Taking a probiotic strain of Bifidobacterium longum reduced physiologic and psychological stress and led to a modest improvement in memory in a small pilot study of healthy men.
The study builds on preclinical studies that identified this B longum strain as a "putative psychobiotic" with beneficial effects on stress-related behaviors, physiology, and cognitive performance in mice, said Gerard Clarke, PhD, from the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Ireland.
He presented the study findings October 18 during a press briefing at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 2015 Annual Meeting.
"The emerging concept of the gut microbiome as a key regulator of brain and behavior represents a paradigm shift in neuroscience. Precise targeting of the microbiome-gut-brain axis with psychobiotics — live microorganisms with a potential mental health benefit — is a novel approach for the management of stress-related conditions," the study team notes in a meeting abstract.