A recent study conducted by scientists from University College Cork’s APC Microbiome, a Science Foundation Ireland research centre, discovered that a “psychobiotic” diet rich in prebiotic and fermented foods helped alleviate stress and depression in healthy people.
Despite the fact that the microbiome has been related to stress and behaviour in the past, it was unknown whether or not feeding these organisms would have demonstrable impacts, as explained by Prof. John Cryan, one of the study’s primary authors and principal investigator at APC Microbiome Ireland.
Research on Fiber Diet
Our research is among the first to examine the connection between the gut microbiome and psychological well-being. Dietitian and Irish Research Council postdoctoral researcher Dr Kirsten Berding worked with Cryan and Professor Ted Dinan to develop the diet used in the study, which was published in Molecular Psychiatry last week.
Those whose diets were poor in fibre were investigated to see how much stress they experienced. After four weeks, participants were randomized into one of two groups. Fruits and vegetables rich in prebiotic fibres, grains and legumes, and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha were ingested by those following a psychobiotic diet. People in the control group were given generic food pyramid-based dietary guidance.
At the conclusion of the four weeks, individuals who followed the psychobiotic diet reported feeling less stressed, with the greatest benefits shown among those who stuck carefully to the diet’s guidelines.
What is High-Fiber?
There are 40 compounds that observed substantial changes in concentration, but alterations in microbial composition and function were minor. There was an improvement in sleep quality across the board. As Cryan said, additional study is necessary to examine underlying processes, but “using microbiota-targeted diets to favorably alter gut-brain communication has promise for the reduction of stress and stress-associated illnesses.”
Psychiatrists “rarely” provide patients with nutritional counselling, according to Dinan, who is a principal investigator at APC Microbiome and co-lead author of the research.
Our studies conducted over the last several years show that maintaining a healthy diet is critical for coping with stress-related diseases. The present research aims to persuade psychiatrists to include dietary counselling as part of their overall approach to patient care.
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