Treating Depression & Your Microbiota

How about a practical treatment, which has been proven to increase happiness, energy and mood while fighting depression, anxiety, fatigue and improving your microbiota? Dr. Ruscio shares this simple yet effective strategy.

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Treating Depression & Your Microbiota

Dr. Michael Ruscio: Hey, everyone. This is Dr. Ruscio.

I want to take a moment to speak to you about a really great treatment for depression and your microbiome.

I’d like to start by covering results from a very interesting study – and I’ll put the abstract up here on the screen. Now remember, if you want a transcript of this video, along with the link to this study, you may access this through my website, where everything will accompany this YouTube video. And that’s at

This study looked at the effect on mood, essentially, comparing groups that went outside in a forest area compared to an urban or city-like area. Essentially what they found was that people much less depression, anxiety, and negative moods and much more vigor and energy when they spent time, about 15 minutes, outside in a forest area compared to outside in a urban or a city area.

So, this isn’t maybe something that is a super exotic of a concept. I think for most people, spending time in nature makes them feel better. This study actually quantified that difference or the improvement seen in nature compared to a city is significantly more beneficial. So, interesting.

Now, I won’t be including the link to this study here, but I will be talking about this ad nauseum in a series I’m going to be compiling on the microbiota. So, I want to kind of string together a few concepts. So, we know that when people open up their windows, that will actually increase the bacterial count in someone’s home, compared to just having the window shut and having ventilation.

We also know that exposure to, or having, natural plants, like forest life, around a home reduces the incidents of other skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, and eczema, and allergies because the increased bacterial counts around the home. And reviews have also found that people living in more rural or forest-like areas have lower incidences of certain types of diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

Probably the reason for this is – my speculation; I don’t necessarily have a reference for this, but I’m sure if I looked I could find several – those who live closer to nature have more contact with bacteria, and those bacteria have a beneficial effect on your immune system, OK? Not to mention that just viewing nature, being around nature, may be more psychologically soothing, which may also have an impact. But, from a microbiota standpoint, I certainly strongly suspect, based upon some of the available evidence, that not only is there a psychologically calming aspect to being in nature, but also there is a microbiotal component to that.

Hopefully, this is something that can motivate you to spend a little more time outside. This is something, again, that I will be doing a series (on), on the microbiota, with some practical, actionable items that you can use to restore your microbiota.

So, the take-home summery of this article and video is, time in nature makes you happier. And, it’s very likely that time in nature makes you happier because it gives you a dose of bacteria that you would not get otherwise. And, we’ve also seen that time in nature can reduce some major diseases like cardiovascular health; again probably, in my speculation, because of the increased bacteria that you get from being in those environments, and the healthful effect they have on your immune system.

So, this is Dr. Ruscio, and I hope you found this helpful. Thanks.


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