Image by Tim Gouw

"Stress is the trash of modern life—if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life."
 - Danzae Pace

Stress is ubiquitous in the world today. In 2020, up to 60% of those in the U.S. experienced daily stress, compared to a global average of 35%[1].

Stress: Balance is Vital

In certain situations, stress is a natural, physiological reaction. Specific hormones (such as adrenaline and cortisol) are released, creating a “fight or flight” reaction in our mind and body. Short-term stress can be healthy, boosting our focus and even survival. However, prolonged stress wears on our mental, emotional, and physical health.

PS128 can help restore that balance, also benefitting other stress-affected aspects of mental and physical health, as described below.

PS128 for Stress Relief & Sleep 
(2021)

  • Type: open-label, single-arm, baseline-controlled study
  • Location: MacKay Memorial Hospital, Taiwan
  • Participants: 36 highly stressed IT industry professionals, average age of 40, female and male
Each subject took PS128 for eight weeks. Before and after the trial, stress biomarkers were measured from participants' saliva. They also self-assessed the following aspects of their health:
  1. work and life stress
  2. insomnia
  3. anxiety
  4. mood
  5. depression
  6. overall health and life quality
  7. digestive health

Study Summary

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Results

  • Perceived stress dropped >20% from baseline to endpoint
  • Saliva cortisol levels significantly decreased (P< 0.05)
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Cortisol reduction significantly correlated with positive emotions
Cortisol reduction significantly correlated with improved sleep
  • Significant improvements seen in the following areas:
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job stress
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mood & depression

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sleep
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physical health

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anxiety

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life quality

Risks of chronic stress

Chronic stress can lead to serious problems throughout our whole body. It also increases our risk of anxiety and insomnia.

Stress and Anxiety

One in five adults in the US have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder [3]. 

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Anxiety is closely related to stress but can persist even when the stressor is gone. It may cause constant uneasiness or dread and damage our health, much like chronic stress.

 

In addition to being a reaction to life events (state anxiety), anxiety is also affected by genetics, brain chemistry, and personality (trait anxiety.) In the PS128 study of IT specialists, both state and trait anxiety were significantly improved.

Stress and Sleep

Prolonged stress can make sleep more difficult, and lack of sleep can aggravate stress levels [4]. This vicious cycle ends up causing insomnia in many individuals. They may find it difficult to fall or stay asleep, or the sleep they do get may be less restive due to altered sleep patterns.

 

The mechanism behind this close relationship may be a network in our body called the HPA axis. It regulates both our sleep cycle and the stress hormone cortisol. When either is out of balance, the other is negatively affected.

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PS128 Is Helping

Conditions such as stress and anxiety are caused in part by an imbalance of certain hormones and neurotransmitters. Some of these, including cortisol (as described above), serotonin, and dopamine, can be modulated by psychobiotic Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 [5].

After being ingested, PS128 begins to play an active role in our microbiome. It stimulates multiple pathways that are part of our microbiota-gut-brain axis. Through mechanisms not yet fully understood, PS128 can benefit not only chronic stress but also physical recovery and disorders like depression, autism, and Parkinson's disease.

[1] Source: Gallup

[2] Wu, S.-I.; Wu, C.-C.; Tsai, P.-J.; Cheng, L.-H.; Hsu, C.-C., Shan, I.-K.; Chan, P.-Y.; Lin, T.-W.; Ko, C.-J.; Chen, W.-L.; Tsai, Y.-C. (2021.) Psychobiotic Supplementation of PS128TM Improves Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia in Highly Stressed Information Technology Specialists: A Pilot Study. Frontiers in Nutrition, 8, 130.

[3] https://adaa.org/

[4] http://sleep.org/

[5] iu, Y. W., Liu, W. H., Wu, C. C., Juan, Y. C., Wu, Y. C., Tsai, H. P., Wang, S., & Tsai, Y. C. (2016). Psychotropic effects of Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 in early life-stressed and naïve adult mice. Brain research, 1631, 1–12.