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Three Probiotic Strains May Help Improve Stress Response

When a person is experiencing stress, they often will have increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, feelings of irritability, and trouble concentrating. A recent study suggests that supplementation with 3 probiotic strains may improve the brain’s response to stressful situations.

Twenty-two healthy adults with an average age of 24 participated in the study. They were given 3 billion CFUs of the probiotic strains Bifidobacterium longum R0175, Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Lactiplantibacillus plantarum R1012 or a placebo daily for 4 weeks. Participants switched interventions after a 4-week washout period.

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor participants while they performed the Montreal Imaging Stress Test. They also assessed autonomic nervous system during a test that evaluated fundamental cognitive processes.

While taking the probiotic, participants saw reduced activations in areas of the brain that are linked to the stress response. They also saw significantly increased functional connectivity between two areas of the brain responsible for memory and cognitive function.

The study was conducted by researchers from Örebro University. It was published online ahead of print on March 22, 2022 in the journal Nutrients.

Ashwagandha was found to help reduce stress in a previous study.

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