A new study from Lund University in Sweden has found unhealthy intestinal flora can accelerate the development of Alzheimer’s disease, The Huffington Post reports.

Alzheimer's cure

Managing the balance of bacteria in your gut is due to a mix of of diet and lifestyle factors. What you eat, and how you move really matter to the gut-brain system. This exciting new research shows that how you live your life might even be able to prevent one of the Western world’s most terrifying degenerative diseases.

The study and results in mice 

The research hasn't been proven in people, but the results in a mouse population is compelling. When a group of bacteria-free mice were colonized with the bacteria of rodents with Alzheimer’s, they developed brain plaques indicative of Alzheimer’s. When the bacteria-free mice were colonized with the bacteria of the healthy rodents, however, they developed significantly fewer brain plaques reported The Huffington Post.

While the research is clear, the understanding of the link between the gut and the brain is still poorly understood, but Dr Hållenius and his team are investigating it.

“Alzheimer’s is a preventable disease and in the near future we will likely be able to give advice on what to eat to prevent it,” study author Dr. Frida Fak Hållenius, associate professor at the University’s Food for Health Science Centre, told The Huffington Post. “Take care of your gut bacteria, by eating lots of whole-grains, fruits and vegetables.”

Is Alzheimer’s preventable with diet and lifestyle change?

alzheimer's cure

Alzheimer’s has not been regarded as preventable until now. By targeting gut bacteria both early in life and early in the disease progression, the disease progress may be able to be altered. Things like adopting a plant-based and whole foods diet plus probiotic supplementation could improve the balance of your gut bacteria. 

What you eat affects your brain

“The diet shapes the microbial community in the gut to a large extent, so dietary strategies will be important in prevention of Alzheimer’s,” Hållenius said.

“We are currently working on food design that will modulate the gut microbiota towards a healthier state.

Other studies have shown the relationship between gut bacteria and Alzheimer’s. “The contributions of microbes to multiple aspects of human physiology and neurobiology in health and disease have, up until now, not been fully appreciated,” one study’s authors wrote.

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