves to help address issues of mental health and wellbeing.  However, I do save a lot of money by making my own Greek Yoghurt and it’s fun to do, especially with my daughter.


Benton D, Williams C, Brown A. (2007). Impact of consuming a milk drink containing a probiotic on mood and cognition. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 61, 355 – 361.

Dinan, T. G., & Quigley, E. M. (2011). Probiotics in the treatment of depression: science or science fiction?. Australian & New Zealand Journal Of Psychiatry45(12), 1023-1025. doi:10.3109/00048674.2011.613766

Dinan, T. G, Stanton, C., and Cryan, J.F., (2013).  Psychobiotics: A novel class of Psychotropic. Biologocial Psychiatry, 74(10), 720–726. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.05.001/nmo.12198.

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