People who work night shifts can suffer from higher rates of illness and chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes, anxiety and depression. Modifying our gut bacteria with a probiotic may be one strategy to reduce the impact of shift work on health. 

“Many of the problems associated with night shift work are driven by immune irregularities and chronic inflammation,” says Dr Nic West, “Given the close interaction between our gut bacteria and immune system, the probiotic supplements that alter the make-up of gut bacteria may help to strengthen the immune system.”

A study at the Griffith University Gold Coast campus is examining whether ingestion of a probiotic supplement will alter gut bacteria and improve immune and gut health. The study team are looking for shift workers aged from 30-65 from a range of professions including transport workers, emergency services, medical personnel and security officers. Participants are provided with a free probiotic supplement and will have their gut bacteria analysed along with immune and cardiovascular health. 

The study is expected to show that the probiotic supplement can modify gut bacteria and enhance immune and gut health. Participants will have their gut bacteria profiled along with a health check that includes cardiovascular health measures, diet screening and activity tracking.

For information on becoming involved in the Griffith University study, phone 0422 381424 or email: probiotic-study@griffith.edu.au