KU research: No proof probiotics ease anxiety

photo by: AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

In this AP file photo from Nov. 27, 2007, packages of Dannon's Activia yogurt are seen on a grocery shelf in Chicago. Activia is one of many products that contain probiotics, or "friendly bacteria." (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

A University of Kansas study released last week showed that probiotics can reduce anxiety in rodents, but not humans.

Graduate students and Stephen Ilardi, associate professor of psychology, reviewed data from 22 preclinical studies and found that probiotics had no significant effect on symptoms of anxiety in humans, according to a KU news release.

However, the researchers said the microorganisms found in many yogurts and capsules that are intended to improve gut health might be useful for cognitive issues in the future. For now, though, research into the effects of microbiota on mental health is “all at a very preliminary stage,” said Daniel Reis, a doctoral student of clinical psychology, in KU’s news release.

More health news

See more coverage of health-related issues, health care, fitness, and how to live a healthy and active life on the LJWorld Health homepage.


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.