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Synbiotic Blend of 10 Beneficial Strains, Developed by Board-Certified Gastroenterologist

gut health

Illustration of two people illustrating their digestive systems and thyroids

The Gut-Thyroid Axis

The Gut-Thyroid Axis

The thyroid is a gland in our bodies about which we don’t pay much attention, except when it’s not working.

This butterfly-shaped organ laying along the base of your neck regulates many vital bodily functions including your weight, heart rate, breathing, menstrual cycles, cholesterol levels and a whole lot more.

As a critical part of the endocrine system, the thyroid produces and releases hormones (triiodothyronine or T3 and thyroxine or T4) that travel through your bloodstream and touch nearly every cell of your body.

You’ll notice health problems when the thyroid doesn’t release enough of these hormones (hypothyroidism) with signs of fatigue, concentration issues and frequent, heavy periods or too much (hyperthyroidism) leading to anxiety, sensitivity to high temperatures and trembling hands.

Did you know your gut bacteria may influence how your thyroid works or doesn’t?

Let’s take a look…

 

Gut health imbalances and thyroid problems

Although medical science has recognized the coexistence of thyroid and gut-related issues such as celiac disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis for more than 70 years, a more recent and growing body of evidence has found a connection between poor gut health and thyroid disease.

That link may begin with a very simple imbalance/dysbiosis in your gut microbiome. Recognizing the connections between thyroid issues and the gut, Chinese researchers compared the balance of bacteria in 40 healthy patients to 52 patients with hypothyroidism. according to a recent study appearing in Clinical Science.

Through blood tests and fecal samples, scientists identified four gut bacteria strains (Veillonella, Paraprevotella, Neisseria and Rheinheimera) that could very accurately predict (higher than 80 percent) whether someone suffered from untreated primary hypothyroidism or not.

Among hypothyroid patients, levels of Veillonella and Paraprevotella were significantly reduced, while Neisseria and Rheinheimera were greatly elevated. The ability of hypothyroid patients to produce beneficial short-chain fatty acids (SFCAs) that provide nourishment for the gut decreased too.

Similar problems with primary hypothyroidism persisted even after fecal samples taken from hypothyroid patients were transplanted into mice.

Fortunately, a healthy solution for both problems is also a very familiar one…

 

To the rescue!

A pair of studies appearing in Nutrients and Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism point to the advantages of probiotics as a safe option that treat symptoms behind the scenes.

Not only do probiotics support the healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, these beneficial microbes have been beneficial in the treatment of some thyroid diseases.

How? Probiotics have a positive influence on trace minerals (selenium, copper, iodine, iron and zinc) in the human body. What’s more, the health of your gut also influences how efficiently those minerals that affect how your thyroid works are absorbed.

While the framework for the gut-thyroid axis appears very solid, there’s still lots of work to be done in laboratories all over the world before there’s real consensus on a protocol.

Until that happens, the best thing you could do to maintain the healthy balance of microbes in your gut and give your thyroid some extra support is taking a probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

 

Resources

Clinical Science and Research Gate

Nutrients

Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism

Endocrine Web

British Thyroid Association

the gut stuff

Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology

Baby lying on its back with an graphic of a digestive system over its body. Text reads "Gut-Brain Axis in Babies

Gut-Brain Axis In Babies

Your Baby’s Developing Gut-Brain Axis

As adults, we know our gut-brain axis — the connection that links our brain, intestines and emotions — is working and when it isn’t.

When those signals between the brain and gut get scrambled, something as simple as eating a highly processed, fast-food diet creates disruptions in the delicate balance of bacteria in our guts that can soon lead to obesity and lots more stress in our lives.

You may be surprised to learn that the gut-brain axis is at work even at the beginning of our lives as infants, and it’s noticeable when it isn’t.

If you’re a new mom who wonders why her newborn may be more fearful and fussier than you expected, it may be linked to the diversity of your baby’s gut and how it may shape their developing gut-brain axis.

