Can probiotics help memory and protect against anxiety?

Can memory and stress be altered by what you eat? The evidence suggests it might be possible.

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The more scientific research I am exposed to the less inclined I am to expect simple solutions to complex problems. That said, a report from 2015 highlighted in The Guardian was one of the first accounts of probiotics that turned me on to the potential of gut flora to influence different aspects of health and wellbeing.  It was reported that participants in an experiment took a capsule containing Bifidobacterium longum 1714 for a month. As a result they enjoyed lower levels of stress when compared to the control group that took a placebo. Stress was measured in terms of the levels of cortisol (a hormone associated with stress) found in the participants.

A second result of the investigation was that when taking the probiotic, memory function also seemed to be enhanced. The people taking part in the experiment took either the placebo for a month or Bifidobacterium longum 1714, then switched. It was a blind test so the participants didn’t know when they were taking the probiotic or the placebo. The effects of the reduced stress and improved memory were described as small but significant, make of that what you will. But the same effects were found in a similar experiment carried out on mice.

I’m not a great fan of  experimentation on animals, not because experiments on animals are rarely replicated in a similar way on humans, or that it generally support poor science. Just because its cruel and not very ethical. However as the data exists I will draw your attention to it. Another study from 2015 indicated that B. longum 1714 had a positive impact on mice cognition and an apparent reduction on fear. So one probiotic strain appears to have an influence on both fear and a narrow range of cognitive function (or that both memory and fear/stress have a commonality that can be meditated by B. longum 1714). The fact that both mice and humans appear to have been effected in the same way is interesting. Although these are tentative findings and more studies demonstrating the same effects are necessary (replication).

Gut bacteria and your health

Outstanding lecture from Prof Simon Carding, how gut bacteria mediates both physical and mental health

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Emerging research is demonstrating a profound relationship between the bacteria in our gut and how well we are, our lived experience. In this outstanding lecture  Prof. Simon Carding offers insights, new and old into ideas about our gut bacteria. Warning you may see the world a little differently after watching the video!

“A potential life changer and life saver”

Gut bacteria and mind control by Prof. Simon Carding.

Fermented foods; improved health and wellbeing

Fermented food is linked to significantly improved physical and mental health

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Welcome to Gut Well Soon, a website committed to sharing knowledge about how fermented foods are able to dramatically improve health and wellbeing. For decades scientific research has supported the view that there is a strong correlation between the state of your gut bacteria and your physical and mental health. If this seems far fetched I encourage you to look into the scientific research in this area.

An essential component of a healthy gut is the balance and blend of living microorganisms in the digestive system. Fermented foods can have valuable levels of beneficial living microorganisms that meditate a range of beneficial processes.

Since the late 20th century, a number of factors have been linked with a decline in healthy gut bacteria, not least the use of powerful pharmaceutical products. Whilst drugs can kill significant amounts of harmful bacteria they may also reduce helpful, health promoting bacteria. Some fermented foodstuffs contain large numbers of these healthy microorganisms and have been directly related to a number of benefits.

Many traditional fermented foods are widely available and include pickled vegetables as well as yogurt based products. Humans have been eating fermented food for thousands of years. You may have many inexpensive fermented products in your own food cupboards right now. We are creating an extensive directory as well as some great recipes and instruction sheets.  If you are interested in fermented foods, two ideas that you should start with are:

  • foods labelled pasteurized are unlikely to contain healthy living bacteria
  • following simple instructions you can safely make delicious fermented foods in your own home

This is a growing movement so please share your thoughts and ideas. Use the comments boxes to tell us about any experiences good or bad feel. We welcome information about relevant products and services in the market.

Fermentation – Eat Your Way To Better Health

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Welcome to Gut Well Soon, a website committed to sharing knowledge about how fermented vegetables and fruit are able to dramatically improve health and wellbeing.

The site has been launched and we are publishing new articles every week. We to provide information on the subject of fermentation and the respective health benefits. We aim to provide information relevant to absolute beginners as well as highlighting scientific knowledge for those people wishing to know more.

We welcome contributions of content as well as comments and suggested changes to our own material. Everything published is under own own copyright unless otherwise stated.