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Can probiotics help anxiety and behavioral problems?

Friday January 24, 2014 at 10:09am
Can probiotics help behavioral problems?

Scientists have long thought there is a link between stomach bacteria and brain function and it seems there is more and more evidence of this being true.

Brain function varies depending on the abundant bacteria in the gut

A study at the University of California was undertaken on 60 people. MRI scans were taken of the patients and found different connections between regions on the brain depending on which type of bacteria was most prevalent in the persons gut. 

A study in Arizona University earlier in 2013 found significantly fewer types of bacteria in the gut of a group of autistic children.

In the University of Ontario the gut bacteria of fearless mice was introduced into the guts of anxious mice which resulted in them becoming less anxious

Tests on the brain/gut microbe link are still in their infancy but the reported findings so far are fascinating!

Carbohydrate heavy diets

The Western diet is carbohydrate heavy which means fewer beneficial strains of bacteria are likely to thrive in the stomach. Prebiotic fibre is found in certain vegetables and probiotic bacteria from dairy products such as yoghurt. Without a nutritionally balanced diet the abundance of different gut bacteria is compromised. A bad diet could be supplemented by a prebiotic and probiotic capsule.

Antibiotics may wipe out beneficial bugs

There are various theories on the relationship between antibiotics and bacteria, these are currently untested but leading doctors wish to investigate these further.

One theory is that giving babies antibiotics during their growth can wipe out beneficial bugs in the stomach therefore affecting their brains during an important developmental period.  A similar theory suggests that stressed mothers may pass on a poor mix of gut bacteria to the baby via the birth canal.

Read more about the differences between prebiotics and probiotics in another one of our blog articles.

The Daily Mail have published an article on the 14th January 2014 giving some interesting insight into one mothers experience.

» Categories: Health News


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