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Brain disease up 66%; does your gut play a role?

Brain disease up 66%; does your gut play a role?

There has been much research into the human microbiome, the 10 trillion bacteria that live within our gastro-intestinal tract, and its influence on our brains, immunity, metabolism, stress levels, sleep and the production of neurotransmitters and vitamins.

In a recent article Neurologist David Perlmutter gets to the guts of brain health with surprising advice, Perlmutter states that "in the past 35 years, death due to brain disease has increased by 66 per cent." He continues that brain health is dictated by what goes on in the gut, and can be influenced by nutritional and lifestyle choices.

Dr David Topping, chief research scientist at CSIRO's Food and Nutrition questions Perlmutter and says the missing piece of the research puzzle is the short chain fatty acid butyrate, which is a source of energy and food for intestinal cells; it is produced when the bacteria in our gut break down fibre.

Therefore, if we can improve the balance of bacteria in our gut we may be able to improve our brain health, immunity and energy levels. But how can you do this? One way is to take probiotic and prebiotic supplements; some of which are good, while others offer bacteria strains that have never been proven to deliver any health benefits...

Another way is by eating probiotic and prebiotic foods. Probiotic food can help us replenish the bacteria in our gut however, research suggests that some beneficial bifidobacteria strains are not easily replenished and feeding these strains with prebiotics (food for the microbiome) is much more effective, and may increases numbers significantly.

Hence a diet rich in probiotics such as Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, raw Cacao/Chocolate, Microalgae, Miso, Pickles and Tempeh and prebiotics such as Gum Arabic, Chicory Root, Jerusalem Artichoke, Dandelion Greens, Garlic, Leek, Onion, Asparagus, Banana and Wheat Bran may help balance your microbiome and protect your brain from disease.

I know I have added them to my diet…