Probiotics are rapidly gaining popularity. You might have noticed a huge variety of probiotic supplements in the drug store because they have created a hype in the industry. No doubt the good bacteria are important to maintain the health of our gut as well as to assure that all the important nutrients will be properly digested in the body. However, a question that has been disturbing many experts is whether probiotics are good for a cognitive function or not.
Experts have been conducting research to find out whether probiotics are good for brain development and cognitive function. Here are some of the benefits you will get if you start taking probiotics.
1. Growth and development of neurons will improve
The good bacteria in the gut lead to the production of special compounds that cause stimulation of neural growth factors. Special proteins are produced that helps in the survival and formation of nervous system cells. Researchers are now suggesting that before the birth of a child, good bacteria are transmitted from mother to fetus through the umbilical cord and amniotic fluid. It stimulates the development of nervous tissues.
After the birth of child bacteria enter the body of a newborn baby through different sources like breast milk, contact with other siblings food and pets. They help in the development of the nervous system throughout childhood and even after that. It clearly shows the importance of good bacteria for proper growth and development of the human nervous system.
2. Promote learning and memory
Commonly people focus on their memory to assure that they will not forget important things even if they are in old age. Research has shown that there are some important strains of gut bacteria that produce important chemicals which can stimulate an active or sympathetic response in specified parts of the brain. It commonly happens in the parts of the brain that are associated with
- Decision making
The bacteria commonly affect the hippocampus and frontal cortex of the brain. That is why the bacterial metabolites are important to stimulate the biochemical processes which are associated with learning and memory. With a healthy gut you will notice that your concentration will improve and it will get easier for you to remember thins that are important to you. This might be the reason experts are conducting research on the effects of probiotics on patients of Alzheimer’s disease. There are chances that they might get positive results.
3. Stress resistance and mental agility
Stress and depression are one of the biggest issues of our present age. Day in day out we have to deal with difficult situations. People often avoid such situations because their mind is not strong enough to help them resolve the issue. That is why they often deal with mood swings and other related issues. In other words, mental resilience under certain circumstances is hard to sustain.
It has been found that there are some specific gut bacteria which can produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters like GABA, serotonin, and melatonin. There are 30 different types of neurotransmitters which are produced because of bacteria which are present in the local tissues of the gastrointestinal tract. However, these bacteria also have to work on the signals that come from the central nervous system. You will be surprised to know that 95% of the serotonin produced in the body comes from the gut.
It also helps in the improvement of decision making power. Individuals will notice that they will develop resistance against stress because they will be in a relaxed and happy mood all the time. As well as it will increase mental agility and people will be able to handle all tough situations properly.
4. Changes in digestive patterns
Sensory nerves in the intestine are stimulated because of the metabolites produced by bacteria that changes the patterns of gut motility. Feedback which comes from these motor changes is associated with the brain due to which the response in elicited. In such situations, anxiety and pain are the two common reactions that a person can suffer from. It is one of the biggest reasons that most of the psychiatric disorders are associated with chronic digestive problems.
5. Changes in thinking patterns
Most of the problems in our life are created because of the negative thoughts that we have. It has been found that negative thoughts are linked with poor digestion. When there are no good bacteria in the body, mood-altering neurotransmitters will not be produced adequately due to which having a positive mindset will become hard for individuals. That is why probiotics can help with improved and positive thinking. You will be able to focus on the solution instead of the problem once you start taking probiotics.
6. Changes in gene expression
There was a time when experts believed that genes create the destiny of a person. However, research has proven that there are various factors of lifestyle that have a noticeable influence on the ways in which our genes show their expression. A study done on epigenetics proved that there are various microorganisms in the gut that play an important role in gene expression. The good bacteria in the gut have the ability to change the pattern of methylation in DNA. That is how various genes can be switched on or off.
Maintaining a good diversity of bacteria in the body is very important to assure that your cognitive functions can be sustained or even improved. No doubt there are various food items that are a good source of bacteria, but it can also be beneficial to include probiotic supplements in your diet when need be.
However, assure that you buy the best quality supplements that are manufactured with natural extracts to ensure that you will not have to deal with any adverse effects of having low-quality of fake supplements.
This article is written by one of our freelancers and does not necessarily represent the editorial point of view.