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September 3, 2014 by Lauren 3 Comments Our intestinal tract (gut) is filled with several pounds of bacteria. A 2013 study in Denmark demonstrated that people with low bacterial diversity suffered significantly more weight gain over 9 years, and had diminished insulin sensitivity plus high levels of inflammation compared to those who had high bacterial gut diversity.
Studies in mice have shown that simply transplanting different bacteria can affect fat accumulation as much as 57% over 14 days! The gut is often called the “second brain.” Think about it – when you feel nervous, you may get “butterflies” in your stomach. Probiotic supplementation has also been linked to a reduction in acne, yeast infections, UTIs, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases (including arthritis, colitis and Crohn’s Disease), decreased risk of intestinal cancers, leaky gut syndrome, allergies…the list goes on and on. Variety: The two main classes of bacteria to look for are “lactobacilli” that act in the small intestine and “bifidobacteria” that act in the large intestine.
Dose: Probiotics are sold in “colony forming units” (CFUs), the number of bacteria in each capsule.
Enteric Coating: Enteric coatings mean the capsule will survive the acidic stomach and make it to the intestines, where they can act. Temperature: Most high quality probiotics are sold refrigerated and should stay cold to maintain optimal bacterial activity. While most of us know that probiotics are friendly bacteria that help us enjoy a healthy digestive system, researchers have now found that these same bacteria in the gut may affect brain function, as well. We’re not talking about increasing your intelligence here—though that may be possible, too—but making changes in the emotional area of the brain. Considered one of the “new” health miracles, probiotics are friendly bacteria that naturally live in the digestive system and provide health benefits. So far, scientists have found that probiotics help maintain healthy bowel activity, synthesize certain nutrients, help in nutrient and mineral absorption, and stimulate our defenses.
The groups that received the milk products consumed them twice daily for four weeks, 125 grams at each serving.
The women also had MRIs taken before and after the four-week period, to measure brain response to an emotional activity and to study resting brain activity. To measure the women’s emotional responses, researchers showed them pictures of angry or frightened faces and had them match them to other faces with the same expressions. They found that during this task, those who had consumed the probiotic yogurt experienced less activity in both the insula and the somatosensory cortex, which processes internal body sensation. These women also had decreased activity in the emotion-, cognition-, and sensory-related areas of the brain, compared to the women in the other two groups. A way to summarize the findings is to say that women consuming the probiotic yogurt showed lower levels of activity in areas of the brain associated with emotion and pain, and higher levels of activity in areas associated with decision making.
This isn’t the first study to indicate that probiotics may affect the brain—though it is the first human study.
While the scientists admit that more research needs to be done, the implications are exciting. Do probiotics have the capacity for dealing with mental disorders or emotional problems brought about by physilogical deficits? After reading it I found these probiotics which have 2 of the histamine degrading strains (Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus plantarum) and none of the histamine producing strains, so if that’s a concern of yours too, these should work well! Medical and Site Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.
Researchers in Quebec wanted to test this hypothesis by giving overweight people probiotics, and the results were somewhat of a surprise. Monsanto Protestors Arrested Outside Shareholder Meeting Maple Mustard Dressing Can pain be ‘switched off’?
Previous studies that examined the potential cholesterol-lowering ability of probiotics with human participants have focused on bacterial rather than yeast strains.


