Feel­ing stressed? Give pre­bi­otics a try

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - IANS

Find­ing it tough to cope with stress in your life? Eat pre­bi­otics fibers that may help pro­tect the ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria in your gut and re­store healthy sleep pat­terns af­ter a stress­ful event, sug­gest re­searchers.

Pre­bi­otics are cer­tain types of non-di­gestible fibers that pro­bi­otic bac­te­ria feed on, such as the fibers found in plant sources like as­para­gus, oatmeal, and legumes as well as in breast milk. The find­ings showed that stress could up­set the gut’s mi­cro­biome, as well as rest­ful sleep — es­sen­tial el­e­ments for a healthy life.

“Acute stress can dis­rupt the gut mi­cro­biome,” said Ag­nieszka Mika, post­doc­toral fel­low at the Univer­sity of Colorado Boul­der, in the US.

A diet rich in pre­bi­otics was found to in­crease ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria as well as pro­tect gut mi­crobes from stress-in­duced dis­rup­tions. In ad­di­tion, pre­bi­otics also lead to the re­cov­ery of nor­mal sleep pat­terns, since they tend to be dis­rupted af­ter stress­ful events. “So far, no ad­verse ef­fects from pre­bi­otics have been re­ported... and they are found widely in many plants, even present in breast milk, and are al­ready com­mer­cially avail­able,” Mika added.

For the study, they tested rats that re­ceived pre­bi­otic di­ets for sev­eral weeks prior to a stress­ful test con­di­tion and com­pared with con­trol rats that did not re­ceive the pre­bi­otic-en­riched diet. The rats that ate pre­bi­otics prior to the stress­ful event did not ex­pe­ri­ence stress-in­duced dis­rup­tion in their gut mi­cro­biota and also re­cov­ered health­ier sleep pat­terns sooner than con­trols, the re­searchers said. As the stres­sor that the rats re­ceived was the equiv­a­lent of a sin­gle in­tense acute stress­ful episode for hu­mans, such as a car ac­ci­dent or the death of a loved one, the re­sults may be rel­e­vant in hu­mans, noted Robert S. Thomp­son from the Univer­sity of Colorado Boul­der.



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