Probiotics are associated with a number of health benefits including gut health, immunity boosting, and even weight management. However, recently they have also been linked to brain health and mood improvement. Watch this video:
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria, yeast, or cultures that are good for your health. They are also commonly referred to as good bacteria, healthy bacteria, or beneficial bacteria.
Though bacteria are linked to illness and disease, healthy bacteria actually promotes good health. In fact, our bodies need these beneficial bacteria to function properly and fight off the bad bacteria. They also help promote gut health.
While there are many forms of probiotics, the most common are Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria. Many species and strains exist in these groups.
Probiotics And Brain Health
The research on the use of probiotics for brain health is fairly new, and therefore not much is known as yet. However studies indicate that they may be beneficial.
Current work investigating in the role of probiotics on the microbiota-gut-brain axis shows that the benefits of probiotics are limited to specific strains or combinations of strains and that each strain or combination of strains can confer cognitive benefits in different disease states.
In a study of healthy women, it was found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria showed altered brain function both while in a resting state and in response to an emotion-recognition task.
If you use a probiotics supplement, or decide to start on one, you need to be diligent about the type you buy. For one, remember that it is live cultures you are supposed to be getting and therefore buying a poor quality supplement could supply you with dead “beneficial” bacteria.
This is the reason for taking both probiotics and prebiotics. Prebiotics are what feeds the probiotics therefore keeping them nourished and healthy.
Secondly, it bears repeating, the type and strain of probiotics is vital. Go with a product that has scientific backing behind it as far as ingredients and their health benefits go.
Even as scientific evidence points toward the beneficial effects of probiotics, we cannot as yet say that they specifically help boost brain health. More research is needed, but getting the benefits of a healthy gut, improved overall health, plus possible brain health benefits can only be a good thing.
 The Gut-Brain Axis: Dietary, Probiotic, and Prebiotic Interventions on the Microbiota