Psychobiotic PS128 improves mood and sleep quality in its first clinical study on anxiety and stress


Bened Biomedical’s psychobiotic PS128 significantly improved insomnia, stress, and anxiety during a recent clinical trial. Participants were tech industry professionals under high levels of work-life stress.

Psychobiotics are probiotics which yield specific mental health benefits. PS128, a strain of probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum, has previously shown improvements to signs of anxiety and stress in preclinical models. This study attempted to see if taking PS128 would similarly benefit human health.

The psychobiotic was found to benefit anxiety, stress, and sleep quality. The findings of the trial were published this Marchin Frontiers in Nutrition.

“Even with positive signs of the COVID epidemic resolving, we know life will continue to be just as busy and stressful as ever. Seeing that PS128 can help people sleep better at night and put them in a better mood each day makes us glad to be able to provide this kind of product,” said Dr. Alain Delpy, head of global development at Bened.


PS128 shows perceived mental and physical health benefits


In the study, 36 individuals took PS128 daily for eight weeks. Comparing their responses at the beginning and end of the trial, many measures changed significantly. Participants reported higher levels of energy and positive emotions, as well as better quality of life and psychological health. Improvements were seen in measures of insomnia severity, anxiety, job stress, negative emotions, and gastrointestinal symptoms.

“We are very pleased to see these results in people, to verify what we have already seen in preclinical experiments. PS128 really can benefit the high-pressure, high-stress, high-anxiety world we live and work in,” Delpy said.

Probiotics can impact health through a pathway called the gut-brain axis. One theory is that PS128 interacts within the gut, and molecules that are then released travel via the bloodstream or nerves directly to the brain. Previous studies have shown that rodents given PS128 had higher levels of serotonin[P1] and dopamine in their brains, and boosted amounts of these neurotransmitters could correlate with the benefits seen in this trial.


PS128 intervention reduces stress hormone cortisol


In addition to recording how participants felt, the study tested samples of their saliva for key stress biomarkers. Levels of one of these, cortisol, dropped significantly during the trial.

“Seeing reduced cortisol levels is probably the most important takeaway from this experiment,” said Dr. Allen Wu, who heads Bened’s research lab. “It proves that PS128 is causing real changes in the body, changes which can then be experienced and felt by the mind.”[P2] [P3]

All-natural, vegan PS128 has self-affirmed GRAS status. Previous clinical trials have shown that higher doses of the psychobiotic may alleviate symptoms of other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, autism, and depression.

Actively advancing gut-brain axis research, Bened is a worldwide ODM looking for new partners to extend PS128’s availably in markets around the globe. For more information, please visit https://www.benedbiomed.com/.



About Bened Biomedical

Founded in 2015 in Taipei, Taiwan, Bened Biomedical Co., Ltd. is a global leader of microbiome-based products. The company focuses on therapy for neuropsychological, aging-related, allergic, immunological, and metabolic disorders. Bened aims to develop functional probiotic strains and live biotherapeutic products that can alter human microbiome to prevent and treat diseases. The name “Bened,” derived from the Latin word for “full of blessings,” affirms the brand’s hope to bless the world through its products.


The published trial: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.614105

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