A 28-day study from the University of Surrey, England, where 18-25 year old women took a prebiotic pill, showed reduced levels of anxiety and improved gut health.
None of the 64 healthy female participants had either current or previous clinical diagnoses of anxiety. They did however have personality-related anxiety. Participants received either a daily dose of the prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) or a placebo for 28 days.
The women in the trial completed questionnaires about their health experiences, including anxiety, mood and sleep quality. They also provided a stool sample for gut microbiome analysis.
Participants recorded significant benefits in health and well-being, with better sleep patterns and less stress and anxiety.
Significant reductions in trait (personality related) and state (reactive) anxiety were seem
Further research is now planned with people with known disorders but as Dr Kathrin Kadosh, Reader in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience said: “This new research marks a significant step forward in that we were able to show that we can use a simple and safe food supplement such as prebiotics to improve both the abundance of beneficial gut bacteria in the gut and to improve mental health and wellbeing in young women.”
Previous research has shown that people with higher susceptibility to stress and anxiety could reduce problems with probiotics and prebiotics in just a matter of days.
Chris Woollams, former Oxford Biochemist added, “We have repeatedly told our readers about the gut-brain axis. Frankly, taking brain pills like Prozac is almost daft, as it shows the Medical Profession does not understand that diseases like depression, stress and anxiety originate in the gut. Although this pill performs, it is very much a one-dimensional pill. The researchers found it increased levels of Bifidobacterium. That is just one commensal bacterium. Why not increase your fibre consumption? We know that soluble fibre intake – oats, vegetables, pulses and nuts and seeds boost many commensal bacteria.”
- University of Surrey, April 27th, 2021