As the saying goes, if you want to catch a man's heart, you must first catch his stomach. But in fact, is a gastronomic reward just a person's stomach? The intestinal flora said I laughed and didn't speak. A recent study in the Journal of physical and mental medicine showed that the interaction between the brain and the intestinal flora may play an important role in human health and behavior. Previous studies on rodent models have demonstrated the effects of intestinal flora on emotional and social behaviors, such as anxiety and depression. However, whether this conclusion applies to humans is still lacking in evidence.

This time, researchers identified intestinal microflora that interacts with the brain in areas related to mood and behavior. This is probably the first time scientists have confirmed that behavioral and neurobiological differences in healthy populations are related to microbial composition.

In this study, scientists hope to identify the brain and behavioral characteristics of healthy women carrying different intestinal microflora. The researchers collected stool samples from 40 female volunteers to analyze individual intestinal microbial composition. According to the composition of intestinal bacteria, the women involved in the investigation were divided into two groups: 33 people had more Bacteroides, and the others had more Prevotella. At the same time, the researchers collected brain magnetic resonance images when they observed images or behaviors or events that could trigger emotional responses.

The results showed that the gray matter in the frontal cortex and the insula (frontal cortex and insula, the brain region associated with complex information processing) in the Bacteroides group was thicker. At the same time, the hippocampal formation in the group (the brain related to memory processing) was also larger.

In comparison, the women's brains in the Prevotella group were more associated with areas of emotion, attention, and sensation, and some of the brain regions, including the hippocampus, were smaller. When observing negative images, the hippocampal activity of the group was lower. At the same time, after watching the negative images, women in the group Prevotella showed higher levels of negative emotions, such as anxiety, grief, and irritability, compared with the women in the Bacteroides group.

The digestive tract is considered to be the main center of the human body, and it has an effect on almost all other important bodily functions, which is vital for the health of the human body. With the increasing interest and awareness of probiotics, more and more studies are not only focusing on their effects on the health of the human digestive system, but also on other physical functions, including cognitive and cardiovascular health. With the in-depth study of scientists, heart and brain health are two areas worthy of attention.

Health balance

In the 2016 probiotic market report, Transparency MarketResearch predicts that from 2014 to 2020, the global market for probiotics will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 740% (CAGR) per year, and will increase from $62 billion 600 million in 2016 to $96 billion in 2020.

The report points out that the growth of probiotics is still driven by consumer concerns about intestinal health. It is undeniable that the most convincing thing that probiotics have been studying is its role in the gastrointestinal tract. In particular, probiotics have unique advantages in preventing and relieving diarrhea. A controlled trial published in the Harvard Health Journal shows that Lactobacillus can shorten the duration of infective diarrhea in infants and children. Other studies have shown that probiotics can alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea caused by antibiotics at 60%.

In fact, probiotics promote intestinal health, partly because it maintains a balance between beneficial and harmful microorganisms in the gastrointestinal environment, and there is a reason to believe that probiotics also have the same function in other ecosystems, such as the vagina. When a specific strain of lactic acid bacteria keeps the pH of the vagina at a high level to prevent the proliferation of pathogens, the strain will begin to decrease due to the use of antibiotics, birth control, or other reasons, such as yeast infection, bacterial infection and urethral infection. Studies have shown that supplementation of probiotics can balance vaginal flora balance and prevent related diseases.

Cerebral enteric axis

Many consumers and medical professionals are wondering where the next gut microbiota study will go. Perhaps the gut axis is a good start. The gut axis refers to the interaction between the digestive system and the brain, as well as the relationship between intestinal health and brain function. This is a "two-way communication line", which connects the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve - and the intestinal nervous system (ENS). This line contains more than 1 hundred million neurons, all over the rectum, gastrointestinal tract and esophagus.

But when the intestinal flora balance is broken, whether it is gastrointestinal stimulation or other reasons, ENS will want to CNS emission signals, thereby affecting the body's emotions. Specific probiotics can balance intestinal flora and improve brain health.

In fact, specific probiotic strains can also increase the level of neurotransmitters associated with emotion, such as serotonin and dopamine, or the formation of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) in the colon, which can relieve anxiety, and some probiotics can even help slow decompression by lowering the level of the stress hormone cortisol. Power。 It is important to note that although the brain axis is the focus of much scientific research, the use of probiotics to alleviate early emotional and anxiety symptoms also seems to have potential, but it is still a long way from improving cognition and memory.

Cardiovascular health

In addition, more attention should be paid to the role of probiotics in cardiovascular health and to improve cardiovascular health through several different mechanisms of probiotics, including antioxidation and anti-inflammatory properties, and the selection of strains by lowering cholesterol levels.

The mechanism of probiotics in improving cholesterol level is reflected in two aspects, one is reducing the absorption of cholesterol by intestinal absorption through "non-specific assimilation". On the other hand, a specific probiotic strain has the effect of hydrolysis of bile salt, which can remove bile salt into the equal amount of bile acid, strengthen the precipitation of bile acid, let it discharge with the feces, and reduce the reabsorption of the body to it.

For example, a bifidobacterium consisting of three strains, including B. animals subsplactis MB 2409 and B. bifidum MB 109, results in an increase in double salt hydrolysis and can effectively convert Omega-6s fatty acids into Omega-3 fatty acids. In a 6-18-year-old test of dyslipidemia children, taking this probiotic can reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 8.2%, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) cholesterol by 8.6%, and triglyceride (triglyceride) level by 7.1%.

Amicable fat

This also means that a systematic screening of bifidobacteria that converts Omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) into conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in the gastrointestinal tract can be used to prevent a series of diseases associated with fatty acids, including cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, and insulin tolerance. It is understood that the conversion efficiency of B. longum and B. breve can reach as high as 93%. Probiotican Italy probiotics supplier, has even patented such specific probiotic strains.

Changes in metabolism

The international bifidobacteria Association (IPA) also analyzed the role of probiotics in reducing metabolic syndrome in a white paper assessing the use of the scientific environment for unconventional probiotics. Metabolic syndrome is manifested in many cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, muscle dysfunction, obesity, and diabetes. Although the evidence is still ambiguous on the whole, some research results are still being explored.

As pointed out by the IPA's white paper, the fermentation of probiotics can produce milk and soy peptides, and then inhibit the activity of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), which is the key link in controlling blood pressure. In addition, other studies have found that probiotics can relieve the symptoms of hypertension by regulating phytoestrogens. A large number of research papers mentioned in the report provide readers with how active the research activities of probiotics are and how probiotics become another tool for the solution of metabolic syndrome.

But it has to be mentioned that all the research results need time, and researchers are still at the initial stage of probiotics research. As IPA pointed out in his paper, the link between metabolic syndrome and microbiota reflects only a part of many complex factors. As time goes on, scientists may find the specific relationship between probiotics and different diseases.


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If You Want To Catch A Person's Health, You Must First Catch His Intestinal Flora!