 

The Fear Factor

Looking for new ways to support healthy neurological development, researchers at Michigan State University and the University of North Carolina teamed up for a study to compare fearful reactions experienced by infants to the balance of bacteria in their developing microbiomes.

Reacting to fearful things is a normal part of infant development. But, when those responses continue even in safe situations, that could signal an elevated risk of your baby developing anxiety and depression later on in life, says Dr. Rebecca Knickmeyer of Michigan State, leader of the study published in Nature Communications.

To learn how infant gut microbiomes were connected to the fear response, investigators conducted a year-long study with 30 infants who were breastfeeding and hadn’t been prescribed antibiotics.

Scientists evaluated the mix of gut bacteria based on stool samples taken from infants at 1 month and 12 months and assessed their fear responses with a simple test: Watching how each baby reacted when a stranger entered a room wearing a Halloween mask.

Parents were with their babies the whole time and they could jump in whenever they wanted, Knickmeyer says. “These are really the kinds of experiences infants would have in their everyday lives.”

No surprise, newborns who were more fearful at age 1 had very noticeable imbalances in gut bacteria at 1 month compared to those whose microbiomes remained stable. But that’s not all.

Using MRI imaging of those children’s brains, researchers discovered the diversity or lack of it in their developing guts was linked to the size of their amygdala, the sector of the brain responsible for making quick decisions about potential threats.

 

The Future Of Your Baby’s Gut

The results of this report highlight how important it is to protect the balance of bacteria in your baby’s gut, even when they breastfeed, and avoid antibiotics, for the sake of their developing gut-brain axis.

This may be a good time to talk to your pediatrician about giving your baby’s gut some extra help in the form of a probiotic

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use probiotic with the right mix of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families plus a prebiotic that feeds the good guys in their gut, we hope you’ll consider EndoMune Jr. Powder.

Just a half-teaspoon of EndoMune Jr. sprinkled in your baby’s formula or added to soft foods (when your baby is ready) once a day can make a healthy difference.

 

Resources

Nature Communications

Michigan State University

graphic of a digestive system with a virus next to it. Text reads "Long Covid: Gut Bacteria (im)balances May Affect Your Risks

Stop Long COVID

Multi-Strain Probiotics: A Long COVID Solution

The balance of bacteria in the human gut goes a long way toward dictating the state of your health and the ability of your immune system to defend you from health challenges as they come.

So, it wasn’t surprising to learn that gut bacteria imbalances have emerged as a new marker for Long COVID.

As many as 7 percent of all COVID-19 patients experienced at least one symptom of Long COVID up to six months later, according to a report in Nature Communications issued late last year.

Although hard numbers are difficult to come by, some experts believe as many as 23 million Americans have been affected by Long COVID symptoms, and at least 1 million have lost their jobs as a result.

Fortunately, a very simple non-drug solution — a multi-strain probiotic — may be a huge help in treating acute and Long COVID symptoms.

 

Probiotics To The Rescue!

Interest in testing the benefits of probiotics kicked into high gear after an informal app-based study by Kings College in the UK involving more than 400,000 patients found that those who were taking probiotics regularly lowered their COVID risks.

British researchers took the next step by measuring the benefits of probiotics formulated with five strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Lactococcus families and a prebiotic taken by 126 COVID patients for 30 days.

(Four of the five strains tested in this study are key ingredients contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.)

Among patients taking probiotics, a majority (86) had been dealing with Long COVID symptoms for an average of 120 days while the remainder had presented COVID symptoms for about 10 days.

Not surprisingly, three key COVID symptoms — coughing, fatigue and overall wellbeing — improved significantly after a month-long trial of probiotics, along with reports from patients about improvements in their gut health-related symptoms.

One interesting finding: Patients who were treated in a hospital setting for COVID with probiotics and were older and more sedentary enjoyed greater health improvements.

