The potential cognitive gains linked to the role of gastrointestinal bacteria continues to attract international interest. The scientific community are becoming entranced with the notion that our bacterial exposure affects not only the local tissues, but also others including the brain.
Exposure to specific bacteria in the environment, already believed to have antidepressant qualities, could increase learning behaviour. Mice fed live cultures of Mycobacterium vaccae were able to learn and complete a maze twice as fast as control mice were the key comments delivered at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology last week.
Mycobacterium vaccae is a natural soil bacterium which people likely ingest or breath in when they spend time in nature,” says Dorothy Matthews of The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York, who conducted the research with her colleague Susan Jenks.