Nutritional Effects on the Gut Microbiome & the Brain-Gut Axis: Unlocking the Therapeutic and Preventative Potential of Nutrition for Gut Dysbiosis Associated Diseases

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Freund, Sarah
Allenspatch, Karin
Major Professor
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Mochel, Jonathan
Research Projects
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Biomedical Sciences

The Department of Biomedical Sciences aims to provide knowledge of anatomy and physiology in order to understand the mechanisms and treatment of animal diseases. Additionally, it seeks to teach the understanding of drug-action for rational drug-therapy, as well as toxicology, pharmacodynamics, and clinical drug administration.

The Department of Biomedical Sciences was formed in 1999 as a merger of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology.

Dates of Existence

Related Units

  • College of Veterinary Medicine (parent college)
  • Department of Veterinary Anatomy (predecessor, 1997)
  • Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology (predecessor, 1997)

Organizational Unit
Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine
The mission of VDPAM is to educate current and future food animal veterinarians, population medicine scientists and stakeholders by increasing our understanding of issues that impact the health, productivity and well-being of food and fiber producing animals; developing innovative solutions for animal health and food safety; and providing the highest quality, most comprehensive clinical practice and diagnostic services. Our department is made up of highly trained specialists who span a wide range of veterinary disciplines and species interests. We have faculty of all ranks with expertise in diagnostics, medicine, surgery, pathology, microbiology, epidemiology, public health, and production medicine. Most have earned certification from specialty boards. Dozens of additional scientists and laboratory technicians support the research and service components of our department.
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Diet plays a pivotal role in the overall health of an individual. Not only does it help carry out and regulate certain physiological functions, but it also can determine the composition of the gut microbiome. While the relative number of microorganisms that make up the gut microbiome vary between individuals and can be dependent on different environmental factors, there is evidence to suggest that composition of the microbiome can correlate with overall health or disease. When the GI microbiome is disturbed or suddenly changes it results in microbiome dysbiosis, a condition that correlates with the presence of certain diseases. Diseases linked to microbiome dysbiosis range from metabolic disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases to disorders of the brain. Many of these diseases are linked to the connection between the brain and the gut, known as the brain-gut axis. This bidirectional communication is important to maintain normal intestinal function, but is also responsible for the GI response to emotions as well as the emotional response to GI disturbances. By exploiting the interaction between microbiome health and nutrition, diet can be used to alleviate disease symptoms, protect against the development of certain conditions, and better maintain overall health. This review will examine the effects of nutrition on the microbiome, diseases linked to disruption of the normal microbiome, and the way that altering the diet can mitigate symptoms or prevent disease.


This is a pre-print of the article Freund, Sarah, Jonathan Mochel, and Karin Allenspatch. "Nutritional Effects on the Gut Microbiome & the Brain-Gut Axis: Unlocking the Therapeutic and Preventative Potential of Nutrition for Gut Dysbiosis Associated Diseases." Preprints (2021). Posted with permission.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2021