What’s more, scientists attributed those probiotic benefits to relief from gut health issues related to taking antibiotics and other medications.

 

Taking Preventative Measures

Another important reason why the results of this UK-based study are so important: COVID will be around for the foreseeable future.

Even if you’ve already had COVID, there’s a chance one of the growing number of variants circulating could infect you a second time, depending on your precautions, existing health risk factors and vaccine status.

Having a strong immune system is more important than ever, especially if you want to protect your health from COVID or, worse, the lingering symptoms of Long COVID.

Given what we already know about Long COVID symptoms linked to a less diverse microbiome, taking a multi-species probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic makes good gut sense!

 

Resources

NHS/Cambridge University Hospitals

Infectious Diseases Diagnosis & Treatment

U.S. Government Accountability Office

BMJ

Nature Communications

Cleveland Clinic

Cute vector graphic of a smiling gut. Large intestine shapes the head of character with a smiling face in the center. Text reads "Prebiotics 101: Why prebiotics are important

Prebiotics 101

Prebiotics: Food For Your Gut and More

We talk so much about the benefits of probiotics that it’s worth reminding you how important prebiotics — the unsung heroes of good gut health — really are.

Made of non-digestible plant fibers and carbohydrates, prebiotics are known best for being the food that feeds the good bacteria in your gut.

But that’s not all they do…

We’ve shared previous reports about the importance of prebiotics in protecting your bones, getting a good night’s sleep and even fighting cancer.

Prebiotics may do even more good behind the scenes than we ever imagined, thanks to an international research team who recently developed a non-invasive diagnostic imaging tool using bioluminescence, a chemical reaction that produces light inside the body.

 

See What They Found!

That research team, led by scientists at the University of Missouri, tested the tool (an easy-to-swallow capsule) that measures levels of bile salt hydrolase, a naturally occurring enzyme in the gut, in fecal samples from mice and humans.

This is critical because higher bile salt hydrolase levels have been shown to be indicators of excellent gut health and low levels of inflammation, according to previous studies.

The good news: “We show for the first time that certain types of prebiotics alone are capable of increasing bile salt hydrolase activity of the gut microbiome,” says Dr. Elena Goun, an associate professor at the University of Missouri.

Among the prebiotics monitored with this new tool, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) was responsible for noticeable increases in Bifidobacterium species and bile salt hydrolase levels in mice compared to inulin, another prebiotic derived from chicory root and other sources.

FOS are chains of plant sugars derived from whole foods like bananas, blue agave, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes and asparagus, and you don’t need to consume a lot of it to make a gut healthy difference.

Thanks to FOS, you can make a prebiotic difference and maintain the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut by taking a prebiotic-probiotic combo with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

 

References

Nebraska Medicine

Science Advances

University of Missouri

Healthline

Father holding an infant in a brightly lit room. Text says "Antibiotics For Babies: Proceed with Caution"

Antibiotics For Babies: Proceed With Caution

Early Antibiotics May Harm Your Baby’s Gut

When we discuss the overuse of antibiotics, it’s usually focused on adults who rely on them too often to treat health problems that would be resolved in time on their own.

This over-reliance can often mean these one-time “miracle drugs” may not work when they’re truly necessary, and create openings for more health problems down the road.

Few of us expect babies to be exposed to antibiotics so early, but we recently learned how often they’re prescribed — even once — for little ones under age 2 may increase the possibility of food allergies, obesity and many more health challenges.

What’s more, little good happens when infants are treated with antibiotics during their first week of life, according to a recent report in Nature Communications.

 

Too Much Exposure To Antibiotics

Experts estimate as many as 10 percent of all newborns are prescribed an antibiotic and that doctors justify them based on “suspected” infections.

This overprescribing is justified by some doctors to prevent a problem they suspect could happen and get serious in a hurry, although a small number of babies ultimately experience an infection.

With those facts in mind, a team of researchers from the UK and The Netherlands conducted a clinical trial involving 227 babies to observe how antibiotics would affect their tiny microbiomes.

