It has become well known that environmental and psychological stress can lead to various neuropathological changes that precipitate symptoms of depression and anxiety. There are several intermediary mechanisms that drive the pathology of depression including mounting inflammation and oxidative stress, dysregulation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the activation of stress pathways. We propose that a dietary regime incorporating a combination of metabolically active probiotics together with dietary sources rich in polyphenols can mitigate multiple mechanistic risk factors of depression and anxiety. We call this formulation of probiotics and dietary polyphenols a “synbiotic”, which has enhanced activity compared to a regular dietary regime as it capitalizes on the production of bioactive metabolites with potent biological activity that can work together to promote cognitive resilience to depression and anxiety.
Altogether, we are suggesting an alternative therapeutic paradigm for the treatment of depression and anxiety that only uses dietary intervention. The power of this paradigm is in the ability of nutritional elements to potently, sustainably and simultaneously reduce multiple risk factors of depression without side effects present in traditional pharmacological treatments.