The gut microbiota as a tractable mechanistic target for dementia risk reduction: Impact of the Mediterranean diet and physical activity
Principal Investigator: Dr Oliver Shannon
This research will identify whether a Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) positively shapes the gut microbiota and could be recommended as a ‘gut friendly’ diet. The study will analyse results from a previous project, The MedEx-UK study; a randomised controlled trial, funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, working with participants aged 55-74 years. Stool samples that were collected at baseline and after six months will be analysed to explore individual and combined impact of the MedDiet and physical activity (PA) on composition and metabolism of the gut microbiota, and to identify potential links with cognitive function.
This has the potential to help identify specific responders vs non-responders – information that we can use to work towards a personalised interventional approach which could be applied in a public health setting, maximising limited NHS resources by identifying groups of individuals likely to be particularly responsive to dietary or other lifestyle changes.