Nearly 150 babies with “suspected” sepsis were treated by one of three antibiotics, with the remainder were part of a control group who received no antibiotics. All babies had fecal or rectal samples taken before and after treatments at 1, 4 and 12 months of age.

Among the infants who were prescribed an antibiotic, the harmful effects were obvious.

  • Babies experienced significant decreases in various species of Bifidobacterium, microbes that help them better digest breast milk and support their good gut health.
  • Scientists observed a change in more than 250 strains of bacteria in the guts of babies, flipping the balance in favor of more unhealthy harmful microbes.
  • Those microbial changes lasted at least 12 months and did not improve with breastfeeding.
  • Among the antibiotics prescribed, the combination of penicillin and gentamicin was the least detrimental on a newborn’s microbiome.

The start of antibiotic treatment, not its duration, appears to be trigger for gut health problems, says researcher Dr. Marlies van Houten, a pediatrician at the Spaarne Hospital in The Netherlands.

 

A Probiotic In Your Baby’s Future?

The evidence is clear that antibiotics are prescribed way too often, and breastfeeding may not restore the developing microbiomes of infants, so what are your options?

Should an antibiotic be necessary, we recommend talking to your pediatrician about giving your baby a probiotic with multiple species of beneficial bacteria that can boost the critical balance of bugs in their tiny microbiomes.

If you’re looking for a probiotic with the right made for your baby, consider EndoMune Jr. Powder formulated with 10 billion CFUs of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families plus a prebiotic that feeds their developing microbiome.

Just a half-teaspoon of EndoMune Jr. sprinkled in your baby’s formula or added to soft foods (when your baby is ready for them) once a day can make a gut-healthy difference!

 

Resources

Nature Communications

University of Edinburgh

Medscape

Vector illustration of the large intestine. Text on image reads "Could Your Gut Be Hiding IBS?"

Could Your Gut Be Hiding IBS?

Could Your Gut Be Hiding IBS?

Gastroenterologists diagnose more patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) than any other gut-health condition.

But that familiarity doesn’t always mean more clarity, which can be more problematic given the three most common subtypes of IBS: IBS-C (constipation), IBS-D (diarrhea) or IBS-A (a mix of diarrhea and constipation).

A recent study appearing in the journal Gut may shed new light on the roots of IBS, especially for those dealing with diarrhea symptoms from IBS-D.

Bacteria In Hiding

The culprit is Brachyspira, a bacterial “family” composed of seven different invasive species. Two of those seven species harm humans and trigger diarrhea, abdominal pain and weight loss.

The fascinating part of this study was how researchers at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) actually found samples of Brachyspira while comparing the gut health of 62 IBS patients with 31 healthy volunteers.

Fecal samples are often the most direct and easiest approach used by scientists to examine gut health issues, yet samples collected in the study provided no evidence of the sickening bacteria.

Brachyspira was eventually found “hiding” in biopsies of colonic tissues collected from nearly a third of the IBS patients tested, but not in biopsies of healthy patients. What’s more, patients infected with Brachyspira primarily suffered from IBS-D.

Antibiotics Are No Answer

So, scientists took the next step in the process to determine if they could treat IBS-D patients with a common weapon: Antibiotics. Patients were instructed to take 500 mg doses of the antibiotic metronidazole three times a day for two weeks.

Yet, antibiotics didn’t eradicate the problem due to more “hiding” by Brachyspira inside intestinal cells, according to Dr. Karolina Sjöberg Jabbar.

“This appears to be a previously unknown way for bacteria to survive antibiotics, which could hopefully improve our understanding of other infections that are difficult to treat.”

The Next Step

These unusual findings have left researchers curious about the connections between IBS and Brachyspira, and open to non-drug treatments that may be more effective, like probiotics.

Probiotics are proven, versatile tools for treating diarrhea and shortening its duration, maintaining the motility in your intestines that eases constipation and always keeping your gut-brain axis in balance.

