October 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Health Blog

Targeting Gut Bacteria May Be The Key To Preventing Alzheimer’s

Mounting research continues to show the links between the health of the gut and that of the brain.

A recent study from Lund University in Sweden (refer below) finds that unhealthy intestinal flora can accelerate the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

While I agree that an imbalanced microbiome is clearly linked to Alzheimer’s, other factors are also involved with Alzheimer’s and most other chronic diseases. Besides an optimum microbiome, research has also shown that nutrient deficiencies, high toxin levels, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, low-grade infections, ongoing stress and other health problems have all been associated with dementia/Alzheimer’s and other serious diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases and heart disease – which is why most diseases are preventable!

These health imbalances cause a chronic inflammatory state within the body which, in turn, leads to the development of disease. In general, these imbalances do not occur in isolation nor do they develop all of a sudden. It usually takes many years and a range of different imbalances to allow disease to develop. This is not always the case but it often is.

Hence the importance of following the right healthy diet and taking the correct nutrient supplements and prebiotics/probiotics (for your individual requirements) for the rest of your life.

It is equally important to avoid high levels of toxins; treat low-grade infections; participate in regular exercise; get a good nights sleep each night and manage your stress levels.

The scientific research that demonstrated the link between an unhealthy microbiome and Alzheimer’s showed that a gut-healthy diet and probiotics may play a powerful role in preventing Alzheimer’s.

The report, demonstrated that mice with Alzheimer’s have a different gut bacterial profile than those that do not have the disease and it showed that the gut is highly responsive to dietary and lifestyle factors.

In this study, Dr. Frida Fak Hållenius, associate professor at the university’s Food for Health Science Centre and her colleagues, revealed a direct causal association between gut bacteria and signs of Alzheimer’s in mice, which resulted in them stating that Alzheimer’s is a preventable disease. 

When a group of bacteria-free mice were colonized with the bacteria of rodents with Alzheimer’s, they developed brain plaques indicative of Alzheimer’s. When the bacteria-free mice were colonized with the bacteria of the healthy rodents, however, they developed significantly fewer brain plaques.

Beta-amyloid plaques between nerve cells in the brain are a central marker of the disease. These sticky protein clumps accumulate between the brain’s neurons, disrupting signals and contributing to the gradual killing off of nerve cells.

“We don’t yet know how bacteria can affect brain pathology, we are currently investigating this,” Hållenius said. “We think that bacteria may affect regulatory T-cells in the gut, which can control inflammatory processes both locally in the gut and systemically ? including the brain.”


The gut microbiome is intimately connected with the immune system, since many of the body’s immune cells are found in this area of the stomach, Hållenius added. Anything that happens in the digestive tract can affect the immune system, she explained. “By changing the gut microbiota composition, you affect the immune system of the host to a large extent.”

The findings suggest that Alzheimer’s may be more more preventable than health experts previously thought. The researchers stated that diet, exercise, stress and toxin exposure all play a huge role in the gut’s bacterial makeup and they suggest that anyone can adopt a plant-based, whole foods diet and take probiotic supplementation as a way to improve the health of their microbiome.

The study is far from the first to show a connection between gut bacteria and Alzheimer’s. In a 2014 paper published in the journal Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, researchers listed 10 different ways that the microbiome may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, including fungal and bacterial infections in the intestinal tract and increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier. (Sar’s comment: This is just another reason to treat these low-grade infections in the intestinal environment).

“The contributions of microbes to multiple aspects of human physiology and neurobiology in health and disease have up until now not been fully appreciated,” the study author’s wrote.


Prebiotics and Probiotics are not created equal. Please consult me about the purest, high-potency prebiotics and probiotics that are best for your individual needs.

Furthermore, as I said above, your ‘whole’ health should be addressed for the prevention of disease (not just your microbiome) – and I can help you with this by identifying what your biologically unique body requires for optimum wellbeing.

While the scientists that carried out the research above were surprised by their findings – this is not ‘new’ knowledge as far as I’m concerned.  However, it’s good that science is finally starting to catch up with the naturopathic philosophy of taking care of your microbiome and keeping your toxin levels as low as possible and your nutrient levels high, as well as other factors that help prevent disease.

Yours in Great Health, 

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MHATO

Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher & Counsellor 

Sar has advanced qualifications in the health sciences and naturopathic medicine and is an accomplished lecturer, practitioner & counsellor with 22 years clinical experience.

Specializing in Anxiety & Depression | Women’s Health | Chronic Fatigue |  Hormonal Imbalances | Thyroid Disorders | Digestive Health | Autoimmune Disease| Genetic Polymorphisms & Nutrigenomics | Nutritional Medicine | Counselling | Optimal Wellness & Disease Prevention with a Clinical Focus on Identifying & Resolving the Underlying Causes of Symptoms and Disease.  

Earth Medicine TM


Email: [email protected]


Science-Based Naturopathic Health Care to help you achieve optimal wellness, calm and contented mental health, high vitality and disease prevention with personalised naturopathic health care, specialized clinical pathology testing and high-quality naturopathic medicines. Professional counselling services are also available.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment.


Further reading: 
Targeting Gut Bacteria May Be The Key To Preventing Alzheimer’s

Reduction of Abeta amyloid pathology in APPPS1 transgenic mice in the absence of gut microbiota.

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