Changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function, UCLA study shows (Video)


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Categories: Health & Nutrition

Elaine Hsiao is a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry and biology at Caltech. She received her undergraduate degree in microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics from UCLA and her doctoral degree in neurobiology from Caltech with Professor Paul Patterson.

Studied neuroimmune mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders and uncovered a role for the commensal microbiota in regulating autism-related behaviors, metabolism, and intestinal physiology. Elaine has received several honors, including predoctoral fellowships from the National Institute of Health, Autism Speaks and the Caltech Innovation Program.

She is currently studying the mechanisms by which microbes modulate host production of neuroactive molecules and aims to better understand how the human microbiota influences health and disease.

 
UCLA researchers now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. In an early proof-of-concept study of healthy women, they found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt showed altered brain function, both while in a resting state and in response to an emotion-recognition task.
 
 
The study, conducted by scientists with the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress, part of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases, and the Ahmanson–Lovelace Brain Mapping Center at UCLA, appears in the current online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology.
 
The discovery that changing the bacterial environment, or microbiota, in the gut can affect the brain carries significant implications for future research that could point the way toward dietary or drug interventions to improve brain function, the researchers said.

via UCLA

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