Recently, we discussed how the brain health of Alzheimer’s patients may benefit by taking a probiotic blend of beneficial bacteria without explaining “the why.”
A recent study targeting the balance of the human gut microbiome may be at the heart of accelerating the development of Alzheimer’s, according to Scientific Reports.
Researchers discovered the link between poor gut health and Alzheimer’s while comparing the composition of gut microbiota taken from diseased and healthy mice.
Overall, at least two major kinds of gut bacteria (Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes) were found in much greater quantities in animals suffering from Alzheimer’s versus healthy mice.
The germ-free discovery
The link solidified when scientists studied the brain health of germ-free mice born without gut bacteria that received transplants of gut bacteria from animals with Alzheimer’s.
Before those transplants, germ-free mice had significantly smaller amounts of beta-amyloid plaque, protein fragments that build up between neurons in the brain. After the transplants, even those “clean” animals were vulnerable to the growth of brain-killing beta-amyloid plaque.
Typically, the healthy brain breaks down those fragments and sheds them. As beta-amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangles accumulate in the brain, however, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s begin to present themselves.
“Our study is unique as it shows a direct causal link between gut bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Frida Fåk Hållenius, according to a press release. “The results mean that we can now begin researchers ways to prevent the disease and delay the onset.”
Take these steps to avoid Alzheimer’s disease
Although you can’t prevent Alzheimer’s disease at this juncture, there’s lots of things you do to reduce your risks just by taking better charge of your health.
- Get on an annual physical plan so you and your family physician track your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar at regular intervals.
- Clean up your diet, partly by trading processed foods containing addictive refined carbohydrates and high amounts of sugar for whole healthier foods.
- Exercise can do many things, including stimulating your brain’s ability to protect existing connections and build new ones. Every little bit helps!
The results of this study could drive attention away from antiretroviral drugs that merely treat symptoms to a wider scope of weapons related to preserving a balance of gut bacteria that could do more good, including probiotics.
Since as much as 90 percent of your body’s serotonin (the chemical that transmits messages from one side of your brain to another) is produced in your gut, it’s no surprise that scientists would target more therapies there.
All the more reason, you should include taking a multi-species probiotic, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic with 10 proven strains of bacteria, every day to that list of steps you take to avoid Alzheimer’s disease.