Lactobacillus supplements for peace of mind
Bacteria found in pro-biotic supplements apparently do more for you than calm your digestive tract — they calm your mind,
as well. So say Irish and Canadian researchers in a recent study published in a prominent scientific journal.
In the study, a group of mice were fed a diet supplemented with the bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Another group was given an unsupplemented diet. The mice were then subjected to a variety of stress-producing tests, such
as being lost in mazes, or forced swimming.
The Lactobacillus group performed significantly better than the control group, showing less anxiety and more perseverance.
Furthermore, the treated group had reduced blood levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, and a redistribution of the
GABA neurotransmitter receptors to a pattern most common in non-depressed animals.
The upshot is that pro-biotic supplements are not just microbes for the belly, they’re microbes for the mind, too. This research
helps to reveal the biochemical mechanisms that connect bowel disorders with patient anxiety — a connection that is often
noted by physicians.
LifeLink carries the following probiotic product containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus:
 Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus
nerve. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 29.
 Friendly bacteria cheer up anxious mice Nature News, 30 August 2011
 Moody Mice Soothed by Bacteria The Scientist website, August 31, 2011