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Probiotics May Ease Your Mind

Probiotics may do more than simply increase gut health: they may actually reduce stress. This is the finding of study conducted by researchers with the contract research company ETAP-Ethologie Applique in France. The study was published in the October 2010 of the British Journal of Nutrition.

Probiotics are “good” bacteria found in your gut. Maintaining a healthy level of these good bacteria is essential for digestive health and immune system function.

The researchers ran two separate studies using probiotics, one on rats and one on humans. For the rat study, the researchers gave the animals daily probiotic supplements for 2 weeks.

After the two weeks of supplementation, the rats were given stress tests. The researchers observed lower stress and anxiety scores among the rats given the probiotic supplements.

For the human study, the participants were randomly assigned to receive a daily probiotic supplement or a placebo for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, the researchers administered a host of stress and anxiety tests to measure psychological distress among the participants.

They found that participants given the probiotic supplements showed improvements in measures of depression, anger-hostility, anxiety, and problem solving compared to the placebo group.

The link between probiotics and stress needs to be further researched, however probiotics have been shown to help aid in weight loss, improve digestion, boost the immune system and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

You can get more probiotics by eating certain foods such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. For many people, taking a high quality supplement is an easier approach. If you choose this option, be sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture which can easily kill probiotics.

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