How yoghurt could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease sufferers


Probiotics which are found in yoghurt could improve the memory of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The live bacteria is often promoted for its health benefits, particularly in keeping the gut healthy.
And, now, it seems probiotics could have entirely different positive effects.
According to a small study, the bacterial supplement could improve brain function.
A research team in Iran gave sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease a probiotic yoghurt drink every day for 12 weeks.
They then used brain function test scores to measure changes before and after the treatment.In the ten minute tests, one question, for example, was to ask people to count backwards from 100 in sevens.
The research team found that those patients who had been given the probiotics had seen small improvements in their brain function, compared to the group given a placebo.
In a 12-week trial, 60 patients with a mean age of 80, who all had severe Alzheimer’s were assigned to two treatment groups. The control group received only plain milk, while the trial group had probiotic milk.
However, the results are not conclusive, given the small differences and the small number of patients involved.
They do, however, add to an increasing body of research which suggests that there is a link between gut health and brain function.
It is now hoped that further research could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s as well as other types of dementia.
While probiotics are readily available in a number of yoghurt drinks, and there are no known safety concerns about their consumption, scientists say further research would be necessary before they were recommended for the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
The Iranian study has been conducted with researchers from the Kashan University of Medical Sciences and has been published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
Often referred to as “good” or “friendly” bacteria, probiotics are found in yoghurts and other dairy products.
While probiotics are often recommended to help people who have gut conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), they may also benefit brain health.
While it may seem strange to think that probiotics consumed in a yoghurt or milk may have an impact on brain health, the link comes because of the micro biota-gut-brain axis.
This is a signalling pathway running between the brain and the digestive system. So far, this axis is not fully understood.


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