Why Probiotics Improve Dementia

Does the Friendly Fauna in Our Gut Affect Our Cognitive Ability?

It only makes sense that, when the gut is able to absorb optimal nutrition, the entire body will benefit –including our brain. Now there’s evidence to prove that probiotics improve learning and memory, and reduce anxiety and depression.

According to an article in Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience, a daily dose of probiotic Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria taken over a period of 12 weeks improved the score of elderly Alzheimer’s patients on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scale, a system to measure cognitive impairment.

Trial Method

To assess the effects of probiotic supplementation on cognitive function, a randomized double-blind controlled clinical trial was conducted among two groups of 60 patients who were treated with either milk (control group) or a mixture of probiotics. The probiotic supplemented group took 200 ml/day probiotic milk containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus fermentum for 12 weeks.

Before and following the procedure, the MMSE score was recorded in each of the test subjects. In order to determine the related markers, pre and post-treatment fasting blood samples were taken.

MMSE Scores Increased

The average score on the MMSE questionnaire increased (from 8.7 to 10.6 out of a maximum of 30) in the group receiving probiotics, but not in the control group (from 8.5 to 8.0).

Although the patients remained impaired cognitively, researchers say these results are important because they are the first to show that probiotics can improve human cognition.

“After 12 weeks’ intervention, compared with the control group, the probiotic treated patients showed a significant improvement in the MMSE score,” they wrote.

In addition, the group treated with probiotics showed a reduction in insulin resistance, and lower levels of triglycerides.

“These findings indicate that change in the metabolic and adjustments might be a mechanism by which probiotics affect Alzheimer’s and possibly other neurological disorders.” said professor Mahmoud Salami from Kashan University the senior author of the study. “We plan to look at these mechanisms in greater detail in our next study.”

The research concludes, “overall, the current study demonstrated that probiotic consumption for 12 weeks positively affects cognitive function and some metabolic statuses in the patients.”

Walter Lukiw, Professor Neurology, Neuroscience and Ophthalmology and Bollinger Professor of Alzheimer’s disease at Louisiana State University, who reviewed the study said, “This early study is interesting and important because it provides evidence for gastrointestinal (GI) tract microbiome components playing a role in neurological function, and indicates that probiotics can in principle improve human cognition.

“This is in line with some of our recent studies which indicate that the GI tract microbiome in Alzheimer’s is significantly altered in composition when compared to age-matched controls, and that both the GI tract and blood-brain barriers become significantly more leaky with aging, thus allowing GI tract microbial exudates (e.g. amyloids, lipopolysaccharides, endotoxins and small non-coding RNAs ) to access Central Nervous System compartments.”

How’s Your Gut?

Probiotic 1150TM – digestive Health is an effective digestive support supplement. It contains 75mg of Unique IS-2 (Bacillus coagulans 15 B CFU/G) and 500 mg of Nutra-Fructo B-88 (Fructooligosaccharide) per one tablet serving.


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