Additionally, previous studies that examined the effect of probiotics on cholesterol have not looked at their effect on lipoprotein particles. Monitoring lipoprotein particles in addition to standard cholesterol levels may provide more extensive assessment and monitoring of cardiovascular disease risk than measuring standard cholesterol levels alone.
The makeup of gut bacteria is determined throughout development, by the mother’s diet and her own microbiome, vaginal vs. Additional studies have demonstrated that bacterial composition is significantly different in obese vs.
Granted, we aren’t mice, but clearly, the type of bacteria had a large effect on body composition.
Good bacteria improve the gut barrier, decrease inflammation levels, digest “bad” bacteria, and seem to “talk” to white blood cells to stimulate widespread immune action. In one of my clinical nutrition classes, we had to write an essay explaining the five different types of diarrhea (yup, not all the same).
Bloating, cramping, and other bowel woes are signs that something isn’t quite right with digestion. Just as I am typing this, I read a new study linking probiotics with kid’s concentration in school! The Westernized diet, lack of fiber, and “dirt phobia” that plague our society means that more often than not, people do not have enough of the beneficial bacteria they need to achieve optimal health. Look for supplements with these two main strains, and at least six different sub-strains to get the widespread benefits.
Some are self-stable, but make sure the label says that before buying ones at room temperature. Their presence in the colon helps keep “bad” bacteria from proliferating and causing problems.
They may also help prevent colon cancer, reduce cholesterol levels, and even prevent dental caries.
While they were performing this task, scientists measured their response to the visual stimulus.
In addition, in the resting state, the women consuming probiotics showed more connectivity between the brainstem region called the “periaqueductal grey” and other areas of the prefrontal cortex responsible for cognition. The researchers noted that this may suggest that probiotics could have health benefits such as relieving anxiety, stress, and other mood symptoms over time.
Previous animal studies have also shown that altering gut bacteria can produce more anxious or bold characteristics. Maybe the next time you’re feeling a little low, you should try a cupful of yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh, or sauerkraut! Story, a northwest-based writer, editor, and ghostwriter, has been creating non-fiction materials for individuals, corporations, and commercial magazines for over 17 years. A recent study showed that supplementation of Saccharomyces boulardii significantly reduced predictive risk markers for heart disease. In Monday’s video, we discussed the data supporting the supplementation of Saccharomyces boulardii and its impact on reducing the risk of heart disease. Elevated blood cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for CAD, and standard treatment options for elevated cholesterol include pharmacotherapy, and nutritional and lifestyle modifications.
This is an important marker since lipoprotein particle levels strongly correlate with the risk of future cardiovascular events. Although two strains of bacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, are most associated with weight, further research is required to determine exactly the amount and type that will improve weight. A 2013 study in New Zealand found that those taking a probiotic suffered 40% fewer colds over the course of a year.
The “gut-brain,” or enteric nervous system, has 100 million nerve cells, more than in the spine and peripheral nervous system combined.


A recent 2014 study showed that 67% of patients taking probiotics experienced an improvement in symptoms vs. Our understanding is primitive at this point and I suspect the benefits of probiotics will only become more apparent. I have heard though that you should switch up the brands you take to get different strains. I’m Lauren, a twenty-something registered dietitian nutritionist creating a healthy life through good food and good fun in the wonderful city of Boston. They also help stimulate the body’s own immune responses, essentially helping to boost the immune system.
A 2011 study found that probiotics seemed to reduce physiological stress responses of mice, and also lowered their levels of stress hormone, compared with mice not fed probiotics. She specializes in the health and wellness field, where she writes and ghostwrites books, e-books, blogs, magazine articles, and more. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Probiotics in capsule form and fermented foods containing live probiotics have also been investigated as potential cholesterol-lowering therapies.
Remnant lipoproteins are considered highly atherogenic and are correlated with the severity and progression of heart disease, independent of LDL levels.
However, have no doubt that these tiny little organisms have a huge impact on our health that modern-day science is only just beginning to recognize.
Knowing all the benefits of a healthy balance of gut bacteria, improving your own should be a top priority. The thinking is that the type of bacteria in our gut affects the amount of calories and fat our bodies absorb. For now, it is safe to say that increasing “good” bacteria is another tool to help achieve a healthy weight.
IBS is typically treated with a combination of diet, stress-relief, and medication, but probiotics may be an additional defense.
The results of these studies have been promising and have included significant reductions in total cholesterol and LDL, as well as increases in HDL. It has been known for some time that “good” types of bacteria keep “bad” bacteria in check, thus preventing infection. Two people may eat the same meal, but absorb vastly different calories from that meal, based solely on their bacterial makeup. Granted, I rarely get sick and I’m a big believer in my green tea and spinach consumption’s role in my strong immune system, but research clearly backs up the germ-squashing properties of probiotics. Additional studies have shown significant improvements in bloating, abdominal pain, and bowel regularity with probiotics use. More recent work has shown that the bacteria that make up the collective “microbiome” affect everything from skin health to weight to mood. In fact, 95% of serotonin, the neurotransmitter target by many antidepressants, is produced in the gut! Studies have consistently demonstrated that participants who receive probiotics supplements report feeling less anxious and moody.




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