Study under review: Effect of Probiotic Supplementation on Cognitive Function and Metabolic Status in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Randomized, Double-Blind and Controlled Trial
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. People are at higher risk for it as they age, and while some of the biological changes that occur with the disease are known, it’s still not clear what its underlying causes are. However, there are some interesting correlations. For instance, biomarkers for oxidative stress tend to be higher in people with AD. In addition, inflammation is higher. Insulin resistance and abnormally high blood lipids also tend to co-occur with AD.
While these co-occurrences could be the result of chance or confounding factors such as aging, they may share an underlying factor as well. One possible suspect is the gut microbiome, as shown in Figure 1. After all, the microbiome may be implicated, with varying quality of evidence, in affecting all the factors mentioned above: oxidative stress, inflammation, insulin resistance, and high lipids. There is also reason to suspect that the microbiome may influence cognition and AD, although the evidence is sometimes indirect and the data scarce.
Reference: Pistollato et al. Nutr Rev. 2016 Oct.The suggestive findings mentioned above, combined with the lack of direct evidence, led the authors of the study under review to examine directly whether probiotic supplementation could affect AD.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) sometimes co-occurs with a host of other metabolic disorders which may be linked, at least in part, to the gut microbiome. Given the indirect evidence of microbiome influence on these co-occurring disorders as well as cognition, the authors of this study intended to directly test if probiotic supplementation could affect AD.
Other Articles in Issue #26 (December 2016)
Gelatin + vitamin C + exercise = joint benefits?
Exercise can help remodel soft tissue, including the collagen in joint tissue. Researchers already knew that vitamin C and gelatin are involved in collagen formation, and here they are tested along with exercise in a randomized trial.
What happens to diets when you control food quality?
Dieters often control their intake of either carbs or fat. But when dieting, the overall quality of food you eat can also change. Do low-fat and low-carb diet effects differ, even if you control for food quality?
Can diet soda ruin your diet?
Evidence is still quite mixed when it comes to diet soda effects on weight loss (or gain). Observational evidence often contradicts with trial evidence. This study adds to the body of evidence, specifically on those with type 2 diabetes.
Interview: Dr. Taylor Wallace, PhD
Dr. Wallace has done research in a variety of areas, including anthocyanins in plants. Here, we ask him about topics ranging from food additives to supplement side effects.
Cut out FODMAPs, cut out IBS symptoms?
If you have IBS, you know that physicians often lack well-supported dietary recommendations, so new research can be extremely valuable. This study is the first meta-analysis on the low-FODMAP strategy for curbing IBS symptoms
Curcumin for a clear nose
There are two types of people in the world: those who get seasonal allergies, and those who don’t. If you sneeze and wheeze, this trial on curcumin for allergic rhinitis provides must-read information.
Interview: Grant Tinsley, PhD
Remember that neat intermittent fasting study in the previous issue of NERD? We were lucky enough to interview one of the study authors, Grant Tinsley.