Bacteria in Soil May Positively Impact Intelligence

smart-babies-play-outdoorsGreenTracker| All bacteria isn’t bad for you. In fact, scientists believe that some bacteria — mycobac terium vaccae — a natural soil bacterium may make us smarter.

Previous research on M. vaccae indicates that it stimulates growth of some neurons in the brain, specifically ones that resulted in increased levels of serotonin and decreased anxiety. The bacteria are found in soil and are part of the air we breath, when we spend time in nature.

Armed with this knowledge, researchers wondered if elevated serotonin levels could improve learning in mice. The answer was “yes”. Mice fed live M. vaccae outperformed the control group in maze navigation tests.

As America moves indoors and away from nature, it may be time to find some grass for playtime. It’s noteworthy that the mice fed live M. vaccae bacteria continued to outperform (but less so) the control group when their high-bacteria diet ended.

This is a totally fascinating piece of research. via Science Daily