Food for thought: The role of nutrition in the microbiota-gut–brain axis

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Oriach, Clara Seira
Robertson, Ruairi C.
Stanton, Catherine
Cryan, John F.
Dinan, Timothy G.
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Elsevier Ltd on behalf of European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism
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Recent research has provided strong evidence for the role of the commensal gut microbiota in brain function and behaviour. Many potential pathways are involved in this bidirectional communication between the gut microbiota and the brain such as immune mechanisms, the vagus nerve and microbial neurometabolite production. Dysbiosis of gut microbial function has been associated with behavioural and neurophysical deficits, therefore research focused on developing novel therapeutic strategies to treat psychiatric disorders by targeting the gut microbiota is rapidly growing. Numerous factors can influence the gut microbiota composition such as health status, mode of birth delivery and genetics, but diet is considered among the most crucial factors impacting on the human gut microbiota from infancy to old age. Thus, dietary interventions may have the potential to modulate psychiatric symptoms associated with gut–brain axis dysfunction. Further clinical and in vivo studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying the link between nutrition, gut microbiota and control of behaviour and mental health.
Diet , Psychobiotics , Gut microbiota , Psychiatric disorders , Gut-brain axis
Oriach, C. S., Robertson, R. C., Stanton, C., Cryan, J. F. and Dinan, T. G. (2016) 'Food for thought: The role of nutrition in the microbiota-gut–brain axis', Clinical Nutrition Experimental, 6, pp. 25-38. doi:10.1016/j.yclnex.2016.01.003
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