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Probiotic Associated With Reductions in Stress and Anxiety


The adrenal glands make and release the hormone cortisol into the bloodstream as the body perceives stress. A new study suggests that supplementation with the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum DR7may help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety and reduce plasma cortisol levels.





One hundred and eleven stressed adults were recruited for this study. Levels of stress at the beginning of the study were evaluated using the PSS-10 questionnaire. Half of the participants received 1 billion cfu of Lactobacillus plantarum DR7daily for 12 weeks. The other half received a placebo.





The researchers evaluated levels of stress and anxiety throughout the study using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale questionnaire. Blood samples were taken to measure levels of plasma cortisol, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Cognitive tests were administered to evaluate basic attention, emotional cognition, and associate learning.





At the end of the study, participants who took the probiotic had reductions in symptoms of stress and anxiety compared to the placebo group. These reductions included increased relaxation, improvement in swallowing, reduced nervousness, touchiness, and trembling. 





The probiotic group also had reductions in plasma cortisol levels, reductions in pro-inflammatory cytokines, and increases in anti-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, the probiotic group had better improved cognitive and memory functions compared to the placebo group,





The study was conducted by researchers from the Universiti Sains Malyasis. It was published online ahead of print on March 18, 2019 in the journal Beneficial Microbes.


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