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Probiotics & Their Effects on Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

Probiotics are healthy live bacteria that can be beneficial for a person’s health when added into the diet. Allentown Alzheimer’s care experts discuss probiotics and why they might be able to help seniors with Alzheimer’s combat their disease.

The Link Between Gastrointestinal Health and Brain Health

Also referred to as the brain-gut connection, doctors have recently begun to discover digestive tracts are very closely tied to mental health. Located along the stomach and intestines are millions of cells that make up the enteric nervous system (ENS). The ENS not only breaks down food, but it also affects how people think and feel. Without the proper bacteria in the intestines, almost every facet of a senior’s mental health can be negatively impacted.

Clinical Trials and Research

One of the biggest studies on the brain-gut connection was recently carried out at the Kashan University of Medical Sciences and the Islamic Azad University. Over the course of 12 weeks, doctors gave a group of people with Alzheimer’s a daily probiotic supplement. When compared to the control group, those who received the probiotics were able to significantly increase their cognitive abilities. Both groups took a variety of simple tests, such as counting to 100 and copying paintings. 

Finding the Best Probiotics

Most probiotic supplements contain a handful of different bacterial strains, which can impact everything from energy levels to the state of the immune system. For seniors with Alzheimer’s, some of the most popular strains include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. When choosing a probiotic, seniors and their Allentown, PA, caregivers should look for products that have been specifically labeled as psychobiotics.

Naturally Increasing Gut Health

Probiotic supplements aren’t the only way to boost gut health. The foods seniors eat have a major impact on the different strains of bacteria that naturally reside in their digestive tracts, which is why it is important to maintain a healthy diet with foods such as miso soup, fresh berries, and yogurt. All of these products contain bacteria that have a major impact on the brain-gut connection.                           

In addition to probiotics, there are a variety of other things your elderly loved one can consume to help stave off Alzheimer’s or alleviate its symptoms. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can prepare nutritious meals, provide mental stimulation, and assist with a wide array of important everyday tasks. For more information on the in-home senior care Allentown, PA, seniors rely on, call 484-350-3874 today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.