Research: Gut bacteria impacts brain health

Researchers discover certain bacteria can mitigate Alzheimer's disease

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Natasha Dado

DETROIT - You have heard the saying, "You are what you eat."

Now scientists say that may be especially true when it comes to the connection between your gut and the health of your brain.

Food fuels your body and is an important part of keeping your brain healthy. But that is not all it does.

"In the last couple of years, we have seen that what is happening in your gut can affect your brain, and there is this notion of gut brain access where your gut communicated with your brain and your brain communicates with your gut," said Dr. Gania Ait-Ghezala, a researcher from the Roskamp Institute. 

At the Roskamp Institute in Florida, researchers say they are discovering certain bacteria found in the gut could exacerbate or help mitigate Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Now they are looking at how they can use this information to help treat these diseases.

"If there is something that we can find that could help delay or prevent the appearance of Alzheimer's disease that would be great," said Dr. Ait-Ghezala. 

Previous studies in animals have suggested the diversity of bacteria in our gut may also impact our risk of anxiety or depression.

The research is ongoing, but for now, people can help keep their gut healthy by eating healthy.

"It always comes to healthy living. If we look at it in terms of microbiomes, what you eat is what you are," said Dr. Ait-Ghezala. 

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