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Prebiotic May Help Reduce Anxiety in Young Women

Prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are complex carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract and arrive at the colon intact. A new study has found that prebiotic GOS supplements may help relieve anxiety in young women.

Forty-eight women with an average age of 21.5 participated in the study. They were given 7.5 grams of prebiotic GOS or a placebo daily for 28 days. The researchers used the STAI-Trait subscale 44 to evaluate anxiety in the participants, who were classified as high anxious or low anxious. Self-assessment questionnaires were used to evaluate mood, emotion regulation, and sleep. Stool samples were collected at baseline and at the end of the study.

Participants in the prebiotic group who were high anxious saw a decrease in self-reported scores of anxiety compared to the low anxious and placebo groups. All participants in the prebiotic group saw increased levels of the probiotic Bifidobacterium compared to the placebo group.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Surrey. It was published online ahead of print on April 15, 2021 in the journal Scientific Reports.

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