With many probiotic products on the market and a rising trend in consumption, an increasing number of people are taking probiotic supplements for their purported positive effects. These tangible health benefits have been contested by the medical community, as there is not enough human-based clinical data to support their efficacy in the treatment of a variety of conditions. Making strong recommendations to patients is difficult at this stage due to the lack of research, however, probiotics are viewed as generally well-tolerated and considered safe. Upcoming guidelines from the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) hope to elucidate the issues related to probiotic supplementation and will be the first clinical recommendations to clarify specific indications for probiotics.
June marks the beginning of Brain Awareness Month, a global campaign to raise public awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. Increased recognition of neurological disorders has led to further clinical research and the discovery of important mechanisms of action, risk factors, and indicators of declining cognitive function. More recently, the medical community has focused its efforts on better understanding the gut-brain axis, or the connection between the human microbiome and mental health. Discoveries continue to implicate the crucial role of the gut in promoting and maintaining cognitive function, mental clarity, and a stable mood.