According to the results of a Canadian study, the composition of a baby’s intestinal microbiota is linked to the performance achieved during cognitive development tests. Do some bacteria make you smart?
The intestinal microbiota has not finished surprising us! Canadian scientists have demonstrated an association between the composition of this microbiota and the cognitive abilities of infants.
Results that vary according to the composition of the microbiota
For this work, the team of Canadian researchers brought together 56 infants aged between four and six months. Each of them had been subjected to at least one of the three evaluations, making it possible to analyze various cognitive abilities. In parallel, the researchers deciphered their intestinal microbiomes using faecal samples.
Results: In infants who performed best on the social attention test, which measures the child’s ability to share focus on an object with another person – known as “point and gaze”, the microbiota was particular. He tended to have higher amounts of type bacteria Actinobactéries phylum, Bifidobacterium et Eggerthellabut also less than Firmicutes phylum, d’Hungatella, and Strepcococcus.
In addition, electroencephalogram measurements of the brains of these infants were performed, in order to measure their brain activity in response to hearing a regular rhythm. The researchers’ findings note that the best rhythm treatments were associated with higher or lower levels of certain types of bacteria, too.
“Gut microbiome may influence cognitive performance”
“In our small pilot study, we observed interesting associations between the microbiome and brain function in early infancy” note the researchers. And to conclude:These findings are consistent with the idea that the microbiome may influence early cognitive development, but more research is needed to confirm and clarify this role.”