Probiotics and Good Digestive Health May Reduce Stress

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Good digestive health may help to regulate and reduce stress in the brain, according to a recent study out of University College Cork in Ireland and featured in the October issue of Food Nutrition & Science.

The study, co-authored by Dr. John Cryan, professor of Anatomy at University College Cork, looked at how potential probiotics, such as L. rhamnosus, affected the brain function of normal, healthy mice, and found that the presence of this bacteria in the gut reduced the stress-induced elevation in corticosterone—a hormone that regulates stress.

"There is increasing evidence revolving around what is now being called the 'microbiome-gut-brain axis,' that suggests there's an interaction between the bacteria in the stomach and intestines, the gut, and the central nervous system," says Phil Lempert founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report. "More studies need to occur before people run out and consume mass amounts of yogurt, but these kinds of reports can eventually prove beneficial to the food industry."

According to the study, by modifying the gut microflora in mice, researchers were able to see reductions in responses to stress and anxiety. This is extremely important considering the existing, known relationships between gastrointestinal disorders and stress-related psychiatric disorders. Eventually, these types of findings could prove to be useful therapeutic additions in stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression.