Health Advice



Is something bugging you?

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

When five men attempted to set up a wiretap at the Democratic National Headquarters in June 1972, the bad news bugs backfired, big time. The Watergate burglars only succeeded in causing a national anxiety crisis and bringing down the presidency of Richard Nixon, who resigned in August 1974.

That's just the opposite of what setting up good bugs can do, say researchers from the University of Surrey. Their study, published in Scientific Reports, gave a group of 18- to 25-year-olds a daily dose of a prebiotic supplement called galacto-oligosaccharides, found in lentils, chickpeas, beans and white onions. These friendly sugars pass through your gut undigested and in the colon, they promote growth of intestinal bugs (aka bacteria) that fuel good physical and mental health.

Over the four weeks of the double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers surveyed the participant's mood, anxiety and sleep quality and analyzed stool samples. The conclusion: The supplement promotes a healthier balance of bacteria in the gut biome and markedly reduces anxiety.

The researchers explain that stress and diet can alter your gut biome and let "bad bugs" take over, altering gene expression and affecting your brain function. That lays the groundwork for emotional problems such as anxiety or depression. So if you're feeling stressed out (and who isn't?), dish up hummus dip, lentil soup with onions, and beans and rice as often as possible. Recipes are in the "What to Eat When Cookbook." And ask your doctor about taking this prebiotic supplement.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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