PS128, or Lactiplantibacillus plantarum PS128, is a probiotic genome containing 11 contigs, or DNA sequences, that have the ability to increase production of happy hormones, dopamine and serotonin, while effectively reducing stress hormone levels. Also referred to as a physcobiotic, due to the positive effects it has on overall mood, this probiotic is provides a natural and safe way to improve neural and mental health.
What is PS128 Probiotic?
PS128 helps regulate serotonin, dopamine, cortisol, BDNF and other molecules responsible for microbiota-gut-brain axis communication, as well as the function of neurotransmitters and hormones that keep our mental health in good shape.
An imbalance of this healthy gut bacteria can impair neurodevelopment and lead to neurodegeneration, however studies published in the National Library of Medicine shows that PS128 can improve related symptoms, and may also have the capability to completely reverse these harmful conditions.
Benefits of PS128 Probiotic
There are number of great health advantages that can be gained by simply ensuring that your diet contains sufficient amounts of PS128, these benefits include:
How PS128 Probiotic Works
For over half a century it’s been known that problems with our gastrointestinal (GI) tract can negatively affect our mental health. The GI tract has its own independent neural network, which is connected to the central nervous system (CNS) via the vagus nerve, and communicates with the brain to oversee these bodily functions.
The health of our GI tract is largely dependent on the gut microbiota, thousands of species of microorganisms that make up the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is responsible for the microbiota-gut-brain axis; the communication between the GI tract and CNS that helps regulate the use of molecules such as neurotransmitters, fatty acids, hormones, and other metabolites.
PS128 can improve the function of key pathways in the microbiota-gut-brain interaction. Some of these mechanisms include:
Immune system: Microbes in the gut can stimulate the production of cytokines in the intestines. Although cytokines themselves are not typically able to pass through the blood brain barrier, they do stimulate neurological responses at the weaker regions of the BBB.
Vagus nerve: Connects the central nervous system with the GI tract. When this nerve is intact and functioning optimally, it can produce anxiety-relieving effects.
Metabolites: Healthy gut microbiota help produce precursors of neurotransmitters and other metabolites that can improve related functions and even pass directly through the BBB.
Endocrine: Another key pathway of the microbiota-gut-brain interaction is the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. This stimulates the adrenal gland to produce the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn causes the “fight or flight” response. PS128 can normalize the production of cortisol and reverse the HPA feedback loop to the brain.
PS128 Probiotic To Treat AADC
Since PS128 has been shown to levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, it is currently being researched in the treatment of aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency (AADC); a rare neurotransmitter disorder that can cause an array of symptoms including deficiencies in the biosynthesis of dopamine and serotonin.
Through recent success using Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 as a treatment for Parkinsons, the Taiwan-based Bened Biomedical, found the probiotic to be safe, and effective in modulating dopamine and serotonin levels. This research provided the necessary information that led to the hypothesis that PS128 could treat related, and/or similar, conditions such as AADC, and with many clinical trials already confirming the safety of the medication, researchers can continue trials with the aim of bringing medication to market, and do so with the confidence that approval will eventually be granted.
PS128 was discovered in 2007 by researcher Ying-Chieh Tsai, from a team at the National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan. Several years later in 2013, studies conducted by Foster, J. A., & McVey Neufeld, K. A. (2013), showed lab rats with higher levels of gut bacteria had higher levels of happy hormones and lower levels of stress. Then further research carried out by Ted Dinan and John Cryan looked into the effects certain bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium longum, had on the gut microbiome, where successful findings lead to the discovery of PS128.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
It’s no secret that our bodily functions must all work in harmony with each other should we wish to stay healthy. Research into how the health of our GI tract can affect other bodily functions goes to show just how important this symbiosis really is, and like most things in the medical field, once we understand them processes, we’re able to better control and manipulate them to our advantage.
Maintaining good GI tract health is something we’ve long known to have a number of benefits, but it’s only recently that we’re beginning to truly understand why this is the case. Whilst it’s logical that diet directly affects gut microbiome health, it’s less obvious that it also has affect on mental health. Of course, living with the consequences of bad dieting habits is enough to make anyone depressed, but it’s not just our feelings that are affected. Once key pathways in the gut microbiome are disrupted, so too is the communication between the GI tract and the CNS, and this can lead to a number of conditions, and can greatly affect your mental health.
So if the lure of losing weight isn’t quite enough to make you adhere to a strict healthy, well balanced diet, consider that it won’t just keep you trim and fit, it will also ensure that your overall mood stays in tip-top condition.