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Towards Tailored Gut Microbiome-Based and Dietary Interventions for Promoting the Development and Maintenance of a Healthy Brain

AuthorsLarroya, Ana; Pantoja, Jorge; Codoñer-Franch, Pilar; Cénit, M. Carmen CSIC ORCID
KeywordsGut microbiota,
Gut bacterial microbiome
Precision nutrition
Psychiatry and mental health
Issue Date1-Jul-2021
PublisherFrontiers Media
CitationFrontiers in Pediatrics 9:705859 (2021)
AbstractMental health is determined by a complex interplay between the Neurological Exposome and the Human Genome. Multiple genetic and non-genetic (exposome) factors interact early in life, modulating the risk of developing the most common complex neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), with potential long-term consequences on health. To date, the understating of the precise etiology underpinning these neurological alterations, and their clinical management pose a challenge. The crucial role played by diet and gut microbiota in brain development and functioning would indicate that modulating the gut-brain axis may help protect against the onset and progression of mental-health disorders. Some nutritional deficiencies and gut microbiota alterations have been linked to NDDs, suggesting their potential pathogenic implications. In addition, certain dietary interventions have emerged as promising alternatives or adjuvant strategies for improving the management of particular NDDs, at least in particular subsets of subjects. The gut microbiota can be a key to mediating the effects of other exposome factors such as diet on mental health, and ongoing research in Psychiatry and Neuropediatrics is developing Precision Nutrition Models to classify subjects according to a diet response prediction based on specific individual features, including microbiome signatures. Here, we review current scientific evidence for the impact of early life environmental factors, including diet, on gut microbiota and neuro-development, emphasizing the potential long-term consequences on health; and also summarize the state of the art regarding the mechanisms underlying diet and gut microbiota influence on the brain–gut axis. Furthermore, we describe the evidence supporting the key role played by gut microbiota, diet and nutrition in neurodevelopment, as well as the effectiveness of certain dietary and microbiome-based interventions aimed at preventing or treating NDDs. Finally, we emphasize the need for further research to gain greater insight into the complex interplay between diet, gut microbiome and brain development. Such knowledge would help towards achieving tailored integrative treatments, including personalized nutrition.
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