When you’re looking for a good probiotic, make sure this supplement is formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families, along with a prebiotic to give your gut as much help for treating IBS.

EndoMune Advanced Probiotic covers all of the bases on your checklist to treat IBS safely and effectively and restoring the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.

References

Gut

University of Gothenburg

ScienceDirect

WebMD

Nutraingredients

Senior african american woman smiling and looking up and away from camera. Overlaid text on image reads "The Aging Gut 101: Healthy Aging, Healthy Gut

The Aging Gut 101

The Aging Gut 101: Healthy Aging, Healthy Gut

“Does my gut age just like the rest of me?”

We get this question a lot, especially from older folks who are starting to understand the connection between the gut and their health in ways that matter directly to them, like maintaining their bones and preserving their cognitive skills.

The simple answer: The composition of bacteria in your gut evolves with time just like your body. Your microbiome develops rapidly from infancy to age 3, stabilizes through middle age, then changes rapidly later in life, according to the National Institute on Aging.

Those changes can be a good thing. In fact, the more your gut bacteria evolves as you age, the better your overall health may be, based on recent research appearing in Nature Metabolism.

Your Evolving Gut

This study compared a wealth of data on human health along with gut microbiome genetic sequencing data on more than 9,000 patients ranging from ages 18-101.

However, the real focus of the research team (led by scientists at the Institute for Systems Biology) was a subset of more than 900 older patients (ages 78-98) to better understand the makeup of their microbiomes and how they matched up with their overall health.

To the good, older adults whose microbiomes kept evolving enjoyed better overall health, as evidenced by lower levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, higher vitamin D levels and more beneficial blood metabolites produced by the gut (including one that reduced inflammation and extended lives in previous animal studies).

Not only did those with more unique microbiomes feel better, they experienced greater overall mobility and could walk faster than their peers whose gut health didn’t change as much with age.

To the bad, patients with less diverse microbiomes took more medications and were nearly twice as likely to die during the course of the study.

Scientists also learned that microbiome uniqueness was more prevalent among women, which may go a long way toward explaining why women often outlive men…

Your Diet Matters

So, what drives microbial evolution and longevity among seniors? The healthiest patients with the most dramatic shifts in their microbiomes experienced steep drops in Bacteroides, a species commonly found in people who eat more processed foods and far less fiber.

When patients eat less fiber, the Bacteroides in their guts have little to eat which can trigger an immune response leading to chronic inflammation and an array of age-related conditions from arthritis to heart disease.

These results certainly mirror previous articles we’ve shared about the many health benefits of dietary fiber, especially if you want to maintain a resilient, healthy gut microbiome that evolves as you age.

How much fiber your body needs every day to maintain optimal health depends on your gender — men need a bit more (31-38 grams) than women (21-25 grams) — and the quality of your diet.

Are You Taking A Probiotic?

If you’re having challenges getting enough fiber, taking a daily probiotic formulated with proven strains of beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic can do a lot of good.

Taking a probiotic with a prebiotic may also reduce low-grade inflammation. This was the key finding in a recent review of studies appearing in Nutrients.

One of the real benefits of taking a probiotic comes from the production of butyrate (short-chain fatty acids created when your gut digests soluble fiber) that reduces chronic low-grade inflammation in your gut.

If you’ve been looking for a good probiotic, find one with multiple strains of beneficial and proven bacteria from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families plus a prebiotic that feeds the good guys in your gut, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

Resources

National Institute on Aging

Nature Metabolism

New York Times

Gut Microbiota For Health

Nutrients

Nutraingredients Asia

Photo of a girl's face with acne. Text reads :Acne & Probiotics

Probiotics May Relieve Acne Outbreaks

Acne and Probiotics

No matter how common it is, acne can be a very touchy and painful subject for people of all ages.

