Exploring the role and potential of probiotics in the field of mental health: Major depressive disorder

Dinyadarshini Johnson, Sivakumar Thurairajasingam, Vengadesh Letchumanan, Kok Gan Chan, Learn Han Lee

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The field of probiotic has been exponentially expanding over the recent decades with a more therapeutic-centered research. Probiotics mediated microbiota modulation within the microbiota–gut– brain axis (MGBA) have been proven to be beneficial in various health domains through pre-clinical and clinical studies. In the context of mental health, although probiotic research is still in its infancy stage, the promising role and potential of probiotics in various mental disorders demonstrated via in-vivo and in-vitro studies have laid a strong foundation for translating preclinical models to humans. The exploration of the therapeutic role and potential of probiotics in major depressive disorder (MDD) is an extremely noteworthy field of research. The possible etio-pathological mechanisms of depression involving inflammation, neurotransmitters, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and epigenetic mechanisms potentially benefit from probiotic intervention. Probiotics, both as an adjunct to antidepressants or a stand-alone intervention, have a beneficial role and potential in mitigating anti-depressive effects, and confers some advantages compared to conventional treatments of depression using anti-depressants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1728
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressant
  • Epigenetic
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Microbiota
  • Probiotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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