The relation between gut problems and fatigue has been noted for years but the exact underlying mechanisms are not completely clear yet. Research is now pointing towards an involvement of the gut-brain axis. Recent studies have demonstrated the ability of probiotics to influence gut-brain communication and brain functioning. Winclove is now involved in an exploratory study to further unravel the potential of probiotics to influence symptoms of fatigue.
Fatigue, characterized by general exhaustion, extreme tiredness, weakness or lack of energy, is a common symptom affecting 8% of the general population. Prior studies have demonstrated that up to 80% of patients with inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) experience significant fatigue symptoms Symptoms of fatigue are more significant in patients with Crohn’s Disease than in patients with Ulcerative Colitis but appear not necessarily related to disease activity. Those patients with significant fatigue also reported higher depression and anxiety, as was also found in previous studies. This led the researchers to hypothesize that fatigue could be related to potential gut-brain mechanisms. Researchers at the Crohn’s and Colitis Centre of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) will, in collaboration with Winclove, perform an exploratory RCT to evaluate the effect of the probiotic supplement on fatigue symptoms.