Welcome! This blog contains research & information on lifestyle, nutrition and health for those with MS, as well as continuing information on the understanding of the endothelium and heart-brain connection. This blog is informative only--all medical decisions should be discussed with your own physicians.

The posts are searchable---simply type in your topic of interest in the search box at the top left.

Almost all of MS research is initiated and funded by pharmaceutical companies. This maintains the EAE mouse model and the auto-immune paradigm of MS, and continues the 20 billion dollar a year MS treatment industry. But as we learn more about slowed blood flow, gray matter atrophy, and environmental links to MS progression and disability--all things the current drugs do not address--we're discovering more about how to help those with MS.

To learn how this journey began, read my first post from August, 2009. Be well! Joan

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Probiotics and the Brain-Gut link

July 7, 2011 at 9:39am

Probiotics, also know as helpful bacteria, are included in the Endothelial Health program, because they affect the lining of our blood vessels in a positive way, by reducing inflammation and regulating NO. A strong endothelium is less permeable, and will keep plasmic particles out of tissue--in the brain and the gut.  This can modify the reaction of immune cells, and reduce what is called the "autoimmune" reaction.  (Although I believe calling this reaction "autoimmune" is a misnomer.  The immune cells are simply doing their job, by responding to foreign particles which should not be in brain or intestinal wall tissue.)


Here is new research from Texas Tech showing another connection between the brain and gut via our blood stream, and why taking a probiotic is good for your digetive system and your brain. Probiotics actually affect and generate the neurochemicals our brains rely upon.

Good bacteria, also known as 'Probiotics' are known for their favorable effects in maintaining gastrointestinal health, but can they encourage psychological health too? New research conducted at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center has explored the new world of neurological probiotics and the scientists have put forward novel ideas on how neurochemicals enforce their beneficial effects in maintaining a healthy gut and even psychological well-being when delivered directly to the gut, via probiotic intestinal microbiota. The study was led by Professor Mark Lyte and has been published recently inBioEssays.

The researchers have proposed that neuroactive compounds if delivered via neurochemical-producing probiotics could help improve a host's gastrointestinal and psychological health. These probiotics could be prepared for delivery of the compound using a unifying process of microbial endocrinology. 

Neurochemicals generated in the gut by 'good bacteria' such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are actively absorbed by the intestines and circulated through a patient's bloodstream. According to Dr. Lyte, this is the hypothesis of the pathway for probiotics to exert extra-intestinal effects including changes in behavior. 

Commenting on some of the potential clinical implications of this research, Professor Gregor Reid, from the University of Western Ontario, in the same issue ofBioEssays stated, 

"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."

 "Probiotics function mechanistically as delivery vehicles for neuroactive compounds: Microbial Endocrinology in the design and use of probiotics"
Lyte. M, 
BioEssays, Wiley-Blackwell, July 2011, DOI: 10.1002/bies.201100024

"Neuroactive probiotics"
Reid. G
BioEssays, Wiley-Blackwell July 2011, DOI: 10.1002/ bies.201100074


  1. I think it is an excellent idea and I bet the bad guys make neuro chemicals too. I take serrapeptase to keep my tendonitis under raps. Nothing including inflammatory meds was working except acupuncture (and that only gave me about 3 days of relief) and I had it for for about 6 months and I could barely work. A friend told me about serrapeptase. It took a week or 2 and tendonitis was gone. If I have a flareup, I take an extra pill and it goes away. It does not come from a pharmacy but the pharmacists know about it (it can affect warfarin). Supposedly it is a stomach enzyme so it probably keeps some bad guys in check.

    1. Glad serrapeptase has helped you, Brian! It's a proteolytic enzyme, meaning it's an enzyme that eats the proteins which can cause inflammation and hypercoagulation. I wrote about it as part of the endothelial health program, and it's helped my husband, too. Probiotics have a different function---the are bacteria, but helpful bugs, that keep the bad bacteria in check. Some common ones we know about are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, found in yogurt. Be well! Joan

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serratiopeptidase ;

  3. Serrapeptase è una sostanza chimica presa dal baco da seta. Si tratta di un farmaco comunemente usato (Takeda Chemical Industries) in Giappone e in Europa. Negli Stati Uniti, Serrapeptase è classificato come integratore alimentare. Serrapeptase è utilizzato per le condizioni dolorose tra cui mal di schiena , artrosi , artrite reumatoide , osteoporosi , fibromialgia , sindrome del tunnel carpale, emicrania mal di testa , mal di testa e tensione. Inoltre, viene utilizzato per le condizioni che comportano dolore e gonfiore (infiammazione) tra cui sinusite , laringite, mal di gola , infezioni dell'orecchio , gonfiore dopo l'intervento chirurgico, rigonfiamento di una vena con la formazione di un coagulo di sangue ( tromboflebite ), e la malattia infiammatoria intestinale (IBD), compresa la colite ulcerosa e Crohn malattia. Alcune persone usano serrapeptase per la malattia di cuore e di "indurimento delle arterie "( aterosclerosi ). donne lo usano per grumoso non cancerose seno (malattia fibrocistica del seno), e le madri usano per il dolore al seno causato dal troppo latte (ingorgo mammario) . Altri utilizzi includono il trattamento di diabete , ulcere, asma , e l'accumulo di pus (empiema).