Can You Improve Your Mood with Probiotics?

By Nancy Andrews

Probiotics Reduce Stress

May 13th, 2013 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: Coach Nancy - The Way I See It..., Living the Fit Life, Nutrition & Weight Loss, P90X Diet

stressed out man sm Can You Improve Your Mood with Probiotics?Many of us know that we need to add probiotic foods (and sometimes even capsules) to make sure our digestion is working.  If you also know that probiotics are essential to having a strong immune system, consider yourself well informed.  What many of use don’t know is that probiotics may help our mood – in particular to help reduce or alleviate feelings of stress.

Studies on both mice and humans indicate that higher levels of some strains of probiotics assist in maintaining healthy stress levels.  One of the studies on mice had them put in water.  These animals can swim but hate water so this is an effective way to introduce massive stress.  The control group (no probiotics) panicked and were able to swim for 4 minutes before giving up.  But the probiotic mice were able to swim up to 50% longer and showed less signs of panic induced stress afterward.

In a study with humans, a group of people were fed massive amounts of specific strains of probiotics and then given standardized psychological surveys.  These studies indicated that the subjects were less stressed, less anxious, and less depressed. These results were confirmed with assays of their 24-hour cortisol levels.

The two types of probiotics used were Lactobacillus and Bifidobacillus of which some strains of these are found in high quality yogurts and even more so in kefir.  Fermented foods like sauerkraut are also a source of lactobacillus probiotics.   While some food sources like yogurt do not produce lasting gut changes (yogurt produces only a transient improvement), kefir has been shown to actually populate the gut for long term improvement.

When you consider all the other impressive benefits of increasing the beneficial gut bacteria, this is an easy addition to your diet that can help you attain optimal health!

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