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Fermented foods can make you feel less stressed, study reveals

Beer is food, beer is fermented. So, obviously.

Kombucha, kimchi and kefir are all known for their physical benefits but now researchers have found that they also benefit a person’s mental health.

Scientists from University College Cork in Ireland recruited 45 adults and split them into two groups. Around half received a month-long “psychobiotic” diet, which is designed specifically to invigorate a person’s gut bacteria, known as the microbiome, and included two or three servings a day of fermented foods, such as sauerkraut or kimchi.

This diet also includes up to eight servings daily of fruits and vegetables high in prebiotic fibres (such as onions, leeks, cabbage, apples, bananas and oats) as well as up to eight portions of grains a day and four servings of legumes per week.

8 servings of veg a day, 8 of grains a day, 3 of fermented a day. The gut biomes got better because they exploded, right?

14 thoughts on “Beer”

  1. Something about the control group also gaining a massive boost in “well-being” tells me that the dietary habits of the volunteers were not exactly up to par to begin with.

    And that the “experiment” as such wasn’t quite up to par with regards to the replicability and control requirements that used to be …encouraged… into us in the Old Days.

    *digs into the Interwebz*
    Oooooh open access…. I’ll have a look later today, but the first thing that struck me was that all the volunteers were selected for “Nutritionally Poor” diets… So I was right there.
    And someone likes drawing straight lines though data blobs, it seems..

  2. I’m just curious as to why, if they were splitting the volunteers into 2 groups, they chose 45. Why not 44 or 46, or even 50? I know nothing about this sort of trial so there may be a perfectly logical reason.

  3. @KevinS Most likely because that is the number of “volunteers” that got through the pre-screening for the…research..

    They already “missed” the two other logical groups: people with decent dietary habits split up on both the normal diet and the “superdiet”.
    That’s the control groups for normal dietary and placebo effects they didn’t incude in their …research…

    Which we would have gotten Snarked at for “forgetting” to include them in the Olden Days.

  4. I suppose 0% beer counts as fermented food? In hot weather it lets me have a “beer” at lunch and still have my daily glass of wine at dinner, or G&T before dinner.

    We’ve just finished the last of the apples from our back garden; happily we still have lots from the front garden.

    Now then, kombucha: any good? (I do like kefir.)

    We once threw out some old tins of baked beans because they were fermenting. Error?

  5. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Oh good, another trial to Fisk:

    “Participants in the control diet were given general food guidance but not placed on any tailored nutritional programme…”

    Under absolutely no circumstances whatsoever was the unblinded trial set up in a way that would bias it towards the predetermined conclusion.

    “I’m just curious as to why, if they were splitting the volunteers into 2 groups, they chose 45. ”

    Without question these high-calibre researchers calculated their sample size based on the expected effect size. No doubt about it whatsoever in my mind!

    “In the control group 17 per cent of participants saw a reduction in their perceived stress levels, but this figure was almost double (32 per cent) for the fermented foods cohort.”

    It is truly amazing how all of these high-calibre, open-label trials, of basically giving one group lots and lots of attention and the other group none, always produce dramatic differences between cohorts in quality of life metrics. And even though you can talk about any direction of change, magnitude of change, proportion of people with a change, “17% of people went up, but we won’t tell you 17% also went down” etc etc and thus have many many potential cherries to pick from, we never see any impact at all on any QoL in any of the poison we inject into cancer patients in our dastardly clinical trials. Even, in fact especially, the blinded ones.

  6. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Grikath, if you found the paper a link would be appreciated because I am very lazy today.

    Which is precisely why I want to waste time deconstructing a crap study that I am too bone idle to find.

  7. Humans are social animals so their mood / mental health will be improved by receiving lots of attention.
    Placebos and homeopathy always come with added attention.
    Cows are domesticated animals and like being stroked, as they get the placebo / homeopathy dose.
    OTOH try giving homeopathy or a placebo to a honey badger or a wolverine. I dare you.

  8. @KevinS
    “I’m just curious as to why, if they were splitting the volunteers into 2 groups, they chose 45. Why not 44 or 46, or even 50?”
    I’ve long had a theory that researchers choose odd sample sizes so they can report multiple decimal places in their conclusions. Why choose a sample size of 100 people and take the risk of 74 people – 74% supporting your hypothesis, when you could choose 103 and report a much more precise sounding 73.7864% (=76/103).

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