Can Probiotics Cause Anxiety?


Can probiotics cause anxiety

Probiotics – strains of good bacteria. But how do they affect your mental health? Or can they cause anxiety? Let’s get down to the brass tacks!

Yes, they are good for your mental health, and no, Probiotics don’t usually cause any anxiety. In fact, they can help elevate symptoms of anxiety or depression if it is caused by an unbalanced gut microbiome.

However, there are still some exceptions which I have covered below in the subsequent sections. So, keep reading to find out all about it.

Can Probiotics Make You More Anxious?

No, taking probiotics supplements and strains does not make you more anxious according to recent studies, no evidence has been found to support the claim that taking a probiotic increases anxiety.

Undoubtedly, the two mental illnesses that affect people frequently are depression and anxiety disorders, but are they somewhat associated with your gut microbiome? 

Although the relationship between your gut and anxiety may appear to be NOT linked, studies have shown a strong connection between the two.

Numerous brain chemicals produced by your gut are closely related to your levels of stress, anxiety, sadness, and overall well-being. 

A study published by the National library of medicine demonstrated how a disturbance in your gut microbiota could lead to mental illnesses like anxiety. And since probiotics offer a promising solution for regulating one’s gut microbiome, it can be deduced that they may help lower anxiety levels.

However, further research is still required to prove if probiotics ALONE can be used as a cure for anxiety disorders.  

All of this sounded even more convincing when I came across a person who shared the exact story of how he got rid of the anxiety that had turned his life upside down. 

probiotic cured anxiety - reddit story

The main reason probiotics worked for his anxiety was the same as the NIH’s study proved – poor gut health.

And, so the continuous intake of probiotics healed his gut, and the anxiety, along with all of its undesired effects, including acne and insomnia, also went away.

Following are some probiotic strains having unique qualities that go beyond just elevating your good feelings and lowering anxiety:

  • Bifidobacteria has particularly strong implications for alleviating depression and reducing self-reported anxiety levels. 
  • 22 of 24 recent experiments that examined lactobacillus’ impact on anxiety found that it reduces anxiety symptoms.

But still, researchers of John Hopkins university warn to use them as a replacement for any mood-managing medicines.

Again, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, probiotics have a long usage history and are generally considered safe, especially in healthy individuals (NCCIH). 

However, because there hasn’t been much thorough research on the safety of probiotics for individuals with underlying medical conditions, it’s difficult to provide reliable data on how frequently and seriously adverse effects occur in them. 

Can Probiotics Trigger Anxiety?

anxious woman

Absolutely not, probiotics can’t trigger anxiety. They are considered pretty safe, mainly because they exist naturally in our bodies. 

And they are consumed naturally through fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha to keep the gut healthy, as you know the healthier your gut and your gut’s microbiome, the better your mental health and your resilience to anxiety

But you will see some people complain that after taking probiotics, they experience anxiety. For instance, a Reddit user reported depolarization and anxiety after consuming probiotics.

Well, as already been stated, probiotics positively modulate the stress response, and if these users are experiencing such disorders, they may have underlying neuropsychiatric disorders. 

Or maybe taking too many probiotics could have a “buildup” effect, which might have led to an imbalance of the gut microbiota, and this could potentially increase feelings of anxiety.

Feeling worried, agitated, or nervous after taking a probiotic supplement may be a transient response associated with the displacement of pathogenic bacteria. 

Anxiety symptoms could improve if these bacteria are removed from the GI system.

However, if probiotics are making you more anxious, it is advisable to change the species, dose, or duration of treatment.

Some of the bacterial strains included in probiotic supplements have the ability to increase histamine production in human digestive tracts. 

An enzyme called diamine oxidase normally breaks down histamine that is produced in your digestive tract (DAO). This enzyme prevents histamine from building up to the point where symptoms start to appear.

Due to insufficient DAO production, some individuals with histamine intolerance struggle to break down the histamine present in their systems. 

Increased histamine levels interrupt the brain’s sleep-wake cycle, resulting in insomnia, which is a major source of anxiety in many people. 

Foods that have too much histamine should be avoided by those who are histamine intolerant.

Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus hilgardii, and Streptococcus thermophilus are a few probiotic strains that produce histamine.

Can probiotics Cause Depression?

depressed woman

A quick answer to the above query: No! Probiotics do not cause depression.

Moreover, according to research, Probiotics have a considerable positive effect on depressed individuals, but that still doesn’t make them a scientific remedy for depression.

In a recent clinical trial, probiotic Bifidobacterium longum was administered to patients with anxiety and depression who also had irritable bowel syndrome. 

According to the Hospital’s Anxiety and Depression scale, over half of the patients had lower depression levels after just six weeks.

The reason is again the same as we discussed before – an upset gut leads to an upset mind. And since probiotics help balance the gut microbiota leading to healthy gut health, being on probiotics can no way in the world cause depression. 

For instance, this study asserts that probiotics may significantly lower the risk of depression in populations aged under 60.

Now that we know how probiotics and depression are linked let’s find the best probiotics for anxiety and depression.

Best Probiotics For Anxiety and Depression

Here we have listed  the best probiotics for anxiety and depression:

1. Yourbiology gut+

yourbiology gut +

It’s true that most standard probiotic formulations lack the protections required to withstand our stomach acid. It’s like adding fuel to the fire if we digest a probiotic too quickly; it may result in even worse gastrointestinal issues like bloating, gas, constipation, low energy, and worsening brain fog and here Gut+ comes to your rescue.

To promote overall gut health, YourBiology has teamed up with leading researchers and nutritionists to come up with the ideal ratio of premium bacterial strains.

Their premium formula consists:

4 live + powerful strains of healthy gut bacteria that safely provide 40 billion CFUs.

