Adding Probiotics To Your Diet May Curb Parkinson’s Disease

There is more and more scientific evidence that suggests a connection between gut health and the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. 

New research shows that some protein key in the development of the disease can spread to the gastrointestinal tract all the way up to the brain, according to The Guardian. Our bodies naturally form this protein that can be found in the nerve endings in the brain. But there are versions of this protein that are misfolded and can clump together, hurting nerve cells in the process. Also, they can lead to deteriorating of the dopamine system and developing speech and moving problems. All of these are hallmarks of Parkinson’s.

How does gut health affect Parkinson’s? 

Lately, everything is about the healthy gut. There are many studies in that direction that point to plenty of health issues. To all of that research, we add these recent studies that look at the connection between gut health and brain health. Some studies done on lab mice confirm an older theory about this protein, which says that the misfolding occurs for the first time in the gut. Then they spread to the brain through the vagus nerve. This nerve is a cluster of fibers that begins in the brainstem and which transport signals to and from many of our organs, including the gut and the stomach.

“It supports and really provides the first experimental evidence that Parkinson’s disease can start in the gut and go up the vagus nerve,” said Ted Dawson, professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University school of medicine. He is a co-author of the research.

“We have what we think is a really accurate [animal] model that can be used to work out mechanisms – but also to test therapies,” said Dawson. He believes that scientists can interfere with the misfolding of the protein and effectively stop Parkinson’s from developing.

So what can you do to make sure you have a healthy gut? Try eating plenty of probiotics, because they help balance the gut microbiome.

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Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Health Science

Studies Are Showing That Your Gut Bacteria Could Help Fight Depression

Photo: So Delicious

The scientific community has been researching the influence of your gut’s health to your overall health. And the studies are quite intriguing. Two new ones link gut bacteria and your moods, not to mention your mental health state.

This is great news for me and a lot of my close friends, who have been having troubles with their mental health lately. Researchers have found that people who are suffering from depression are lacking in several species of gut bacteria. They don’t know yet if depression leads to the disappearance of those types of bacteria or if their absence leads to depression. But the discovered connection between the two might end up being quite the relief for people in need.

Sciencemag quotes John Cryan, a neuroscientist at University College Cork in Ireland who has been one of the most vocal proponents of the connection between the brain and the gut microbiome. Cryan thinks that these studies are the first real evidence of that connection.

Several studies in mice had indicated that gut bacteria can affect behavior and moods. But Jeroen Raes, a microbiologist at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, and his colleagues studied the gut bacteria of a 1,054 Belgians, trying to also assess what a normal microbiome looks like. Out of these, 173 had been diagnosed with depression or mood disorders.

Gut Bacteria Can Influence Your Mood and Prevent Depression
Probiotic foods stimulate the health of your gut. So include them in your menu.

Will gut bacteria cure depression?

The team took into account the lifestyle preferences of the people, including age, sex, or antidepressant use, all factors which can influence gut health and gut bacteria. Their findings were published recently in “Nature Microbiology”. They also found that depressed people had an increase in some bacteria implicated in Crohn disease, which lead to plenty of inflammation.

The research team also looked into samples taken from a similar number of Dutch people, and the same two species of bacteria were missing.

After these result, the race is on to use them in a practical way of helping depressed people improve their mental health. Companies are looking into oral supplements that contain the two missing species of gut bacteria. And, at the same time, the University of Basel in Switzerland is looking into transplants that alter or replace the gut microbiome.

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Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.