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Worn down by stress? Bacteria to the rescue!

Well Being| Views: 2002

If you feel overworked, slammed and out of breath, you are not alone. No less than one quarter of Canadians aged 15 and older reported that most days were quite stressful or extremely stressful1. There are many consequences of stress on health, including heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, as well as complications related to the immune system and the circulatory system1. A true and merciless societal curse…

The Other Brain or When Stress Gets to Your Guts

The brain and the intestines are intimately connected by a real motorway of neural connections. The researchers showed that in case of stress, there is more intestinal permeability which promotes the passage of lipopolysaccharides in the bloodstream. The effect is twofold, since an imbalance of the mocrobiota, that is to say the intestinal flora, leads to a disproportionate reaction to stress.

Natural Anti-Stress Remedy

In response to acute stress, probiotic supplements reduce the production of cortisol (stress hormone) and alleviate anxiety. Studies suggest that the Bifidobacterium longum bacterial strain has beneficial effects on stress-related behaviours, physiology and cognitive performance in mice2, 3. The probiotics are recognized as «psychobiotics», that is to say as living organisms that, when ingested in sufficient quantities, produce benefits for people with mental health problems and those living in stressful life situations4.

Flash Quiz to see who the Experts are!

True or False. Neurogastroenterology is the study of the control of digestive activities by the peripheral and central nervous systems.

True. Discoveries in this area have helped explain how the digestive tract operates and how important it is, far beyond digestion…

True or False. The level of stress that is experienced does not vary based on gender, age, or the province of residence.

False. Women in Quebec between the ages of 35 and 54 admit to being the most likely to experience stress (both professionally and personally).


REFERENCES

Statistics Canada [Website]. Consulted May 30 2017. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2015001/article/14188-fra.htm

Society for Neuroscience 2015 Annual Meeting. Abstract 162.04. Presented October 18 2015.

3 Savignac HM, Kiely B et al. Bifidobacteria exert strain-specific effects on stress-related behavior and physiology in BALB/c mice. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014 Nov; 26(11): 1615-27.

4  Dinant TG, Stanton C et Cryan JF. Psychobiotics : a novel class of psychotropic. Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Nov; 74(10): 720-6.