Years of research in the field of using probiotics have proved the fact that these live bacteria are of good help for the overall health of the human body and especially the digestive system. further research has come forward with results showing that the ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease can also benefit from the use of probiotics. Alzheimer’s disease is directly related to cognitive dysfunction. Research shows that there is a connection between metabolic disorders and Alzheimer’s disease and this includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes.
What is the Gut-Brain Axis?
The gut-brain axis is the connection between the brain and the digestive tract. It is because of the gut-brain axis that an individual feels butterflies in the stomach when he or she is anxious. It is the gut-brain axis that has the digestive tract influencing the immune system, hormones and the nervous system. Researchers have found through several studies that the beneficial bacteria found in the gut works in association with the gut-brain axis for alleviating anxiety. Researchers also concluded that probiotic supplements can help in reducing depression, OCD and anxiety symptoms. However, these results were concluded by studies made on zebra fish. Before this research, there was hardly any evidence supporting the cognitive advantages of probiotics on humans.
Cognitive Advantages of Probiotic Supplements for Alzheimer’s Disease Sufferers
A new study has suggested that regular probiotic supplementation of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus bacteria can help in improving cognitive problems in the elderly population that tends to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. This improvement is evident in a short span of just 12 weeks. The research was carried out on 60 people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for assessing the benefits of probiotic supplements in cognitive and metabolic markers. The participants range between ages 60 and 95. Out of the 60 participants, 30 took probiotics that contained Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus regularly for a period of 12 weeks. MMSE or Mini Mental State Examination was administered to all the participants pre and post treatment and the scores of all the participants were recorded. The fasting blood samples of the participants were also drawn pre and post treatment. This was done for assessing oxidative stress. As hs-CRP test was also carried out for predicting the chances if blood sugar and cardiovascular disease.
It was found in the results that the average MMSE score for the participants in the probiotic group increased significantly while it declined for the participants in the control group. All the participants remained seriously impaired as far as their cognitive functions were concerned despite some increase in the test group. However, the results of this test are quite important because they serve as the first evidence showing that probiotic supplements can be of good help in improving cognitive functions in people. The results indicate that a complete change in metabolic adjustments are one of the basic systems through which probiotics have a positive impact on the ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.