Probiotics & Antibiotics Both Implicated
Ironically, both probiotics AND antibiotics are implicated in D-lactate acidosis. This study found that invasive infection from probiotic strains is rare but possible, though some actual infection rates may be under-reported due to misdiagnosis as die-off. In this study set, a little girl who had been given acidophilus from 4 months to 18 months began exhibiting nervous shuddering, ticks, and OCD tendencies with greatly increased amounts of flatulence. Lab tests indicated an overgrowth of L. acidophilus as the possible culprit.
On the flipside, some D-lactic acid producing bacteria appear to be antibiotic resistant, which means they could survive a course of antibiotics which killed everything else. With the competition eliminated, D-lactate producing bacteria could theoretically gain a stronger hold.
Brain Fogginess: Fashionable Term Or True Condition
First, to the subject of brain fogginess. While this has become a fashionable diagnosis in recent years, there are still few, if any, hard diagnostic criteria associated with it. It seems to have become a synonym for mental malaise.
Brain fogginess is very subjective, and different criteria are used to assess this, said Dr Emeran Mayer, MC a professor of medicine at UCLA. Mayer is also an expert on brain gut interactions and has written the book The Mind Gut Connection.
It is well known that patient reported outcomes are highly unreliable when uncorrelated with hard biological markers, which unfortunately dont exist for BF . To standardize subjective reporting, validated questionnaires are required but these do not exist for BF nor was an attempt made by the authors to come to such standardization. Furthermore, no further assessment of any markers was performed after the discontinuation of probiotics and/or use of antibiotics which means that it is impossible to know if acidosis stopped after probiotic intake ceased, the IPA statement said.
These Bacteria Have A Mind Of Their Own
Excessive and indiscriminate use of probiotics, particularly if youve got a gut that isnt moving along nicely, has the potential to do more harm than good.
NOTE : Two things that can slow up gut moving, increasing the odds of your lactic acid bacteria, going rouge, are regular use of pain killers and acid-reflux drugs .
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Tips For Eating Yogurt
Does yogurt make your brain fog worse? Feel free to leave your comments below!
Diet And Sleep Impact Your Gut Health To Cause Brain Fog
If you have a gut imbalance, a diet high in carbohydrates and high-fiber foods can feed the harmful microorganisms in your digestive tract. The result is much like fertilizing a patch of weeds, causing overgrowth of harmful organisms in the gut.
In response, your immune system reacts by trying to fight off the bad bugs. With chronic immune activation comes chronic inflammation in your gut and elsewhere. Gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, and brain fog are common symptoms of this condition.
In fact, one patient who had indigestion, gas, and brain fog initially tried to resolve his health problems by eating a healthy, high-fiber diet. Unfortunately, high-fiber foods only made his mental fatigue worse. This is a common mistake for people who try to diagnose and resolve their own health problem.
Also, poor sleep habits and sleep disorders that lead to poor sleep quality can affect your gut ecosystem. We all know that a lack of sleep reduces mental clarity and causes sluggishness in the short term, so you feel tired and cranky the next day. What few people recognize is that, in the long run, insufficient sleep increases intestinal permeability, leading to gut ailments like leaky gut syndrome.
With leaky gut, undigested food particles and bacterial fragments pass from the digestive tract into the bloodstream, once again triggering your immune system and creating inflammation. This not only causes health problems in your GI tract but also causes issues like brain fog.
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Sibo And Liver Dysfunction
The gut-liver-brain connection might not seem obvious, but it may have a role to play in brain fog. Think of the connection this way: all toxins in your gut are processed by your liver. If your liver is overburdened for any reason, these toxins may build up and get into your brain.
A type of cognitive impairment that sometimes occurs in liver disease, hepatic encephalopathy , has been linked to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth .
In fact, the presence of SIBO is often what sets cirrhosis patients with mild cognitive impairments apart from cirrhosis patients without brain issues .
Research has also shown that Rifaximin, an antibiotic that is often used to treat SIBO, can prevent and improve HE . In a 2020 study, treatment of SIBO significantly improved minimal HE, while treatment of the stomach infection Helicobacter Pylori , did not . This further highlights the significance of a gut-liver-brain connection.
These findings may be relevant for brain fog and cognitive function in general, as they suggest that treating bacterial overgrowth in the gut can help to reduce mental fogginess and cognitive dysfunction.
Duodenal Aspiration And Culture
After an overnight fast, an upper endoscope was passed into the distal duodenum with minimal air insufflation. Using aseptic technique, a 2mm nasobiliary catheter was advanced through the endoscope into the distal duodenum, and 35ml of fluid was aspirated and sent to the microbiology laboratory for standard aerobic, anaerobic and fungal cultures. The duodenal culture results were considered as positive for SIBO if one or more organisms were cultured with a colony count of 103CFU/ml10,11.
