Did you know that there is a link between your intestinal bacteria and your chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease?
New research from Lund University in Sweden has shown that your intestinal bacteria can potentially accelerate your development of Alzheimer’s Disease.
What is contained in your gut microbiota is determined by the bacteria you receive at birth, your genes and your diet.
What’s in your gut counts
The researchers studied both healthy and diseased mice and discovered that those mice living with Alzheimer’s Disease have a different composition of gut bacteria compared to the mice that are healthy. The researchers also studied mice that completely lacked bacteria, to test the relationship between intestinal bacteria and Alzheimer’s Disease.
“Mice without bacteria had a significantly smaller amount of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain. These are the lumps that form at the nerve fibres in cases of Alzheimer’s Disease,” the Lund University Scientific Report stated.
According to the Scientific Report from Lund University: “The collection and depositing of extracellular beta-amyloid plaques is an early and critical event that triggers a cascade of pathological incidents that finally lead to dementia…The most rational strategy would be to retard, halt and even reverse this.”
Link between gut bacteria and Alzheimer’s Disease
Researcher Frida Fåk Hållenius at the Food for Health Science Centre said: “Our study is unique as it shows a direct causal link between gut bacteria and Alzheimer’s Disease. It was striking that the mice which completely lacked bacteria developed much less plaque in the brain.”
The results of the study mean that the researchers can now review ways to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and delay its onset.
In fact, the researchers will continue to study the role of bacteria in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease and test out new strategies – specifically diet and probiotics – and their impact on gut microbiota.
The research is a result of an international collaboration between Associate Professor Frida Fåk Hållenius and doctoral student Nittaya Marungruang, both at the Food for Health Science Centre in Lund, and a research group at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland. The collaboration has now expanded to include researchers from Germany and Belgium in connection with receiving a SEK 50 million EU grant.
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