Can a Tiny Bacteria Improve Sleep, Mood, Cognitive Function

Can a Tiny Bacteria Improve Your Sleep, Mood & Cognitive Function?

Written by: Vincent Pedre M.D. | June 20, 2024 | Time to read 12 min

Do you want to feel better, sleep more peacefully, and improve your cognitive function? Many of us turn to lifestyle changes, medications, and supplements. But what if the answer lies in something as tiny as a bacteria that may be missing from your gut? 

Recent studies highlight the potential of specific probiotic strains, such as Lactobacillus plantarum PS128, Lactobacillus paracasei PS23, and Bacillus subtilis  DE111, to significantly impact these quality of life aspects of health. These probiotics are not just any bacteria; they have unique properties that interact with the gut-brain axis, a critical communication pathway between our gut and brain.

In this blog post, I’ll dive deep into the science behind these remarkable bacteria, explaining what makes PS128, PS23, and DE111 special, and why their specific strains (not just any other generic ones by the same name) are crucial for achieving the desired health benefits. We will explore how these probiotics can enhance your sleep quality, elevate your mood, and boost cognitive functions, backed by compelling research findings.

Why Specific Strains Matter: Understanding PS128, PS23, and DE111

And no, I’m not talking about PS (Public Schools). In the world of probiotics, not all bacteria are created equal. When we refer to specific strains like Lactobacillus plantarum PS128, Lactobacillus paracasei PS23, and Bacillus subtilis DE111, we're talking about particular variations of these bacteria that have been identified and studied for their unique health benefits . Here's a closer look at what these strains mean, why they are important, and why not just any Lactobacillus plantarum or other probiotic would yield the same effects.

 Why Not Just Any Lactobacillus plantarum or Other Probiotic? 

Not all strains of Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei, or Bacillus subtilis have the same health benefits. Each strain has a unique genetic composition that dictates its functions and effects. For example, while one strain of Lactobacillus plantarum might be effective in improving gut health, only the PS128 strain has been shown to significantly improve mood and sleep quality.

  Why Are These Strains Important?  

These specific strains are important because they have been extensively researched and demonstrated to have particular health benefits. 

HINT: when you see letters and numbers after a bacterial species, you know that it’s a clinically-researched strain.

For instance:

  • PS128 has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce depressive symptoms, likely due to its effects on neurotransmitter levels and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • PS23 is recognized for its ability to reduce stress and cortisol levels, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function.

  • DE111 is known for its neuroprotective effects, including enhancing cognitive function and reducing anxiety through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Let’s explore each strain in more detail below.

The 3 strains

Lactobacillus plantarum PS128: Get Better Sleep and Reduce Anxiety

Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 has garnered attention for its potential benefits on sleep and mood, particularly through its effects on the gut-brain axis. This strain is not just any Lactobacillus plantarum; its specific properties have been studied extensively, showing promising results in improving mental health.

Improvement in Sleep Quality and Reduction of Depressive Symptoms 

A recent study found that daily administration of Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 significantly decreased depressive symptoms and improved sleep quality in individuals with insomnia. Participants who received PS128 showed reduced fatigue levels, fewer awakenings during deep sleep, and improvements in brainwave activity associated with sleep maintenance. 

Studies have shown that taking PS128 over the long-term increases levels of serotonin and dopamine in the striatum (a part of the brain involved in decision-making functions), key neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation. These neurochemical changes were correlated with reductions in anxiety-like behaviors and improvements in emotional responses.

An open trial with patients suffering from  Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)  indicated that supplementation with PS128 for 8 weeks resulted in significant reductions in depressive symptoms, as measured by standardized scales. Although serum markers of inflammation and gut permeability did not change significantly, there were correlations between changes in gut microbiota and symptom improvements. 

Research demonstrated that PS128 could reduce anxiety-like behaviors and modulate stress-related hormones, such as corticosterone. Additionally, PS128 influenced inflammatory cytokines, suggesting an anti-inflammatory effect that could contribute to its anxiety-reducing properties.

A study on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) showed that PS128 ameliorated opposition/defiance behaviors and improved overall behavioral scores. This suggests potential benefits for mood regulation in broader neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric contexts.

In summary, Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 supports sleep and mood through several mechanisms, including modulation of neurotransmitters, anti-inflammatory effects, and improvements in sleep architecture. These findings suggest that PS128 is a valuable supplement for improving mental health and sleep quality.

Lactobacillus paracasei PS23: Stop the Stress and Improve your Mood

Lactobacillus paracasei PS23 has been studied for its potential benefits on mood and cortisol levels. These benefits are primarily mediated through its effects on the gut-brain axis, modulation of neurotransmitters, and anti-inflammatory properties.

A study demonstrated that both live and heat-killed Lactobacillus paracasei PS23 could alleviate anxiety- and depression-like behaviors. This effect was associated with increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein in the brain and spinal cord that helps neurons develop, mature and survive, and serotonin in the hippocampus, as well as improved serotonin and dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex and striatum. 

