Prebiotic Might Decrease Anxiety, Novel Study Finds

Current research suggests the usage of prebiotics, a type of dietary fiber that feeds the friendly bacteria found in the gut, might decrease anxiety. Namely, Biotis GOS, a galactooligosaccharide prebiotic ingredient from FrieslandCampina Ingredients, has been found to lessen self-reported anxiety levels in young women.

A 4-week double-blind study involving 64 women (between 18 and 25 years old) was conducted by a research team led by Dr. Kathrin Cohen Kadosh. The participants were assigned to receive a daily dose of either a placebo or Biotis GOS.

Compared to the placebo group, the participants taking Biotis GOS noted lowered anxiety and enhanced mental health. Moreover, the Biotis GOS group also displayed elevated Bifidobacteria levels after 28 days, contributing to better gut health.

According to the findings, taking a GOS prebiotic for three weeks can reduce the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. The results suggest this could be beneficial in altering anxiety-related psychological mechanisms. However, meta-analyses and reviews on the positive effects of prebiotics for lowering anxiety are divided. Following that, more research is needed to fully understand the connection between prebiotics, gut health, and mental well-being.

Although it’s possible to get this valuable dietary fiber from apples, bananas, and garlic, there are many prebiotic supplements on the market. Most of them claim to improve gut health, stimulate the immune system, and provide constipation relief.

Photo by Eli DeFaria on Unsplash

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