What is the link between the gut microbiota, diet, exercise and brain health?


We are an EU-funded medical consortium that studies the connections between gut microbiota, diet, and exercise to formulate nutrition and lifestyle recommendations for brain health. Early research has shown evidence of a sizeable impact of nutrition on behaviours such as impulsivity and compulsivity. We are therefore interested in studying how dietary components (including sugar, fat and protein content, vitamin and mineral supplements, food additives and probiotics) and lifestyle factors (including exercise) influence people’s overall health, brain function and behaviour. Specifically, we aim to identify nutritional drivers and lifestyle variations that could prevent harmful effects on impulsivity and compulsivity across the lifespan. This will enable us to better understand the paths leading to impulsivity and compulsivity in the brain via the gut (microbiota and their metabolic effects). We aim to promote societal changes that will counteract maladaptive impulsivity and compulsivity by bringing evidence-based information about health-related behaviours to families, clinicians, policymakers and the general public.