Nestle`-Backed Study Links Probiotic Strain and Depression

gut health probioticsA new study backed by Nestle` shows a specific strain of a probiotic, Bifidobacterium longum, helped relieve symptoms of depression as well as alleviating gastrointestinal upsets.

Over 40 adults who had experienced Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in addition to mild to moderate amounts of depression or anxiety participated in this study.   Half the group took a dose of Bifidobacterium longum (B. longum) daily and the other half of the group took a placebo.  After six weeks researchers found 64% of the patients taking the probiotic experienced reductions in depression scores when compared to 32% of the participants taking the placebo.  Additionally functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), showed depression score improvements were associated with changes in multiple areas in the brain involved with mood control.  No changes were seen in anxiety scores however improvements in quality of life were seen in the group supplementing with the probiotic.

Although the results of this study are promising, larger scale trials are needed.

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Study Links Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Vitamin D Deficiency

IBSA new study has found a majority of people who live with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) could be deficient in Vitamin D.

Participants in this double-blind randomized controlled trial received one of the following protocols:

A Placebo

A Vitamin D Supplement and a Probiotic Placebo

A Vitamin D Supplement and a Probiotic

Participants provided a blood sample to assess their Vitamin D levels at the onset of the study and took their assigned protocol for 12 weeks filling in an IBS symptom questionnaire every two weeks.

70% of those individuals that received a high dose supplementation showed an improvement in their symptoms.

IBS is a debilitating chronic disorder of the gastrointestinal tract.  It is not understood how this condition develops, although it has been confirmed that both stress and diet could make symptoms worse.

Prior studies have confirmed an association between a deficiency of Vitamin D and inflammatory bowel disease. Recent studies also show a benefit in the reduction of blood pressure, risks of heart disease and kidney disease with Vitamin D supplementation.

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Could Glucosamine and Chondroitin Support A Healthy Colon?

ColonAccording to data from two large US cohort studies, supplementing glucosamine and chondroitin may aid colon health due to their anti-inflammatory mechanism.

Data from over 68,000 women and almost 28,000 men who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study respectively were analyzed.  672 cases of colorectal cancer were identified from the data.  After reviewing the numbers researchers found any use of Glucosamine and Chondroitin was associated with a 23% reduction in the risk of developing colorectal cancer.  This review supports date from another study, the Vitamins and Lifestyle Study (VITAL), published back in 2009.

Researchers theorize that the reported anti-inflammatory properties associated with Glucosamine and Chondroitin reduce inflammation in the colonic cells.  They suggest additional studies be performed to better understand the association between colorectal cancer and the use of Glucosamine and Chondroitin and also the means by which these supplements affect the risk of colorectal cancer.

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