How Gut Bacteria can reduce the risk of Brain Disease
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In this week’s newsletter we share with you another extract from Dr David Perlmutter’s book, Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain – for Life. We will look at how our gutsy friends (good bacteria/ microbes) can reduce the risk of brain disease.
“Factors such as antibiotics and other medications, chlorinated water, certain foods, and even stress all play a part in determining the diversity and balance of the gut bacteria and, therefore, the set-point of inflammation. Not only do gut microbes influence the environment in your body, but they contribute to that environment by producing certain chemicals that affect the health of the brain and the entire nervous system. They determine the strength and fortitude of your gut wall. And they can even produce various vitamin that are essential to brain health, including B12. It’s well substantiated that low levels of B12 are a huge risk factor for dementia and other neurological challenges such as depression. The connection is straightforward: B12 synthesis in the body occurs primarily in the small intestine, where gut bacteria manufacture it using cobalt and other nutrients.
The top 3 ways your gutsy friends reduce your risk of brain disease:
- They help control inflammation. The balance and diversity of gut bacteria regulates how much inflammation occurs in the body. Healthy levels of a variety of good bacteria limit the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body and in the brain. Inflammation, as you already know, is the basis for degeneration conditions in the human body, including diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- They bolster the intestinal wall’s integrity and prevent gut permeability. A leaky gut brought on by an imbalance of gut bacteria allows various proteins normally found in the gut to make their way through the gut wall and challenge the immune system. This scenario turns on an immune response that again leads to inflammation. We now recognize that a variety of factors increase gut permeability, including certain medications, pathogenic bacteria, stress, environmental toxins, elevated blood sugar, and ingredients like gluten.
- They produce important chemicals for brain health, including BDNF, various vitamins such as B12, and even neurotransmitters like glutamate and GABA. They also ferment certain food-borne compounds like polyphenols into smaller anti-inflammatories so they can be absorbed into the bloodstream and ultimately protect the brain.”
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