Lactobacillus regulates emotional behaviour

A publication this month has shown that treatment with a strain of Lactobacillus (Lactobacillus rhamnosus, found in yogurt & probiotics) lowered corticosterone levels (stress hormones) as well as anxiety- and stress-related behavior in mice. This research highlights the fact that there is a great deal of communication between the gut microbiota (bacteria population) and the central nervous system which has become popularly known as the gut-brain axis. Despite the mechanisms not being fully understood the implications are important. We know that stress has a direct effect of other bowel disorders such as irritable bowel and many types of inflammatory conditions (colitis). Our emotional health if often reflected in our gut health an this study helps to expand our current knowledge surrounding the gut-brain axis. May be we should be adding an antidepressant / antianxiety action to the growing list of positive effects probiotics are having on our health.

PNAS August 29, 2011: Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve

Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements: Pearls ICPearls KidsPearls YB

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