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A new probiotic study for Alzheimer's disease
Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, January 17, 2020 10:19 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5107

This probiotic study provides yet further evidence that when you lower oxidative stress in the brain you improve certain forms of cognition.

Background. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in elderly patients. Recently, several studies have shown that inflammation and oxidative stress precede the cardinal neuropathological manifestations of AD. In view of the proven antioxidant effects of probiotics, we proposed that continuous dietary supplementation with milk fermented with kefir grains might improve cognitive and metabolic and/or cellular disorders in the AD patients. Methods. This study was designed as an uncontrolled clinical investigation to test the effects of probiotic-fermented milk supplementation (2 mL/kg/daily) for 90 days in AD patients exhibiting cognitive deficit. Cognitive assessment, cytokine expression, systemic oxidative stress levels, and blood cell damage biomarkers were evaluated before (T0) and after (T90) kefir synbiotic supplementation. Results. When the patients were challenged to solve 8 classical tests, the majority exhibit a marked improvement in memory, visual-spatial/abstraction abilities, and executive/language functions. At the end of the treatment, the cytometric analysis showed an absolute/relative decrease in several cytokine markers of inflammation and oxidative stress markers (O2, H2O2, and ONOO, ~30%) accompanied by an increase in NO bioavailability (100%). In agreement with the above findings by using the same technique, we observed in a similar magnitude an improvement of serum protein oxidation, mitochondrial dysfunction, DNA damage/repair, and apoptosis. Conclusion. In conclusion, we demonstrated that kefir improves cognitive deficits, which seems to be linked with three important factors of the AD—systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, and blood cell damage—and may be a promising adjuvant therapy against the AD progression.

H202 is hydrogen peroxide and ONOO- is peroxynitrite.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2020 9:56 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5107

Here is a further explanation of why certain probiotics may help improve cognition function in Alzheimer's disease:

GSH [glutathione], a major cellular non enzymatic antioxidant, eliminates radicals like hydrogen peroxides, hydroxyl radicals, and peroxynitrite mainly via cooperation with selenium dependent glutathione peroxidase. Kullisaar and colleagues found that the two antioxidative Lactobacillus fermentum strains, E-3 and E-18, contained remarkable levels of GSH.

The concomitant increase in oxidative stress and decrease in glutathione is one of the seminal events in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Glutathione: a molecular whistleblower for Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease: Neurons in select pockets of the brain begin to die off, slowly and incrementally erasing an individual’s memory and eroding their individuality. It is a devastating disease, one that affects more than 36 million individuals today, and one for which no reliable and definitive diagnostic test is available. In hopes of identifying a molecular signature for Alzheimer’s disease, there has been extensive research aimed at defining the early associated molecular events. One phenomenon that has gained a strong foothold as a lead player in Alzheimer’s pathology is ‘oxidative stress’. Oxidative metabolism – the process that yields all cells the energy required for survival – produces highly reactive oxidative byproducts, which if not curtailed wreak absolute havoc on a neuronal cell. To defuse these oxidizing products, the brain cells manufacture antioxidants, which act to police and neutralize these rabble-rousers. The predominant of these brain antioxidants – Glutathione aka GSH– has long been indirectly implicated in Alzheimer’s: from post-mortem brains to cell models of the disease, research has repeatedly offered indirect evidence for depletion of GSH levels in Alzheimer’s disease...

The hippocampi – the brain centres for learning and memory – are one of the earliest regions to be sabotaged by Alzheimer’s pathology. Our data revealed that GSH levels plummet in the hippocampi of patients with Alzheimer’s as well as those with MCI. The frontal cortices – brain CEOs responsible for a variety of executive functions – are chronologically affected later in Alzheimer’s. GSH levels mimic this chronology with no changes in the cortices of MCI patients, but significant reduction in those of Alzheimer’s patients. Interestingly, GSH remains unaffected in the cerebellum – a brain region unaffected by Alzheimer’s till late stages. It appears GSH decline is not ubiquitous but rather a region-specific phenomenon that appears to precisely map the progression of Alzheimer’s in our brains.

Could it then be that GSH levels would be able to act like a detector test for MCI and Alzheimer’s? It appears that may well be the case. Using only GSH levels in the hippocampi and frontal cortices as indicators, we were able to differentiate between healthy subjects and MCI patients as well as between patients with MCI and Alzheimer’s with a remarkably high accuracy.

Glutathione cannot enter cells, so my guess is the bacteria which produce glutathione go from the gut to the brain.

Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2020 7:40 PM
Joined: 2/17/2019
Posts: 380

Kefir- the food?! 

I  don't understand all of this, but the study seems to be saying that after consuming kefir milk for 90 days (3 months) inflammation and mitochondrial damage was down by roughly 30%.

From kefir milk? Kefir milk from the grocery store?  $5 for a litre, the yogurt-like drink? That comes in like 7 flavours. Or you can make it yourself

Wow, another win for plants (food) as medicine.  Just adding kefir to milk improved people's ability to perform memory test. That is awesome.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2020 10:15 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5107

As I understand it, this is correct--kefir milk from the grocery store.

My mother used to make yoghurt from a starter--what the Armenians call Madzoon.  I always figured that was one of the elements that kept many Armenians healthy.

The various threads and corners from which an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease are likely to come are the ones that many least suspect--and some go far back in time.