Decreased social anxiety among young adults who eat fermented foods
J Thoendell stashed this in Food
A possible connection between fermented foods, which contain probiotics, and social anxiety symptoms, is the focus of recent study. The study is just the first in a series that the researchers have planned to continue exploring the mind-gut connection, including another examination of the data to see whether a correlation exists between fermented food intake and autism symptoms.
My mom was right that kimchi is the key to all things!
Are all fermented foods equivalent? Or is kimchi more probiotic than other fermented foods?
According to Korean Mom Wisdom, kimchi is best because it has copious GARLIC and CHILE in addition to the vegetables.
Got it. Dill pickles have the garlic but not the chile, so not the same.
Garlic is really an anti-bacterial, so it kills some gut microflora... capsaicin is an anesthetic.
Perhaps it kills the microflora responsible for anxiety?
"It is likely that the probiotics in the fermented foods are favorably changing the environment in the gut, and changes in the gut in turn influence social anxiety," said Hilimire. "I think that it is absolutely fascinating that the microorganisms in your gut can influence your mind."
The researchers designed a questionnaire that was included in a mass testing tool administered in the university's Introduction to Psychology courses during the fall 2014 semester; about 700 students participated. The questionnaire asked students about the fermented foods over the previous 30 days; it also asked about exercise frequency and the average consumption of fruits and vegetables so that the researchers could control for healthy habits outside of fermented food intake, said Hilimire.
"The main finding was that individuals who had consumed more fermented foods had reduced social anxiety but that was qualified by an interaction by neuroticism. What that means is that that relationship was strongest amongst people that were high in neuroticism," Hilimire said.
The secondary finding was that more exercise was related to reduced social anxiety. Although the researchers were pleased to see the findings so clearly support their hypothesis, the study is just the first in a series they have planned to continue exploring the mind-gut connection, including another examination of the data to see whether a correlation exists between fermented food intake and autism symptoms, said Hilimire.
The researchers will also soon create an experimental version of the study. Without that experimental phase, the researches can't make a causative connection between eating fermented foods and reduced social anxiety.