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Probiotics Help Prevent Cognitive Decline

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

probiotics for dementia

Story at-a-glance -

  • Probiotics can help improve cognitive function and ward off dementia, including Alzheimer’s
  • Elderly Alzheimer’s patients who received a probiotic milk product containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus fermentum for 12 weeks significantly improved their cognition scores, while controls continued to decline
  • The level of inflammatory markers also dropped by 18% in the probiotic treatment group, while inflammatory markers rose by 45% in the control group
  • The Bifidobacterium breve strain A1 may be of particular use in Alzheimer’s treatment. Daily oral administration of B. breve A1 reduced the cognitive dysfunction normally induced by amyloid beta in mice
  • Probiotics can inhibit neurodegeneration by modulating the inflammatory process, counteracting oxidative stress, modulating CNS functions mediated by bacteria-derived metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids, and inhibiting pathogenesis via alteration of gut microbiota composition

As your "second brain," the state of your gut has been shown to play an important role in your neurological health. Importantly, studies have shown probiotics (beneficial bacteria) can help decrease pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD), including amyloid plaques and tangles.

One of the most impressive of these studies was published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience in 2016. Sixty elderly patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's received either a placebo or a probiotic milk product containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus fermentum for 12 weeks.


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