Could psychobiotics and fermented foods improve mood in middle-aged and older women?

Souzan Zidan, Serene Hilary, Ayesha S. Al Dhaheri, Leila Cheikh Ismail, Habiba I. Ali, Vasso Apostolopoulos, Lily Stojanovska

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Menopause is a natural physiological phase during which women experience dramatic hormonal fluctuations. These lead to many symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, which, in turn, can negatively affect quality of life. Proper nutrition has an influential role in alleviating depression as well as anxiety. It is well known that gut microbiota dysbiosis contributes to the development of mood disorder. There is mounting evidence that modulating the gut–brain axis may aid in improving mood swings. In this context, this narrative review summarizes recent findings on how aging changes the composition of the gut microbiota and on the association between gut microbiota and mood disorders. In addition, it evaluates the effectiveness of psychobiotics and fermented foods in treating mood swings in middle-aged and older women. A search was done using PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar, and thirteen recent articles are included in this review. It is evident that psychobiotic supplementation and fermented foods can improve mood swings via several routes. However, these conclusions are based on only a few studies in middle-aged and older women. Therefore, long-term, well-designed randomized controlled trials are required to fully evaluate whether psychobiotics and fermented foods can be used to treat mood swings in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107903
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Aging
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fermented foods
  • Gut microbiota
  • Menopause
  • Psychobiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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