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Probiotic May Reduce Anxiety and Stress in Athletes

Previous research has suggested that strenuous exercise may induce anxiety and stress. A recent study has found that supplementing with a specific probiotic strain may help improve aerobic capacity and reduce anxiety and stress in competitive athletes.

Thirty university badminton players with an average age of 24 participated in the study. They were given a drink containing 30 billion CFUs of the probiotic Lactobacillus casei Shirota or a placebo drink daily for 6 weeks. Anxiety levels were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study using the revised competitive state anxiety inventory-2. Perceptions of stress were measured at baseline and at the end of the study period using the perceived stress scale questionnaire, and the Brunel mood scale was used to evaluated overall mood. 

The researchers also measured aerobic capacity, muscular strength, leg power, speed, and agility at baseline and at the end of the study.

Participants in the probiotic group saw a 16% decrease in anxiety levels and a 20% decrease in stress levels compared to no changes in the placebo group. The probiotic group also saw a 5.9% increase in aerobic capacity. No changes were seen in muscular strength, leg power, speed, or agility.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Universiti Teknologi MARA. It was published on May 24, 2021 in the journal Nutrients.

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