Long-term multi-species Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium dietary supplement enhances memory and changes regional brain metabolites in middle-aged rats.
Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2017 Jun 5. Epub 2017 Jun 5. PMID: 28602659
Ageing is associated with changes in the gut microbiome that may contribute to age-related changes in cognition. Previous work has shown that dietary supplements with multi-species live microorganisms can influence brain function, including induction of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and production of brain derived neurotrophic factor, in both young and aged rodents. However, the effect of such dietary supplements on memory processes has been less well documented, particularly in the context of aging. The main aim of the present study was to examine the impact of a long-term dietary supplement with a multi-species live Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria mixture (Lactobacillus acidophilus CUL60, L. acidophilus CUL21, Bifidobacterium bifidum CUL20 and B. lactis CUL34) on tests of memory and behavioural flexibility in 15-17-month-old male rats. Following behavioural testing, the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex was extracted and analysed ex vivo using (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H-NMR) spectroscopy to examine brain metabolites. The results showed a small beneficial effect of the dietary supplement on watermaze spatial navigation and robust improvements in long-term object recognition memory and short-term memory for object-in-place associations. Short-term object novelty and object temporal order memory was not influenced by the dietary supplement in ageing rats. (1)H NMR analysis revealed diet-related regional-specific changes in brain metabolites; which indicated changes in several pathways contributing to modulation of neural signalling. These data suggest that chronic dietary supplement with multi-species live microorganisms can alter brain metabolites in aging rats and have beneficial effects on memory.