For years, scientists have suspected a link between digestive and mental health. Studies have shown people with low levels of certain probiotic bacteria experience forgetfulness, confusion and memory loss.2
After the UCLA study, researchers around the world began to dig deeper into the relationship between probiotics and the brain. Another research team recently put probiotics to the test.
The researchers took 60 elderly men suffering from advanced stages of memory loss. Some received a probiotic that included L. acidophilus and B. Bifidum while others took a placebo. The men who got the probiotics showed "significant" improvement on memory tests.3
And now, new research seeks to isolate which probiotic bacteria deliver the greatest benefit. One such study identified Bifidobacterium longum as one that improves memory and recall in animals. But that wasn't all it did... B. longum also improved their ability to learn.4
Experiments like these often look at what happens when probiotics are added. One group of researchers however decided to look at it the other way. They removed the probiotic bacteria...
When Probiotic Levels Fell, Memory Loss Followed
In the first stage of this study, researchers used antibiotics to remove "good" gut bacteria from the digestive tracts of mice.
You see, even though we use antibiotics to fight illness, they kill both the "bad" bacteria and the "good" probiotic type. Antibiotics don't distinguish between the two.
So the antibiotics wiped out the probiotic levels. Almost immediately the mice showed signs of memory loss. But researchers made another big discovery...
...brain cell growth also stopped!
The lack of probiotic bacteria did more than affect how the brain works. It even affected the brain's physical well-being!
For the second stage of the study, researchers gave the mice probiotics. Their memory and recall improved. And their brain cell growth restarted!5
Studies like these continue to show a strong connection between the presence of probiotic bacteria and clear thinking, memory and brain health.
Today it's obvious that relief for gas, bloating and diarrhea only represent a small part of what "good" probiotic bacteria do. It's also clear there's a need to maintain consistently high levels of probiotics in the gut.
But, just as some researchers discovered B. longum promotes memory and learning, others have discovered some strains offer more benefits than others...
Some Probiotic Bacteria Give Extra Special Protection
Researchers have identified more than 1,000 species of "good" bacteria in the human gut. They all contribute to digestion, nutrient absorption and immune function to varying degrees.
Of the thousands of probiotic strains, scientists report a few are more special than others. They refer to these strains as "keystone species," a term borrowed from environmental scientists.
Keystone species have a bigger impact on the environment than others. They keep everything in balance. Take a lion, for example...
Without lions, the savanna will quickly die off. Grazing animal herds grow out of control and eat all the grasses. Soon, they starve to death.
Then, smaller mammals get wiped out by hyenas and birds of prey as the grasses that protected them disappear. Finally, insects die-off as the animals and plants they need for survival vanish.
Some probiotic strains keep balance a lot like the lions.
Most of these extra special bacteria come from two probiotic families: Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Bifidobacteria support your colon and lower digestive tract. Lactobacilli do their work in the small intestine.
Yet, even within these families, a few special probiotic bacteria stand out. When we identified them, we set out to create a new, and even more robust probiotic.