Thursday, July 4, 2013

Probiotics - new brain food?

Daily consumption of probiotics may improve the mental performance of lab animals with diabetes, says a new study that supports the potential benefits of an optimal microbiome–gut–brain axis.

I know what you might say - "hey this is an animal study and probiotics were only demonstrated to improve the mental function of diabetic animals." However, the first human study linking  probiotic consumption to improved mood and reduced levels of anxiety in humans was actually published in Gastroenterology earlier this year.

But when the incidence of diabetes is at epidemic levels, when there is a clear link to diabetes and reduced mental performance, a simple solution in the form of a probiotic supplement gets my vote. When the establishment of healthy gut microbiota in the general population is linked to a host of benefits across mental, physical and emotional areas, the whole family should be regular consumers. The easiest way for the whole family to benefit is to make the yoghurt from a high potency culture that contains multiple human strains that will populate your gastrointestinal tract from top-end to bottom! 

Or you can do as I do, every week I simply shake the contents of one sachet into water or juice and drink. It's that easy ... Remember too that fresh, organic vegetables and fruit, in particular berries suppport the positive effects of the probiotic in ways that we are only just beginning to understand according to presentations at June 2013 Berry Health Symposium. The Symposium provided a reminder that humans are 10 percent human and 90 percent bacteria, with microbes providing more genes that are responsible for human survival than humans' own genes! Something to think about and attend to.

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