Probiotics, paraprobiotics supplementation improves perceived sleep health

15 Nov 2020

Supplementation with live microorganisms (probiotics) or nonviable microorganisms/microbial cell fractions (paraprobiotics) appears effective in improving perceived sleep health, measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), results of a study have shown.

“Inadequate sleep (ie, duration and/or quality) is becoming increasingly recognized as a global public health issue,” the investigators said. “Interaction via the gut-brain axis suggests that modification of the gut microbial environment via supplementation with probiotics or paraprobiotics may improve sleep health.”

A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to examine the effect of consuming probiotics or paraprobiotics on subjective and objective sleep metrics. The investigators searched online databases from 1980 to 2019 for studies involving adults who consumed probiotics or paraprobiotics in controlled trials, during which changes in subjective and/or objective sleep parameters were evaluated.

Fourteen studies (20 trials) met the eligibility for the meta-analysis. Random effects meta-analyses revealed a significant reduction in PSQI score (ie, improved sleep quality) with probiotics or paraprobiotics supplementation relative to baseline (–0.78 points, 95 percent confidence interval, 0.395–1.166; p<0.001).

However, supplementation showed no significant effect for changes on other subjective sleep scales or objective parameters of sleep (ie, efficiency/latency), measured using polysomnography or actigraphy.

In subgroup analysis for PSQI data, the magnitude of the effect seemed greater (although not statistically significant) in healthy participants compared to those with a medical condition when treatment contained a single (rather than multiple) strain of probiotic bacteria and when treatment duration was ≥8 weeks.

“While current evidence does not support a benefit of consuming probiotics/paraprobiotics when measured by other subjective sleep scales, nor objective measures of sleep, more studies using well-controlled, within-subject experimental designs are needed,” the investigators said.

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