Anxiety might be alleviated by regulating gut bacteria

通过调节肠道细菌可以减轻焦虑

People who experience anxiety symptoms might be helped by taking steps to regulate the microorganisms in their gut using probiotic and non-probiotic food and supplements, suggests a review of studies published in the journal General Psychiatry.

发表在《普通精神病学》杂志上的一篇研究综述指出,有焦虑症状的人可能会通过使用益生菌、非益生菌食品和补充剂来调节肠道中的微生物。

Anxiety symptoms are common in people with mental diseases and a variety of physical disorders, especially in disorders that are related to stress.

焦虑症状在患有精神疾病和各种身体疾病的人中很常见,特别是在与压力有关的疾病中。

Previous studies have shown that as many as a third of people will be affected by anxiety symptoms during their lifetime.

以前的研究表明,多达三分之一的人一生中都会受到焦虑症状的影响。

Recent research also suggests that mental disorders could be treated by regulating the intestinal microbiota, but there is no specific evidence to support this.

最近的研究也表明,精神疾病可以通过调节肠道微生物群来治疗,但是没有具体的证据支持这一点。

Increasingly, research has indicated that gut microbiota — the trillions of microorganisms in the gut which perform important functions in the immune system and metabolism by providing essential inflammatory mediators, nutrients and vitamins — can help regulate brain function through something called the “gut-brain axis.”

越来越多的研究表明,肠道微生物群——肠道中数万亿的微生物,通过提供必要的炎症介质、营养素和维生素,在免疫系统和新陈代谢中发挥重要作用——可以通过所谓的“肠道-脑轴”帮助调节大脑功能。

A team of researchers from the Shanghai Mental Health Center at Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, set out to investigate if there was evidence to support improvement of anxiety symptoms by regulating intestinal microbiota.

上海交通大学医学院上海心理健康中心的一组研究人员开始调查是否有证据支持通过调节肠道微生物群来改善焦虑症状。

They reviewed 21 studies that had looked at 1,503 people collectively.

他们回顾了21项针对1503人的研究。

Of the 21 studies, 14 had chosen probiotics as interventions to regulate intestinal microbiota (IRIFs), and seven chose non-probiotic ways, such as adjusting daily diets.

在21项研究中,14项选择了益生菌作为调节肠道微生物群(IRIF)的干预措施,7项选择了非益生菌的方式,如调整日常饮食。

Probiotics are living organisms found naturally in some foods that are also known as “good” or “friendly” bacteria because they fight against harmful bacteria and prevent them from settling in the gut.

益生菌是天然存在于某些食物中的活生物体,也被称为“好的”或“友好的”细菌,因为它们能抵抗有害细菌并防止它们在肠道中沉淀。

The researchers found that probiotic supplements in seven studies within their analysis contained only one kind of probiotic, two studies used a product that contained two kinds of probiotics, and the supplements used in the other five studies included at least three kinds.

研究人员发现,在他们分析的七项研究中,益生菌补充剂只含有一种益生菌,两项研究使用了一种含有两种益生菌的产品,其他五项研究中使用的补充剂至少包括三种。

Overall, 11 of the 21 studies showed a positive effect on anxiety symptoms by regulating intestinal microbiota, meaning that more than half (52%) of the studies showed this approach to be effective, although some studies that had used this approach did not find it worked.

总的来说,21项研究中有11项显示通过调节肠道微生物群对焦虑症状有积极作用,这意味着超过一半(52%)的研究表明这种方法是有效的,尽管一些使用这种方法的研究没有发现它起作用。

Of the 14 studies that had used probiotics as the intervention, more than a third (36%) found them to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms, while six of the remaining seven studies that had used non-probiotics as interventions found those to be effective — a 86% rate of effectiveness.

在使用益生菌作为干预的14项研究中,超过三分之一(36%)发现益生菌对减轻焦虑症状有效,而其余7项使用非益生菌作为干预的研究中,有6项发现益生菌有效,有效率为86%。

Some studies had used both the IRIF (interventions to regulate intestinal microbiota) approach and treatment as usual.

一些研究采用了IRIF(干预措施来调节肠道微生物群)方法和照常治疗。

In the five studies that used treatment as usual and IRIF as interventions, only studies that had conducted non-probiotic ways got positive results, that showed a reduction in anxiety symptoms.

在5项采用常规治疗和IRIF作为干预措施的研究中,只有采用非益生菌方法的研究取得了积极的结果,表明焦虑症状有所减轻。

Non-probiotic interventions were also more effective in the studies that used IRIF alone. In those studies only using IRIF, 80% were effective when using non-probiotic interventions, while only 45% were found to be effective when using probiotic ways.

非益生菌干预在单独使用IRIF的研究中也更有效。在那些仅使用IRIF的研究中,80%在使用非益生菌干预时有效,而只有45%在使用益生菌方法时有效。

The authors say one reason that non-probiotic interventions were significantly more effective than probiotic interventions was possible due to the fact that changing diet (a diverse energy source) could have more of an impact on gut bacteria growth than introducing specific types of bacteria in a probiotic supplement.

作者说,非益生菌干预比益生菌干预更有效的一个原因是改变饮食(一种不同的能源)可能比在益生菌补充剂中引入特定类型的细菌对肠道细菌生长产生更大的影响。

the overall quality of the 21 studies included was high.

这21项研究的总体质量很高。

The researchers conclude: “We find that more than half of the studies included showed it was positive to treat anxiety symptoms by regulation of intestinal microbiota.

研究人员得出结论:“我们发现,超过一半的研究表明,通过调节肠道微生物群来治疗焦虑症状是积极的。

“There are two kinds of interventions (probiotic and non-probiotic interventions) to regulate intestinal microbiota, and it should be highlighted that the non-probiotic interventions were more effective than the probiotic interventions. More studies are needed to clarify this conclusion since we still cannot run meta-analysis so far.”

“有两种干预措施(益生菌干预和非益生菌干预)来调节肠道微生物群,应该强调的是,非益生菌干预比益生菌干预更有效。需要更多的研究来澄清这个结论,因为我们目前还不能进行荟萃分析。”

They also suggest that, in addition to the use of psychiatric drugs for treatment, “we can also consider regulating intestinal flora to alleviate anxiety symptoms.”

他们还建议,除了使用精神病药物治疗外,“我们还可以考虑调节肠道菌群以缓解焦虑症状。”