Could Probiotics Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?

Groundbreaking new research finds that balancing gut bacteria with probiotics shows promise in helping prevent or even reverse Alzheimer’s disease.

While many people have now heard of the health-enhancing benefits of probiotics for digestive issues, we are truly just beginning to realize the importance of gut bacterial balance for overall health. One of the main reasons that probiotics are so helpful is that restoring healthy gut bacteria can reduce inflammation in the body. As many diseases are caused by excess inflammation, it makes sense that a good probiotic could help correct this issue.

One disease that is linked to inflammation is Alzheimer’s. New research has found that loss of diversity in gut bacteria is correlated with increased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. So conversely, does this mean that restoring the proper balance of gut bacteria could potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease?

This is exactly what this recent study found, which shows extremely promising results for the millions of people suffering from this dreaded disease – which currently has no medically approved treatment or cure.

Researchers publishing in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience took a group of elderly Alzheimer’s patients and studied them for 12 weeks. Each participant underwent a test for mental function called the mini-mental status exam (MMSE), a standardized cognitive assessment used worldwide. They also underwent a blood test called highly sensitive c-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a powerful marker of inflammation. These tests were then repeated after 12 weeks.

The study evaluated 60 patients, half of whom were given a placebo, while the other half consumed a probiotic milk containing the probiotic species, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Lactobacillus fermentum.

The results of the study were stunning. The placebo group showed an increase in hs-CRP, the inflammation marker, by an impressive 45%. In the group taking the probiotic, on the other hand, hs-CRP didn’t just stay the same, but actually declined by 18% indicating a dramatic reduction in inflammation.

But here’s the truly exciting news. Over the 12 weeks, the patients in the placebo continued to decline mentally, as you might expect. Their MMSE score dropped from 8.47 to 8.00, a substantial reduction. But the group on the inflammation reducing probiotics actually demonstrated, not a decline in brain function, but an actual improvement, with their MMSE scores going from 8.67 up to 10.57, and that’s a huge improvement. Again, not only was their mental decline stopped in its tracks, these individuals actually regained brain function!

Read more about this promising study at DrPerlmutter.com

 

 

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