Back-to-school probiotics

Back-to-school probiotics

A Huffington Post article about probiotics, kids and learning, is another example of how the bugs are gaining more widespread attention in realms beyond digestive health.

The Huffington Post’s school coverage includes a story about how probiotics can help kids become better students - another instance of how those tiny bugs and their connection to our brains and immunity are squirming into the minds of the mainstream. Recently, NPR released a Disney-esque animated video about our bacteria friends and the American College of Gastroenterology included probiotics as recommended treatment for IBS in their official guidelines.

In the Huffington Post, HuffPo microbiology, health and hygiene expert Jason Tetro gives readers a bit of background about how the scientific community began to shift the blame for learning problems from purely uncontrollable defects, like genetic mutations, to the immune system and chronic inflammation in the brain, or neuroinflammation.

Tetro explains a bit about the microbiota-gut-brain axis, a key connection beginning to gain traction among mainstream consumers, who usually just think of digestive health effects when it comes to probiotics. He tempts parents with the future promise of psychobiotics—specialized probiotics designed to help improve learning and memory.

While waiting for those psychobiotics to hit the market and help their kids remember those vocab lists, or at least to bring their schoolbags home, “parents can take advantage of what has already been learned to help their children today. Making probiotics a part of everyday lifestyle will help to keep the immune system balanced and send those good signals to the brain to promote learning and memory,” he writes. Tetro also urges parents to feed their kids probiotic-friendly foods to keep their little guts, and brains, happy

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