Can probiotic supplements make you feel anxious?
In recent years, adding probiotics into your daily routine has become increasingly popular. Whether you add them in with a probiotic supplement or choose to incorporate more probiotic rich food into your diet, such as having yoghurt for breakfast or perhaps some sauerkraut with your salad! However you decide to boost your probiotic intake – there are a few questions in relation to how they can affect our mental health. Hopefully, this post will help shed a bit of light on some questions surrounding this.
Do probiotics cause anxiety?
No, upon extensive research surrounding the above question, there is no linked evidence to suggest that taking a probiotic supplement causes anxiety. If you currently suffer with any feelings of stress or anxiety, we suggest you speak and seek advice from a medically trained professional or your Doctor so they can help you in the best way possible.
Is anxiousness a side effect of taking a probiotic?
No, anxiousness or anxiety is not a known side effect of taking a probiotic supplement. However, when you first start to take a probiotic supplement, you may experience some side effects such as being slightly more bloated than usual, experience some excess gas and sometimes encounter mild stomach upset. These symptoms or side effects usually subside within the first few days of continually taking a probiotic supplement. However, if they do not pass or worsen, we suggest that you speak to get medical advice from your doctor.
Is there a link between gut health and anxiety?
Yes, there is most definitely a link between our gut health and our mental health. Suffering with an upset stomach is one of the most common factors and side effects when it comes down to being stressed or anxious over situations. There has been a lot of research done in relation to the link between the two. Researchers have identified that there is a connection between our gut and the brain, which in fact has a big influence on your mood, your digestion and the way you think!
When we experience a feeling of nervousness or anxiety, our bodies release certain hormones and chemicals that enter our digestive systems. This of course can potentially affect microorganisms that live in our gut. This then causes a chemical imbalance, which in turn can cause certain gut related issues such as:
- Stomach upset
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Loss of appetite
- Increased hunger
Can probiotic supplements reduce anxiety?
Yes, there has been some research done that suggests taking a probiotic supplement can potentially help to alleviate certain side effects of stress and anxiety. Stressful events in our lives can sometimes cause some digestive issues such as an upset stomach or a loss of appetite. Occasionally other stomach conditions such as IBS, Chron’s disease, or colitis may also trigger some feelings of anxiety.
By adding in a daily probiotic to your routine, it can help boost your gut health and also increase your risk of developing feelings of anxiousness. After doing our own research, we have discovered the below on how taking a probiotic supplement can benefit you and your mood:
- Probiotics reduce inflammation. When we are experiencing feelings of anxiety, levels of inflammation are significantly increased.
- The probiotic strain such as L. rhamnosus has been shown to reduce stress related behaviour.
- It has been shown to increase our bodies levels of tryptophan which helps to produce serotonin – also known as the happy hormone!
- Other strains of probiotic supplements may have natural antidepressant properties.
Probiotics are not seen as a cure for stress and anxiety, although they may help to alleviate the symptoms that we mentioned. If you experience frequent symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, please speak to a medically trained professional or a doctor for any help or advice.