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  • Joan Rothchild Hardin

BIMUNO – Prebiotics for Anxiety, OCD, Depression & Overall Health


I was looking for a non-pharmaceutical way to help my anxious and OCD patients so asked my supplements guru, David Miller, MD at LifeThyme (a health food store in NYC). He sent information about a new PREbiotic supplement that’s been demonstrated to be helpful for anxiety and OCD thinking – and the entire immune system located in the gut microbiome. It’s called Bimuno®. (Miller, 2015) Bimuno® isn’t readily available yet in the US but can be ordered from the company’s website in England. Research on it and the information on the company’s site are very interesting. It comes as sachets of tasteless powder to sprinkle over food or add to drinks and also as soft chewable pastilles. I just ordered some (the pastilles) to try myself – especially to use during travels outside the country, which often lead to upsets in my gut microbiome.

Bimuno® is a new PREbiotic product that feeds the good, PRObiotic bacteria living in our guts (such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria) to the detriment of the bad bacteria (pathogens). As the good bacteria multiply, they flush out the bad bacteria. WHAT COULD BE BETTER!?

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRE- AND PRO-BIOTICS

PREBIOTICS are specialized plant fibers containing complex sugars (such as inulin,  fructo-ogliosaccharides and galacto-oligosaccharides) that are indigestible by humans but promote the growth of beneficial bacteria (PROBIOTICS) living in our gut microbiomes by serving as food for them. PROBIOTICS are helpful, live bacteria and yeasts our bodies need to function and maintain good health. They are found in fermented foods such as kefir, live-culture yogurt, real sauerkraut and pickles (not ones made with vinegar), kimchi, kombucha and other naturally fermented foods. If our gut flora has already become seriously out of balance, we can also benefit from taking high quality probiotics as supplements to populate the necessary array of friendly bacteria in our gut microbiomes. There are hundreds of probiotic species living in the human gut – some that are known to be ancient life forms and many that scientists haven’t even been able to identify yet. Sometimes PREBIOTICS and PROBIOTICS are combined in the same supplements, called SYNBIOTICS. See my earlier posts Prebiotics and Probiotics and  PREbiotics and PREbiotics for more information.

SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR THIS PREBIOTIC PRODUCT’S EFFICACY From the Bimuno® website: Scientific studies have demonstrated that Bimuno can significantly increase levels of Bifidobacteria (good bacteria) in the gut.1 Bimuno is the only second generation Galacto-oligosaccharide prebiotic available. It is a truly unique prebiotic with a powerful Bifidogenic effect. Bimuno’s unique galacto-oligosaccharide structure It selectively boosts Bifidobacteria which play a key role in immune function and maintaining and building a healthy digestive system. Bimuno is the result of many years of intensive research by a team of international digestive health experts and the University of Reading. A number of clinical trials have been published and there is an ongoing research and development program into Bimuno across a number of health areas including:

  • The Immune system

  • Various aspects of digestive Health

  • Digestive health while abroad

  • Various aspects of human metabolism

Reference: 1. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87 :785-91 Bimuno® original powder is the natural way to increase and energise your good gut bacteria helping you to manage your gut health.  Bimuno works in a similar way to prebiotics naturally found in human breast milk which promote a healthy bacterial balance within the gut. Scientific studies indicate that the unique second generation Galacto-oligosaccharide formulation of Bimuno powder, can help to encourage and sustain a healthy level of your friendly gut bacteria(Bifidobacteria). In fact Bimuno has the most potent bifidogenic (Bifidobacteria promoting) effect of any available prebiotic. Published scientific studies have shown that, with daily use, the majority of Bimuno users experience a significant increase in their gut Bifidobacterium within just 7 days. This in itself is impressive but by a unique anti-adhesive action it also helps flush ‘bad’ bacteria from your gut at the same time for a healthy microflora balance. Give your digestive system a healthy boost Bimuno powder:

  • Increases your Bifidobacteria levels, helping to maintain a healthy intestinal balance.

  • Reduces gas producing bacteria

  • Reduces bad bacteria levels

  • Energises your friendly gut bacteria

  • By maintaining a healthy digestive balance you can support overall well-being

GUT DYSBIOSIS AND ANXIETY Christian John Lillis, of the Peggy Lillis Foundation, reports noticing an uptick in the number of people on Clostridium difficile Facebook groups who mention that they’re also struggling with anxiety. (Lillis, 2015) This overlap between C. diff (a serious bacterial infection of the colon) and anxiety isn’t at all surprising. An out of balance (dysbiotic) gut microbiome produces a wide variety of symptoms – including anxiety, depression, and OCD.

http://www.peggyfoundation.org/

Animal studies have previously shown a link between mood and brain function and probiotics in the gut microbiota. Ingestion of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (a strain of PRObiotic) has been demonstrated to modulate information processing strongly linked to anxiety and depression and to improve the neuro-endocrine stress response in lab animals – in plain English, this probiotic turned anxious, fearful mice into mellow ones. Now new research on healthy human adults conducted by a group of neurobiologists at Oxford University demonstrated that supplementation with PREbiotics (Bimuno® galacto-oligosaccharides, B-GOS) lowered the subjects’ neuro-endocrine stress responses and increased their ability to  process positive versus negative attentional vigilance. In other words, PREbiotic supplementation with Bimuno REDUCED THEIR ANXIETY LEVELS AND OCD THINKING. The researchers assessed how subjects processed emotional information, such as positively and negatively charged words, after they’d been taking the prebiotic supplement. Results showed that the supplemented group paid less attention to negative information and more attention to positive information than either a group given another type of prebiotic (fructooligosaccharides, FOS) or a group given a placebo. The people who had taken Bimuno® also had lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone linked with anxiety and depression) in their morning saliva. A similar effect has been observed in people taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pharmaceutical medication. (Schmidt et al, 2014) (Gregoire, 2015) This is very good news for people suffering from anxiety and OCD. Taking a prebiotic supplement may relieve their life-impinging symptoms while also improving their overall physical health – without the adverse effects of pharmaceuticals.

