Probiotic May Help Improve Response to Stress
Previous research has found that gut microbiota plays a role in modulating neuropsychological functions of the central nervous system. According to a new study, a probiotic strain of Bifidobacterium longummay help improve the ability to respond to and cope with stress.
Researchers recruited 40 healthy people to participate in the study. Half of them took a Bifidobacterium longum supplement and the other half took a placebo for four weeks. Brain activity was measured using magnetoencephalography during a standardized social stressor test called the Cyberball game.
During the supplementation period, participants who took the Bifidobacterium longum supplement showed altered brain activity that was associated with increased vitality and reduced mental fatigue. The supplement group also showed changes in the central processing of stress stimuli during the second stress-inducing test, which may be linked to the activation of brain coping centers to counter-regulate negative emotions.
Researchers from University Hospital Tübingen , Germany, the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento, Italy and 5Alimentary Health Group, Ireland conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 1, 2019 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.