The microbiota-gut-brain axis is a bi-directional interaction between the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system.
A 2015 review in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment by Linghong Zhou and Jane Foster from McMaster University in Canada noted that the bacteria present in the gut affects the communication between belly and brain, and the lack of healthy gut microbiota leads to dysfunction in the gut–brain axis, which in turn may lead to neuropsychological, metabolic, and gastrointestinal disorders.
There is even some data to indicate that the composition of the gut microbiota is different between healthy older people and those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). (Journal of Immunology Research, 2022)
Such links have led to the coining of the term “psychobiotic” to indicate probiotics that can confer a mental health benefit on the host.
The microbiota-gut-brain axis was the focus of a session at Probiota in Copenhagen earlier this year, but one of our speakers was unable to join us in person: Dr Siobhain O’Mahony from APC Microbiome Ireland and University College Cork. Dr O’Mahony graciously agreed to record her presentation so that we can share a little bit of Probiota’s superb content with the wider NutraIngredients community.
Please watch the video above for Dr O’Mahony’s presentation.