Soil Bacteria Might Make You Smarter

There's a lot of buzz lately about how a bacteria found in soil may help reduce depression. But that's not the only thing dirt might be good for.  Additional research shows that same bacteria might even make us smarter. Let's start with depression.  Based on results in lung cancer patients, who said their quality of life improved after being treated with Mycobacterium vaccae, a "friendly" bacteria commonly found in soil, researchers in the United Kingdom decided to find out what M. vaccae did in the brain.  They learned that injections of heat-killed bacteria activated brain cells so that they produced more seratonin.   Why is that good?  Seratonin is a busy neurotransmitter responsible for all kinds of things in our bodies including constricting blood vessels, sending messages between cells in the brain and within the central nervous system, regulating digestive juices and helping to control the passage of food through the gut.  Low levels of seratonin have been associated with things like aggression, anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, irritable bowel and fibromyalgia. Most drugs work on the serotonin already found in the body, so having something that can increase production is a good thing. Knowing all that about Seratonin, and that it also plays a role in learning, a

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