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In a stimulating presentation, ‘Food on the Brain’ Phil Burnet from the Department of Psychiatry and Ciara McCabe (Reading) discussed the effects of food and gut microflora on the brain.

Phil ciara at cheltenham science festival

 

Phil and colleagues have shown that the growth of ‘good’ intestinal bacteria by ‘prebiotics’ (dietary fibres), has anxiolytic effects in healthy volunteers, lowers the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and reduces inflammatory signalling in the brain. Phil is now exploring the effects of prebiotics on cognition. The event was sponsored by the British Association for Psychopharmacology.