You will get every last bit of beneficial gut bacteria because of the patented MAKtrek® Bipass Technology made from brown seaweed, which protects the bacteria from stomach acid until it reaches the small intestine.

Not only it lowers your stress levels, but it also tends to improve your mood and make you feel more energized. 

Vaginal health must naturally be taken into consideration while making such products. That’s why Gut+ is specifically designed for women and is known to balance vaginal flora.

Not to mention, yourbiology Gut+ can boost your immunity too.

If we talk about its ingredients, it includes:

  • Lactobacillus Acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium Lactis
  • Lactobacillus Plantarum
  • Lactobacillus Paracasei
  • Fructooligosaccharides
  • MAKtrek Marine Polysaccharide Complex

Cost

  • Its one-month supply costs you $74.99, but if you buy it right now, you will get it for $59.99.

Pros

  • it is Dairy free.
  • It is Gluten free.
  • It provides 40 billion CFUs.
  • It has Zero preservatives.
  • It does not need to be refrigerated.
  • It is soy free.
  • It is GMP-certified.
  • It is very easy to swallow.
  • It comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • It is not accessible at physical stores or on websites like GNC, Amazon, or Walmart.
  • It is not advised for pregnant women.
  • It is not recommended to ladies who have chronic stomach issues.

2. Biotics 8 (best for men)

Bauer Nutrition Biotics 8

Biotics 8 contains pre and probiotics to optimize your gut microbiome and help you perform your best while also feeling lighter, leaner, and more energized.  

Also, It regulates testosterone levels.

They have developed an exceptionally high-performance probiotic formula that PARTICULARLY addresses men’s gut health. In addition, it restores the gut microbiome and provides more energy that lasts all day.

Also, it can help improve bowel movements and immunological function, enhance sleep, strengthen bones, and give you healthier skin!

Their premium probiotic formula for men consists of:

  • 10 live + powerful types of healthy gut bacteria that safely provide 20 billion CFUs.
  • Digestive enzymes and vitamin D supplementation for improved mood and a strong gut.
  • Vegetarian-friendly HPMC capsules are more durable than gelatin capsules and designed to make it all the way to the small intestines.
  • Chicory root’s prebiotic fiber helps probiotic bacteria grow after a long journey to your small intestine.

The most prominent bacterial strains in this product are:

  • Saccharomyces Boulardii
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus paracasei

Cost

  • Its one-month supply costs $59.99.

Moving onwards, let’s explore the pros and cons of Biotics 8;

Pros

  • It contains all-natural ingredients.
  • It has Zero preservatives.
  • It is dairy-free.
  • It is Soy-free.
  • It is GMP-certified.
  • It is Gluten-free.
  • It gives 60-day money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • It is for males only.

3. Mood Probiotics by Innovixlabs

mood probiotics

Simply put, the “mood probiotic” is a dietary supplement that includes a particular strain of probiotic bacteria that has been researched for its impact on brain function and “Psychobiotics” is another name for these bacteria.

Seven human therapeutic trials have used the two distinct strains, Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52ND and Bifidobacterium longum Rosell-175, and these strains are present in their formula. 

The Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) has examined the science behind it and approved the health claims.

In clinical studies, regular use for a month was necessary for participants to experience an impact. In the clinical investigations, individual results differed. 

Your results could differ for a number of reasons: 

  • The degree of gut dysbiosis (severe imbalance in gut flora).
  • Regular product use.
  • Inappropriate storage conditions.

And it is the first and only mood probiotic supplement to have its health claims certified by the Canadian government.

Although refrigeration might help maintain a high bacteria count, the product is shelf-stable. 

Cost

  • $20.99

Pros

  • It requires one capsule to be taken each day.
  • It is an efficient mood enhancer. 

Cons

  • It has traces of milk.
  • It has a shorter shelf life.

FAQs

Can stopping probiotics cause anxiety?

No, stopping probiotics intake will not cause any anxiety, but if you already have anxiety issues, you may experience relapse.

Can too many probiotics cause anxiety?

Remember, balance is the key. If you are overdosing on it, i.e., taking more than 20 billion CFUs may cause anxiety.

Can probiotics cause anxiety attacks?

As discussed earlier, if you are taking it within the prescribed limit, then you don’t need to worry about anxiety attacks, but you might get into trouble if you exceed the limit.

Can probiotics cause tingling?

Yes, sometimes you may experience tingling and numbness while using probiotics. it is mainly found among females that are 20-29 old.

Can probiotics cause acid reflux?

No, Probiotics do not increase stomach acid; however, they may help protect against the ill effects of acid reflux.

Can probiotics cause flu-like symptoms?

Yes, they can cause flu-like symptoms, and these symptoms are linked to the detox effect. Moreover, it is a sign that your probiotics are working.

Conclusion

To briefly summarize, we’ve explored the link between probiotics and anxiety and how probiotics can benefit those suffering from anxiety. The strains of bacterias, particularly  Bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, have a significant impact on anxiety.

Moreover, probiotics are not antidepressants, but they can alleviate the symptoms. If you are facing depression, I would highly recommend you speak to a professional.

And for those struggling to choose the right probiotic supplement, we have enlisted some of the best probiotics to cope with your anxiety issues. I hope that helps narrow down some options for you.

Brenda L. Mosley

Hi, Brenda here, I have been a health advocate and writer with 10 years of experience in health and nutrition. I also hold a BS in Nutrition Science and am based in Massachusetts with my family. My mission is to impact the world using my health and nutrition experience by sharing, writing, and educating on the internet - and offline too when possible. When I'm not busy writing or engaging in health forums and groups - you'll find me spending time with my 3 kids, eating, or reading literary fiction books.

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