When someone mentions probiotics, what typically comes to mind? Maybe you think of probiotic-rich foods like kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut. While you wouldn’t be wrong thinking of these food sources, you might be surprised to learn that probiotics don’t only do wonders for gut health — they can benefit your brain health, too.
Interested in learning more? Love Wellness has your back! Read on to discover all there is to know about how probiotics can promote healthy cognition and more.
What Exactly Are Probiotics?
Simply put, probiotics are live, healthy bacteria (and other microbes like yeast) that are good for you, especially your digestive tract.
We usually think of these as germs that cause illness, but the truth is that your body is full of bacteria — both good and bad. The probiotics found in fermented foods and supplements are often referred to as “good” or “friendly” bacteria because they help keep the gut in tip-top shape.
What’s So Special About the Gut?
Believe it or not, your gut microbiome (aka gut flora or gut microbiota) is the foundation of your health. That said, good gut health takes place when you have a happy balance between the good and the bad gut bugs in your digestive tract.
In fact, a whopping 80 percent of your immune system is in the gut — and most of your body’s serotonin (the “feel-good” hormone) is, too. This means that if your gut isn’t healthy, then your immune and endocrine systems won’t function as they should, and as a result, you can get sick. Unfortunately, this is also how many autoimmune disorders begin.
Think your gut health might be lacking? Here are a few surefire signs of an unhealthy gut:
- Sour stomach
In addition to these tummy woes, poor gut health can manifest into cognitive issues, including brain fog, headaches, inability to concentrate, poor memory, and even moodiness.
What Do Probiotics Have To Do With the Brain?
In the last decade, emerging research has shown that the gut and brain are delicately intertwined in the gut-brain axis. This axis links the body’s nervous system in the gut, called the enteric nervous system, and the central nervous system, which (spoiler alert) includes the brain.
The main information connection between the two is the vagus nerve — the longest nerve in the human body. Your gut and noggin also talk through your gut microbes, which produce itty-bitty molecules that transport information from the GI tract to the brain.
How Can Probiotics Help the Brain?
If you’ve ever thought that your stomach has a mind of its own, you wouldn’t be wrong. Dubbed the body’s “second brain,” the gut produces many of the same neurotransmitters as your smartest organ does, like:
- Gamma-aminobutyric acid
Hence why what affects the gut often affects the brain and vice versa.
Think about it: when your brain senses trouble, it fires off warning signals to the gut, which is why stress may cause digestive problems like a sour stomach. On the other hand, flares of GI issues may trigger tension or a case of nerves.
So, how can probiotics help? Well, some research has found that these beneficial gut microorganisms may help boost mood and cognitive function while lowering cortisol levels. They do this by promoting balance, which keeps the unfriendly bacteria in check and, in turn, all the icky symptoms associated with gut dysbiosis.
That said, it’s a little too early to determine the exact influence probiotics have on the gut-brain axis since this research is still taking place, but if there’s one thing that’s for certain, it’s that these friendly bacteria are beneficial for the entire body — including the brain.
Which Probiotic Strains Are Best for Brain Health?
There are a ton of probiotic strains out there, but some have more research than others — specifically, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains. In fact, experts are even calling these strains “psychobiotics” for their potential therapeutic benefits.
So, if you’re looking for a great probiotic supplement to support brain health and overall wellness, stick with one containing these two strains in the formula — like Big Brain Probiotics.
Designed with you and your health in mind, this powerful blend of probiotics and nootropics contains science-backed ingredients to:
- Help support brain function and cognition*
- Maintain a healthy mood*
- Maintain a sense of calm*
Plus, it includes clinically studied probiotics resistant to acid and bile conditions of the upper GI tract, allowing it to adhere to mucin and support gut comfort and function.*
To give your noggin the support it needs to remain healthy, take one capsule daily with or without food. For full-body health and harmony, pair Big Brain Probiotics with our other targeted probiotics, like Good Girl Probiotics for your vagina and Gut Feelings Probiotics for ultimate gut health.
The Final Word
And there you have it — everything you need to know about probiotics for brain health. While more research is definitely needed to confirm the influence these friendly bacteria have on the gut-brain axis, there’s no denying that the future for probiotics in regard to brain health is looking bright!
Thinking about adding a probiotic to your daily supplement lineup to support your brain? Check out Big Brain Probiotics — your go-to for mental clarity and healthy brain function. This innovative blend of probiotics and nootropics is designed to support cognition while helping to maintain a healthy mood and sense of calm.* Simply take one capsule a day and rest easy, knowing that your brain is getting the support it needs to thrive.
At Love Wellness, we create natural solutions for natural problems. Why? Because we experience them too (yes, really!) Whether you’re struggling to focus, catch some shut-eye, or even maintain good feminine hygiene, you can count on us to have what you need to feel your best.
The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies | Pub Med
Probiotics may help boost mood and cognitive function | Harvard Health