Presentation by Simone Pyle, Science & Technology Manager, Gut Microbiome, Unilever

Brain Food: The Gut Microbiome as an Enabler of Mental Wellbeing

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Dietary interventions can directly alter the gut microbiome composition and function.

Though sleep is one of the most important functions of the human body, 62% of adults report poor sleep, exerting staggering health and economic costs worldwide. Similarly, stress is an increasing issue globally, and 77% of US adults report physical symptoms as a result. The gut-brain axis is a link between these issues and the gastrointestinal tract, and through the gut microbiome, provides a means to intervene and resolve them. Studies at Unilever have been conducted to identify metabolites and neurotransmitters produced by the microbiota which are linked to sleep and stress, and crucially how we might use diet to influence their production. These insights will inform the development of products aimed at resolving these ongoing consumer problems of sleep deprivation and stress.