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Double-Blind Study: Probiotics and Emotions in CFS patients

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by dannybex, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

    A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of a probiotic in emotional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

    "In this pilot study, 39 CFS patients were randomized to receive either 24 billion colony forming units of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS) or a placebo daily for two months.

    Patients provided stool samples and completed the Beck Depression and Beck Anxiety Inventories before and after the intervention. We found a significant rise in both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria in those taking the LcS, and there was also a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms among those taking the probiotic vs controls (p = 0.01). These results lend further support to the presence of a gut-brain interface, one that may be mediated by microbes that reside or pass through the intestinal tract."
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  2. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    A very interesting study! One which makes me wonder if part of my inability to relax comes from reactions in the gut. It's got me going off grains completely for the first time. It maybe be having a calming effect actually. :)
  3. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

    Hi Cort...

    A few years ago I was able to afford a combo of good probiotics, and also some "Candex"...and I swear, my anxiety levels dropped so dramatically that I thought I could just quit the Klonopin cold turkey.

    But I ran out of $$, and eventually and reluctantly had to increase the klonopin...and now for the last two years have been trying to taper off of it after my hemaglobin/hematocrit/WBC levels fell too low.

    There's also a couple of studies out there that showed that the uber-pricey probiotic VSL#3 helped digest gluten...when it was added to flour. Don't know how or if it would do the same in the gut...?

  4. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member


    I suppose it could have a lot to do with the fact that we're all different, we all have different imbalances, toxicities, and each probably require different specific strains...

    Just curious...were you ever tested for leaky gut?

    Allyson likes this.
  5. Frickly

    Frickly Senior Member

    Gut and Brain

    I am definitly starting to see the connection between the gut and brain with regard to my son's treatment. He takes probiotics and digestive enzymes daily. When we ran out of digestive enzymes his behavior spiraled out of control. When we put him back on it things settled down. This same reaction has been reported by many parents that have children on digestive enzymes. I have not taken him off of his probiotics so am unsure of the effects it has on his behavior but would not be surprised if it is contributing to his new, more calm and controled, demeanor. Also, certain foods he eats will cause him to look and act like he is high on drugs. His eyes will even be dilated. We need alot more research in this area.
  6. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

    Victoria, BC
    bugs and everything

    Hi; does anyone have any experience with Lactobacillus Reuteri? Have just come across it--it is available from Nature's Way, though probably not cheap; it seems to produce B12 (there is a paper on this--too technical for me to understand properly--by Felipe Santos et al, "The complete coenzyme B12 biosynthesis gene cluster of Lactobacillus reuteri CRL 1098", PubMed will take you from the abstract to the free full text). It apparently also has strong anti-microbial properties. There is a good deal of research on it--anyone tried it? Best, Chris
  7. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Interesting that you talk about mood being affected by digestion/food, Chronically Fatiqued,

    Since I've cut out most of the grains, especially my old favourite rye bread with caraway seeds, I do notice a difference.

    The purse strings were rather tight a couple of months ago & I bought some bread.

    After the first bite I craved it so much, I ate quite a few slices.

    I really, really noticed how "down" & depressed I felt on that Saturday night. I experimented again with several slices on the Sunday too - same thing happened.

    Yes, food really does affect me, not only physically, but mentally too.

    Allyson likes this.
  8. MEKoan

    MEKoan Senior Member

    Hi All

    I, too, find this gut/brain thing beginning to make sense in terms of my history. My gut reaction, so to speak, is that this is a key piece of the puzzle.

    I had gut issues dating back to early childhood. In fact, I learned how to remove my mind from the pain of bowel cramps so that I would not betray my state and trigger my mother's bottle of Milk of Magnesia which I hated!

    As a young woman, pre ME, bowel issues were my main health problem and, aside from a few disc issues, were the only thing I ever visited the doctor for. Was diagnosed with various types of colitis which was what IBS was called then.

    Like many others my issues changed over time from one end of the spectrum to the other. I can, rarely, get quite ill with this - weak, sweating, loss of consciousness.

    The other condition which predates ME for me is Panic Disorder. My Panic Disorder always felt like some kind of seizure and I always described the sudden onset of derealization and depersonalization which mark panic for me as a fear seizure. When I came down with ME the Panic Disorder went into overdrive. Where I might have an attack every few months before ME, I went through periods of having several a day after ME.

