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Exploring the Link: Fiber, Gut Health & Alzheimer’s Disease

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June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month, a time dedicated to highlighting the importance of brain health and raising awareness about cognitive disorders. 

As we age, maintaining cognitive health becomes increasingly important. The brain, like any other organ, requires proper care and nutrition to function optimally. 

Alzheimer's disease and dementia are two of the most common cognitive disorders affecting older adults, leading to memory loss, impaired judgment, and reduced quality of life. While the causes of these conditions are multifaceted, emerging research suggests a strong and intriguing link between gut health and brain health.

The gut, often referred to as the "second brain," is home to trillions of microorganisms that play a crucial role in our overall health. Collectively, these microorganisms, known as the gut microbiome, influence a wide range of bodily functions, including digestion, immune response, and even mood regulation. 

Recent studies have highlighted the significant impact of gut health on cognitive function, shedding light on how an unhealthy gut may contribute to the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

In this week's blog, we will explore the intricate connection between our gut and brain —and the scientific evidence that supports this link. We will also provide practical steps you can take to support your cognitive health. Additionally, we will show you how adding just better.® Prebiotic Fiber to your daily routine can play a vital role in nurturing your gut-brain connection, promoting a healthier mind and optimal health. 

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What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that profoundly impacts millions of individuals worldwide. It is the most common cause of dementia among older adults, leading to a severe decline in cognitive functions and changes in behavior. Understanding Alzheimer’s disease is crucial for recognizing its symptoms, causes, and the profound impact it has on individuals and their families.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease typically develop gradually and worsen over time. Initially, individuals may experience mild memory lapses, such as forgetting recent conversations or misplacing items. As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more pronounced and interfere with daily life.   

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease

The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease remains unknown, but it is believed to result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. 

Some of the key contributing factors include:

Genetics: A family history of Alzheimer’s increases the risk, suggesting a genetic predisposition.

Age: The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s increases with age, particularly after the age of 65.

Lifestyle and Heart Health: Factors such as smoking, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension may increase the risk by affecting heart and brain health.

Environmental Factors: Exposure to toxins and pollutants over a lifetime may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. 

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What is the Gut Health Connection?

The gut-brain axis is a fascinating and complex communication network that links the gastrointestinal tract to the brain. 

This connection is critical for understanding how digestive health influences cognitive functions and overall brain health. Recent research has highlighted the profound impact of gut health on the brain, especially concerning neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The Gut-Brain Axis: An Intricate Communication Network

The gut-brain axis involves bidirectional communication between the central nervous system (CNS) and the enteric nervous system (ENS). Various pathways facilitate this interaction, including neural, hormonal, and immunological signals. 

Here’s a closer look at the key components and their roles:

Neural Pathways: The vagus nerve is the primary conduit for direct communication between the gut and the brain. It transmits signals from the gut microbiome to the brain, influencing mood, stress response, and cognitive functions.

Hormonal Signals: Gut hormones, such as ghrelin and leptin, are involved in regulating appetite, energy balance, and even cognitive processes.

Immune System: The gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) plays a pivotal role in immune responses. Inflammation in the gut can trigger systemic inflammation, which is implicated in various brain disorders. 

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The Microbiome’s Crucial Role

The gut microbiome, composed of trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes, plays a crucial role in maintaining gut health and facilitating the gut-brain connection. 

Here’s how the microbiome impacts brain health:

Neurotransmitter Production: Many neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), are produced in the gut. These chemicals are essential for regulating mood, anxiety, and cognitive functions.

Metabolite Production: Gut bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) like butyrate, propionate, and acetate, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support brain health.

Barrier Function: A healthy gut microbiome helps maintain the integrity of the gut barrier, preventing harmful substances from entering the bloodstream and affecting the brain. 

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The Link Between Inflammation and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Chronic inflammation in the gut is a critical factor in the development of systemic inflammation, which can have detrimental effects on brain health. 

Here’s why this connection is significant:

Systemic Inflammation: Persistent gut inflammation can lead to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines into the bloodstream, which can cross the blood-brain barrier and contribute to neuroinflammation.

Neurodegeneration: Neuroinflammation is a key feature of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. It accelerates neuronal damage and impairs cognitive functions. 

