1Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany;2MEG Center, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany;3Graduate Training Center of Neuroscience, IMPRS for Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience, Tübingen, Germany;4CIMeC, Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento, Trento, Italy;5Alimentary Health Group, Cork Airport Business Park, Cork, Ireland.
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OBJECTIVES:Accumulating evidence indicates that the gut microbiota communicates with the central nervous system, possibly through neural, endocrine, and immune pathways, and influences brain function. B. longum 1714™ has previously been shown to attenuate cortisol output and stress responses in healthy subjects exposed to an acute stressor. However, the ability of B. longum 1714™ to modulate brain function in humans is unclear.METHODS:In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, the effects of B. longum 1714™ on neural responses to social stress, induced by the “Cyberball game,” a standardized social stress paradigm, were studied. Forty healthy volunteers received either B. longum 1714™ or placebo for 4 weeks at a dose of 1 × 109 cfu/d. Brain activity was measured using magnetoencephalography and health status using the 36-item short-form health survey.RESULTS:B. longum 1714™ altered resting-state neural oscillations, with an increase in theta band power in the frontal and cingulate cortex (P < 0.05) and a decrease in beta-3 band in the hippocampus, fusiform, and temporal cortex (P < 0.05), both of which were associated with subjective vitality changes. All groups showed increased social stress after a 4-week intervention without an effect at behavioral level due to small sample numbers. However, only B. longum 1714™ altered neural oscillation after social stress, with increased theta and alpha band power in the frontal and cingulate cortex (P < 0.05) and supramarginal gyrus (P < 0.05).DISCUSSION:B. longum 1714™ modulated resting neural activity that correlated with enhanced vitality and reduced mental fatigue. Furthermore, B. longum 1714™ modulated neural responses during social stress, which may be involved in the activation of brain coping centers to counter-regulate negative emotions.Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, which permits any non-commercial use, sharing, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, and provide a link to the Creative Commons license. You do not have permission under this license to share adapted material derived from this article or parts of it. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://crealrvecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.