Objective: The aim of this study was to determine effects of probiotic yogurt and multispecies probiotic capsule supplementation on mental health and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in petrochemical workers.
Methods: The present randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 70 petrochemical workers. Subjects were randomly divided into three groups to receive 100 g/day probiotic yogurt + one placebo capsule (n = 25) or one probiotic capsule daily + 100 g/day conventional yogurt (n = 25) or 100 g/day conventional yogurt + one placebo capsule (n = 20) for 6 weeks. Mental health parameters including general health questionnaire (GHQ) and depression anxiety and stress scale (DASS) scores were measured. Fasting blood samples were obtained at the beginning and 6 weeks after the intervention to quantify hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
Results: After 6 weeks of intervention, a significant improvement of GHQ was observed in the probiotic yogurt (18.0 ± 1.5 vs. 13.5 ± 1.9, P = 0.007) and in the probiotic capsule group (16.9 ± 1.8 vs. 9.8 ± 1.9, P = 0.001), as well as a significant improvement in DASS scores in the probiotic yogurt (23.3 ± 3.7 vs. 13.0 ± 3.7, P = 0.02) and the probiotic capsule group (18.9 ± 3.2 vs. 9.4 ± 4.0, P = 0.006). However, there was no significant improvement in the conventional yogurt group (P = 0.05 for GHQ and P = 0.08 for DASS).
Discussion: The consumption of probiotic yogurt or a multispecies probiotic capsule had beneficial effects on mental health parameters in petrochemical workers.
Keywords: Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis; Mental health; Petrochemical workers; Probiotics.