Supplements containing "good" probiotic bacteria could help some people with chronic fatigue syndrome feel better- but they may make others feel worse, say Swedish researchers.
In this small study, 10 women and five men with chronic fatigue syndrome were asked to eat two deciliters a natural probiotic yogurt twice daily for four weeks. During this time, the researchers monitored their signs and symptoms of fatigue.
Six out of the 15 people with chronic fatigue syndrome reported improvements in their symptoms, while one person said their symptoms got worse.
By the end of the study, over 25 percent of women reported better physical health and over 10 percent noted improvements in their mental health.
Men saw similar but less prevalent effects from the probiotic yogurt.
Given the close connection between the gut and the immune system, as well as the central nervous system, it's possible for probiotics to help restore the normal balance of bacteria in the digestive system.
The Swedish nutrition researchers suggest that people with chronic fatigue syndrome should try taking probiotic supplements for at least three weeks to see if it will improve their fatigue.
These findings about the linked between chronic fatigue syndrome and probiotics are preliminary and the reason for the connection remains unclear.
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