The exact mix of bacteria in your gut varies from person to person and is utterly unique. Your diet and environment influence it, as do any infections you may have had, even during childhood and whether you have been prescribed antibiotics.
Now it looks as if your gut health, called microbiome, is also linked to memory. A recent American study assessed the memory of mice injected with a bacterium called Lactobacillus compared to mice that hadn’t received this bacterium. The metabolic changes caused by Lactobacillus in these mice somehow helped to improve their memory. Lactobacillus is a bacterium that helps protect against pathogens and is a common probiotic found in foods such as yoghurt.
So, does this mean we should all be taking more probiotic supplements to help improve our gut health? Not necessarily because your gut health is so complicated. The recent study on mice does show memory and the bacteria in your gut are somehow linked. For example, it’s so individual that some people may thrive on ice cream while others would need to stick to somewhat healthier and considerably less indulgent ingredients like kale. Other factors influencing your microbiome include the amount of sleep you receive, the variety of vegetables consumed and even your weight. Until we discover more about the microbiome, perhaps the best advice is to eat a healthy and varied diet.