According to a new study, reductions in depression, anger, fatigue and significant improvements in moods along with improvements in sleep quality, were seen in individuals taking a daily multi-strain probiotic supplement.
38 healthy students between the ages of 18 – 35 participated in this double blind placebo controlled study. Participants were allocated to either the experimental group or the control group randomly through a computer generated list to ensure age, gender and physical activity of the subjects were balanced between the two groups. The experimental group was given a multi strain probiotic that contained L. rahmnosus, L. plantarum, and Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus fermentum. The study lasted six weeks.
Sleep quality, personality dimensions and mood were assessed before the study began, at three weeks and at the end of the study (six weeks), and after a three week washout period. A series of self assessment tests were used to measure the study results:
The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality index results suggest that a reduced sleep quality relates to higher confusion, fatigue, anger, tension, depression and anxiety. Alternately a good sleep quality relates to increased stamina and strength.
The Temperament and Character Inventory results showed that participants in the supplement group for the full study period (six weeks) were more apt to look for new experiences and were more self-focused than the control group.
The Profile of Mood State showed that the experimental group saw a reduction in a depressive mood state and this effect remained consistent throughout the three week washout period.
The Leiden Index of Depression Sensitivity-Revised test showed a significant difference in acceptance scores between the experimental group and the control group at the end of the study.
Researchers concluded that improvements over time in different aspects of mood were seen in participants supplementing with the probiotics. Additionally improvements in sleep quality were also seen in the supplementation group. Finally significant differences between the groups were observed for some of the personality related questionnaires, suggesting that improving mood through probiotic supplementation might also change the cognitive strategies used in problem solving by reducing the sensitivity to negative situations and the need to deal with them.
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