Neurochemicals delivered directly to the gut, via probiotic (referred to as good bacteria) promote gastrointestinal health and psychological well-being, reveals a new study.
According to researchers from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, through a unifying process of microbial endocrinology, the probiotics could act as a delivery mechanism for neuroactive compounds that improves a host's neurological health.
"This paper proposes a new field of microbial endocrinology, where microbiology meets neuroscience," said Professor Mark Lyte.
"There is already evidence to suggest that the connection between gut microbes and the nervous system represents a viable route for influencing neurological function. A recent study in mice, for example, showed that the presence of neurochemicals such a serotonin in the bloodstream was due to direct uptake from the gut," he added.
The selection of probiotics, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria and the active uptake of neurochemicals, generated by bacteria in the gut and circulated through a patient's bloodstream, represents a pathway for probiotics to exert extra-intestinal effects including behavioral changes.
"The research presents an idea for selecting probiotic strains with neurological applications and linking this with immune-modulatory effects, while highlighting the fact that microbial strains already being widely ingested in fermented food can produce neurochemicals," said Professor Gregor Reid, from the University of Western Ontario.
The study has been presented in BioEssays.