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UCLA study: Changing gut bacteria affects brain function

By Dr. Andrew Jones

If you have an aging pet, or you personally are in need of some improved brain function, then you should be reading this article.

The summary: “Changing the bacterial environment, or microbiota, in the gut can affect the brain in positive ways”

My supplements, Ultimate Canine and Ultimate Feline contain particular probiotics that are beneficial to dogs and cats.

In particular for aging pets with signs of cognitive dysfuntion, such as:

•Increased sleeping
•Appear confused
•Loss of training – i.e. house training
•Unable to recognize familiar people
•Lack of interest in surroundings/events
•Increased drinking/increased urination
•Decreased, occasionally increased appetite
•Excessive panting
•Unusual behaviors – i.e. staring at the wall
•Excessive barking
•Overall less interest/activity – appearing “old”



Source: ucla.edu

UCLA researchers now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. In an early proof-of-concept study of healthy women, they found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt showed altered brain function, both while in a resting state and in response to an emotion-recognition task.

Researchers have known that the brain sends signals to the gut, which is why stress and other emotions can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms. This study shows what has been suspected but until now had been proved only in animal studies: that signals travel the opposite way as well.

“Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut,” Tillisch said. “Our study shows that the gut–brain connection is a two-way street.”

“There are studies showing that what we eat can alter the composition and products of the gut flora — in particular, that people with high-vegetable, fiber-based diets have a different composition of their microbiota, or gut environment, than people who eat the more typical Western diet that is high in fat and carbohydrates,” Mayer said. “Now we know that this has an effect not only on the metabolism but also affects brain function.”

Negative Effects of Antibiotics

By demonstrating the brain effects of probiotics, the study also raises the question of whether repeated courses of antibiotics can affect the brain, as some have speculated. Antibiotics are used extensively in neonatal intensive care units and in childhood respiratory tract infections, and such suppression of the normal microbiota may have long-term consequences on brain development.

Chronic pain, Parkinsons, Alzheimers

Finally, as the complexity of the gut flora and its effect on the brain is better understood, researchers may find ways to manipulate the intestinal contents to treat chronic pain conditions or other brain related diseases, including, potentially, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and autism.

Best Wishes,

Andrew Jones, DVM

P.S. I LOVE probiotics- And I personally have them every single day with my homemade yoghurt. The potential benefits are huge, affecting most major body systems, for gut health, immune health, and brain function.

God knows I can use some help with brain function 🙂

P.P.S. And clearly our pets benefit from these as well. You can give them to your pet in the form of yoghurt, OR you can supplement with many other beneficial nutrients using my supplement.




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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Pet health | No Comments »


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM