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Probiotic-Fermented Soy Linked With Improved Cognitive Function

Recent research has suggested that the bacteria in the gut affects the communication between the belly and the brain. A lack of healthy gut microbiota may increase the risk of neuropsychological disorders. Now a new study has found that Lactobacillus plantarumC29-fermented soybean (DW2009) may improve cognitive function in adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).


One hundred people between the ages of 55 and 85 participants in the study. All the participants had been diagnosed with MCI. Half of the participants took a supplement containing 800 mg of DW2009 daily for 12 weeks, and the other half took a placebo. Neurocognitive function tests were performed at baseline and at the end of the study. The tests measured attention, working memory, and verbal memory. Levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were also measured.


The researchers found that participants in the supplement group showed improvements in their attention, working memory, and verbal memory scores compared to the placebo group. They also found that cognitive improvement was associated with increased serum BDNF levels.


Participants in the supplement group also had a significant increase in the lactobacilli numbers in the gut bacterial composition. No increases were seen in the placebo group.


The study was conducted by researchers from the Ewha Brain Institute and Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences and the College of Medicine at Kyung Hee University. It was published February 1, 2019 in the journal Nutrients.

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