May 6/Pain & Central Nervous System Week -- According to new research reported in the journal Gut Pathogens, supplements of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota may ease symptoms of anxiety in people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Some 39 patients with CFS received daily supplements of either Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota or placebo for two months. Compared to the placebo group, those receiving the bacterial strain reported significant increases in both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. In the lactobacillus group, there was also a significant reduction in the symptoms of anxiety.
The body contains billions of both bad and good bacteria and other microorganisms. Probiotics are dietary supplements or foods that contain the good bacteria similar to those found naturally in the body.
This health-enhancing good bacteria aids digestion, supports the immune system and plays a role in the creation of B-vitamins and certain enzymes. A low or insufficient population of good bacteria leads to an inability to absorb nutrients, causing bloating, candida, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation, allergies, and skin conditions. Unchecked, it can cause serious health problems.
Foods that contain high amounts of good bacteria include yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut. There are also foods that do not contain bacteria but help good bacteria grow. These are known as prebiotics and can be obtained by eating certain foods, including garlic, onions, leeks, artichokes and the superfood chlorella.
Chlorella, a single-cell, fresh water green alga, contains a phytonutrient (plant-derived nutrient) known as Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF). According to Dr. Michael E. Rosenbaum, "it [CGF] enhances the growth and multiplication of probiotics by a factor of four."
From the May 11, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition