By Dr. Don Davis, D.C., DACNB - Neurology
Everyone knows that the brain is a valuable organ. Well, for that matter, most of our organs are valuable. It’s just that the brain is one of those where even subtle changes in the blood that feeds the brain can bring on big changes in behavior, that everyone can notice. You can’t say that of most of our other organs.
A brand new study in the journal Neurology looked into some of these small changes, specifically with the immune system within. The study looked at the disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that attacks the white matter (nerve extensions) of the brain. It also looked at probiotics as a possible treatment for the condition.
The logic works like this: In MS, the white matter of the central nervous system is damaged by an overactive and over-sensitive immune system. Since we know that intestinal bacteria can help regulate the immune system, it was thought that probiotics might be able to decrease the immune system’s attack on the white matter and decrease the effects and progression of MS.
They used a probiotic of bacteria common in yogurt containing Bifidobactor, Lactobacillis
and Streptococcus bacteria. These are microbes that are known to increase IL-10, a molecule that increases Regulatory T cells that will slow the immune system down.
Up to this point, this particular blend of probiotic has been helpful in controlling
diabetes, colitis, and IBS, so it would be reasonable that it could also be affective in an autoimmune nerve condition. The results were interesting. First of all, the markers that studied that showed general inflammation decreased significantly and also lead to a decrease specific neurological markers related to MS.
This more than just interesting. It is important. While most of us don’t have MS, we are all dealing with some level of inflammation. Some us, especially those that are eating the Standard American Diet, living with high levels of stress, decreased sleep, and little exercise are “going down”. This study shows that increasing the level of good bacteria can decrease the inflammation that is responsible for the majority of degenerative diseases and MS in particular.
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Reference: Treatment of EAE and MS Subjects with Probiotic VSL#3
Stephanie Tankou8, et al. Neurology 4-5-2016 vol. 86 no. 16 Supplement P5.320