Psychobiotic Effects of Multi-Strain Probiotics Originated from Thai Fermented Foods in a Rat Model

Vijitra Luang-In1,*, Teeraporn Katisart2, Ampa Konsue3, Sutisa Nudmamud-Thanoi4, Arjan Narbad5, Worachot Saengha1, Eakapol Wangkahart6, Supaporn Pumriw7, Wannee Samappito8, Nyuk Ling Ma9
Author Information & Copyright
1Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham 44150, Thailand.
2Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mahasarakham University, Maha Sarakham 44150, Thailand, Mahasarakham 44150, Thailand.
3Applied Thai Traditional Medicine, Thai Traditional Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Mahasarakham University, Maha Sarakham 44000, Thailand, Mahasarakham 44000, Thailand.
4Centre of Excellence in Medical Biotechnology, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medical Science, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand.
5Quadram Institute Bioscience, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UA, UK, Norwich NR4 7UA, United Kingdom.
6Research Unit of Excellence for Tropical Fisheries and Technology, Division of Fisheries, Department of Agricultural Technology, Faculty of Technology, Mahasarakham University, Khamriang, Kantarawicha, Mahasarakham 44150, Thailand.
7Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Agricultural Technology, Kalasin University, Na Mon District, Kalasin 46230, Thailand, Kalasin 46230, Thailand.
8Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Technology, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, 44000 Thailand, Mahasarakham 44150, Thailand.
9Faculty of Science and Marine Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, 21030, Malaysia, Terengganu 21030, Malaysia.
*Corresponding Author: Vijitra Luang-In, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham 44150, Thailand. Phone: 0956614369. E-mail:

© Copyright 2020 Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: May 18, 2020 ; Revised: Aug 13, 2020 ; Accepted: Aug 20, 2020

Published Online: Sep 03, 2020


This work aimed to investigate the psychobiotic effects of six bacterial strains on the mind and behavior of male Wistar rats. The probiotic (PRO) group (n = 7) were rats pre-treated with antibiotics for 7 days followed by 14-day probiotic administration, antibiotics (ANT) group (n = 7) were rats treated with antibiotics for 21 days without probiotics. The control (CON) group (n = 7) were rats that received sham treatment for 21 days. The six bacterial strains with probiotic properties were mostly isolated from Thai fermented foods; Pedicoccus pentosaceus WS11, Lactobacillus plantarum SK321, L. fermentum SK324, L. brevis TRBC 3003, Bifidobacterium adolescentis TBRC 7154 and Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis TBRC 375. The probiotics were freeze-dried into powder (6×109 CFU/5 g) and administered to the PRO group via oral gavage. Behavioral tests were performed. The PRO group displayed significantly reduced anxiety level and increased locomotor function using a marble burying test and open field test, respectively and significantly improved short-term memory performance using a novel object recognition test. Antibiotics significantly reduced microbial counts in rat feces in the ANT group by 100 fold compared to the PRO group. Probiotics significantly enhanced antioxidant enzymatic and non-enzymatic defenses in rat brains as assessed using catalase activity and ferric reducing antioxidant power assay, respectively. Probiotics also showed neuroprotective effects with less pyknotic cells and lower frequency of vacuolization in cerebral cortex. This multi-strain probiotic formulation from Thai fermented foods may offer a potential to develop psychobiotic-rich functional foods to modulate human mind and behaviors.

Keywords: antioxidant; anxiety; memory; probiotics; Thai fermented foods

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