Health is an important thing that must be prioritized because all other activities will be easy with good health. When we talk about health, we always want the best, a quick fix. But there are studies that say that not taking prebiotic or probiotic pills or not consuming fermented foods, has no effect on brain power. So, should we throw out the pills and kefir for good?
Cognition is the term used for the power of the brain, it refers to the process of gaining understanding and knowledge. Including remembering, thinking, knowing, solving problems and judging. Then research on diet on cognition develops rapidly and rapidly.
Research shows that certain diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, have a positive effect on cognition, especially for the elderly. It’s not clear how certain foods or Mediterranean foods have a positive effect on cognition. In this case the researchers have a hunch that this has to do with the marrow microbiota-gut-brain -the communication pathway between the bacteria in our gut and our brain.
SEe too: Gut Health And Your Microbiome
With this hunch or study, foods that have the potential to change the composition of the gut microbiota will later be useful for cognition. Thus, including probiotics that provide beneficial bacterial strains and exert influence on the composition of the gut microbiota.
Prebiotics are considered as substrates or food used by microbiota to grow. So, both probiotics and prebiotics can be consumed either through food or supplements. In the form of foods such as fermented foods (including prebiotic milk, kefir, and kimchi).
So, consuming these foods can change the composition and function of the gut microbiota. This, in turn, causes changes in the way the gut interacts with the brain (via the immune system, vagus nerve, and neurotransmitters), and potentially changes in the way we think and feel.
However, the findings from our meta-analysis did not show any significant effect of probiotic and prebiotic foods, as well as fermented foods, on cognition.
The meta-analysis, published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, included 22 controlled trials conducting studies on the effects of probiotics (11 studies), prebiotics (5 studies) and fermented foods (6 studies).
About 64% of these analytical studies said hand mixes of prebiotic, probiotic, or fermented foods improved at least one measure of cognition.
However, when the results of the research carried out are collected or combined as a whole, these findings no longer provide satisfactory results. That is, there is no real evidence of the intervention of prebiotics, probiotics and fermented foods on cognition.
Why are the overall results no longer significant? This may be due to the large number of studies conducted on healthy cognition where changes in cognition are not apparent. For comparison: If your engine tank is full, adding more fuel won’t make your engine run any further.
Conclusion: The results of this study may not reflect the lack of effectiveness of probiotics, prebiotics and fermented foods, but the lack of well-designed studies. But interestingly, this meta-analysis shows promise for other brain outcomes such as depression.
However, we think that feeding your gut with fermented foods, prebiotics and probiotics, is unlikely to be a magic solution to improve or enhance your cognitive health.