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Probiotics in human mental health and diseases - A minireview

Bhagavathi Sundaram Sivamaruthi
Mani Iyer Prasanth
Periyanaina Kesika
Chaiyavat Chaiyasut


In humans, cognitive functions are controlled by the central nervous system, which is controlled by the brain. Any damage to the neuronal system causes serious impairment to the host as it may lead to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism and epilepsy. The physical and mental health of an individual is associated with food habits and brain health. The hypothalamus is the region of the brain that initiates a response to different types of stress. However, recent findings have revealed that food play a major role in regulating stress and mental health. In this regard, probiotics are beneficial microbes that are claimed to offer health benefits when consumed in adequate quantities. Probiotics alter the gut microbial composition in a positive way. Several in vitro, in vivo and pre-clinical studies have been conducted to determine the effects of probiotics or probiotic based food supplementation on the cognitive function of model system and human volunteers. Most of the studies suggest that the consumption of probiotic formulations improves cognitive function, stress management, and decision-making. This paper reviews recent findings regarding the influence of probiotic supplementation on cognitive function, especially in human subjects. The role of probiotics in maintaining healthy gut microbiota and detailed outcomes of clinical trials are here reported for easy understanding of the concept. However, more studies involving clinical trials are still required in the field of probiotics and cognitive function.

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eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996