In a new study from the University of Surrey, researchers examined whether the daily consumption of a prebiotic food supplement could improve overall wellbeing in a group of younger adults.
The study found that those who received a daily dose of prebiotics improved mental wellbeing by reducing anxiety levels and had better gut health.
In the study, the team tested 64 healthy female participants with no current or previous clinical diagnoses of anxiety.
Participants received either a daily dose of the prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) or a placebo for 28 days.
All those 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.
The team says that scientists can use a simple and safe food supplement such as prebiotics to improve both the abundance of beneficial gut bacteria in the gut and to improve mental health and wellbeing in young women.
The study brings together different dimensions in mental health research; finding prebiotic effects in a sub-clinical group shows promise for translational clinical research on multiple markers of mental health.
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The study is published in the journal Scientific Reports. One author of the study is Dr. Kathrin Cohen Kadosh.
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