Finally, the results of the probiotic trial for depression, anxiety and stress are in! A huge thank you to the 9 wonderful human guinea pigs who participated, completed questionnaires and diligently took the probiotic for 30 days. We had a nice even mix of 4 males and 5 females aged 15 - 52 years. A specific probiotic was used targeted at mental health - BioMedica Mood Fx. The blend had already been extensively studied in Europe and I was keen to see if the results would play out in the real lives of clients.
The results have been pretty amazing - here are some of the highlights. For participants who started with higher than normal levels of depression, anxiety and/or stress:
60% had less severe feelings of depression dropping a whole category e.g. moderate to mild or extremely severe to severe.
75% had less severe feelings of anxiety and one participant dropped two categories from moderate to normal.
100% had less severe feelings of stress and of those, three quarters dropped two categories down to normal levels of stress.
For visual readers, here's a pretty graph showing the average reduction in scores.
The numbers above the blue columns represent the DASS-21 questionnaire responses (see table below). On average, feelings of depression dropped from moderate to mild; anxiety from severe to moderate; and stress from moderate to normal.
These results are fantastic as they stand, however they are even more significant to me when we take into consideration that this was only a 30 day trial.
Table 1. DASS-21 Questionnaire classifications
I was also interested to see if there were any changes in physical health so devised a questionnaire on sleep, energy levels and digestion. The highlights were:
An average 10% improvement in sleep on a self-rated scale.
A reduction in the number of digestive issues from 2.6 to 1.5 (average) with one participant starting with 5 digestive issues and ending with none.
What was perhaps the most telling result was that all 9 participants requested to stay on the probiotic for another 2 months after the trial finished as they were feeling some benefit.
I hope that all makes sense and I'm happy to answer any questions. If nothing else, it certainly cements the importance of gut health, especially the microbiome for our mood. Mental health is not just about the head, we need to look at the whole body and the whole person!
Happy gut-brain connecting!
P.P.S. Online bookings are available for current clients.