Probiotics, gut to brain connection.

A new study from UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine has determined that the consumption of milk fermented with probiotics changes the brain activity and emotional response of women.

The study supports the positive intervention that probiotics may have on children who suffer from autism,discussed in one of our recent articles,

The researchers categorized their research subjects into three groups. One group was provided with milk fermented with probiotics twice a day. Another group was provided with milk without the probiotics. The other group was given no milk product.

Prior to the implementation of the study the women underwent extensive brain MRI studies and brain activity tasking response analyses. Then the women consumed the probiotic or placebo milk for four weeks, followed by repeated testing.

The researchers along with the MRI testing, also tested brain responses to emotional faces, as well as during rest.

The results reflect that women who drank the probiotic milk had significantly different brain activity changes. Their task-related responses increased, and their activity within the sensory cortex regions changed, which was dramatically illustrated during rest periods. Their midbrain connectivity increased, which the researchers concluded probably explained their task-related response increases. Their altered brain activity also illustrated changes in the brain signaling pathways for emotional responses among the women.


Tillisch K, Labus J, Kilpatrick L, Jiang Z, Stains J, Ebrat B, Guyonnet D, Legrain-Raspaud S, Trotin B, Naliboff B, Mayer EA. Consumption of Fermented Milk Product with Probiotic Modulates Brain Activity. Gastroenterology. 2013 Mar 5. doi:pii: S0016-5085(13)00292-8.

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