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Psychobiotics: The Next-Generation Probiotics for the Brain

Current Microbiology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Psychobiotics are a special class of probiotics, which deliver mental health benefits to individuals. They differ from conventional probiotics in their ability to produce or stimulate the production of neurotransmitters, short-chain fatty acids, enteroendocrine hormones and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Owing to this potential, psychobiotics have a broad spectrum of applications ranging from mood and stress alleviation to being an adjuvant in therapeutic treatment for various neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disorders. The common psychobiotic bacteria belong to the family Lactobacilli, Streptococci, Bifidobacteria, Escherichia and Enterococci. The two-way crosstalk between the brain and the gastrointestinal system is influenced by these bacteria. The neurons present in the enteric nervous system interact directly with the neurochemicals produced by microbiota of the gut, thereby influencing the signaling to central nervous system. The present review highlights the scope and advancements made in the field, enlisting numerous commercial psychobiotic products that have flooded the market. In the latter part we discuss the potential concerns with respect to psychobiotics, such as the effects due to withdrawal, compatibility with immunocompromised patients, and the relatively unregulated probiotic market.

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Data Availability

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated during the current study.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the management of Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Science for Women, University of Delhi, for providing facilities for carrying out the present study.

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RS conceptualized the present study. DG and RS were involved in acquisition, analysis of the literature and drafting of the manuscript. RM and PM have contributed in drafting and critical revision of the manuscript. All authors have contributed substantially and approve the final version of the manuscript for publication.

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Correspondence to Richa Sharma.

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Sharma, R., Gupta, D., Mehrotra, R. et al. Psychobiotics: The Next-Generation Probiotics for the Brain. Curr Microbiol 78, 449–463 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00284-020-02289-5

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