START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

A Healthy Gut Makes a Healthy Brain

The two main types of beneficial bacteria, which are also called “friendly bacteria” include:  Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.  Research is beginning to show that these two types of microflora can lower the levels of toxic compounds that could have detrimental effects on the brain.

Studies show that these bacteria lower immune system compounds called cytokines, in the gut but also throughout the bloodstream.  Cytokines are linked to anxiety, symptoms of depression, and cognitive disturbances when induced in healthy adults.  Cytokines also lower levels of an important brain and nerve cell protector.

Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria can also act as antioxidants in the body.  Alan C. Logan, ND, FRSH, in his book, The Brain Diet, cites four studies that demonstrate probiotics’ protective ability against free radical damage, especially against damage to the fatty component of cells.  The brain is largely fat so protecting the fatty component of cells from free radical damage is important to brain health.  Here are two of the studies:

One study by Dr. Tatyana Oxman and her Israeli colleagues showed that Lactobacillus bulgaricus protected heart cells against the effects of insufficient oxygenated blood.

In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Swedish researchers showed that oral administration of a strain of Lactobacillus plantarum, which they identified as 299v, resulted in a 37 percent reduction in a chemical called F-isoprostanes.  The latter chemicals are markers of oxidative stress in the body and are elevated in many brain and neurological diseases.  In the same study, the group of people taking this strain of Lactobacillus bulgaricus also had a 42 percent reduction in a particular type of inflammatory cytokines.

So while the researchers are proving the gut-brain link, make sure you’re getting enough probiotics in your diet or through supplementation.  And, be sure you’re getting different species from both major groups: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.

Adapted from The Brain WashSubscribe to my free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow me on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.  Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.

20 Reasons to Love Bacteria

Read more: Aging, Alternative Therapies, Alzheimer's, Anxiety, Colitis, Crohn's & IBS, Depression, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Healthy Aging, Heart & Vascular Disease, Mental Wellness, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Natural Remedies, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


+ add your own
3:50PM PST on Dec 30, 2014

How interesting. Thanks for the information.

3:38AM PST on Dec 29, 2014

Eat ants. Maybe with sauerkraut. :-)

11:20AM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

Good info. Thanks!

3:24AM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

11:42PM PDT on Jun 18, 2013


3:52PM PDT on Mar 24, 2013


5:42AM PST on Mar 6, 2013

muito bom o artigo, vou utilizar as dicas no dia a dia!

8:00AM PDT on Nov 2, 2012

Good, noted. Thanks for sharing.

6:47PM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

I was so amazed by this information I had to read it twice. Just to let folks know, aside from the BILLIONS of probiotics and helpful bacteria you get in yogurt and supplements, In 1 TBSP. of saurkraut you get TRILLIONS of benificial bacteria. Also with Kimchee.

3:09AM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

That's why I make my own "live" sauerkraut, plus it's the easiest way to get here.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

The sweetest argument ever!

intresting post :)


Thanks for the info


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!