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Microbiome & Brain Health

The gut microbiome plays a key role in gut-brain communication, via the gut-brain-axis1, 2. For example, the gut microbiota produces:

  • Short chain fatty acids which may increase the integrity of the blood brain barrier, limiting undesirable metabolites reaching the brain1.
  • Other compounds, such as lipoproteins and lipopolysaccharides, which may stimulate the release of cytokines from immune cells. These cross the blood brain barrier and activate neurons which influence neurological function, mood and behaviour1

The gut microbiota influences the stress response through these systems. Conversely, stress may change the composition of the gut microbiota2. Modulation of the gut microbiome with specific probiotic strains may therefore be a potential strategy to help manage everyday stress3, 4.

Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have demonstrated that targeting the gut microbiota with specific probiotic supplements can alleviate stress, anxiety and cortisol output, and modulate neural processing in response to stress leading to a potentially improved ability to process and cope with everyday stress5,6. Real-world research has also found that specific probiotic strains may be associated with improvements in everyday stress and sleep related outcomes amongst healthy adults7.These cognitive effects may have broader applications than clinical practice, including as part of the management of everyday stress amongst healthy individuals 3, 4,6,7.


Learn More in the Resource Centre

Specific Strains

Clinically shown to improve the ability to cope with stress and reduce anxiety

Clinically shown to help manage IBS symptoms, depression, anxiety and quality of life

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