The psychobiotic Bifidobacterium Longum 1714 blocks stress-induced behavioural and physiology changes and modulates brain activity and neurocognitive performance in healthy human subjects
Allen AP1,2, Hutch W3, Borre YE1, Kennedy PJ1,2, Temko A4, Boylan G5,6, Murphy E7, Cryan JF1,8, Dinan TG1,2, Clarke G1,2
1APC Microbiome Institute; 2Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioural Science, UCC; 3School of Medicine, UCC; 4Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, UCC; 5INFANT Research Centre, UCC; 6Department of Pediatrics & Child Health, UCC; 7Alimentary Health Ltd, Cork; 8Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, UCC
Precise targeting of the microbiome-gut-brain axis with psychobiotics - live microorganisms with a potential mental health benefit –is a novel approach for the management of stressrelated conditions. Preclinical studies have identified B. longum 1714 as a putative psychobiotic with an impact on stress-related behaviours, physiology and cognitive performance. This study investigated whether these effects could be translated to human volunteers.
Healthy male volunteers (N = 22) completed the study. Participants ingested B. longum 1714 or placebo daily for four weeks each in a repeated-measures design. Participants completed study visits at baseline, post-placebo and post-probiotic. Acute stress was assessed using the socially evaluated cold pressor test, and daily stress was assessed via validated online questionnaires. Cognitive performance was assessed using the CANTAB platform and neurological activity via resting electroencephalography (EEG).
In response to acute stress, B. longum 1714 led to a reduction in cortisol output and a blunted increase in subjective anxiety. Self-reported daily stress was lowered during daily psychobiotic consumption. There was a subtle improvement over placebo in visuospatial memory performance in paired associate learning (PAL) in the B. longum 1714 group. Fz mobility was higher following B. longum 1714 consumption compared to baseline and placebo.
B. longum 1714 is associated with attenuated responses to acute stress, a modest improvement in cognitive performance and altered resting EEG. Further studies are warranted to evaluate the benefits of this putative psychobiotic in relevant stress-related conditions and to unravel the mechanisms underlying such effects.