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Abstract

Probiotics have been shown to benefit patients with constipation and depression, but whether they specifically alleviate constipation in patients with depression remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Lacticaseibacillus paracasei strain Shirota (LcS), formerly Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota, on constipation in patients with depression with specific etiology and gut microbiota and on depressive regimens. Eighty-two patients with constipation were recruited. The subjects consumed 100 mL of a LcS beverage (108 CFU/mL) or placebo every day for 9 weeks. After ingesting beverages for this period, we observed no significant differences in the total patient constipation-symptom (PAC-SYM) scores in the LcS group when compared with the placebo group. However, symptoms/scores in item 7 (rectal tearing or bleeding after a bowel movement) and items 8-12 (stool symptom subscale) were more alleviated in the LcS group than in the placebo group. The Beck Depression Index (BDI) and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) scores were all significantly decreased, and the degree of depression was significantly improved in both the placebo and LcS groups (p < 0.05), but there was no significant difference between the groups. The LcS intervention increased the beneficial Adlercreutzia, Megasphaera and Veillonella levels and decreased the bacterial levels related to mental illness, such as Rikenellaceae_RC9_gut_group, Sutterella and Oscillibacter. Additionally, the interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels were significantly decreased in both the placebo and LcS groups (p < 0.05). In particular, the IL-6 levels were significantly lower in the LcS group than the placebo group after the ingestion period (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the daily consumption of LcS for 9 weeks appeared to relieve constipation and improve the potentially depressive symptoms in patients with depression and significantly decrease the IL-6 levels. In addition, the LcS supplementation also appeared to regulate the intestinal microbiota related to mental illness.

Keywords: Lacticaseibacillus paracasei strain Shirota (LcS); constipation; depression.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lacticaseibacillus caseiAlleviated Rectal BleedingBeneficial
Small
Lacticaseibacillus caseiImproved Depressive SymptomsNeutral
Moderate
Lacticaseibacillus caseiImproved Stool SymptomsBeneficial
Small
Lacticaseibacillus caseiIncreased Beneficial Gut MicrobiotaBeneficial
Moderate
Lacticaseibacillus caseiReduced Interleukin-6 LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lacticaseibacillus caseiRegulated Inflammatory MarkersBeneficial
Small
Lacticaseibacillus paracasei Lpc-37Improved Stool SymptomsBeneficial
Small
Lacticaseibacillus paracasei Lpc-37Reduced Gut Bacteria Associated with Mental IllnessBeneficial
Moderate
Lacticaseibacillus paracasei Lpc-37Reduced Interleukin-6 LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lacticaseibacillus paracasei Lpc-37Relief from Rectal Tearing or Bleeding After Bowel MovementBeneficial
Moderate

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