Supplementation with Lactobacillus casei Shirota improves cognitive functions in footballers

This randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial evaluated among 20 male footballers the effects of probiotics supplementation with 3 x 1010 CFU/d of Lactobacillus casei Shirota or a placebo drink after eight weeks on stress, anxiety and cognitive performance.

Results revealed that there is no significant difference for heart rate (61.90 bpm +/- 5.84 vs. 67.67 bpm +/- 8.42, p = 0.09) and electrodermal responses (0.27 microS +/- 0.19 vs. 0.41 microS +/- 0.12, p = 0.07) after eight weeks. Similarly, brain waves showed no significant changes during the study period except for the theta wave and delta wave at week 4 (p < 0.05). However, the cognitive test reaction time showed significant improvement in the probiotic group compared to the placebo (p < 0.05).

In conclusion, these findings suggest that daily Lactobacillus casei Shirota supplementation may have the potential to modulate the brain waves namely, theta (relaxation) and delta (attention) for better training, brain function, and psychological improvement to exercise.

Adikari AMGCP, Appukutty M, Kuan G. Effects of Daily Probiotics Supplementation on Anxiety Induced Physiological Parameters among Competitive Football Players. Nutrients. 2020;12(7):E1920. Published 2020 Jun 29.

Photo by Sven Kucinic on Unsplash