Novel probiotic formula may protect infants from consequences of early-life stress, says animal study

A recent animal study found that supplementation with Lacidofil from Lallemand reduced anxiety-like behavior in rats with learned aversive association from infancy.

A recent animal study1 found that supplementation with a proprietary probiotic combination of L. rhamnosus Rosell 11 and L. helveticus Rosell-52 (Lacidofil from Lallemand; Mirabel, Canada) reduced anxiety-like behavior in rats with learned aversive association from infancy. Infants forget experiences more rapidly than older individuals; a phenomenon known as infantile amnesia. The study hypothesizes that expression of infantile amnesia is related to resilience and vulnerability. In other words, infantile stress may predispose individuals to higher anxiety in adulthood because infantile amnesia is offset by aversive stimuli.

Therefore, researchers conditioned infant rats to associate white noise with shock, then tested the memory of that association about one week later. They found infants that expressed better memory of aversive associations emitting more vocalizations, an indication of higher distress levels, when separated from their mother. They also experienced higher levels of conditioned fear and anxiety-like behavior. However, administration of the probiotic formula during early development reduced anxiety in rats that expressed good memory of aversive associations.

“These experiments are a promising first step and provide a preliminary rationale for the use of specific probiotics to prevent or reduce the negative impact of early offset of infantile amnesia” says Lucie Lingrand, product manager at Lallemand Health Solutions, in a press release.

Reference

  1. Harmon-jones SK et al. “Is good memory always a good thing? An early offset of infantile amnesia predicts anxiety-like behavior throughout development in rats.” Behaviour Research and Therapy, vol. 135 (2020)