Designer probiotic bacteria have the potential to alter brain fatty acid composition, according to a new study published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The findings may open up new possibilities for the use of probiotic foods in the promotion of human health and mental well-being.
Researchers at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre in Teagasc Moorepark Food Research Centre and University College Cork showed that mice fed with Bifidobacterium breve NCIMB 702258 and Bifidobacterium breve DPC6330 had altered brain fatty acids and gut microbiota.
“The finding that bacteria in our gut influence brain fatty acid composition opens up new possibilities for the use of probiotic foods in the promotion of human health and mental well-being," the researchers said.
The team showed that mice fed with the conjugated linoleic acid CLA-producing bacterium B. breve NCIMB 702258 had increased levels of two fatty acids ARA and DHA, which play important roles in neurogenesis, neurotransmission and protection against oxidative stress and whose levels in the brain influence cognition. They also discovered feeding with the CLA-producing B. breve strains is strain dependent on both the fatty acid composition of the mouse brain and on the microbial community in the gut.