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Psychobiotic May Help Reduce Work Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia

Psychobiotics are a group of probiotics that may provide mental health benefits. According to a new study, supplementation with the patented psychobiotic Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 (PS128) may help reduce work stress, anxiety, and insomnia.

Thirty-six adults employed in high pressure jobs were included in the study. All had a score of 27 or higher on the Perceived Stress Scale. Participants received PS128 powder containing 20 billion colony-forming units daily for 8 weeks. Scores on the Job Stress Scale, Visual Analog Scale of Stress, the Insomnia Severity Index, the State and Trait Anxiety Index, the Questionnaire for Emotional Trait and State, the Patient Health Questionnaire, the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire, and Gastrointestinal Severity Index were compared at baseline and at the end of the study period. Saliva samples were taken to measure stress biomarkers.

At the end of the study period, participants saw significant improvements in self-perceived stress, overall job stress, job burden, general or psychological health, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and quality of life. In addition, cortisol levels dropped significantly. Cortisol is a stress biomarker.

The study was conducted by researchers from McKay Medical College. It was published online ahead of print on March 26, 2021 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

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