Lactobacillus paracasei PS23 supplementation was shown to reduce serum corticosterone levels and increase anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 (IL-10)  levels in a maternal separation mouse model, which triggers a stress-elicited response with immunomodulatory properties. This study suggests that PS23 helps mitigate the effects of early life stress on mood and anxiety.  

In aging mouse models, PS23 supplementation improved memory and anxiety-related behaviors. This was associated with increased serotonin levels in the hippocampus and upregulation of genes involved in neuroplasticity and anti-inflammatory responses. The gut microbiota composition was also positively influenced by PS23, contributing to these effects.

PS23 was found to delay age-related cognitive decline and reduce inflammation. This effect was linked to the enhancement of antioxidant enzyme activities and reduction of inflammatory cytokines*, suggesting that PS23  supports brain health by mitigating oxidative stress and inflammation. 

[*Cytokines are small proteins that are crucial in controlling the growth and activity of other immune system cells and blood cells. When released, they signal the immune system to do its job.]

Not only this, but supplementation with PS23 improved muscle recovery and reduced biomarkers of muscle damage and inflammation following exercise-induced muscle damage. This indicates potential benefits for physical recovery and stress reduction. 

In summary Lactobacillus paracasei PS23 supports your mood by modulating neurotransmitter levels, reducing inflammation, and decreasing stress-related hormones like cortisol. These effects highlight its potential as a psychobiotic for improving mental health and overall well-being.

Bacillus subtilis DE111: The Neuroprotective Probiotic

Bacillus subtilis DE111 has been recognized for its robust survival in the digestive tract and its beneficial effects on gut health. Recent studies also suggest its potential neuroprotective effects, making it a valuable addition to probiotic formulations aimed at improving cognitive function and mental health.

Research suggests that a healthy gut microbiota, which DE111 supports by increasing beneficial bacteria and reducing pathogenic bacteria, may positively impact cognitive function through the gut-brain axis.

By enhancing immune response and promoting a healthier gut microbiota, DE111 may contribute to overall brain health, potentially influencing inflammation and oxidative stress indirectly.

DE111 can influence neurotransmitter levels, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are essential for mood regulation. This modulation helps reduce anxiety-like behaviors and improve stress responses, highlighting DE111's potential benefits for mental health.

For men and women in their 40s and 50s, managing cholesterol levels is crucial to maintaining heart health and overall well-being. This study provides compelling evidence of DE111’s ability to help lower cholesterol. Specifically, DE111 supplementation was associated with a notable decrease in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often referred to as "bad cholesterol." High levels of LDL cholesterol are linked to an increased risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. DE111 not only lowers cholesterol but may also enhance the body's overall ability to manage lipids more efficiently. 

In summary, Bacillus subtilis DE111 supports cognitive function and mental health through its neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. By modulating neurotransmitter levels and improving gut health, DE111 can enhance overall brain function and reduce anxiety. DE111 also lowers the bad cholesterol protecting our heart health and overall well-being.

Beneficial Strains in RESTORE For Mood and Cognitive Function

Restore 50B CFU Probiotic contains a blend of 10 clinically researched probiotic strains, each contributing to gut and brain health. Among these, several strains have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to improve brain function and reduce anxiety:

  • Bifidobacterium lactis: Known for its ability to enhance immune function and reduce inflammation, this strain supports overall gut health and can indirectly benefit brain health.

  • Lactobacillus plantarum: This hardy bacterial strain has been shown to successfully transit through the digestive system without getting destroyed by the high-acid environment of the stomach. L. plantarum has been studied for its potential immunostimulating effects, as well as for its potential to support a strong intestinal wall. Taking L. plantarum may ease abdominal symptoms of IBS.

  • Lactobacillus casei: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, this strain can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Lactobacillus salivarius: This strain supports gut health and has potential anti-inflammatory effects, benefiting overall brain function.

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus: Widely studied for its mental health benefits, this strain can reduce anxiety and improve mood through its effects on the gut-brain axis.

  • Lactobacillus paracasei: PS23 and LPC-37, have shown significant benefits for mood and stress reduction.

  • Bifidobacterium longum: This strain has been linked to reduced anxiety and depression symptoms, supporting overall mental health.

Restore's comprehensive blend of probiotics offers a synergistic effect, enhancing both gut and brain health through their combined anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.

Other benefits of Restore’s strains 

L. acidophilus DDS-1: significantly reduces the incidence and duration of cold and flu symptoms, improves colitis, and enables immune maturation in fetal enterocytes. It has also been shown to improve microbiome diversity following antibiotic therapy and is effective against C. difficile, candidiasis, and SIBO, while reducing constipation and increasing bowel frequency.

Bifidobacterium lactis (UABla-12TM): has been present in human food for decades and is broadly recognized for its key role in the human intestinal microflora throughout life. Its anti-inflammatory properties are useful in attenuating the symptoms of colitis, while supporting the body against allergies and allergic rhinitis. It protects and restores the microbiome following antibiotic therapy and boosts the body’s IgG response.

