Researchers are slowly unfurling all the ways our gut defines us, from our weight, immune function, and health, to our mood, personality, and memory. Yep, the bacteria living in your gut may be influencing how strong your memory is.

Different labs are all turning out similar results: common helpful bacteria like those found in probiotic supplements and yogurt may help to improve memory. Results have been tied to memory strength in mice, and even improvements in Alzheimer’s. For now, it’s just a clue for researchers to explore, not a definitive treatment. There are many strains of bacteria, and even the interplay between them can be a factor, leaving an unimaginable amount of possibilities to explore (the complexity of the unknown is why doctors do fecal transplants to restore gut health rather than inject specific strains—we can know one person is healthy and has good bacteria, but not exactly why).

The amount of impact our gut bacteria has on our brain can be lead to a bit of an identity crisis! But it’s better to focus on the positive: knowing means we can take control.

Establishing good gut bacteria requires both dietary support with a probiotic supplement or probiotic food (fermented foods like yogurt and kefir) as well as prebiotics like vegetables (onion, garlic, leeks, asparagus) which help a healthy colony grow, and it requires lifestyle support. There is back and forth between your gut bacteria and your good habits: sleep, healthy foods (like those prebiotic vegetables), exercise, and avoiding stress support a healthy microbiome, and a healthy microbiome gives you an impulse to do those things.

Breaking into a healthy cycle takes a lot of work and commitment—it can take a full year or more to establish a new healthy gut microbiome, but less to destroy it. Antibiotics, bad habits, and illness (the invading pathogens AND the symptoms they cause, like mucus that drains into your stomach and fever) can ruin your good bacteria colony.

Make sure that you’re getting a probiotic each day to replenish and support your good bacteria, and to try and harness all the positive benefits associated with doing so! Flora MGR is one good choice you can make, it has a wide variety of healthy strains to help support a robust and diverse gut community.

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