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Probiotic Use May Lead To Bacterial Overgrowth And Brain Fogginess Study Finds
Probiotics are big business. In 2017, the global market was about $46 billion. By 2022, experts forecast that the digestive health, immunity, and probiotics category of consumer products will exceed $64 billion.
Taking probiotics can cause a higher prevalence of something called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and D-lactic acidosis,” which may result in disorienting brain fogginess and belly bloating, according to a first-of-its-kind study. These findings were recently published in the journal Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology.
Although the bidirectional gut-brain axis has been linked to neurocognitive function in previous research, this is the first study to find a correlation between the use of probiotics, metabolic acidosis, SIBO, and brain fogginess. The authors note that helpful colonies of gut bacteria, also known as microbiota or the microbiomewhich are essential for maintaining general health and a robust immune systemprimarily reside in the large intestine and colon.
According to the authors, Brain Fogginess describes a constellation of symptoms comprised of mental confusion, impaired judgment, poor short-term memory, and difficulty with concentration, which is often transient and disabling.
Probiotics May Help Boost Mood And Cognitive Function
Probiotics can do more than improve your gut health. They also may indirectly enhance your brain, too.
Research shows that the gut and brain are connected, a partnership called the gut-brain axis. The two are linked through biochemical signaling between the nervous system in the digestive tract, called the enteric nervous system, and the central nervous system, which includes the brain. The primary information connection between the brain and gut is the vagus nerve, the longest nerve in the body.
The gut has been called a “second brain” because it produces many of the same neurotransmitters as the brain does, like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid, all of which play a key role in regulating mood. In fact, it is estimated that 90% of serotonin is made in the digestive tract.
What affects the gut often affects the brain and vice versa. When your brain senses troublethe fight-or-flight responseit sends warning signals to the gut, which is why stressful events can cause digestive problems like a nervous or upset stomach. On the flip side, flares of gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome , Crohn’s disease, or chronic constipation may trigger anxiety or depression.
It’s too early to determine the exact role probiotics play in the gut-brain axis since this research is still ongoing. Probiotics may not only support a healthier gut, but a healthier brain, too.
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How To Get Rid Of Brain Fog: A Snapshot
Lets take a quick look at some of the simple steps that can be taken in order to get rid of brain fog:
- Start with the basics
Well explore each of these steps in more detail later, but first, lets take a look at some of the common root causes of brain fog.
Probiotics Could Cause Brain Fogginess And Bloating Study Suggests
Think of probiotics, and yogurts promising perfect gut health will likely come to mind. But they might not be the panacea for the digestive disease you assume, according to a small study that has linked them to brain fogginess and bloating.
The team of researchers at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University believe theirs is the first study to link probiotics to brain fogginess and the growth of bacteria in the digestive system. In some cases the symptoms patients experienced were so severe they had to quit their jobs.
Probiotics is the umbrella term for foods or supplements that contain living microorganisms intended to cultivate the so-called “good bacteria” in our bodies. Such foods include yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut. Cultivating such bacteria is generally thought to be beneficial to our health, as it is believed to balance the so-called good and bad bacteria in our bodies.
But if probiotics colonize the wrong part of the digestive system, such as the small intestine or stomach rather than the colon, this can cause problems, explained Dr. Satish S.C. Rao, director of neurogastroenterology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and author of the study published in the journal Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology.
“In those situations, we want to build up their bacterial flora so probiotics are ideal,” he said.
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Can Probiotics Be Associated With Sibo
Secondly, the Rao paper failed to make an assessment of the different probiotics the patients were taking. These seemed to fall broadly into the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium groups. The problem is, no Bifidobacteria make D-lactate, and only a few organisms in the Lactobacillus group are known to do so. D-lactic acidosis is an unusual form of lactic acidosis that can occur in patients with short bowel syndrome.
SIBO is a controversial term. There are many patients who have an abnormal burp test who have absolutely no symptoms, Dr Mayer said. I certainly dont believe that SIBO has any relationship to what they are calling brain fogginess.
A paper in the World Journal of Gastroenterology hinted at the broad use of this term. SIBO is a very heterogeneous syndrome characterised by an increased number and/or abnormal type of bacteria in the small bowel, the researchers wrote.
The aetiology of SIBO is usually complex, those researchers continued. This renders suspect an attempt to assign the cause of this condition in a given patient to one factorprobiotics use.
Normally, its mainly enzymatic activity in the small intestine and you dont see high bacterial counts until you get close to the colon, said Dr Michael Gänzle, PhD, of the University of Alberta. I would tend to believe that the symptoms were there before these patients took the probiotics.
