Researchers have found that probiotics can do more with your health.
Here’s some good news for those who have been consuming probiotics. Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that are “helpful” to human health. These include bacterial groups such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, as well as yeasts, including Saccharomyces boulardii. Probiotics come in different forms from the ones in bottles sold at the chemists to those sauerkrauts and fermented foods that you can get from health stores.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, probiotics can act in a number of ways. They can help create a favourable community of microbes in the gut, for example, and help stimulate immune response. Many are aware that these friendly microorganisms – many of which are added to food products, topical medications, and dietary supplements – may help protect against numerous infections and diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), eczema, certain allergies, colds, and tooth decay. Now, probiotics have been found to help with a serious illness.
Latest, researchers have found that Alzheimer’s patients who consumed milk enriched with beneficial live bacteria every day for 12 weeks, showed significant improvements in cognitive functioning, reports Medical News Today.
Senior study author Prof. Mahmoud Salami, from Kashan University in Iran, and colleagues recently published their findings in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
For this latest study, they set out to determine the effects of probiotics on the cognitive functioning of 52 men and women aged 60-95 who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
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Participants were randomised to one of two groups. One group was required to drink 200 milliliters of normal milk every day for 12 weeks, while the other group drank 200 milliliters of milk containing four probiotic bacteria: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
Compared with participants who consumed the untreated milk, those who received the probiotic-enriched milk demonstrated significant improvements in cognitive functioning, the team reports.
“In a previous study, we showed that probiotic treatment improves the impaired spatial learning and memory in diabetic rats,” notes Prof. Salami, “but this is the first time that probiotic supplementation has been shown to benefit cognition in cognitively impaired humans.”