In childhood, cognitive capacities are essential for learning new skills and participating in formal education. One of the factors that potentially facilitate the development of a child’s cognitive capacities is the bacteria in the intestines. Intestinal bacteria have a central role in our health, but may also modulate brain development and functioning.
Studies in humans have shown that consuming beneficial bacteria (probiotics) can reduce stress, improve health and mood, and potentially impact cognition. However, the development of the intestinal bacteria in relation to child cognitive development is an unexplored area to date.
Within the Jacobs Foundation TRECC program in Ivory Coast we will carry out a probiotic study in 6-year-old’s: ARC (Abidjan: Recherche sur la Cognition). The aim is to determine whether this probiotic supplement can be linked to better cognitive functioning. The ultimate goal is to improve children’s basic conditions for learning by achieving healthy brain development in a relatively easy and affordable manner.