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Are Probiotics Healthy for Aging Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease?

By Erik Gans, 9:00 am on

Probiotics are typically known for their role in facilitating digestion. However, recent studies have revealed these live bacteria may also benefit cognitive health. Westport, CT, Alzheimer’s care professionals share details on probiotics and the potential benefits they may have for seniors living with Alzheimer’s.

Understanding Probiotics

Some people think of bacteria as dangerous, but many of these pathogens are actually vital to our health. Within the intestines, various types of bacteria help digest food and turn it into energy. Probiotic foods and supplements restore the balance of bacteria within the digestive tract to boost an individual’s overall health. Within the last few years, a number of different studies have revealed gut bacteria might have a significant impact on cognitive health as well.

How Probiotics Affect Cognitive Decline

There is currently no known cure for Alzheimer’s, and most treatments are carried out to slow the rate of cognitive decline. Dementia-related disorders physically damage the brain cells used to encode and store memories. Though challenging a senior’s cognitive skills can help slow the rate of decline, many researchers are looking for other ways to hinder the progression of the disease, including making dietary changes to increase gut health and alter the natural bacteria in the intestines. 

A Look at the Clinical Trials

A recent study carried out at the Kashan University of Medical Sciences revealed that gut health might be more closely tied to cognitive health than we ever realized before. This double-blind study followed 52 people with Alzheimer’s who were between the ages of 60 and 95. Over the course of 12 weeks, the group that received probiotic supplements increased their Mini-Mental State Examination scores, while the control group did not. 

The Future of Alzheimer’s Treatments

Alzheimer’s is an extremely complex medical condition, and seniors generally benefit from trying a combination of many different treatments. Even though further studies are needed to establish the connection between probiotics and Alzheimer’s, most seniors can still benefit from taking supplements that balance their gut bacteria. These products often help combat ailments such as lactose intolerance, intestinal distress, diarrhea, and constipation.

For more information on probiotics and other healthy remedies for seniors with Alzheimer’s, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of high-quality elder care. Westport families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide mentally stimulating activities and expertly trained caregivers for their aging loved ones. Call 203-955-1915 today to learn more about our in-home care services and to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Care Managers.