Germs in Soil Might Give Learning a Boost

By HealthDay News

Mice exposed to the bacteria got through mazes twice as fast, researchers report

Could certain germs help you learn more easily? New research suggests bacteria could indeed, at least if you spend time outdoors and inhale or consume them.

Researchers looked at mycobacterium vaccae, a kind of natural bacteria that’s found in soil. People ingest or breathe in the germ when they spend time in nature, researcher Dorothy Matthews of The Sage Colleges in Troy, N.Y., said in a news release.

Previous research suggested that the germ, when heat-killed and injected into mice, boosted levels of serotonin and lowered anxiety levels. Since serotonin levels are associated with learning, Matthews and her colleague Susan Jenks decided to feed the live bacteria to mice and see if they did a better job of learning a maze than control mice who were not fed the germ.

The mice who ate the bacteria “navigated the maze twice as fast and with less demonstrated anxiety behaviors as control mice,” Matthews said.

Read full post at HealthDay News

5 responses to “Germs in Soil Might Give Learning a Boost

  1. Isn’t it funny (NOT) how folk wisdom, ie., ‘wisdom of the ages’, NEEDS a scientific basis nowadays, to be considered viable? ??

    Employ your local scientist and make him/her filthy rich.

    Then, all manner of ‘thing’, shall be well.


  2. Interesting. It sounds like the bacteria co-evolved with animals, to confer a benefit to animals that ingest it, just as fruit co-evolved with their seed dispersal animals. It’s a win-win situation for the animals and the germs.

    Isn’t evolution amazing?

    • I sat in some biology class in college learning about microscopic nematodes – you can find a million of them in a teaspoon of soil.

      And I got green around the gills thinking about how, as a kid, I used to eat dirt.


      i survived.

      btw, co evolution is exactly why we need to stop using pesticides, and why we should ban biotechnology. they’re disrupting the balance, causing massive bee dieoff, and gawd knows what to our bodies.

  3. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » FDA: From Corruption to Tyranny « Food Freedom

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