Although acne often arises during the teenage years of raging hormones, it can happen at any stage of life, as we’ve seen with the dramatic rise in maskne during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical experts estimate 80 percent of us will experience at least one form of acne by age 30, while others never develop it until they reach adulthood.

While hormones typically drive acne, other variables like clothing, menstrual cycles, high humidity, oily or greasy personal care products and some medications can trigger or worsen acne breakouts.

Depending on the severity of acne, treatments range from non-prescription creams and washes applied topically, all the way to tetracycline antibiotics (minocycline and doxycycline) that can disrupt the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.

Let’s take a quick look at some findings that link the health of your gut microbiome to your skin.

 

The Gut-Skin Connection In Action

Medical science appears to be catching on to the gut-skin connection based on the growing number of studies comparing acne problems to common gut health issues. For example:

  • Patients suffering from acne vulgaris (a condition in which hair follicles are blocked by dead skin cells, oil and bacteria) and eczema (a condition that makes your skin itchy and red) are experiencing alarming decreases in beneficial bacteria.
  • The prevalence of antibiotic resistance among patients that makes these drugs far less effective over time is a very real problem.
  • Eating a Western diet full of carbs, fiber-poor processed foods and sugar may harm your gut and your skin.
  • The incidence of irritable bowel syndrome was found to be significantly more common among patients suffering from acne vulgaris, according to the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

These are just a few of the breadcrumbs that clearly point in the direction of a real gut-skin link, but what about a solution that’s safe for your skin and microbiome?

 

Probiotics To The Rescue

Extensive reports from Microorganisms, Frontiers in Microbiology, Experimental Dermatology and the Journal of Clinical Medicine point to evidence that treating skin conditions like acne with oral probiotics can be effective.

The common link: The oral probiotics tested successfully in these studies were formulated with strains from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families, including some of the proven strains contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Junior Advanced Chewable Probiotic.

We recognize that there’s much work still to be done to build a bigger base of knowledge to really understand the hows and whys, but the evidence seems clear to us that taking a probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune can be good for your gut and your skin.

 

Resources

Vector graphic of a large intestine next to a magnifying glass hovering a vector image of the coronavirus molecular structure. Text reads "Long Covid: Gut bacteria (Im)balances May Affect Your Risk

The Connection Between Gut Health and Long Covid

Long COVID: Gut Bacteria (Im)Balances May Affect Your Risks

Although most patients who contract the coronavirus recover within weeks, some COVID symptoms persist for some people long after an initial bout with the disease.

A study appearing late last year in Nature Communications estimates about 7 percent of patients infected with COVID-19 experienced at least one Long COVID symptom six months later.

Common symptoms of Long COVID include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Joint and chest pain
  • Cognitive challenges
  • Fatigue and brain fog
  • Insomnia

As time goes on, the more modern medical science is learning how the gut plays an increasingly important role in protecting or harming your health.

So far, we’re seen how some key variables come into play with COVID-19 in relation to your microbiome, like how you manage your diet and stress levels which help you maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

Failing to protect a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut may also increase your risks of developing Long COVID many months after your initial run-in with the coronavirus, according to a recent report in the medical journal, Gut.

Gut Dysbiosis And Long COVID

A group of Chinese researchers examined the gut health of 106 COVID patients hospitalized over a six-month period in 2020 to 68 healthy patients by using stool samples to monitor any links to Long COVID.

More than three-quarters of patients participating in the study reported symptoms of Long COVID, with fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, anxiety and sleep problems among the most common challenges at the six-month mark.

Yet, despite no significant differences in common risk factors (age, pre-existing conditions or the use of antibiotics), a majority who suffered from Long COVID symptoms a half-year later experienced gut dysbiosis, meaning they had a less diverse mix of gut bacteria.

In fact, the overall makeup of gut bacteria among patients with Long COVID included 81 harmful species. For example, some harmful species from the Streptococcus and Clostridium families were linked to persistent respiratory problems.

