Stress-Related Behavioral Symptoms are Reduced by a Probiotic-Prebiotic Combination

According to a new study in animals from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New York, a synbiotic (a probiotic plus a prebiotic) can reduce behavioral symptoms associated with stress by normalizing gut microorganism populations and changing immune cell activity. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements collaborated on the study, which was funded by the NIH Consortium for Advancing Research on Botanical and Other Natural Products (CARBON) Program. probiotic combination

The gut-brain axis is a bidirectional communication system that connects the brain’s emotional and cognitive centers with peripheral intestine activities. These interactions have been found to be influenced by the gut bacteria. Previous research has also indicated that drugs that alter the microbiota (community of microorganisms) in the intestines can lessen stress-related behavioral symptoms. Probiotics (live microorganisms that are intended to offer health advantages when taken or applied to the body) and prebiotics are two of these compounds (nondigestible food components that selectively stimulate the growth or activity of desirable microorganisms). It’s unclear how probiotics and prebiotics work in the body, but it could entail changes in inflammation and immunological responses linked to changes in the gut microbiota. probiotic combination

The effects of a synbiotic made up of two bacterial strains (Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC 793 and Bifidobacterium longum ATCC 15707) and a prebiotic made up of grape seed polyphenol extract, resveratrol, and concord grape extract were studied in this study. Previous research has revealed that this prebiotic has neuroprotective properties, and that when combined with probiotics, the effect of its polyphenols is considerably amplified. (Polyphenols are antioxidant-rich compounds found in a variety of plants.) probiotic combination

Mice were randomly assigned to one of eight treatment groups: untreated control, prebiotic-only, probiotic, or synbiotic; each treatment group was given one of two conditions: stressed or non-stressed. Following chronic unpredictable stressors, the researchers discovered that the probiotic and synbiotic reduced depressive-like behavior compared to the control group. Following chronic and recurring stress, all treatment groups showed a reduction in anxiety-like behavior. In comparison to its components, the synbiotic fostered more consistent and robust resilience to stress-induced behavioral deficits. probiotic combination

Furthermore, the synbiotic, but not the probiotic or prebiotic, lowered inflammatory gene expression profiles at the gene level. Importantly, the immune cell recruitment genes Ccl2, Ccl5, and Icam were the most consistent and dramatically influenced factors by both stress and the synbiotic, mirroring the behavioral response. This shows that peripheral immune cell recruitment into the brain is critical for activating gut-microbiota stress-induced behavioral reactions. probiotic combination

The synbiotic was also found to be the most effective at normalizing abnormalities in gut microbial diversity caused by chronic and repeated stress, according to the researchers. Furthermore, the researchers created a machine learning algorithm to analyze connections between chronic and recurrent stress, gut microbiota composition, and inflammatory markers in a way that takes into account individual differences as well as the brain’s and body’s synergistic actions. probiotic combination

Lactobacillus and Ruminoclostridium spp. were found to have primary connections with behavior, while Lactobacillus interactions with Faecalibaculum, Blautia, or Bifidobacterium spp. created substantial secondary associations. Lactobacillus spp. increases barrier immunity, and Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium supplementation increased barrier function, reduced peripheral inflammation, and improved cognitive performance in aging mice, according to the researchers. probiotic combination

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