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Less Stress: Probiotics and lemon verbena reduced anxiety and stress

By June 30, 2022No Comments

Probiotics and lemon verbena reduced anxiety and stress

  • Probiotics helped manage acute stress

In one of the first studies to link probiotics with brain activity during acute psychological situations such as stress, 22 healthy men and women, average age 24, took a placebo or a daily lactobacillus probiotic combination for four weeks. All participants stopped for another four weeks, then switched groups.

In each of the probiotics phases, but not in the placebo phases, areas in the brain linked to the stress response showed reduced activity. Levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, were also lower in saliva during the probiotics phases.

Doctors said probiotics could be a non-drug treatment for stress disorders in healthy people, and in those undergoing treatment for stress.

Reference: Nutrients; 2022, Vol. 14, No. 7, 1329

  • Lemon verbena for anxiety and sleep

In this study, 40 men and women, average age 39, who reported no chronic illness but who had test scores showing moderate levels of stress and poor sleep, took a placebo or 400 mg of lemon verbena extract per day.

After eight weeks, those in the lemon verbena group reported 12.2 percent lower stress levels compared to the start of the study. Participants stopped treatment for four weeks, when doctors asked again, and found 25.9 percent lower stress levels compared to the start of the study for lemon verbena.

Sleep also improved in the lemon verbena group, with significant increases in time spent in deep sleep and in rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep compared to placebo. Women had greater improvement than men in sleep measurements, which were based on Fitbit® tracking information.

Reference: Nutrients; 2022, Vol. 14, No. 1, 218

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