Gut function via 'omics'
The gut-brain-axis represents a fascinating and relatively unexplored field within nutro-cognitive research. Ostensibly the relationship between the gut population of metabolites and proteins (and the genes which regulate them) and nutrition begins before we are born and is a dialogue which continues each time we eat and drink. A poor population has the ability to deleteriously influence health and what we consume has the capacity to alter this population and, in turn, our health. The measurement of these markers of gut health is collectively referred to as 'omics'.
Omics opens up a fascinating sphere of research where an individuals microbiome can be sequenced and correlated with diet; e.g. deficiencies within that diet. Diet could then be altered and the ensuing effects on the microbiome measured. Could reversing dietary deficiencies improve the health of the microbiome, of the individual; and their mood and cognitive performance boosted as a result? Could the lack of effects of interventions in some participants be due to a microbiome lacking in the requisite bacteria to process those compounds?
Our lab collaborates with colleagues within the Applied Sciences department of Northumbria university where sequencing and measuring of the 'omics' is conducted. This field is emerging as a fundamental area so, if you would like to discuss the practicalities and cost of incorporating these analyses into research, please contact us.