Special Studies: Anxiety

This is a common symptom for our times. This is reported often in samples, and thus being examined if it reaches our threshold for inclusion as defined in A new specialized selection of suggestions links. It does.

Anxiety is likely a part of a feedback look — anxiety chemicals modify the microbiome resulting in more anxiety triggering chemicals being released.

Study Populations:

We have 3 symptom annotations that could be included

  • Comorbid: High Anxiety [8.5 z-score x 45 samples]
  • DePaul University Fatigue Questionnaire : Anxiety/tension [6.5 z-score x 63 samples]
  • Condition: Generalized anxiety disorder [just 7 samples – so we exclude]

Taking the first two together we get 85 samples with an max z-score of 5.7

High Anxiety and Anxiety/tension111585
  • Bacteria Detected with z-score > 2.6: found 160 items, highest value was 5.7
  • Enzymes Detected with z-score > 2.6: found 290 items, highest value was 5.7
  • Compound Detected with z-score > 2.6: found No items

This hints that the enzymes being produced are likely more significant than the bacteria.

Interesting Significant Bacteria

All bacteria found significant (except 1) had too low levels. This is a common pattern found with these studies, it is not “bad bacteria bogie man bacteria” but an absence of “upstanding citizens bacteria”.

BacteriaReference MeanStudyZ-Score
Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (species)56215.7
Haemophilus parainfluenzae (species)16335435.5
Haemophilus (genus)16325455.4
Actinobacillus porcinus (species)183685.2
Pasteurellaceae (family)20017605.1
Pasteurellales (order)20017605.1

This is echoed in some studies

Interesting Enzymes

All enzymes found significant had too low levels.

EnzymeReference MeanStudy MeanZ-Score
HslU—HslV peptidase; (
UDP-N-acetyl-alpha-D-glucosamine hydro-lyase (configuration-retaining; UDP-2-acetamido-2,6-dideoxy-alpha-D-xylo-hex-4-ulose-forming) (
propanoate:CoA ligase (AMP-forming) (
[RNA] 5′-hydroxy-ribonucleotide-3′-[RNA fragment]-lyase (cyclicizing; [RNA fragment]-3′- nucleoside-2′,3′-cyclophosphate-forming and hydrolysing) (
(2S,3R)-3-hydroxybutane-1,2,3-tricarboxylate pyruvate-lyase (succinate-forming) (
(S)-2-hydroxyglutarate:quinone oxidoreductase (
propanoyl-CoA:oxaloacetate C-propanoyltransferase (thioester-hydrolysing, 1-carboxyethyl-forming) (
CMP-N-acetyl-beta-neuraminate:beta-D-galactosyl-(1->4)-N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminyl-R (2->3)-N-acetyl-alpha-neuraminyltransferase (configuration-inverting) (
4-hydroxybutanoate:NAD+ oxidoreductase (
ATP:(Kdo)-lipid IVA 3-deoxy-alpha-D-manno-oct-2-ulopyranose 4-phosphotransferase (
n/a (
(S)-3-amino-2-methylpropanoate:2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase (
5-aminopentanoate:2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase (

Usually I leave the enzymes to nerds, but in this I decided to do a little exploration. I recall that Lactobacillus Casei has been shown to reduce anxiety in studies. So I looked up what enzymes are in it. In the above list of too low, I found the first one above, in it. It opens up a possible model for picking probiotics a priori to address anxiety.

There was only one lactobacillus with more than one of these enzymes, Lactobacillus yamanashiensis – not available as a retail probiotic. There were three bifidobacterium which had more than one of these enzymes:

  • Bifidobacterium dentium (3)
  • Bifidobacterium thermophilum (3)
  • Bifidobacterium subtile (2)

Unfortunately, none are available as a retail probiotic. HOWEVER, there is one commercial probiotic that appears to have EIGHT (8) of these enzymes: Escherichia coli, available as Mutaflor (E.Coli Nisse 1917) or Symbioflor-2. So if you have anxiety, the theoretically best probiotic for you to take is an E.Coli one!!

A surprise!

I went to look at the a priori suggestions and was shocked/delighted that the only probiotic on the suggestion list was Symbioflor-2. Even with the complexities of 160 bacteria to adjust, somehow our enzymes calculations and this totally study based approach came to agreement! I repeat, I was shocked —

This selecting probiotics based on enzyme deficiency has an interesting scent and I will likely follow up on future posts.

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