Prebiotics have an incredible beneficial effect on our circadian rhythm. I study

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcía

Prebiotics can help you rest better and improve your circadian rhythm, recent research shows

Prebiotics can help you rest better and improve your circadian rhythm, recent research shows





Chronic discontinuation of the circadian rhythm it can have a measurable impact on everything from sleep to mood and metabolism to the risk of certain diseases.

A new study of the University of Colorado suggests that simple dietary compounds known as prebiotics, which serve as food for beneficial gut bacteria, could play an important role in helping us recover faster. Research points out that by promoting and stabilizing the good bacteria in the gut and the metabolites they release, we may be able to make our bodies more resistant to circadian disruptions.

A systematic review 

However, the study currently conducted only on animal models, and published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, is the latest to suggest that prebiotics, not to be confused with the probiotics present in fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut, can influence not only the gut, but also the brain and behavior.

Naturally abundant in many fibrous foods, including leeks, artichokes and onions, and in breast milk, these indigestible carbohydrates pass through the small intestine and stay there, serving as food for the trillions of bacteria that reside there.

For the new study, the researchers sought to understand whether prebiotics could also promote resilience to biological clock disruptions due to factors such as jet lag or irregular working hours. (Read also: Jet-lag: 8 tips to remedy the time zone change)

The results

The researchers found that prebiotics would be capable of rebalance sleep-wake cycles and body temperature more quickly sustainability, also resisting the alterations of the intestinal flora that often derive from stress.

This is one of the first studies to link the consumption of prebiotics to specific bacterial changes that not only affect sleep, but also the body's response to disruption of the circadian rhythm.



Furthermore, the research also goes a step further in answering the question: How can simply ingesting a starch impact the way we sleep and feel?

The researchers found that those who followed the prebiotic diet they housed an abundance of different microbes capable of ensuring the health of the organism, including Ruminiclostridium 5 and Parabacteroides distasonis. Thus, the subjects who ingested the prebiotics harbored more of the good bacteria, which in turn produced metabolites that protected them from the consequences of disrupting the circadian rhythm.

Clinical trials are ongoing to determine whether prebiotics could have similar effects in humans. The research could lead to customized prebiotic blends designed for individuals whose careers or lifestyles expose them to frequent circadian disruptions.

Why not ingest the beneficial bacteria directly, through probiotic-rich foods like yogurt? According to the research team, this could be an effective route, but compared to probiotics, prebiotics support the friendly bacteria you already have rather than introducing a new species.

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Photos: Science Direct

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