Overall, the gut microbiomes of sick patients who didn’t develop Long COVID were similar to those who never contracted COVID at all.

What You Can Do

For the foreseeable future, Long COVID is here to stay and scientists are searching for answers. However, there are steps you can take to protect and strengthen your immune health and make that run-in with COVID a shorter, more uneventful one if it happens.

We already know that the lack of balance in the gut microbiome for COVID patients is a real problem and how these imbalances can show up in your blood. What’s more, just like the previous study, the depletion of key bacterial species associated with boosting immunity really matters.

For starters, cleaning up your diet (cutting out the sugar), starting some form of daily movement and working on a better sleep schedule can do a lot of good.

One more important thing you can do to give your immune system a direct boost: Take a probiotic formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, uniquely fortified with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families.

 

Resources

BMJ

Gut

Mayo Clinic

Bloomberg

Inverse

Medical News Today

Nature Communications

Illustrated graphic of a head next to a brain, digestive system, and supplements. Text reads "Mild Cognitive Impairment: Your Gut, Your Brain and Probiotics"

The Microbiome’s Effect On Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild Cognitive Impairment: Your Gut, Your Brain and Probiotics

Given our existing knowledge of the gut-brain axis — the connection that links your intestines, emotions, and brain — it was only time before modern science would examine how the microbiome and human mind work together in other ways.

Lately, a growing number of researchers are studying the effect of the microbiome on mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a stage between the typical cognitive decline due to normal aging and dementia.

Nearly a fifth of people age 60 or older live with MCI, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Generally, the cognitive shifts associated with MCI are noticeable, but don’t limit a patient’s ability to do daily tasks.

Fortunately, MCI doesn’t always lead to Alzheimer’s and cognitive changes may improve in time and, occasionally, it can be misdiagnosed due to a drug side effect.

Based on what we’ve learned from a pair of recent studies, the health of the human gut may provide some clues about MCI and a possible treatment with the help of probiotics.

 

The Bad News: Gut Bacteria Imbalances

One of the first signs of trouble with gut health are imbalances in the microbiome. Based on a comparative analysis of fecal samples, a group of Chinese researchers spotted noticeable differences in gut bacteria between healthy patients and those with MCI in a study appearing in the Journal of Immunology Research.

On the plus side, MCI patients had significantly more of some strains from the Staphylococcus genus than the healthy controls. That may be problematic, given that another Staphylococcus strain has been linked to neurodegeneration, a deterioration of neuronal structures leading to cognitive problems and dementia.

On the minus side, those with MCI had reduced levels of Bacteroides strains, in line with previous research connecting them to Alzheimer’s. In fact, Chinese scientists recommended that these Bacteroides strains could be used as potential microbiome markers for MCI or Alzheimer’s.

 

The Good News: Probiotics

Fortunately, there may be a silver lining to all of this bad gut bacteria news with the help of a probiotic.

Japanese researchers compared the effect of a probiotic formulated with a proprietary strain of Bifidobacterium breve to a placebo on 80 healthy older MCI patients in a Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease report.

(Bifidobacterium breve is one of the 10 strains of beneficial bacteria contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.)

After both MCI groups took a probiotic or placebo for 16 weeks, researchers measured cognitive functions with a battery of standard tests.

No surprise, patients who took a probiotic achieved significantly higher scores in relation to immediate memory, visuospatial functioning (tasks like buttoning a shirt, assembling furniture or making a bed), and delayed memory.

These studies are merely the beginning of many as science looks to stem the tide of memory issues that surface with MCI and measure how well non-drug therapies like probiotics will perform in the real world.

One thing is certain: Taking a daily probiotic, especially a multi-species product like EndoMune supports your gut-brain axis, improves your mood, alleviates stress and helps you get the restful sleep your body needs naturally, safely, and without a drug.

 

References

Alzheimer’s Association

Journal of Immunology Research

NutraIngredients USA

Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

Medical News Today

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