Can Probiotics Help with Anxiety?

Lately, there has been a lot of interest in the human microbiome (the populations of bacteria that live in various parts of the body), especially in the intestine.

Scientists know that bacterial cells in this area serve many purposes, like manufacturing specific vitamins, regulating our immune system and digesting food.

However, something less spoken about is the effect it has on our minds through the so-called brain- gut axis.

To learn more about this, check out the below post:

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are essentially living bacteria and yeasts that provide health benefits when ingested, especially to your digestive system.

Usually, we link bacteria with germs and illnesses. However, we need them to survive and maintain health. To ensure our gut receives enough of these essential bacteria’s, many supplement probiotics or consume probiotic-related foods.

Although it isn’t exactly clear how these work, scientists understand why they work, usually, they recommend using them under two circumstances:

  • When taking antibiotics, you lose the “good bacteria”. To regain this, supplementing with probiotics can help.
  • It can also help balance good and bad bacteria to guarantee a well-maintained gut. Now that you understand what probiotics are, let’s discuss whether they’re good for anxiety.

Are probiotics good for anxiety?

Have you ever felt that fluttering feeling in your stomach before speaking to a crowd or a loss of appetite when you hear bad news?

Surprisingly to many, that’s your brain speaking with your gut’s microbiota and is commonly referred to as gut-brain communication.

The two organs (gut and brain) are connected through the vagus nerve and nervous system. These vital body components are what enable our brain and gut to communicate.

Located in these are neurons, which tell your body how to behave. Our bodies have over 100 billion neurons, and 500 million are located in the gut.

When these neurons indicate distress in the brain or gut, it can negatively impact our mood.

By taking probiotics, it can uplift our neurons. Therefore, promoting healthy communication through the vagus nerve and nervous system to our brains.

There are several ways that probiotics can help with this, with the main three benefits being below:

  • Reduction in cholesterol - An essential brain component is cholesterol, as it helps maintain the function of the nervous system. Studies have shown that patients suffering from mental health disorders like anxiety have higher cholesterol levels.
  • Helps create vitamins - In general, vitamins help with physical and mental wellbeing. Increased production of natural vitamins can have an impact on reducing anxiety levels.
  • Improves gut health - The gut can alter our mood significantly if it isn’t provided with the correct vitamins, minerals, and bacteria. By consuming probiotics, the gut becomes healthier, and our brains become happier.

As a result, probiotics are good for anxiety and can help reduce the severity of this mental health issue, which is also confirmed by this placebo-controlled trial.

How do probiotics help the brain?

The benefits of supplementing probiotics or including probiotic foods in a diet are astronomical and strongly recommended.

As we know, through gut-brain communication, a troubled gut can send signs to the brain, as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut.

Therefore, maintaining the healthiness of the gut is essential because a healthy gut is a healthy brain.

One way probiotics can aid this is by providing much-needed bacteria in our intestines that can help fight against bad bacteria that could make us sick.

By offering this added layer of protection, fewer gut-related illnesses can occur, reducing the occurrence of negative gut-brain communication.

The different strains of probiotics

Now you know probiotics are good for anxiety, let’s dive deeper into the topic. Like vitamins and supplements, there isn’t one type of probiotic, and they have multiple strains.

These strains are measured in CFUs as it determines how many living beneficial bacterial cells you’ll consume with the probiotic.

For instance, there are probiotic strains with as little as 1 billion CFUs and others with 20 billion. What makes it different is the type of probiotics added into the mix.

To understand the different probiotic ingredients and their individual CFU amount, see the below table:

Probiotics name

Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Number of CFUs

13 billion CFU

Key benefits

Preventing and treating infection lowering cholesterol immune system modulation

Streptococcus Thermophilus

0.5 billion CFU

It helps break down food Improve the absorption of nutrients Protects against bad organisms

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

0.5 billion CFU

Aids with fighting against infection Enhances the production of vitamins Fights against heart disease

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

0.5 billion CFU

Protects against cavities Relieves IBS symptoms Strengthens gut health

Lactobacillus Plantarum

0.5 billion CFU

Help with autoimmune diseases Includes anti-inflammatory properties Improves modulation of the immune system

Bifidobacterium Breve

0.5 billion CFU

Better gut health Reduces body weight gain Protects against virus infections

Bifidobacterium Longum

0.5 billion CFU

Alleviates gastrointestinal diseases Protects against infectious diseases Reduces immunological diseases

Lactobacillus Casei

0.5 billion CFU

Balances gut microbiota Improves gastrointestinal dysfunction Lowers modulating inflammatory

Lactobacillus Lactis

0.5 billion CFU

Boosts immune system Increases antigens Improves heart health

Lactobacillus Reuteri

0.5 billion CFU

Decrease cholesterol levels Lowers H. Pylori levels Improves infant gastrointestinal health

These are some of the most popular, but there are many more. Combined, they create a strain that’s generally sold as a supplement.

When should you take probiotics?

Probiotics can help with anxiety, but you must consume them correctly.

According to this 2011 study, the most optimal time for taking probiotic supplements is 30 minutes before a meal. Doing it 30 minutes after or another time doesn’t allow the supplement to offer its truest beneficial potential.

When taking these, you’ll want to make a recurring daily habit. Many people use a popular cycle: taking the supplement when brushing your teeth in the morning and waiting 30 minutes to eat breakfast.

Remember, it’ll take time for your gut to consume these bacteria and use them. Therefore, you won’t see any results instantly. The result comes from continuous consumption of good-quality probiotics on a daily basis.

How can we help?

At Numind Wellness, we wanted to provide our consumers a comprehensive stress and mild anxiety support supplement that works.

To achieve this, we mixed some of the most top-rated natural supplements with a 20 billion CFU probiotic blend; creating our Stress & Mild Anxiety Support Supplement + Probiotic Blend.

We’re the UK’s first all-in-one stress supplement that supports the gut and brain. With our above- market 20 billion CFU blend and premium-rated natural supplements, you can ensure a well- maintained lifestyle.

For more information about our product, check out this page (Click here) or contact a helpful representative a Nu Mind Wellness today.

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