In an article published in the journal Scientific reports, researchers in Surrey investigated whether consuming a prebiotic dietary supplement daily could improve the overall well-being of a group aged 18 to 25. The study found that those who received a daily dose of prebiotics improved their mental well-being by reducing anxiety levels and had better gut health than the control group.
The researchers studied a group of 64 healthy participants with no current or previous clinical diagnosis of anxiety. Participants received a daily dose of prebiotic galactooligosaccharides (GOS) or a placebo for 28 days.
Everyone involved in the trial completed surveys about their health experiences, including mood, anxiety, and sleep quality, and provided a stool sample for gut microbiome sequencing analysis.
Dr Kathrin Cohen Kadosh, Lecturer in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Surrey and Head of the Social Brain and Development Lab, said:
“This new research marks a significant step forward in that we have been able to show that we can use a simple and safe dietary supplement such as prebiotics to improve both the abundance of beneficial gut bacteria in the gut and to improve the mental health and well-being of young women. “
University of Surrey researcher Dr Nicola Johnstone said:
“This is an exciting study that brings together different dimensions of mental health research; the discovery of prebiotic effects in a sub-clinical group holds promise for translational clinical research on multiple markers of mental health.”
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