By: Prof. Bru Cormand, Dr. Judit Cabana Dominguez, Dr. Noèlia Fernàndez Castillo
On: 26 October 2018


We know that high-energy food (rich in refined sugars and fats) is addictive and can lead to an eating addiction and to obesity. Addiction is a very severe disorder with chronical and relapsing components. People who suffer from it show compulsivity, persistence to seek the reward (food) and high motivation to overconsume in some cases. To study eating addition, we have developed a mouse model that shows persistence to eat, high motivation for palatable food and resistance to punishment in obtaining the food. We have tested these three characteristics in several genetically identical animals and selected two extreme groups: Mice...

By: Dr. Mariliis Vaht
On: 20 October 2018

Internal information speedway: the gut-brain communication channel

Have you experienced drowsiness after eating a large meal? Has an important presentation made your stomach turn? Seeing a special someone made you feel butterflies in your stomach? If you have (and you most likely have), then you know how strong the connection between the brain and the gut is. Scientists have found that many chronic metabolic diseases, type 2 diabetes, mood disorders and even neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis, are often associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders (1). The importance of the association between the gut and the brain is gaining momentum...

By: Dr. Karina Rosales Ortiz
On: 18 October 2018

Anti-inflammatory foods

What is inflammation? Inflammation is the response of the body’s immune system against external factors that can put your health in danger. When this system feels that is attacked by something that may harm your health, it activates some molecules that are called cytokines in order to neutralize or avoid any damage, so you can be safe. Why is it bad? What does it do? Inflammation isn’t a bad thing since its purpose is to protect our body, but in some cases, when the duration of this response is extended for too long- I’m talking about years – it can...

By: Prof. János Réthelyi, Tünde Kilencz
On: 28 August 2018

Anti-aggression and anxiolytic effects of prebiotics in mice

One can hear more and more information about the microbiota-gut-brain axis, the bidirectional interaction between the intestinal microbiota and the central nervous system nowadays, this has become a hot topic. We are becoming increasingly aware that gut microbiota play a significant role in modulating brain functions, behavior and brain development. Pre- and probiotics can influence the microbiota composition, so the question arises, can we have an impact on our mental health by controlling nutrition and using probiotics? Burokas and colleagues aimed to investigate this possibility in their study (2017), where the goal was to test whether chronic prebiotic treatment in...

By: Dr. Mariliis Vaht
On: 18 August 2018

Psychobiotics: A next generation approach for treating mental disorders

Psychobiotics are helpful bacteria (probiotics) or support for these bacteria (prebiotics) that influence the relationship between bacteria and brain. Human digestive system houses around 100 trillion of these bacteria, outnumbering the human body cells 10:1. Probiotics provide a great deal of functions vital to our well-being, like supporting the digestion process and improving the absorption of nutrients. Based on the latest research, helpful gut bacteria that can also positively affect the brain – psychobiotics – benefit people suffering from chronic stress, poor mood, or anxiety-like symptoms (1). There are 3 ways how psychobiotics can affect your mental health. Brain chemicals like serotonin,...

By: Dr. Jeanette Mostert
On: 1 August 2018

Let me tell you the story of New Brain Nutrition

This month, I started as dissemination manager at New Brain Nutrition. This means that I will make sure that the information generated in this research project is spread out to society. Together with the dissemination and communication team of New Brain Nutrition, I strive to inform and educate as many people as possible about how nutrition influences our gut, our brain and our mental health. Now I didn’t study communication or marketing. Rather, I studied Cognitive Neuroscience and did a PhD on brain connectivity in adults with ADHD. But while doing this PhD research, I became very interested in science...

Annick Huberts-Bosch
By: Annick Huberts-Bosch
On: 30 July 2018

ADHD & dietary treatments

In every classroom approximately two children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They struggle with attention problems and hyperactive and impulsive behavior. This has negative consequences for these children. For example, they can have difficulties learning, it puts them at risk for other psychiatric problems, and it can cause parent-child relationship problems. Therefore, children with ADHD do need some sort of treatment for optimizing the quality of their lives. After psycho-education to the child, parents and teacher, medication is often the first choice of treatment because it is evidence-based. However, there is a growing group of parents that...

Prokopis Konstanti
By: Prokopis Konstanti
On: 27 June 2018

How your intestinal bacteria affect the gut brain axis

Recently, the idea that gastrointestinal microbiota are able to affect host behaviour is gaining momentum and it is based on studies conducted with animal models but also in humans with neurological disorders. However, the mechanisms that underlay this complex interplay between gut, brain and microbiota are incompletely understood. Here we discuss recent findings on how microbial products could potentially affect the gut-brain axis. Intestinal microbiota, grow through the fermentation of undigested carbohydrates that end up in the large intestine. It was shown that absence of microbes or disruption of the microbiota, lead to increased populations of impaired microglia cells in...

Margreet Bierens
By: Margreet Bierens
On: 19 June 2018

Personalized nutrition as an aid for mental health?

When Alice’s mother first contacted our team to get more information on the dietary intervention at New Brain Nutrition, she mentioned that her daughter seems to be on edge all the time. On a typical day, Alice would be triggered easily over seemingly small things and stay upset for a long time. She told us that these emotional problems caused not only very strained and cheerless moments on the weekends and evenings, they also interfered notably with Alice’s social life. In between her angry or sad moments, Alice seems to be a perfectly happy and energetic 11-year old. Alice’s attention...