Emerging evidence indicates that the gut microbiome contributes to our ability to extract energy from the diet and influences the development and function of the immune, endocrine and nervous systems that regulate energy balance and behaviour. This has led to the hypothesis that developing microbiome-based dietary interventions can be cost-effective measures to prevent diet-related and behavioural disorders.
The results from the project have shown that the influence of the gut microbiome in health and well-being is complex, with many factors playing a role. Macronutrients, such as proteins, fat and fibre, can have both positive and negative impacts on the microbiome and metabolites, depending on the food source and quantity. Moreover, they not only influence gut health and diet-related disorders, but can also affect cognitive function, stress resilience and incidence of depression.
The outcomes from MyNewGut are also expected to form the basis for new dietary recommendations that will allow consumers to make better food choices. These recommendations suggest increasing the intake of all types of fibre, choosing polyunsaturated fats from seeds, nuts and fish over saturated fats and taking caution in utilising high protein diets on the long-term for weight loss.