By: Laura Muller
On: 19 April 2020

How to Produce Probiotics Yourself

Probiotics are foods that contain living microorganisms that often belong to the bifido or lactic acid bacteria. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for you, especially for your digestive system. We usually think of these as germs that cause diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy [1]. There are many findings that probiotics can contribute significantly to the balance of our intestinal flora [2]. The health of our intestines plays a huge role when it comes to our health in general. If the intestines are healthy, unwelcome invaders (harmful bacteria, parasites, yeasts), but also many chronic diseases have less chance of proliferating. Raw fermented foods provide living bacterial cultures that support our intestinal flora and strengthen our immune system...

By: Dr. Alessandro Atzeni
On: 6 April 2020

Mediterranean Diet – Responsive Microbiota to Reduce Frailty: A New Study Published in the GUT Journal

Aging is a condition associated with systemic physiological decay, characterized by chronic inflammation, cognitive impairment, and frailty. Well-established findings support the Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) as a valid strategy to address frailty, also due to its modulatory effect on gut microbiota. The NU-AGE dietary intervention project is a large cohort of more than 1200 elderly individuals from different European countries treated with a customised MedDiet for one year. A recently published study explored the effects of this particular diet on the gut microbiota of a subsample of 612 participants. Authors reported the association between microbiome and adherence to the MedDiet by...

By: Prokopis Konstanti
On: 5 April 2020

Bacteria from Our Gut Can Make the Main Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease Ineffective

Researchers from Groningen University, The Netherlands discovered that bacteria from our gut can metabolize and block the action of the main drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease [1]. Parkinson’s disease is related to low levels of dopamine in the brain and the main treatment for the patients is levodopa (L-dopa), a precursor of dopamine. The drug is absorbed in the small intestine and through the bloodstream is transported to the brain, where it is converted into dopamine...

By: Prof. Raquel (Kelly) Rabionet Janssen
On: 5 April 2020

Revealing the Genetic Basis of Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

I am quite sure many of you have heard about OCD. Maybe you imagine OCD as just being insistent on having things perfectly organized, and spending some time doing just that. That does not sound too bad, right? Well, in fact, the thing about OCD is that people who suffer from it are excessively preoccupied with “intrusive” thoughts. I am sure at some point we all have had these kinds of thoughts, like “what if I didn’t turn off the stove” or “what if they had an accident”, or “what if I touched something contagious?”. The problem comes with the...

By: Dr. Lizanne Schweren
On: 30 March 2020

What’s So Special About Fatty Fish?

Fish is an important component of a healthy diet. Especially fatty fish types such as herring, mackerel, sardines and salmon are often mentioned in relation to brain health. Many people take fish oil capsules aiming to improve their mood or feel more focused, or even in the hopes of preventing dementia. What makes fish, and especially fatty fish, so special? Fatty AcidsFatty fish is a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFA’s (also called omega-3 fatty acids, ω−3 fatty acids, or n−3 fatty acids). PUFA’s come in different kinds, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and α-linolenic acid...

By: Prof. Julia Rucklidge
On: 30 March 2020

Feeling stressed because of COVID19? How to feed your brain to optimize mental wellness under lockdown

Although you might be under lockdown, you are still allowed to go to the supermarket to buy food. The following information might help in terms of making healthier choices on what foods to buy. When we are under high stress, we can often reach for foods that are “comforting” (like cookies, donuts, cake, pastries, and chocolate bars), but these foods may not be the best choice for feeding your brain under stressful and demanding circumstances. Comfort foods are often calorie-rich but nutrient-poor. Further, under high stress (and it doesn’t actually matter what has caused the high stress, whether it be...

By: Dr. Jeanette Mostert
On: 22 March 2020

ADHD and its Frequent Comorbid Conditions

Having Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be quite a burden to someone’s quality of life. People with ADHD generally have problems with regulating their attention and their impulses, resulting in concentration and memory problems as well as reckless behaviour [1]. Luckily, this condition is receiving more attention these days, and an increasing number of people are receiving adequate treatment in the form of medication and/or behavioural therapy. But what is much less known is that many people with ADHD also suffer from other mental and somatic conditions...

By: Hannah Kurtz
On: 16 March 2020

Vegan Diets and Healthy Minds

Vegans abstain from all animal products, for example, meat, fish, milk and dairy products, honey and other substances from animal origin, like milk powder. Nevertheless, countless foods remain that are “vegan” by nature: vegetables, fruits, cereals, legumes, rice, nuts, pasta (if made without eggs, of course), and so on. By contrast, vegetarians eat products made of meat but don’t eat meat and fish itself [1, 2]...

By: Dr. Larissa Niemeyer
On: 16 March 2020

Crohn’s Disease – Therapeutic Options Beyond Medication

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the gastrointestinal tract – causing injuries or wounds anywhere in between the mouth and anus. Symptoms usually start in young adults, but can also occur in children or later in life. Often, it takes quite some time until a doctor diagnoses it because of the wide variety of symptoms. Patients suffering from Crohn’s disease often experience diarrhea, stomach pain, and unwanted weight loss. Furthermore, and these are all unspecific symptoms, they might report fever, fatigue, problems with their skin, joints or eyes. Symptoms come and go and might be severe at one...

By: Dr. Anne Siegl
On: 16 March 2020

Does Pizza Contribute to a Healthy Lifestyle? Insights from Research

In September 2019 the Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded at the renowned Harvard University. Contrary to the well-known Nobel Prize, the Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded annually to “honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.” As a psychologist in the New Brain Nutrition team, I am interested in the effects that diet can have both on your physical, but especially on your mental health. So one of the award winners especially caught my attention: Silvano Gallus from the Mario Negri Institute in Milano, Italy, was awarded the satiric prize for his research showing that pizza...