Probiotics Lend A Hand To Brain Functioning – Part 1

Share Button

By Christie Korth

Part 1 of 3

brainMany people may hear the word bacteria and find it synonymous with creepy critters or contributory to a case of the sniffles. And yes, of course that is partially true. At the same time, the nutrition world is ever buzzing about one of the most interesting concepts in time. The notion that bacteria is bad is not always correct, in fact bacteria can be extraordinarily beneficial for the brain, immune system, intestines, cancer treatment and prevention and has even been proven to help stroke victims.

Most recently, probiotics are yet again in the spotlight, this time being hailed as a paramount promoter of cognition and emotional well being. Everyone can better from thinking clearer and a more positive emotional response, right?

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 Gut / Brain Connection

The knowledge that signals are sent from the intestine to the brain and that they can be modulated by a dietary change is likely to lead to an expansion of research aimed at finding new strategies to prevent or treat digestive, mental and neurological disorders, said Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine, physiology and psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study’s senior author. (University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences (2013, May 28). Changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function.)

So the bottom line is, consuming good bacteria is really something to consider adding to your daily diet as well as your family. So= besides yougurt and supplements, where can you find those brain boosting bacteria? Check out our list below.

Foods Highest in Probiotics:

1) Dark Chocolate: Long touted for its richness in minerals like magnesium and zinc and its high level of antioxidants, dark chocolate can also pack a wallop in probiotics. You have to know where to look, but there are some high quality chocolates that contain probiotics.

Our favorite pick? – Go to and check out their chocolate bars which are chock full of beneficial bacteria, like Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Lactobacillus casei LC-11

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..


1. Kirsten Tillisch, Jennifer Labus, Lisa Kilpatrick, Zhiguo Jiang, Jean Stains, Bahar Ebrat, Denis Guyonnet, Sophie Legrain-Raspaud, Beatrice Trotin, Bruce Naliboff, Emeran A. Mayer. Consumption of Fermented Milk Product with Probiotic Modulates Brain Activity. Gastroenterology, 2013; DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.02.043

Christie Korth is a Crohn’s disease survivor, author, certified health coach and holistic nutritionist who found her way to health and wellness after nearly succumbing to a severe case of Crohn’s disease. After harnessing the power of nutrition and gaining her health back, she then went on to be the founder and director of Happy & Healthy Wellness Counseling based just outside of NYC. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Columbia University and the Clayton College of Natural Health and is a certified holistic health practitioner with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Christie is the Corporate Nutritionist for Brain Balance Achievement Centers, where she designs the nutrition protocol for franchises across the country. Christie is a nutrition expert for Dr. Oz’s and frequently contributes nutrition articles to Long Island Parent Magazine. Christie is he author of The IBD Healing Plan and Recipe Book: A Guide to Releive Crohn’s and Colitis with Whole Foods. Christie lives in New York with her son, her husband, and her cat.