Gut and Nutrition – The link between diet and the brain

The development of Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be strongly influenced by nutrition.

There is also evidence that the gut microbiota plays a key role in these processes. The gut-brain axis may be affected by dietary changes, thereby affecting the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

The team is working in collaboration with the Queensland Brain Institute and the Aberdeen University in Scotland with the aim of gaining a greater understanding of the role of diet and micro-organisms in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Work is also being done on assessing the synergistic efforts of short-chain fatty acids and medium-chain fatty acids in Alzheimer’s disease.


Some factors that are being investigated include:

  • The potential benefits of probiotics intervention
  • Gut dysbiosis and its possible connection to Alzheimer’s – often defined as an “imbalance” in the gut microbial community that is associated with disease
  • If and why dietary patterns (including the Mediterranean diet) are a factor influencing an individual’s likelihood to develop Alzheimer’s disease
  • The potential benefits of foods rich in polyphenols such as the cereal grain sorghum, goji berries and grape seed. These foods are high in natural polyphenols which naturally target multiple pathways related to Alzheimer’s disease, such as tau protein build up.

The impact

Improving the understanding of the gut-brain connection and its potential to influence the development of Alzheimer’s disease is a possible pathway to prevent Alzheimer’s or reduce the risk of it developing.