Duodenal Aspirate And Culture
In the BF group, cultures for SIBO were positive in 14 patients and negative in 14 patients 2 patients did not have duodenal aspiration. Aerobic strains were grown in 22 , and anaerobic bacteria in 9 patients. The predominant aerobic organisms were Streptococcus species, Staphylococcus species, Neisseria species, and Hemophilus species, and the predominant anaerobic organisms were gram negative rods, and cocci, gram positive rods lactobacillus species, and prevotella species. The disposition of D and/or L-lactic acidosis is summarized in Fig. 2. In the non-BF group, 2/8 had positive culture for SIBO and one subject grew streptococcus species, and neisseria, and second subject grew rothia species and pseudomonas, and 1/8 grew candida species.
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How Do Probiotics Help The Brain
You might think your stomach has a mind of its own sometimes, and youre right. The gut houses our second brain, the enteric nervous system , and its our job to give the second brain the impression that everythings hunky-dory down there so that it gabs the good news to brain number one.
The healthy functioning of one is conducive to healthy functioning of the other, Iyer says. Thats a prime reason to get geeky about good bacteria consumption, but its not just about eating kefir and sauerkraut.
There are specific probiotic strains with more research than others, specifically the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains . Researchers are even calling these strains psychobiotics for their potential therapeutic benefits. But heres what science really knows about probiotics and the brain-gut connection:
2011 study found that taking a probiotic pill with a meal or 30 minutes before a meal is the optimal way to keep all the benefits of probiotic supplements.
For people who have trouble remembering to take a pill, Rizzo suggests associating your intake with a certain daily activity. You could get in the habit of taking the supplement when you brush your teeth right after you eat breakfast, for example.
Keep in mind that it may take a few weeks for the brain benefits to kick in.
Could Suplementation/probiotic Cause Brainfog/vision Problems
– Vitamin D 40000 IU – Glutamine powder 5g in the morning- Chlorella 10 tablets- Methylcobalamine 4000Ui – NAC 1000mg – Tincture of Rosemary and Artichokes 20 drops 3 times a day.- Zinc 30mg Chelated copper 1mg Chelated Magnesium 200mg Tryptophan 200mg 5 htp 50mg Pyridoxine 20mg Calcium Pantothenate 100mg L Theanine 200mg – Probiotics 4 billions/cepa: Lactobacilos acidophilus Lactobacilos bifidum Lactobacilos rhaminosus Lactobacilos casey.
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Start With The Basics
A few fundamental lifestyle changes can help reduce inflammation and improve brain fog.
- One of the most important things you can do to support brain health is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet that focuses on whole foods.
- Avoiding sugar, processed foods, and other inflammatory foods can make a huge difference when it comes to cognitive function . Well provide more detailed information about this essential piece in the next section.
- A 2020 systematic review of 29 studies concluded that exercise or physical activity may help to treat brain fog associated with cancer and chemotherapy [38
- Practicing mindfulness meditation and reducing stress levels in other ways may help to calm inflammation and reduce brain fog.
First Study To Show Effect In Intact Gut
All the people who took part in the study underwent extensive gastrointestinal exams to rule out other possible reasons for their symptoms. Also, they completed questionnaires about their symptoms, use of probiotics, consumption of yogurt, and particular food habits.
The team administered metabolic tests that followed what happened when participants consumed carbohydrates. These showed the effect on levels of glucose, insulin, D-lactic acid, and L-lactate acid, which is produced when muscles burn glucose for energy.
The most severe symptoms experienced in the 30 patients were bloating, pain, distension, and gas in the abdomen. These were similarly intense in the 22 patients with brain fog and the 8 without.
The researchers found that the brain fog group was more likely to have a condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth , in which there are far more bacteria in the small intestine compared with those of healthy individuals.
They also found that three quarters of the brain fog group had higher levels of D-lactic acid in their blood compared with a quarter of those in the group without brain fog.
Other studies have suggested that probiotics may lead to overproduction of D-lactic acid and result in brain fog in people with short bowel syndrome. This is a condition in which the small intestine does not function correctly and results in undigested carbohydrate.
Probiotics should be treated as a drug, not as a food supplement.
Dr. Satish S. C. Rao
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Whats The Best Diet For Brain Fog
The most important thing to remember when choosing your ideal diet for brain fog is that you want to reduce inflammation.
A healthy, anti-inflammatory diet eliminates processed and refined foods, added sugar, and other inflammatory foods. The emphasis is on a balance and variety of fresh, whole foods.
- A 2019 review suggested that an anti-inflammatory diet may prevent or reduce leaky gut and brain inflammation, thereby reducing cognitive symptoms like brain fog .
- A 2016 review suggested that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in added sugar may help reduce inflammation and brain fog in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy .
There are a few different templates for an anti-inflammatory diet. However, I often recommend the Paleo diet. The Paleo diet eliminates processed foods, grains, dairy products, and additives, and it focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, eggs, grass-fed meats, and healthy fats.
I would recommend trying a Paleo diet for brain fog if:
- Your current diet is higher in inflammatory or processed foods, and
- You dont have any other known conditions or intolerances that may benefit from a more specialized diet.
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