In all likelihood, you have noticed at some point that your heart races, you sweat, and your mouth dries up before an exam or a job interview. It is anxiety, the normal response of our body to a threatening situation. This reaction is no longer normal and becomes a disorder when the intensity and frequency of this type of response are exaggerated, when there are increasingly more stimuli that trigger it, or when it cannot be controlled.
Did you know that our gut and brain are closely connected and that the state of your gut microbiota may be behind certain mood disorders, such as anxiety?
This bidirectional connection is named the “gut-brain axis” and it means that what happens inside the gut affects the brain and vice versa. For example, if our gut microbiota becomes unbalanced for any reason, then the levels of certain molecules produced in the digestive tract —such as serotonin, cytokines, etc.— will be altered and, via the bloodstream, they will reach the brain, altering its functioning.
Multiple investigations have proven that the gut microbiota, through this “axis”, is behind not only digestive disorders but also mental disorders, such as anxiety or other mood disorders.
For this reason, research has recently focused on psychobiotics and probiotics that may help treat disorders such as depression, anxiety or stress.
Thus, some studies carried out with the associations of two strains, Lactobacillus helveticus Rossel®-52 and Bifidobacterium longum Rossel®-175, have shown a reduction in the gastrogut symptoms related to stress; reduction of psychological stress in healthy individuals and the improvement of mood, anxiety and sleep in patients with mild-moderate depression.
There is also evidence that certain species of probiotics participate in the increased synthesis of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin.