Good digestive health may help to regulate and reduce stress in the brain, according to a recent study out of University College Cork in Cork, Ireland and featured in the October issue of Food Nutrition & Science.
The study, co-authored by Dr. John Cryan, professor of Anatomy at University College Cork, looked at how potential probiotics, such as L. rhamnosus, affected the brain function of normal, healthy mice, and found that the presence of this bacteria in the gut reduced the stress-induced elevation in corticosterone – a hormone that regulates stress.
"There is increasing evidence revolving around what is now being called the 'microbiome-gut-brain axis,' that suggests there's an interaction between the bacteria in the stomach and intestines, the gut, and the central nervous system," says Phil Lempert founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com. "More studies need to occur before people run out and consume mass amounts of yogurt, but these kinds of reports can eventually prove beneficial to the food industry."
According to the study, by modifying the gut microflora in mice, researchers were able to see reductions in responses to stress and anxiety – extremely important considering the existing, known relationships between gastrointestinal disorders and stress-related psychiatric disorders. Eventually, these types of findings could prove to be useful therapeutic additions in stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Also in the October issue of Food Nutrition & Science, an interview with Brooke Buchanan, director of Communications for Sustainability at Wal-Mart, who discusses their corporate sustainability initiatives. According to Buchanan, Wal-Mart implemented an approach called "Sustainability 360" that has specific goals including reducing their corporate environmental footprint while engaging their suppliers, associates and customers in their sustainability efforts.
"I applaud Wal-Mart," says Lempert. "As the world's largest retailer with more than 100,000 suppliers and more than two million associates working in 84 hundred retail locations worldwide, they have the ability to be leaders in the sustainability movement."
This month's issue of Food Nutrition & Science also includes the latest update on the cantaloupe Listeria recall and what the FDA is doing to determine its origin. In addition, readers will learn about Foxboro, MA dairy farmer Terri Lawton, who talks about her career and perspective on the industry, and NurturMe Owner and Co-Founder Caroline Freedman, who created the first and only certified-organic, all-natural and gluten-free baby food.