A new study has found daily supplementation with the specific Probiotic strain, Lactobacillus Plantarum, may reduce cortical excitation, fatigue, depressive symptoms and also improve sleep quality.
40 healthy self reporting individuals, between the ages of 20 and 40, who experienced insomnia, participated in this randomized, double-blind, parallel, placebo controlled pilot trial. Participant’s age, BMI (body mass index), sex, blood pressure (BP), health habits, and medical history were recorded during the screening period. Participants also completed a sleep log for one week and recorded their sleep habits and their daily schedules. Additionally participants wore an ECG (electrocardiogram) patch all day, to get an objective measurement of the sleep-wake cycle, and a oximeter during sleep to check for sleep apnea. All participants were also evaluated by miniature-PSG for 2 nights to objectively asses the quality of their sleep. After the initial evaluations, participants began taking either the Lactobacillus Plantarum or a placebo after their evening meal. The study lasted 30 day.
The study data suggests that participants in the group supplementing with the Lactobacillus Plantarum had fewer depressive symptoms and fatigue, as well as less frequent awakening and arousal, and reductions in high-frequency brain wave activity. Objective parameters showed the group supplementing with the Lactobacillus Plantarum had more stable sleep when compared with the group supplementing with the placebo.
The findings in this study reinforce the findings in other studies which showed people experiencing insomnia were more depressed and had higher alpha wave levels when compared with participants who did not suffer from insomnia. Those studies also showed individuals with less stress had higher delta wave levels. .
This study also showed Lactobacillus Plantarum members saw improvements throughout the study period showing additional benefits for regular and consistent supplementation. Some beneficial effects on mental disorders (ie, Autism Spectrum Disorder-ASD) like reductions in anxiety, hyperactivity, opposition/defiance, and impulse behaviors were also seen.
The gut-brain axis is a bidirectional link which allows microbiota found in the gut to work as a potential therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders. Sleep is also closely related to the microbiota found in the gut. Sleep deprivation, circadian disorders and working nights can actually change the structure of the microbiota found in the gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, sleep deprivation can also effect circadian gene expression. Other research has shown supplementing Probiotics in general can enhance sleep quality as well as relieve stress.
Researchers believe Lactobacillus Plantarum increases serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain and enhances sleep quality improving mood and reducing cortical excitation.
Further studies are needed.
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