Mind and Mood
Nutrients improve cognition in aging, and mood in IBS
mild cognitive decline
Doctors said there is no treatment for minimal cognitive decline, something they measure using a standard index of mental functions. In this study, 87 people, aged 55 to 75, with cognitive index scores indicating mild impairment, took a placebo or 150 mg of the antioxidant Pycnogenol® per day. All participants maintained healthy sleep habits, regular exercise, and a low-sodium, low-sugar diet.
After eight weeks, while there was no change for placebo, those taking Pycnogenol saw an average 18 percent increase in cognitive index scores, to 25.64 from 21.64 at the start of the study. A score above 24 indicates normal cognition. The Pycnogenol group remembered friends and family better, where things were located, and learned gadgets and technology, managed money, and better dealt with people.
Probiotic improved mood in IBS
People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often have symptoms of major depression. New evidence suggests managing the gut microbiome may be an alternative approach to reducing or preventing depression. In this study, 40 adults newly diagnosed with IBS took a placebo or bacillus coagulans 30 minutes before the morning meal.
After 90 days, while the placebo group had not changed, those taking probiotics saw significant improvements in depression index scores, and on questionnaires rating quality-of-life, gastrointestinal discomfort, and sleepiness.
Commenting on the findings, doctors said bacillus coagulans showed “statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements” in symptoms of depression and IBS that suggest an important new treatment option for major depressive disorder in IBS.