Lactobacillus casei (UALc-03TM): improves systemic and mucosal immune responses, reducing the occurrence of infections in elderly, especially.

Bifidobacterium breve (UABbr-11TM): a normal commensal microorganism that prevents and improves constipation, abdominal bloating, anal itch, burn, pain, and other symptoms of ulcerative colitis and necrotizing enterocolitis.

Bifidobacterium bifidum (UABb-10TM): improves functional constipation and symptoms of IBS, including abdominal pain, bloating, belching, flatulence, and diarrhea.

Detox Your Brain For Peak Performance: Light Therapy for Cognitive Health

You can improve memory, sleep better, and enhance focus all with one simple device!

The trick? It is all about 40Hz frequency light. Beacon 40 offers an innovative approach to cognitive health through light therapy. Beacon 40 is a device that uses 40Hz light stimulation to support brain function and slow cognitive decline. In double-blind clinical trials, after six months of daily exposure to 40Hz stimulation, participants experienced:

  • 77% slowing in functional decline

  • 76% reduction in memory and cognitive decline

  • 69% reduction of brain atrophy, as measured by whole brain volume via MRI

I’ve been using the Beacon40 lamp now for over a month, and I can say that I do feel my sleep and focus are much improved since I started using it. I was impressed with the compelling research out of MIT, showing that the 40Hz frequency reduces brain inflammation and modulate immune activity in the brain, including reducing the presence of Alzheimer’s proteins in the brain.

Learn more about Beacon 40 here or scan the QR code:

Ready to improve your Sleep, Mood, and Cognitive Function?

Exploring specific probiotic strains like Lactobacillus plantarum PS128, Lactobacillus paracasei PS23, and Bacillus subtilis DE111 highlights a fascinating connection between gut health and brain function. These tiny bacteria are more than just gut-friendly; they have profound effects on our mental well-being, from improving sleep and mood to enhancing cognitive function. The unique properties of these strains underscore the importance of selecting the right probiotics to achieve specific health benefits.

Furthermore, innovative treatments like Beacon 40 light therapy showcase the potential of combining different modalities to support cognitive health. By leveraging the synergistic effects of probiotics and light therapy, you can take a proactive approach to maintaining and improving your cognitive and mental health.

Understanding and leveraging the powerful connection between our gut and brain allows us to make informed choices that significantly enhance our brain function. Whether through specific probiotic strains or advanced light therapy, the potential for improved well-being is vast and within reach. 

If you or someone you know, a friend or family member, are starting to experience the early signs of cognitive decline, please share this blog post with them. An ounce of prevention goes a long way, and when it comes to brain health, it’s better to prevent it than wait until it’s too late to treat.

Sleep, Mood, Cognitive Function


How do probiotics affect mental health?

Probiotics can influence mental health by modulating the gut microbiota, which in turn affects the production of neurotransmitters and inflammatory cytokines that influence brain function.

What makes Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 unique?

PS128 has specific properties that allow it to modulate neurotransmitter levels, reduce inflammation, and improve sleep architecture, making it effective for enhancing mood and sleep quality.

Can probiotics really improve sleep quality?

Yes, specific strains like Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 have been shown in studies to improve sleep quality by affecting brainwave activity and reducing fatigue.

What are the benefits of Lactobacillus paracasei PS23?

PS23 has been shown to reduce stress and cortisol levels, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function through its effects on neurotransmitters and inflammation.

How long does it take to see the benefits of these probiotics?

The timeframe can vary, but studies often show significant improvements in mental health and cognitive function within a few weeks to a few months of regular supplementation.

Can these probiotics be taken together?

Yes, combining different probiotic strains can offer synergistic benefits for gut and brain health.

What is Beacon 40, and how does it work?

Beacon 40 is a light therapy device that uses 40Hz light stimulation to support cognitive health by slowing cognitive decline, improving memory, and reducing brain atrophy.

Can Beacon 40 be used in conjunction with probiotics?

Yes, Beacon 40 and probiotics can be used together. While probiotics improve gut health and cognitive function through the gut-brain axis, Beacon 40 provides direct brain stimulation, potentially enhancing overall mental health.

What are the main benefits of taking probiotics like PS128, PS23, and DE111?

The main benefits include improved sleep quality, mood enhancement, reduced anxiety and depressive symptoms, enhanced cognitive function, reduced inflammation, and overall mental health support.

How do the anti-inflammatory properties of probiotics contribute to brain health?

By reducing inflammation, probiotics can mitigate neuroinflammation, which is associated with various mental health disorders (like depression) and cognitive decline, thereby supporting overall brain health.

Can probiotics help with other health issues beyond mental health?

Yes, probiotics are beneficial for various health issues including digestive health, immune function, and even skin health. Their impact on the gut microbiota makes them versatile in promoting overall well-being.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.