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Research Evidence Supporting the Gut-Brain Connection

Scientific studies increasingly highlight the critical role of the gut-brain connection in maintaining cognitive health and its potential role in addressing neurodegenerative diseases.

Here are some key findings:

Microbiome Imbalance: Dysbiosis, or an imbalance in the gut microbiome, has been linked to cognitive decline and the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. (You can learn more about this here!) Research has revealed altered gut microbiota compositions in individuals with Alzheimer’s, suggesting that these imbalances may contribute to disease development. A healthy and balanced gut microbiome is essential for optimal brain function.

Gut Inflammation: Studies have shown that individuals with Alzheimer’s disease often exhibit higher levels of gut inflammation. (Learn more here!

Chronic inflammation can release pro-inflammatory cytokines that cross the blood-brain barrier, exacerbating neuroinflammatory processes and accelerating cognitive decline. Thus, managing gut inflammation is crucial for protecting brain health.

Probiotic and Prebiotic Interventions: Clinical trials have demonstrated that supplementing with probiotics and prebiotics can improve cognitive functions and reduce neuroinflammation. (Get more info here!

These beneficial microorganisms help restore gut microbiome balance, enhance gut barrier function, and produce anti-inflammatory metabolites, all of which support brain health. 

The therapeutic potential of targeting gut health to support cognitive well-being is increasingly recognized. Understanding the intricate connection between gut health and brain health opens new avenues for the prevention and management of neurodegenerative diseases. 

By nurturing a healthy gut microbiome through diet, lifestyle changes, and supplementation with products like just better.® Prebiotic Fiber, we can support our cognitive health and overall well-being. Embracing a high-fiber lifestyle benefits our digestive system and fosters a healthier, more resilient brain. 

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Practical Steps to Improve the Gut-Brain Connection

Improving your gut health can have a surprisingly positive impact on your brain health, but that is just one part of the equation. Here are some practical, everyday steps to help you strengthen this vital connection:

Regular Exercise

Get moving! Regular physical activity is fantastic for your gut health and helps reduce inflammation. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a fun dance session in your living room, staying active can make a significant difference in how you feel, both mentally and physically.

Stress Management

Managing stress is crucial for maintaining a healthy gut. Practice mindfulness, forest bathing, or other stress-relief techniques to keep your stress levels in check. 

Chronic stress can negatively impact your gut microbiome, so finding ways to relax and unwind is essential for your overall health.


Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal health. Drinking plenty of water supports your digestive health and helps your digestive system function properly. Proper hydration is key to maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. 

Dietary Changes

Improve the quality of your meal plan with whole, unprocessed, fiber-rich foods, fermented products, lean meats, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are not only tasty but also excellent for promoting a healthy gut microbiome. These choices help support the beneficial bacteria in your gut, creating a thriving environment for your happy gut bugs! 

Increase Your Fiber Intake

Embrace the transformative power of prebiotics! Adding prebiotics to your healthy living routine provides essential nourishment for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. This added fiber helps feed the beneficial bacteria, promoting a balanced and healthy gut microbiome. 

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Upgrade Your Meal Plan With just better.®!

just better.® Prebiotic Fiber is an instant upgrade to your nutrition plan, significantly nurturing your gut-brain connection.

Pure and Simple: Made from 100% soluble non-GMO corn fiber, our product is easy to incorporate into any food or drink without embarrassing or uncomfortable side effects like bloating or gas. 

Completely Dissolvable: Zero grit and zero flavor, add just better.® Prebiotic Fiber to any meal or beverage! Whether you’re adding it to your morning smoothie, lunchtime meal, afternoon snacks, or evening tea, it seamlessly blends without altering the taste or texture of your favorite food and drinks.

Health Benefits: A high-fiber lifestyle supports gut and heart health, helps manage cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and supports healthy weight management—all while strengthening the gut-brain axis. 


Embracing a high-fiber lifestyle can be a powerful step toward maintaining brain health. By focusing on gut health through diet, exercise, mindful living, and incorporating just better.® Prebiotic Fiber into your nutrition plan, you support a strong and healthy gut-brain connection. 

Let’s take proactive steps today for a healthier tomorrow. Remember, a healthy gut is the foundation of a healthy mind. 

Learn More

Interested in additional reading? We recommend the following articles: 

The Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation Article: Fiber as Brain Food 

Mayo Clinic Article: Alzheimer's prevention: Does it exist? 

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