In a study done earlier this year, one of those "good bacteria," Lactobacillus casei (strain Shirota) has been shown to ease symptoms of anxiety in people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). It seems that two months of supplementation with the bacterial strain was associated with a decrease in anxiety symptoms, according to findings published in the journal Gut Pathogens.
University of Toronto researchers recruited 39 chronic fatigue patients and randomly assigned them to receive daily supplements of either Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota or placebo for two months. The probiotic used was a relatively strong one, with 24 billion colony forming units per dose.
At the end of the study, the researchers reported significant increases in the faecal levels of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria in people receiving the bacterial strain, compared to placebo. A significant reduction in the symptoms of anxiety was recorded in the Lactobacillus group.
“These results lend further support to the presence of a gut-brain interface, one that may be mediated by microbes that reside or pass through the intestinal tract,” wrote the authors, led by Dr. Venket Rao from the University of Toronto.
The researchers admitted the research was preliminary and raises many questions regarding the mechanism of action. “The results of the present study should be viewed simply as a stimulus for further research,” they added.