Tuesday June 25, 2024
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It has been established for some years that the gut microflora has an influence on many areas of cognitive health such as anxiety, and depression and is implicated in conditions such as Autism. More recently research has turned its head towards the metabolites produced by the fermentation of foods from these microbes as the key factor on how this influence is achieved.

There are numerous ferment metabolites that can have an effect directly or indirectly, with fermented foods traditionally viewed as having mood boosting properties …aside from the obvious alcohol content! For example, kefir, regarded as the gold standard of fermentation, comes from the Turkish name for ‘good feeling’.

Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) – These nutrients include butyric acid amongst others and provides both energy to the tissue and act on the central nervous system. The most effective source of SCFAs is through fermentation. See below for the latest research on these nutrients.

Neurotransmitters – One of the most important group of nutrients produced through fermentation are the various neurotransmitters. These have a huge effect on emotional wellbeing and cognitive health. Serotonin, histamine, nitric oxide amongst others all help balance your bodies actions and affect your cognition.

Phospholipids – These structural nutrients help form every cell in the body. Including phosphatidyl-serine and phosphatidyl-choline these ferment metabolites that have a complimentary effect on cognition and help provide the neurological structure throughout the body.

Polyphenols – This group of nutrients offer a range of protective benefits to the body such as antioxidant activity, and can act as signalling molecules, helping the body’s internal communication. 1,000’s of different polyphenols can be created through fermentation and Living Nutrition has found that their fermentation process can increase the polyphenols content to approximately 25% of total weight.

Living Nutrition look to achieve a double effect when fermenting their select herbs known to benefit cognitive health. As well as providing highly bio-available compounds unique to the herb, their formulations also offer all the active metabolites mentioned above.


Here is some of the recent research on fermented foods and cognition and our Research module provides an array of testimonials and other studies.


‘Short chain fatty acids, which are pleomorphic, especially butyrate, positively influence host metabolism by promoting glucose and energy homeostasis, regulating immune responses and epithelial cell growth, and promoting the functioning of the central and peripheral nervous systems.’

Microbiota and the gut-brain axis - Nutrition Reviews 2015


‘Here, we argue that the consumption of fermented foods may be particularly relevant to the emerging research linking traditional dietary practices and positive mental health.'

'…the findings that (non-dairy) fermented foods and herbs can have a positive influence on the intestinal microbiota are important in that there may be an influence on longer-term gut-brain communication.’

'...microbes associated with fermented foods may also influence brain health via direct and indirect pathways.'

 Click here for full study

Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry. Journal of Physiological Anthropology 2014


‘Fermentation may amplify the specific nutrient or phytonutrient content of foods, the ultimate value of which is associated with mental health. … Fermentation induced bacteria as the class of probiotics, are capable of producing and delivering neuroactive substances such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin, which act on the brain-gut axis.’

Fermented Foods and Microbiota: New Approaches for Mental Health Promotion - The Second International Anxiety Congress, 2014


'In conclusion, it appears that enteric SCFAs play a major role in host physiology and provide further evidence that gut microbiota can modulate brain function and behavior in health and disease conditions, including Autistic Spectrum Disorder.'

Enteric short-chain fatty acids: microbial messengers of metabolism, mitochondria, and mind: implications in autism spectrum disorders - Microbial Ecology in Health & Disease 2015


‘The discovery of bacterial-derived neurotransmitters suggests further studies are needed to establish their role in enteric neuropathy. ... A particular emphasis is placed on bacterial metabolite regulation of enteric nervous system function in the intestine.’

Epigenetic Regulation of Enteric Neurotransmission by Gut Bacteria - Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 2016







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Today's quote

'Life’s truths cannot always be reduced to 12-point Times Roman.'

Sandor Katz, The Art of Fermentation