Efficacy of Probiotics on Anxiety: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Author(s): Ruixue Huang, Huacheng Ning, Lifen Yang, Chunlan Jia, Fang Yang, Guozhang Xu, Hongzhuan Tan


Objective: Anxiety is a common, burdensome, and psychologically important global concern. However, probiotics may be useful for the treatment of anxiety.

Methods: To assess the effects of probiotics on anxiety, seven academic databases were searched for reports published in the English language.

Results: Based on our search, 10 studies were identified. Probiotics significantly decreased anxiety compared to controls (mean difference [MD], 0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.41 to 0.92; P < 0.001). However, significantly lower DASS values were reported of –9.87 (95%CI, –17.2 to–2.47; P < 0.009).

Conclusions: Our report showed that probiotics decrease anxiety values in populations with anxiety. These results are important for the management of anxiety. In the future, more adequately powered RCTs using standardized measurements are required to assess the specific probiotics and dosages as well as the treatment periods that are most beneficial for anxiety.

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