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Health/Advice News - World's first 'psychobiotic' food supplement could improve mood and memory

Posted on 7/01/2019 by


Food supplement Zenflore is available over the counter and is good for your brain as well as your gut


A daily probiotic pill could be the key to a happy mind as well as a healthy gut, according to new research.

The food supplement named Zenflore has become one of the first ‘psychobiotics’ available over the counter.

Traditionally, probiotics containing live bacteria and yeasts have been thought to be good for the gut.

Bur they have now been linked to a sense of happiness and a boost in brain power.

Breakthrough research carried out in Ireland three years ago found that bacterial culture bifidobacterium longum 1714 can increase activity in the areas of the brain associated with emotions, learning and memory.

In clinical trials, human guinea pigs taking the bacteria reported being less stressed and anxious.

Zenflore was then created wth the same bacterial strain by Cork-based company PrecisionBiotics.

Director Dr Eileen Murphy said: “We know people are interested in natural options to help them cope with everyday stress.

“The gut-brain axis and more particularly the microbes within the brain-gut axis is one of the most exciting areas of research.

“Indeed, new research is showing that the gut bacteria may play a role in regulating stress responses.

“We have tested Zenflore in placebo-controlled clinical studies in people with everyday stress and we are very encouraged by the results.

“The gut has been called the second brain - there are multiple connections between the gut and the brain including via the vagus nerve.

“The gut produces more than 90 per cent of the serotonin found in your body - this is a neurotransmitter that can affect your mood and feelings of happiness and pleasure and research has shown that gut bacteria can impact its production in the gut.”

DR Victoria Manning, a 46-year-old GP, started taking Zenflore following a gallstone operation at the end of July.

She said: “I’m one of these people that worries about everything and I used to take beta blockers to help me calm down as I would get palpitations but since I’ve been taking Zenflore I’ve not had to take them.

“I do feel calmer since I started taking Zenflore, previously I would feel anxious and nervous but the butterfly effect has calmed down.

“My sleep has also improved - previously I was waking up once or twice a night. Now I just sleep and I have more energy.

“Come 10pm I am ready for bed.

“I believe Zenflore treats the root cause rather than serving as a sticking plaster.

“Treating the gut as a primary cause of health problems makes sense to me. “

The findings of the clinical trial were published in 2016 in the Journal Translational Psychiatry.

Advice at NHS Direct states: “There’s some evidence that probiotics may be helpful in some cases, such as helping prevent diarrhoea when taking antibiotics, and helping to ease some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

“But there’s little evidence to support many health claims made about them. For example, there’s no evidence to suggest that probiotics can help treat eczema.

“But for most people, probiotics appear to be safe.

“If you want to try them, and you have a healthy immune system, they shouldn’t cause any unpleasant side effects.”