Probiotics Linked to Brain Fogginess and Bloating

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Researchers suggests probiotics could be the cause of brain fogginess and the growth of bacteria in the digestive system and high levels of D-lactic acid in the gut.

Probiotics is the umbrella term for foods or supplements containing microorganisms such as yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Generally probiotics are associated with providing healthy gut, however a team of researchers at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University believe probiotics to cause brain fogginess and bloating.

The study, published in the journal Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology on June 19, 2018, concluded a syndrome of brain fogginess, gas and bloating, possibly related to probiotic use, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and D-lactic acidosis in a cohort without short bowel. A small set of 30 patients were observed for a period of three years, those complained of unexplained abdominal gas, bloating and distension, and brain fogging.

Researchers studied the colonies of gut bacteria in these patients’ small intestines. D-lactic acid level was seen three times higher than the normal level in those patients who had probiotic food supplements on a daily basis. D-lactic acid can be toxic to brain cells and impacts individual’s cognitive abilities, including their concept of time, although this fades.  “What we now know is that probiotic bacteria have the unique capacity to break down sugar and produce D-lactic acid. So if you inadvertently colonize your small bowel with probiotic bacteria, then you have set the stage for potentially developing lactic acidosis and brain fogginess,” explained Dr. Satish S.C. Rao, director of neurogastroenterology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and author of the study.

The researchers observed that all patients who suffered from brain fogginess had consumed probiotics, and the symptom disappeared by 85 percent as they stopped taking probiotics aided with antibiotics. “Probiotics should be treated as drug and not as food supplements” added Dr. Rao.

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