Can gut microbes improve memory?

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, adds to growing evidence that the gut microbiome – the trillions of microbes that live in our intestines – can affect animal behaviour.


The potential of the gut microbiome as a driver of individual cognitive differences in natural populations of animals remains unexplored. Here, using metagenomic sequencing of individual bumblebee hindguts, we find a positive correlation between the abundance of Lactobacillus Firm-5 cluster and memory retention on a visual discrimination task. Supplementation with the Firm-5 species Lactobacillus apis, but not other non-Firm-5 bacterial species, enhances bees’ memory. Untargeted metabolomics after L. apis supplementation show increased LPA (14:0) glycerophospholipid in the haemolymph. Oral administration of the LPA increases long-term memory significantly. Based on our findings and metagenomic/metabolomic analyses, we propose a molecular pathway for this gut-brain interaction. Our results provide insights into proximate and ultimate causes of cognitive differences in natural bumblebee populations.

Related to gut microbes:

I personally try to take care of my gut a whole lot and not just taking probiotic supplements, which I haven’t taken for a long time

I eat a decent amount of fruit and beware overeating. I try to say no to extra “treats”, desserts, candy. Overeating on meals seems to make me feel bad. Recently I had like, surgary coffee in the morning and found out how badly I crashed or felt bad like even 30 minutes later so I’m careful about the caffeine sugar combo.

I also noticed a lot of my emotions and mood are in my gut. Like, if my gut feels good, that’s a big deal. If I drink a cup of cold water, instantly I feel better, and that might be because it soothes my gut. Or a warm drink, can help me out and relax me.

Along the lines of imagination, simply imagining the feelings of my gut seems to make me feel better. Imagining the feeling of my gut, imagining the feeling of my lungs and insides, totally relaxes my nerves if I don’t feel good. The gut is very important in pain/mood/emotional management. I eat celery too, that veggie seems to work great with my gut. Lettuce. I could eat a whole head of lettuce in a day, it’s totally worth it. Iceberg is super refreshing and I think it helps my gut a lot. I also have magnesium supplements that works like a charm for the stress. Keeping the fruit/veggies cold and eating them cold makes them so refreshing and a nice cold seltzer really works great to improve my mood.

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