(For more on how to deal with anxiety, find out about PsyBlog’s anxiety eBook, “The Anxiety Plan”.)
Professor Matthew Hilimire, one of the study’s authors, said:
“It is likely that the probiotics in the fermented foods are favorably changing the environment in the gut, and changes in the gut in turn influence social anxiety. I think that it is absolutely fascinating that the microorganisms in your gut can influence your mind.”
The study asked around 700 young adults to keep track of what they ate over a month. The researchers controlled for how much exercise people did and how healthily they ate. Dr DeVylder explained the results:
“The main finding was that individuals who had consumed more fermented foods had reduced social anxiety but that was qualified by an interaction by neuroticism. What that means is that that relationship was strongest among people that were high in neuroticism.”
The study also found that the more exercise people did, the lower their social anxiety. The researchers are planning an experiment to back up the results of this survey. Dr DeVylder said:
“However, if we rely on the animal models that have come before us and the human experimental work that has come before us in other anxiety and depression studies, it does seem that there is a causative mechanism.
Dr Jordan DeVylder, another of the study’s authors, said:
“This study shows that young adults who are prone towards anxiety report less social anxiety if they frequently consume fermented foods with probiotics.
The study is to be published in the journal Psychiatry Research (Hilimire et al., 2015).
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues.
He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.