Probiotics could be the new yoga for those needing stress management techniques.
Researchers in Ireland were interested in the effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus on behavioural responses to stress. Their experiments delivered significant results: when placed in a stressful situation, the probiotic group displayed less anxiety and released less stress hormones.
When looking into how the probiotics were able to modulate stress and anxiety, the researchers found that L. rhamnosus increased the number of GABA receptors in the brains in areas associated with memory and the regulation of emotion, similar to what is seen with the use of pharmacological anti-anxiety medications.
Lehrer J. The yoghurt made me do it. Wall Street Journal, 17 Sep 2011 http://online.wsj.com
Bravo JA, Forsythe P, Chew MV, et al. Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011;108(38):16050-5.