Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Feeling Depressed? Go play in the dirt!

This study, published in “Neuroscience” journal, falls under the “Odd but True” heading. British researchers found that a type of friendly bacteria found in soil may provide depression relief.

This “antidepressant” soil bacteria, called Mycobacterium vaccae, is already used as a vaccine against tuberculosis, in asthma sufferers and is now looked at as an effective way to boost the production of serotonin.

Researchers believe these dirty little microbes affect the brain by causing immune cells to release chemicals called cytokines. Cytokines are chemicals known to activate sensory nerves that stimulate the brain.

1 comment:

Christine said...

Haha! Maybe that explains why, during my year working at a tropical greenhouse, depression didn't even occur to me! (That, and the overabundance of sunlight.) The "happiest" year of my life.