BIMUNO‘S INGREDIENTS Information listed on the box of Bimuno powder sachets:

  • Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)

  • Lactose (from milk)

  • Glucose syrup

  • Thickener (gum arabic)

  • Galactose

  • Acidity regulator (trisodium citrate)

  • Free from artificial colors, flavours and preservatives

  • Gluten-free

  • 16 Cal/sachet

The galacto-oligosaccharides in Bimuno® are a mixture of disaccharides, trisaccharides, a tetrasaccharide and a pentasaccharide. THE BIMUNO WEBSITE I recommend checking out the Bimuno website. The pull down menus are chock full of useful and fascinating information about digestive and whole body health, prebiotics/ probiotics and the immune system. See the information under:

  • Maintain your digestive health

  • Digestive problems & solutions

  • Support your immune defences

  • Digestive health for traveling

REFERENCES Bimuno. (2015). Bimuno’s website. See: http://www.bimuno.com/ Depeint, F. et al. (2008). Prebiotic evaluation of a novel galactooligosaccharide mixture produced by the enzymatic activity ofBifidobacterium bifidum NCIMB 41171, in healthy humans: a randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled intervention study. See: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/3/785.full Gregoire, C. (2015). The Surprising Link Between Gut Bacteria And Anxiety. The Huffington Post. See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/04/gut-bacteria-mental-healt_n_6391014.html Hardin, J.R. (2013). Probiotics and Probiotics. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: https://www.allergiesandyourgut.com/post/prebiotics-and-probiotics

Lillis, J.C. (2015). Private communication. Miller, D. (2015). Private communication. Schmidt, K. (2014). Prebiotic intake reduces the waking cortisol response and alters emotional bias in healthy volunteers. See: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-014-3810-0 Vulevic, J. et al. (2008). Modulation of the fecal microflora profile and immune function by a novel trans-galactooligosaccharide mixture (B-GOS) in healthy elderly volunteers. See: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/5/1438.short © Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.


DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Comments submitted prior to 8/25/2021


Or…just eat prebiotic foods.


They do the exact same thing.


http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/examples-prebiotic-foods-1516.html In general I am wary of websites that present research about their specific product as being helpful without presenting other studies comparing to other companies products or to levels in known other

sources of the stuff. And without careful control of other variables, etc.


Ok. Prebiotcs are great, but why those particular ones? Why promote this and not the consumption of well know prebiotic foods? Who sponsored the studies? How many of those are peer reviewd? I would have no less requirements of proof of scientific results for reportedly natural stuff that I would for other stuff.


Just saying. I can get my prebiotics in the foods I eat.


Na’ama Yehuda


In reply to Na'ama.Na’ama,


The article you site mentions three types of prebiotics occurring naturally in foods: Inulins, Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), and Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). The research that led to the development of Bimuno demonstrated only Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) to be useful in reducing anxiety levels and OCD thinking in the study’s subjects. Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) were no more helpful than a placebo. Inulins apparently weren’t included in this research. Here’s a list of research studies that led to the development of

Bimuno with the particular type of galacto-oligosaccharides found in it.


Joan


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0197018613002623 Prebiotic feeding elevates central brain derived neurotrophic factor, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits and D-serine


Savignaca, Coronab, Millsa, Chena, Spencerb, Tzortzisc, & Burneta Neurochemistry International. Volume 63, Issue 8, December 2013, Pages 756–764 Conclusion


Our results have provided the necessary ‘proof-of-principle’ for the central actions of prebiotic consumption. The increase of hippocampal BDNF after prebiotic intake is consistent with a probiotic effect, and may have been a direct consequence of elevated gut Bifidobacteria

numbers. However, an additional effect of gut hormones (e.g. PYY) or other mediators, such as the immune system resulting from direct oligosaccharide-gut interactions, cannot be ruled out. The elevation of NMDAR subunits after prebiotics is intuitive given their reduction in

the brains of germ-free animals. Furthermore, the strong correlation between Bifidobacteria numbers and cortical NR1 levels presented in this report, further supports a link between the microbiota and central glutamate neurotransmission. Mechanistic investigations beyond the scope of the present study, are now required to ascertain the systems underlying the observed changes, and will also reveal if vagal nerve modulation is involved. Moreover, behavioural analysis in rats will ascertain if the changes in BDNF after prebiotics impart an anxiolytic action, or that increased NMDAR subunits translate to improved cognitive

performance. Importantly, our study has provided sufficient cause to warrant further exploration into the utility of prebiotics in therapies of neuropsychiatric illness and which, by virtue of their ability to proliferate gut bacteria and stimulate neuroendocrine (and other)

responses, may even prove to be more potent than probiotics.


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