The Daily Mail published an article today discussing the positive impact that probiotics may have with anxiety, and also Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) such as Asperger's syndrome. The article focused particularly on our friend, and award winning blogger, Claire Parkinson whose son, Giovanni, suffers from Asperger's syndrome - a form of autism that causes difficulties with communication, interaction and imagination. Alongside many ASD conditions it is common to suffer with digestive symptoms such as abdominal bloating and diarrhoea and/or constipation.

For every day EXTRA StrengthAbout 18 months ago, Claire began to supplement Giovanni with our 'For every day EXTRA Strength' product (suitable from 1 year+) hoping to find a solution to his digestive complaints, and documented their progress on Claire's hugely popular blog "A Boy With Aspergers". Thankfully the probiotics helped a great deal in abating Giovanni's upset tummy, and Claire was amazed to also see that the probiotics helped with his Asperger's syndrome. Claire noted that Giovanni's levels of anxiety were significantly reduced and she quickly saw 'big improvements' in his concentration and behaviour.

To all of you who read our blog regularly, that might not have surprised you - as much research has linked the health and diversity of the gut microbiota to mental wellbeing, which has become known as the gut-brain axis.

The Daily Mail discussed some of this research in the article. Of particular note was Dr. Emeran Mayer, of the University of California, whose work utilised MRI scans and gut microbiota samples from 60 people. He found that connections between different parts of the brain differed depending on the composition of an individual's gut microbiota.

Another study involving healthy women, between the ages of 18 to 55, reported reduced anxiety levels when supplemented with probiotics, in comparison to placebo or no treatment.

Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, a colleague of Dr Mayer, at the University of California, commented on their findings, "Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut. Out study shows the gut-brain connection is a two-way street."

The Daily Mail also discussed notable research from a research team from the McMaster University of Ontario who directly linked mental health with gut microbiota composition in mice. Read more about that research here.

Early research into the gut-brain axis is proving very promising indeed, but much more research is needed to target which specific probiotic strains are the most efficient in targeting specific mental health conditions.

However, what is certain is the great anecdotal feedback and success stories such as Giovanni's and Claire's, where probiotics certainly have made a positive impact.

Read more about 'For every day EXTRA Strength' here.

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