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Probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum P8 alleviated stress and anxiety while enhancing memory and cognition in stressed adults: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

  • 2019-10
  • Clinical Nutrition 38(5)
    • L. Lew
    • Y. Hor
    • N. A. A. Yusoff
    • S. Choi
    • M. Yusoff
    • N. S. Roslan
    • Anisa Ahmad
    • J. A. Mohammad
    • M. F. I. L. Abdullah
    • Norzila Zakaria
    • N. Wahid
    • Zhihong Sun
    • L. Kwok
    • Heping Zhang
    • M. Liong

Abstract

Background & aims: To investigate the effects of probiotic in alleviation of stress in stressed adults, along our focus to identify and justify strain specificity on selected health benefits with a precisely targeted population.

Methods: This 12-weeks randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study investigated the effects of a probiotic (Lactobacillus plantarum P8; 10 log CFU daily) on psychological, memory and cognition parameters in one hundred and three (P8 n = 52, placebo n = 51) stressed adults with mean age of 31.7 ± 11.1 years old. All subjects fulfilled the criteria of moderate stress upon diagnosis using the PSS-10 questionnaire.

Results: At the end of study, subjects on P8 showed reduced scores of stress (mean difference 2.94; 95% CI 0.08 to 5.73; P = 0.048), anxiety (mean difference 2.82; 95% CI 0.35 to 5.30; P = 0.031) and total score (mean difference 8.04; 95% CI 0.73 to 15.30; P = 0.041) as compared to placebo after 4-weeks, as assessed by the DASS-42 questionnaire. Although plasma cortisol levels were only marginally different between placebo and P8 (mean difference 3.28 ug/dl; 95% CI -7.09 to 0.52; P = 0.090), pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ (mean difference 8.07 pg/ml; 95% CI -11.2 to -4.93; P < 0.001) and TNF-α (mean difference 1.52 pg/ml; 95% CI -2.14 to -0.89; P < 0.001) showed higher reduction as compared to placebo over 12-weeks. These were accompanied by enhanced memory and cognitive traits such as social emotional cognition and verbal learning and memory upon administration of P8 as compared to the placebo, with different effects in women as compared to men.

Conclusions: The present data illustrated that L. plantarum P8 is a feasible and natural intervention for the alleviation of selected stress, anxiety, memory and cognitive symptoms in stressed adults.

Trial registration: Approved by the JEPeM-USM Review Panel on Clinical Studies (Approval number USM/JEPeM/16050195) and was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier number NCT03268447).

Keywords: Anxiety; Cognition; Gut-brain-axis; Lactobacillus plantarum P8; Memory; Stress.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus plantarum 14DReduced Anxiety LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum 14DReduced Subjective Stress LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum DR7Reduced Anxiety LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum DR7Reduced Pro-inflammatory Cytokine LevelsBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus plantarum DR7Reduced Subjective Stress LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum HA-119Improved Psychological Well-beingBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum HA-119Improved Social Emotional CognitionBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum HA-119Reduced Anxiety LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum HA-119Reduced Pro-inflammatory Cytokine LevelsBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus plantarum HA-119Reduced Subjective Stress LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL9Improved Total DASS-42 ScoreBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL9Reduced Anxiety LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL9Reduced Pro-inflammatory Cytokine LevelsBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL9Reduced Subjective Stress LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum Rosell-1012Reduced Anxiety LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum Rosell-1012Reduced Pro-inflammatory Cytokine LevelsBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus plantarum Rosell-1012Reduced Subjective Stress LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum Rosell-AReduced Anxiety LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum Rosell-AReduced Pro-inflammatory Cytokines IFN-γBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus plantarum Rosell-AReduced Pro-inflammatory Cytokines TNF-α LevelsBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus plantarum Rosell-AReduced Stress LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum Rosell-AReduced Total Score on Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-42)Beneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum UALp-05MReduced Anxiety LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum UALp-05MReduced Pro-inflammatory Cytokine LevelsBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus plantarum UALp-05MReduced Subjective Stress LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum VPro 10Reduced Anxiety LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum VPro 10Reduced Inflammation LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus plantarum VPro 10Reduced Subjective Stress LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
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