This study will look at changes in the heart rate variability and electroencephalogram (EEG) signals in individuals receiving gut supplementation for depression. This is to see if the vagus nerve (a major nerve connecting your brain and gut) is affected by this therapeutic, and how that results in changes in your brain. This work will provide insight into the mechanism of action for these supplements and contribute to a great understanding of major depressive disorder and possible avenues for advancement in the realm of gut microbiome targeting MDD treatments.
Strategies to promote immune defences against COVID-19 infection are urgently needed. The gastrointestinal tract is a potentially important route for COVID-19 infection and for generating protective anti-viral immunity against this pathogen. Certain features of COVID-19 contribute to its ability to evade and subvert our immune defences. Type I interferon is a key immune protein that shuts down viral replication during virus infections.
As a result of increasing obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now the most common chronic liver disease. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the pathogenic form of NAFLD and can progress to cirrhosis and need for liver transplantation. There is currently no Health Canada-approved therapy for the treatment of NASH. The intestinal microbiome has been shown to contribute to the development of NASH.
New studies have implicated the gut as the staging area for the start of Parkinson’s disease. Disruptions in the gut biota can promote the formation of toxic protein seeds that can move from the gut into the brain, spreading through the brain and causing progressive loss of neurons and problems with movement. It still needs to be proven if probiotics can help treat disease. We propose to examine this idea by testing how probiotics influence the function of neurons and other brain cells.
Women are disproportionately affected by neuro-degenerative disorders compared to men. For years, research has attempted to identify why this phenomenon occurs. The answer may be found in the gut. The intestinal tract contains millions of bacteria that are colonized from birth; These bacteria are essential for keeping the brain and immune system healthy. Changes in the proportions of bacterial species during critical periods of development can have lasting impacts on neuro-inflammation and degradation.
Mitochondria are critical producers of energy and are the platform for various metabolic reactions that support cellular health. Mitochondria suffer from a variety of damage as a consequence of housing these reactive pathways. In order for cells and organisms to survive this damage, dysfunctional mitochondria are removed from the cell in a process termed mitophagy. The goal of this proposal is to identify probiotics that enhance mitophagy, thereby serving as ideal promoters of health by preserving mitochondrial, cellular and organismal function.
Probiotics are a form of good bacteria that have been shown to have health benefits in offspring that have been exposed to early life stress. One such form of early life stress that has a lasting impact on offspring stress resiliency is poor maternal care. Based on unpublished research from our laboratory, we have found that probiotics have a positive impact on the quality of a mother’s care towards her offspring.
Research shows that the gut, the brain, and the collection of bacterial species that inhabit the gut (i.e., the microbiota) affect mental and physical health. Furthermore, stress seems to exasperate these disorders and this relationship may be explained by the unique connection between the gut, the brain, and the microbiota). In this experiment, we will examine how Probio'StickTM administration throughout the lives of rats can impact their response to unhealthy (high-fat or high-carbohydrate) diet and chronic, life-long stress).
While intestinal bacteria are increasingly understood to be important for maintaining health, many questions remain about how probiotic bacteria act to influence the immune system. We have previously found that one of these bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011, produces mediators able to influence communication between intestinal epithelial cells and antigen-presenting cells, cell types important for our immune defences.
A typical individual will encounter countless instances in their life where various stressors, such as the consumption of alcohol, ingestion of pain relieving medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or experiencing stress itself, may damage ones intestines in a way they never knew was possible. All of these stressors have been associated with increased intestinal permeability, which is essentially when the walls of your intestines lose their integrity so parts of the stool or toxins in the intestines can actually be absorbed into the body.