Here is my advice on feeling better in 2016, by making some easy changes. This week it is: take a probiotic daily. Next week – know your Vitamin D level. After that – keep moving!
*From Harvard : Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies suggest that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.
*From the University of Maryland: Now, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) have come up with an explanation. It appears that LGG (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG) LGG may act as a facilitator, modifying the activity of other gut bacteria. This is the first time this mechanism has been described; the discovery could eventually help scientists create more effective strategies to foster a healthy gut. Claire M. Fraser, PhD, professor of medicine at the UM SOM, as well as director of the Institute for Genome Sciences, studied the effect of LGG on a group of elderly subjects “This species of bacteria has a reputation for being really useful to humans,” says Prof. Fraser. “So we wanted to better understand how it might work in the human intestine.” She and her collaborator, Dr. Patricia Hibberd at Massachusetts General Hospital, tested 12 subjects, who ingested LGG twice a day for 28 days. She analyzed gut bacteria before and after this regimen, and found that ingesting LGG led to increases in several genes that foster several species of gut bacteria, including Bacteroides, Eubacterium, Faecalibacterium, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus. These microbes have been shown to have a range of benefits in humans, including the promotion of a healthy immune system. “This is a new idea, that some probiotics may work by affecting the overall ecosystem of the gut,” said Prof. Fraser. “Previously we tended to think that LGG and other probiotics worked directly on the host. I think this finding has many exciting implications.” For one, Fraser says, it lends support to the idea that we need to look at the microbes in the gut as an interconnected ecosystem rather than a series of solitary bacteria. Modifying the behavior of microbes already in the gut may be just as important as adding any single species to this population.
*From the Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition at Leiden University in the Netherlands A new study suggests that probiotics may actually aid in improving mood. They might be a good way to fight anxiety or depression, or simply make you feel better after a bad day.
The researchers examined 40 healthy young adults who had no mood disorders. Half of them consumed a powdered probiotic supplement every night for four weeks. The probiotic supplement was called Ecologic Barrier, and contains eight types of bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Lactococcus (these three types of bacteria that have been shown in the past to mitigate anxiety and depression). The other half of the participants took a placebo, although they thought they were taking probiotics.
The people who took probiotic supplements began to see improvements in their moods; they reported less reactivity to sad moods than those who took placebos. They had fewer depressive thoughts following bouts of sadness.“Even if preliminary, these results provide the first evidence that the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood,” said Lorenza S. Colzato, an author of the study. “As such, our findings shed an interesting new light on the potential of probiotics to serve as adjuvant or preventive therapy for depression.” One recent study examined this link and found that people who took probiotics experienced lower levels of anxiety and depression, and had lower levels of cortisol — the stress hormone — in their saliva when they woke up in the morning..
Sadja Greenwood, MD, MPH