SYDNEY, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Australian scientists have released a report that suggests probiotics may have little, even no benefit if you are already eating a healthy diet.
The study out on Tuesday, conducted by the University of New South Wales, tested the effects of probiotics on rats, with the furry mammals given different diets, to see what impact the "good" bacteria would have.
They discovered that the rats who were given a high-calorie junk food diet, not only became fat with "grossly dysregulated" gut health, but also had a positive benefit from the probiotic, with changes in their digestive tract and improved brain function.
But the rats who were given a healthy diet, actually had "impaired recognition memory," while the probiotic had minimal impact on their digestive system.
The author of the report, Professor Margaret Morris, said that probiotics can be good if you are eating a very unhealthy diet.
"But if you are eating healthily, they may not be that beneficial," Morris said.
"The probiotics actually resulted in some memory impairment with regard to object recognition."
The report went on to state that "Western-style" diets, those high in sugar and saturated fats, have a negative impact on brain and cognitive function, and can "rapidly alter the composition and metabolic activity" of microbes in the digestive system.
Studies on rats have shown that when healthy creatures are given "gut-disrupting" antibiotics, the change in their microbes can cause memory loss and anxiety-like mental issues, the report said.