Could a yogurt a day keep the anxiety away?
If you’re a zebrafish, probably. If you’re a human, maybe.
Researchers at the University of Missouri report that, in experiments with zebrafish, “a common probiotic sold in supplements and yogurt can decrease stress-related behavior and anxiety.”
The results, recently published in Nature’s Scientific Reports, show that after being dosed with common probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum zebrafish exposed to stressful conditions showed a reduction in certain gene expressions associated with stress or “fight-or-flight” reactions. In short, beneficial gut bacteria chilled the fish out a bit more than their non-dosed neighbors. Whether these findings will translate to humans (and presumably skyrocketed Dannon stock), the research team hopes the data will “lead to a better understanding of how probiotics may affect the central nervous system in humans.” (Video)