Vital Stats: Enzymotec's Sharp PS Gold brand phosphatidylserine (PS) conjugated to omega-3.
Study claim: A PS-Omega3 conjugate exceeded the beneficial effects demonstrated by conventional PS (soy-derived PS) with or without fish oil in attenuating memory impairment as well as in enriching brain DHA levels in rats.
Published: Vaisman N, Pelled D. n-3 phosphatidylserine attenuated scopolamine-induced amnesia in middle-aged rats. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2009 Aug 31;33(6):952-9.
Abstract: Phosphatidylserine (PS) extracted from bovine brain differs from transphosphatidylated soybean lecithin PS (SB-PS) in its n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) content. Both, however, were suggested to affect cognitive performance.
Researchers compared the effect of chronic administration of a novel n-3 LC-PUFA PS conjugates (n-3 PS) vs SB-PS, fish oil (FO), SB-PS+FO, or control oil in middle-aged rats, on brain fatty acid composition and performance in behaviorial tasks. The hypothesis was that the n-3 LC-PUFA vehicles will affect these outcomes better than the other diets.
Brain phospholipid DHA levels increased significantly with n-3 PS only. None of the treatments affected the animals' task performance compared with controls, although reversal from the non-match-to-sample to match-to-sample rule in the T-maze differed between the experimental diets. Conversely, the acquisition of the Morris water-maze task was impaired by scopolamine (SCO) in all but the n-3 PS group. In the probe, when pretreated with SCO, the SB-PS+FO group, and to a lesser degree the n-3 PS group, spent longer latency times in the nonperipheral zones of the water maze compared to the control.
These results suggest that the n-3 LC-PUFA carrier may play a role in fatty acids' bioavailability and their impact on specific cognitive processes. In particular, DHA on the backbone of phospholipids, rather than triglycerides, has a preferable incorporation into brain tissues and consequently a significant improvement in cognitive abilities.
Potential applications: For improved mood and mental and cognitive abilities. Recently attained GRAS status for functional food and beverage application.
Vital stats: Institut Rosell Lallemand's Bifidobacterium Rosell-175 and Lactobacillus Rosell-52 Probio'Stick brand probiotics microencapsulated with Probiocap technology.
Study Claim: Probio'Stick prevents post-myocardial infarction depression in a rat model.
Published: Girard SA, et al. Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum taken in combination reduce the apoptosis propensity in the limbic system after myocardial infarction in a rat model. Br J Nutr 2009 Nov;102(10):1420-5.
Abstract: Myocardial infarction (MI) stimulates the release of pro-inflammatory substances that induce apoptosis in the limbic system. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are considered the root cause of apoptosis. Also, depression may induce gastrointestinal perturbations that maintain elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Specific probiotic formulations have been shown to reduce gastrointestinal problems induced by stress and the pro/anti-inflammatory cytokine ratio. Therefore, researchers hypothesised that probiotics, when given prophylactically, may diminish the apoptosis propensity in the limbic system following an MI.
Male adult Sprague-Dawley rats were given probiotics or placebo in their drinking water for four weeks. An MI was then induced. Rats were killed following a 72-hour reperfusion period. Infarct size was not different in the two groups. Bax/Bcl-2 (pro-apoptotic/anti-apoptotic) ratio and caspase-3 (pro-apoptotic) activity were reduced in the amygdala (lateral and medial), as well as in the dentate gyrus in the probiotics group compared with placebo. Akt activity (anti-apoptotic) was increased in these same three regions. The probiotics L. helveticus and B. longum, given in combination as preventive therapy, reduced the predisposition of apoptosis found in different cerebral regions following an MI.
This new study adds to the concept of probiotics and the gut microflora implications in the brain-gut axis, or brain-gut communication, a new direction for probiotics research holding promising applications in mental health and management of stress and anxiety. Because the limbic system is implicated in emotions such as depression, this probiotic could diminish post-myocardial infarction depression.
Potential applications: For the stress market.