Pre- and probiotics may impact social-decision making: Study

Scientists from the Sorbonne Universiteฬ (France) and the University of Bonn (Germany) reported that seven weeks of supplementation with the probiotic plus prebiotic mix led to participants being increasingly willing to waive a monetary payoff when treated unfairly.

The synbiotic supplement was found to change levels of the dopamine-precursor tyrosine, which offers a potential link to microbiota-gut-brain axis.

โ€œThese results improve our understanding of the bidirectional role bodyโ€“brain interactions play in social decision-making and why humans at times act ‘irrationally’ according to standard economic theory,โ€ they wrote in PNAS Nexusโ€‹.

The study deepens the understanding of the โ€˜gut-brain axis,โ€™ a bidirectional interaction between the GI tract and the nervous system and implicates the ability of specific strains to produce key neurotransmitters like GABA, serotonin and dopamine.

Study detailsโ€‹

The researchers recruited 101 participants to participate in their study and divided them into three groups: One received the synbiotic, one received a placebo, and one group did not receive anything.

The synbiotic used in the study was the commercial Biotic Junior product by MensSana, which is formulated to contain two billion CFUs per dose of Bifidobacterium lactisโ€‹, Ligilactobacillus animalisโ€‹, Lacticaseibacillus caseiโ€‹, Ligilactobacillus salivariusโ€‹ย and Lactococcus lactisโ€‹ combined with prebiotic inulin.

Microbiome analysis showed a โ€œsubtleโ€ change in the microbiome after seven weeks of supplementation. Specifically, this was reflected in the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes, the two most common phyla. A balance between these two phyla is important for gut homeostasis, the researchers wrote.

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