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Probiotic May Help Stress and Gut Health

Stress can increase gut barrier permeability which can lead to a leaky gut. A leaky gut allows bacteria to seep into circulation, producing an inflammatory response. A recent study suggests that probiotic supplementation may help reduce stress and stress-induced gut permeability.

Ninety-two healthy students between the age of 20 and 30 participated in the study. They consumed 200 billion CFUs of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-3690 or a placebo daily for 4 weeks.  After 4 weeks of supplementation, they took part in a stress inducing event. The State Trait Anxiety Inventory test was administered at baseline and after the stress inducing event. Small intestinal permeability was evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period, and salivary cortisol levels were measured.

Participants in the probiotic group saw a significantly lower increase in scores on the State Trait Anxiety Inventory test after the stress inducing event compared to the placebo group. In addition, participants in the probiotic group saw no increases in measures of gut permeability, while the placebo group did. No differences were seen in salivary cortisol levels.

The study was conducted by researchers from University Hospitals Leuven and Katholieke Universitiet Leuven.. It was published online ahead of print on February 7, 2022, in the journal Gut Microbes.

Previous research suggests that ashwagandha may also help reduce stress.

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