Probiotic effects on adult anxiety and systemic inflammation after exposure to Western diet
Research shows that the microbiome-gut-brain axis affects physiological systems related to food intake, obesity, anxiety, and inflammation. These disorders are related to stress exposure and stress responding is influenced by programming events during early-life. In this study, we investigated the impact of early-life probiotic supplementation and lifelong Western diet exposure on metabolic consequences, systemic inflammation, and anxiety-like behaviours in adulthood. Overall, we found that probiotic treatment: 1) led to a greater inflammatory response following acute stress perhaps due to the lack of inhibition from enhanced stress hormone release; 2) may lead to fewer escape behaviours during anxiety testing; 3) mitigated the effects of weight gain after Western diet exposure in males; and 4) prevented weight gain in response to increased food intake in females. These results have implications for the treatment of anxiety and metabolic disorders along with highlighting the importance of diet and sex differences on health outcomes.