Posted on Wed, 23 Nov 16
The first clinical study of a probiotic in people with Alzheimer's Disease found evidence of better cognitive function and metabolic health.
Emerging evidence suggests that the microbiome-gut-brain axis can influence mental health, including cognitive function. Based on this it has been proposed that “microbial-based therapeutic strategies” such as probiotics could be useful for therapeutic management of Alzheimer's Disease and related neuropsychiatric disorders, but clinical evidence is sparse .
A remarkable new study, however, has suggested that probiotic supplementation could indeed be a therapeutic approach. In the study people with Alzheimer's Disease drank either plain milk, or a probiotic milk (providing 2 billion Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria) for 12-weeks .
Those taking the probiotic milk had significant improvements in cognitive function (a better mini-mental state examination score), reductions in oxidative stress (plasma malondialdehyde), lower inflammation (serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein), better blood sugar control (homeostasis model of assessment-estimated insulin resistance, beta cell function, quantitative insulin sensitivity check) and lower blood lipids (serum triglycerides, VLDL).
“Considering the (improvements in cognitive function) we concluded that the probiotic supplementation shows some hopeful trends that warrant further study to assess if probiotics have a clinically significant impact on the cognitive symptoms,” commented the study authors.
- Bhattacharjee S, Lukiw WJ. Alzheimer's disease and the microbiome. Front Cell Neurosci. 2013 Sep 17;7:153.
- Akbari E, Asemi Z, Daneshvar Kakhaki R, Bahmani F, Kouchaki E, Tamtaji OR, Hamidi GA and Salami M (2016) Effect of Probiotic Supplementation on Cognitive Function and Metabolic Status in Alzheimer's Disease: A Randomized, Double-Blind and Controlled Trial. Front. Aging Neurosci. 8:256. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00256