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Scientists Analyzed Babies’ Poop to Predict Their Intelligence

Fatherly reports that a study has linked the cognitive development of infants to a specific bacteria found in the gut. Two-year old-children with less diverse microbiomes but greater concentrations of the genus Bacteroides scored higher on cognitive tests than their peers. 

The less diverse microbiome was not without consequences. These same children were more likely to suffer from asthma and diabetes. The latter finding corresponds with previous studies that found a vast difference in the gut bacteria of diabetics and non-diabetics. 

Your body contains tenfold more bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms than cells. It is clear that these tiny organisms play a major role in your physical and mental health. The impact of microflora on brain function has been demonstrated before. Researchers discovered that the absence or presence of gut microorganisms during infancy permanently alters gene expression. Through gene profiling, they found that absence of gut bacteria altered genes and signaling pathways involved in learning, memory and motor control. This suggests that gut bacteria are closely tied to early brain development and subsequent behavior. 

The Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility reported the novel finding that the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 has been shown to help normalize anxiety-like behavior in mice with infectious colitis. These behavioral changes could be reversed as long as the mice were exposed to normal microorganisms early in life. But once the germ-free mice had reached adulthood, colonizing them with bacteria did not influence their behavior.

Just as you have neurons in your brain, you also have neurons in your gut — including neurons that produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is also found in your brain. In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in your intestines, not your brain. It's quite possible that this might be one reason why antidepressants, which raise serotonin levels in your brain, are often ineffective in treating depression.

It’s become increasingly clear that the microbes in your gut play a much more vital role in your health than previously thought possible. In fact, probiotics, along with a host of other gut microorganisms, are so crucial to your health that researchers have compared them to "a newly recognized organ." 

Reseeding your gut with healthy bacteria is important for the prevention of virtually ALL diseases, from colds to cancer. The first step to protecting your gut health is to avoid all processed and refined foods. Instead, you should nourish your body with whole foods that have been sustainably sourced. My nutrition plan is an excellent starting point for beginners, but contains the sort of leading dietary research that can even benefit experts. 

Fermented vegetables, which are one of my great passions, are an excellent way to supply beneficial bacteria back into our gut. And, unlike some other fermented foods, they tend to be palatable, if not downright delicious, to most people.
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