In this month’s video, Dr. Brian Orr talks about Alzheimer’s disease and probiotics.

Can Probiotics Change Your Brain?

A recent paper in Scientific Reports got my attention. It provides strong and detailed evidence for the use of probiotics to induce multiple changes in the diseased brains of mice with Alzheimer’s (AD). These probiotic-induced changes appear to lead to a reversal of neurodegeneration.

The AD mice were treated with a probiotic formulation called SLAB51, rich in lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria, and the proposed mechanism is that the modulation of the gut microbiota affects the brain and behavior through the gut-brain axis.

man comforting mom with alzheimers

Probiotics and Memory

On a behavioral level, treated mice out-performed controls on several tests of memory and also out-performed controls on a passive avoidance test ,which relies on memory of punishment.

In terms of brain anatomy there were notable differences in the thickness of the cortex of the brain, particularly in the hippocampus, which participates in memory formation and recall. With respect to the main culprit in Alzheimer’s disease – ß amyloid – the amount of this protein decreased in treated mice, both inside and outside the brain cells. Also, the pathways that breakdown and remove ß amyloid were more active in the brains of probiotic-treated AD mice.

All in all, the results of this study suggest that probiotics may restore the parts of the brain responsible for memory function, counteract the typical morphological alterations of AD, and significantly reduce the amount of ß amyloid in the brain.

Book Your Appointment with Interactive – Let’s Talk!

Dr Brian Orr photoUnfortunately, the SLAB51 probiotic formula is not commercially available. However, many of the SLAB51 strains are available in commercial and pharmaceutical probiotic products. Talk to your doctor about finding the best probiotic product to meet your health needs.

Book a consultation to discuss how naturopathic care might improve your life with Alzheimer’s disease – whether it is yourself or a loved one.

(425) 361-7945


Microbiota modulation counteracts Alzheimer’s disease progression influencing neuronal proteolysis and gut hormones plasma levels, Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 2426, May 2017.

Additional Resources at Interactive Health Clinic:

What are Probiotics?

What is the difference between Probiotics and Prebiotics?

Probiotics impacting your Vitamin D Status?

Winter Probiotics and the Cold Virus