    A reliable test for Panic Disorder, as opposed to anxiety disorder, is to inject the subject with lactic acid. If you have PD, you will panic, if not, you won't. If I had a brain I would now reference things I have read here, and other places, about lactic acid and ME. I recently discovered, when I could not afford milk - serendipitous poverty, that I was lactose intollerant based on my reaction when I reintroduced it. I blush to admit I am not entirely clear on the relationship between lactic acid and lactose but I'm guessing there is one.

    I am also impressed with the number of people who have improved their own health, to some degree, by eliminating lactose and gluten. I will eliminate gluten myself but not before testing as a diagnosis of Celiac must be made while one is eating gluten and since I'm on disability Celiac disease would entitle me to extra money for food.

    I'm sorry that I can't make any connections between these things but I must leave that high order fancy thinkin' to those that can.

  9. klutzo

    klutzo Senior Member

    Yeast and panic?

    I wonder if the probiotics were displacing yeast in the people in the study. I understand they can clear up yeast in those with a mild problem. My yeast problem requires a lot more than just probiotics, but this study was on basically normal people, was it not?

    The reason I ask that, is because Diflucan takes away my panic disorder completely. My doctor refuses to give it to me unless I've had cortisone, which I am forced to do when I get stung by members of the hymenoptera family. I get stung a lot here in the land of flowers and bugs (Florida) and the cortisone really sets me back. It is anathema in Lyme patients, but I have no choice. Some Lymies take one tablet of Diflucan per week for maintenance, since systemic yeast overgrowth is a constant problem in Lyme. I wish I could do that.

    I've taken probiotics longer than I've been ill. In fact, they were the only supplement I took before becoming ill. I've been taking them constantly since 1983 to prevent vaginal yeast. Now I take tons of supplements.

    I now take a very strong probiotic with 15 strains and 35 billion live organisms, and I culture one capsule from each batch when I get it, since I live in such a hot place and feel the need to make sure shipping has not killed all the organisms. This has had NO effect on lessening my panic at all.

    Like several of you mentioned, we are all different. I recently read a study saying that people with panic disorder all have low urine PH, about 5.5. People without panic averaged a 7. My urine PH runs between 7 and 8.5 yet I start to have panic attacks every single time I wake up at night and any time I am in a crowded or noisy place or am startled or have to multi-task and rush or get angry. Maybe I am the exception that proves the rule, but....

    I read another study several years ago which said 90% of panic attacks occur during the day, and if you are having them in your sleep, which is where 90% of mine occur, it is 100% certain you have sleep apnea and a CPAP will cure your attacks. It turned out I did have apnea, got a CPAP and had it tested several times to make sure it was working. I have a very low level of apnea now, only .8 per hour, which is normal. Yet, after 2.5 yrs. of faithfully using it, the machine has had zero effect on the number of panic attacks I have. Very disappointing.

    The only thing that has helped the anxiety attacks has been large doses of L-tryptophan. I take 1.5 grams at bedtime and another 1.5 grams when I wake up at 3 am to take my next set of meds. This has reduced the number of full blown attacks substantially, and reduced the severity of the attacks as well. (I cannot take the stronger 5-HTP because of my heart damage from Lyme and high blood is too potent a vasoconstrictor and caused serious problems for me).

    Recently, I read that L-tryptophan is probably causing dangerous levels of quinolinic acid in my brain and increasing my already substantial amount of verified brain damage. You can't win!

    Since my panic attacks often evolve into Paroxysmal Supraventricular tachycardia attacks, which are so awful, I can't even find words to describe them, I will continue to choose possible brain damage over more of those, with their 30% risk of blackout and 3% risk of cardiac arrest. Helluva choice.

    Sometimes it seems everything with these diseases is a Catch-22. Anyway, I would be interested to know how many of you with panic have ever taken a course of Diflucan for yeast, and if it helped you as much as it helped me.

  10. kaffiend

    kaffiend Senior Member

    L. Reuteri has been great for me. I take that and Garden of Life Primal Defense. I try to stop taking them once in a while because they're pricey, and within a few days, food sensitivities, brain fog, low mood and skin problems show up.
  11. Allyson


    Australia, Melbourne
    I find a high protein diet helps - and whenyou do that you are eating fewer grains and legumes- whih altter also affect IBS - for which a low FODMAPS diet is ueful - google Sue SHepherd, dietician s research on that. Cravings are an indication of allergy or intolerance i beleive Victoria, I get them too - esp for dairy.

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