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Linda Woolven & Ted Snider – A Dozen Uses Of Probiotics That Will Surprise You

Everybody now knows that probiotics are good for you. But here are twelve recently discovered benefits of probiotics that might really surprise you!

1. Happiness

This surprising triple-blind study gave either probiotics or a placebo to 40 healthy people for 4 weeks. The probiotics actually significantly reduced negative thoughts associated with a sad mood compared to placebo. The positive effect was mostly because of reduced rumination and aggressive thoughts. This is the first ever evidence that probiotics can reduce negative thinking associated with sadness (Brain Behav Immun 2 0 1 5 ; d o i : 1 0 . 1 0 1 6 / j .bbi.2015.04.003).

2. Depression

In the first ever study of probiotics and psychological conditions, people with more depression had significantly better improvement in mood on a probiotic than on a placebo (Eur J Clin Nutr 2007;61:355-61). A second study found that a month
of probiotic supplementation significantly improved depression and anger (Gut Microbes 2011;2:256-61).

3. Anxiety & Stress

The same study also found significant improvement in anxiety. An earlier study had already hinted at an antianxiety effect for probiotics. A placebo-controlled study of people with chronic fatigue syndrome found that probiotics significantly reduced their anxiety scores (Gut Pathology 2009;1:6-10).  At least two studies have also found that probiotics favourably affect stress.  One found that, compared to a placebo, probiotics lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol in healthy people (Gut Microbes 2011;2:256-61).

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