Reference Number: 85
An unbalanced microbiota (dysbiosis) has been associated with or causative for a large array of human pathologies, including cognitive/emotional-related disorders. This review focuses on recent findings that address the restoration of a dysbiotic microbiota by dietary interventions with the main purpose of influencing brain function. Recent research strongly suggests a critical connection between dietary habits, cognitive performance, and microbiota, but a thorough study of this inter-relationship presents a significant challenge. Although gut microbiota composition may be altered by environmental variables, it is fairly stable during adulthood and old age, and the analysis of gut microbial composition is not enough to fully understand the impact of a nutritional intervention in the gut microbiota and its consequences on the brain. Novel findings suggest the need for including the analysis of the metabolome and specific biomarkers of the microbial metabolism for the understanding of the effect of nutritional interventions on brain function.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS STUDY
This review explores evidences pointing towards diet having a pivotal impact on the host’s development and progression of mental disorders through the regulation of microbiota composition and functionality. It is also discussed the role of key microbial metabolites as essential biomarkers to a better understanding of the complexity of the inter-relationship between microbiota, diet, and mental health. Cognitive and emotional related disorders have exponentially increased over the years and novel strategies to meet the challenges they face in their daily lives are needed. The modulation of gut microbiota through dietary interventions may be a potent tool for the prevention and treatment of many brain related disorders. The analysis of the impact of a dietary intervention on the bacterial population goes beyond performing complex metagenomic studies to characterize the microbial community. The study of the metabolome and specific biomarkers of the microbial metabolism could be as essential as the analysis of the microbiota composition to achieve a better understanding of the complexity of the inter-relationship of microbiota, diet, and mental health. Some bacterial metabolites have shown to be altered in cognitive diseases and many others seem promising targets to be explored as potential biomarkers. Future research is needed to identify them and to explore the role of these compounds in the onset and course of the cognitive and emotional related disorders.