♦ Bimuno – an exciting development in prebiotics for countering mental strain.
There is a some exciting clinical research coming out of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford in collaboration with Clasado Biosciences Ltd. Why ? Evidence is being generated that shows a positive relationship between prebiotics and a reduction in anxiety, stress and depression.
Mental health issues bedevil many people and affect a large number of people throughout the world at all sorts of levels. In the Western world, about a quarter of the population has or will suffer mental issues within a period of a year and anxiety is the most common of these problems. One in six people are affected by anxiety issues.
The Anglo-Maltese company has developed a prebiotic which they have patented under the name Bimuno™. It is claimed to reduce stress and anxiety, according to some recent research data. Bimuno is a blend of beta-galactooligosaccharides which are generated from the conversion of lactose by enzymes of Bifidobacterium bifidum NCIMB 41171. As a transgalactooligosaccharide it has been assessed in other applications for other gastro-intestinal benefits too but with less success that desired in the regulatory world. It is generally recognised that prebiotics have a number of health benefits which are worth exploring further.
EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies had rejected earlier claims for its gastro-intestinal benefits in May/June 2013 following earlier attempts. There is however rejuvenated interest in these prebiotics for commercial reasons identified above. The recent studies between the two groups are part of a series and also include other organisations in generating critical supporting data.
The recent study shows that consumption of beta-GOS (galactooligosaccharide) compared to the consumption of fructooligosaccharide (FOS) and a placebo produces a decrease in various factors. The cortisol levels that are associated with waking up are said to decrease with the consumption of Bimuno. There was also a corresponding decrease in attentional vigilance towards negative-versus-positive information.
The study reveals changes in the gut microbiota that alters the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity and its processing. The paper reports that the HPA axis is commonly upset in those of us who suffer from anxiety and depression. This has considerable impact in managing both affective and memory processing.
Further trials are planned by the collaborators to examine the relationships between depression and the effects that prebiotics have on these conditions. In conclusion, the article suggests that β-GOS has an anxiolytic effect and reduces the reactions to stress in healthy subjects.
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