Here's some interesting info for people whose lifestyles throw their sleep schedules out of whack. Prebiotics may help you bounce back faster. Prebiotics -- not probiotics -- are food for the good bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics are found in fibrous foods such as onions, leeks and legumes.
The U.S. Navy pumped money into a University of Colorado Boulder study about how to help keep your circadian rhythm -- that's your internal clock -- on schedule. Many people in the military have jobs that entail working odd hours, getting jet lag or spending a lot of time without natural light. Think what it would be like to spend a month in a submarine without seeing the sun or moon. Your body clock could no doubt get out of sync.
Researchers wanted to see if prebiotics could help. And, it seems, they do. At least in rats. Their earlier studies showed that rats who ate prebiotic-infused food slept better and handled stress better. For the recent study, they found that the rats that ate prebiotics had more good bacteria in their guts, which produced substances that helped buffer them from a state similar to jet lag.
Does this translate to humans? They're starting up clinical trials to find out. And maybe, if the study is positive, their preliminary research could lead to a therapy that could help people keep their internal body clocks on schedule.
The researchers say more study is needed to sort this out, including whether or not people should take prebiotic supplements. The study is published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.
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