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Gut Health May Affect Stroke Severity

May 20th, 2018

Researchers show that gut bacteria can affect immune response to stroke

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have recently identified yet another way in which the bacteria in the gut can affect overall health. In testing on mice, researchers found that changes to the microbial environment in the gut had an impact on the severity of strokes.

The researchers gave one group of mice antibiotics before inducing ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke in humans. In this type of stroke, a blocked blood vessel prevents blood flow to the brain. In the mice that had received antibiotics, the stroke was about 60 percent smaller.

This is of course not the first time that intestinal microbiota have been shown to influence distant parts of the body—after all, the gut is sometimes called the body’s “second brain” for this very reason. However, in most cases the gut influences the body through chemical signals. This time the mechanism was very different.

Researchers were able to show that when the stroke occurred, the intestinal microbiota instructed immune cells from the gut to travel to the outer coverings of the brain. Once there, they coordinated a response to the stroke that helped shield the brain from its full force.

While more experiments will be needed to identify the specific strains of gut bacteria that are responsible for reducing stroke severity, researchers are hopeful that altering the macrobiotic makeup of the gut will one day become an important tool for stroke prevention.

Start Improving your Gut Health Now

While we may not know which bacteria affect stroke severity, we do know that allowing the overgrowth of certain “bad” gut bacteria and fungi such as yeast can be harmful to your health, while cultivating healthy populations of “good” bacteria can resolve digestive issues and help relieve over 40 diseases that have been linked to the intestinal microbiome.

Improving gut health is usually a pretty simple process. You can start by changing your diet. Reduce your consumption of sugary foods, refined grains, and highly processed foods. All of these foods help feed “bad” bacteria. Instead, eat more fresh, natural foods. Be sure to include plenty of prebiotic foods like broccoli, beans, bananas that will feed “good” gut bacteria.

When it comes to populating your gut with more “good” bacteria, one option is to add fermented foods to your diet. Common fermented foods include miso, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, and yogurt with live cultures. Another option is to take a daily probiotic supplement. With 9 strains of beneficial bacteria, Renew Youth’s Probiotic Plus is an excellent choice.

If you would like to learn more about gut health, contact us at 800-859-7511 today.

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