Oxidative stress in sleep deprivation: probiotics can help

Many people suffer from lack of sleep or sleep deprivation. The resulting oxidative stress can have a cell-damaging effect. A recent study tested probiotics' role for this.

Consequences of sleep deprivation

Too little sleep is responsible for cell damage

Almost everyone knows lack of sleep from their own experience. However, while one or two bad nights can usually be easily overcome, a chronic sleep deficit is a somewhat different story. There are many reasons why adults do not sleep enough. From a hectic lifestyle with too many responsibilities, to children waking up at night, to shift work, the demands are everywhere.

It is obvious that sleep loss has negative effects on health. It promotes the development of chronic diseases such as hypertension or upsets the hormone balance. But lack of sleep also causes damage at the cellular level: oxidative stress and extensive inflammatory reactions occur.

Probiotics as loss adjusters?

Probiotics enjoy an excellent reputation - for several reasons. Recently, there have been more and more reports about their anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.

It is therefore obvious that researchers have investigated the question of whether probiotics can also protect against cell damage caused by sleep deprivation.

Study in the mouse model

In the mouse study model, researchers first divided the mice into two groups: one that slept normally and one whose sleep was reduced over seven days. Both groups were then given either a tincture of different probiotics (SLAB51) or water.

Finally, various parameters such as lipids, DNA oxidation, levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines and hormone levels of the gut-brain axis were measured on the mice brains. The morphology and density of microglia was also examined.

Good outcomes with probiotics

The study confirmed that sleep deprivation leads to oxidative and inflammatory cell damage. This results in an imbalance of the gut-brain hormone axis. However, the mice that received SLAB51 were more resistant to this damage. Thus, there was less stress-induced cell damage in this group. Instead, the probiotic increased the anti-oxidative resistance of the brain. 

In addition, the probiotic mixture was able to rebalance the gut-brain hormone axis and thus reduce inflammatory reactions caused by sleep deprivation.

Study proves benefit of probiotics

The study data offer an interesting starting point for supplementation with probiotics in people with sleep deprivation. Most of these drugs are well tolerated and have few side effects. The study suggests that they can regulate oxidative and inflammatory cell stress.