These probiotics work successfully against stress



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Study shows positive effect of probiotics against stress

Probiotics are associated with a variety of beneficial health effects, from promoting digestion to relieving high blood pressure. In a recent study, a positive effect of probiotic Bifidobacterium longum (B. longum 1714TM) on stress processing has now been demonstrated.

A research team from the University Hospital of Tübingen investigated the effect of probiotic Bifidobacterium longum (B. longum 1714TM) on stress processing, confirming the results of previous animal studies. Their findings were published in the journal "The American Journal of Gastroenterology."

Stress can have a variety of negative effects, but a specific probiotic has been shown to improve stress management. (Image: REDPIXEL / fotolia.com)

Notes from previous studies

Previous studies have previously suggested that "probiotics can improve stress control and make it easier for healthy people to cope with stress," says research team led by professors Paul Enck (psychosomatic) and Christoph Braun (MEG center) in Tübingen. a press release from the University Hospital of Tübingen.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are living bacteria that are thought to have health benefits when ingested. These are achieved by the beneficial bacterium "support in conjunction with other bacteria in the human body, especially in intestinal bacteria, among others, digestive measures and vitamins," explain the researchers. There are numerous different probiotics, which are attributed to a variety of effects – but these are often not sufficiently scientifically proven.

Stress test under observation

In the current study, the researchers now investigated the probiotic B. longum 1714TM, provided by Alimentary Health Ltd. Cork, Ireland was developed and made available. A total of 40 healthy volunteers received the probiotic or a placebo daily for a four-week period in a double-blind study. Participants' stress control was examined before and after the four week intake. To do so, the subjects were exposed to a social stressor, "which was created using a virtual ball game on the computer, in which the subject with two opponents played a ball alternately," the researchers explain.

Brain activity measured

Stress levels increased as the game progressed, with participants increasingly being excluded from the group to create a sense of isolation, which in this case was like everyday stress. During the test, brain activity in the magneto-encephalograph (MEG) was examined. Thus, brain activation was compared before and after four weeks of ingestion, as well as among volunteers who received probiotic or placebo.

Greater vitality and reduced mental fatigue

The evaluation of the test results made it clear that the probiotic can produce changes in the regions of the brain associated with stress regulation, the researchers report. Compared with brain activity after placebo, "pre-game activity and stressor increased vitality and reduced mental fatigue." This is an indication of "better coping with stressful situations and counter-regulation of negative emotions."

Objective evaluation basis

For the first time, published study results now show that "probiotics exert a positive influence on social stress situations in terms of better stress management by altering central processing of stress stimuli," the research team reports. However, this statement applies only to the probiotic studied and can not be applied to all probiotics. In contrast to previous studies, which were based primarily on subjective assessments or psychological tests, the present study provides a basis for objective assessment based on brain activity. (Fp)

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