MONTREAL—A pre-clinical study recently published by the British Journal of Nutrition showed the potential of the Probio’Stick® formula, from Institut Rosell-Lallemand, in the prevention of post-myocardial infarction depression in a rat model. This new study adds weight to the concept of probiotics and the gut microflora implications in the brain-gut axis, or brain-gut communication, a new direction for probiotics research holding promising applications in mental health and the management of stress and anxiety.
Isabelle Champié, human nutrition brand manager for Institut Rosell-Lallemand commented : “ This pre-clinical trial is a new step in the understanding of Probio’Stick’s interactions and potential in the gut-brain axis, adding weight to a previous human study in chronic stress sufferers, which showed for the first time the benefits of a probiotic on gastrointestinal symptoms linked to stress. We are very excited by the prospect of this new study and further clinical studies are already planned in this area.”
The study gave male adult Sprague-Dawley rats probiotics (Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum in combination) or a placebo in their drinking-water for four consecutive weeks. A myocardial infarction (MI) was then induced in the rats by occluding the left anterior coronary artery for 40 minutes. Rats were killed following a 72-hour reperfusion period. Bax/Bcl-2 (pro-apoptotic/anti-apoptotic) ratio and caspase-3 (pro-apoptotic) activity were reduced in the amygdala (lateral and medial), as well as in the dentate gyrus in the probiotics group when compared with the placebo. Akt activity (anti-apoptotic) was increased in these same three regions. Researchers concluded the probiotics L. helveticus and B. longum, given in combination as preventive therapy, reduced the predisposition of apoptosis found in different cerebral regions following a MI.