The Effects of Probiotics on Mental Health and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial in Petrochemical Workers

Nutr Neurosci. 2016 Nov;19(9):387-395. doi: 10.1179/1476830515Y.0000000023. Epub 2015 Apr 16.

Abstract

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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Bifidobacterium / growth & development
  • Bifidobacterium / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dysbiosis / diet therapy*
  • Dysbiosis / etiology
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology
  • Dysbiosis / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology*
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Lactobacillus / growth & development
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oil and Gas Industry
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiopathology*
  • Probiotics*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / blood
  • Stress, Psychological / microbiology
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Workforce
  • Yogurt / microbiology*
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Biomarkers