Probiotics improved mental state scores
In one of the first studies to link gut health to mental function, probiotics improved cognition scores in those with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this study, 52 people with AD took a placebo or a daily probiotic including L. acidophilus, L. casei, bifidobacterium bifidum, and L. fermentum at a concentration of two-billion colony forming units each.

After 12 weeks, those taking the probiotics saw significant improvement in standard mini-mental state exam scores, to 10.6 from 8.7, on a maximum scale of 30, while the placebo group declined.

Those in the probiotics group also saw lower triglycerides, very-low-density lipoprotein (vLDL) cholesterol, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein; an inflammatory factor. Probiotics also reduced insulin resistance and insulin producing cell activity improved.

While the results were modest and participants remained severely cognitively impaired, doctors said the study is important because it provides evidence that the gut microbiome plays a role in neurological function and that probiotics can improve human cognition.

Reference: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience; November, 2016 Vol. 8; Article 256.
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