We’ve discussed probiotics here before, as part of the arsenal that could fight migraine in particular. Probiotics are the good bacteria that comes in fermented foods like yogurt, as well as certain supplements.
Studies on how probiotics are used by the body suggest that they may have some very tangible health benefits (of course – we knew that!). The head researcher, Professor Mark Lyte, points out: "There is already evidence to suggest that the connection between gut microbes and the nervous system represents a viable route for influencing neurological function. A recent study in mice, for example, showed that the presence of neurochemicals such a serotonin in the bloodstream was due to direct uptake from the gut."
Serotonin? That’s a very common word in migraine research for sure. Could this be one reason why probiotics are helping migraine patients?
Commenting on the research, Dr Gregor Reid writes:
Until recently the idea that probiotic bacteria administered to the intestine could influence the brain seemed almost surreal. Yet in Lyte’s paper the concept is supported by studies showing that microbes can produce and respond to neurochemicals, which can induce neurological and immunological effects on the host.
The research presents an idea for selecting probiotic strains with neurological applications and linking this with immune-modulatory effects, while highlighting the fact that microbial strains already being widely ingested in fermented food can produce neurochemicals.
The moral of the story is that probiotics could fight not only migraine, but things like depression and anxiety. That’s in addition to issues such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Could it be that in the future there will be specific migraine probiotic supplements? I bet there will be – but before you buy them, wait until the research catches up with the marketing! 🙂