The Academy's annual meeting features more than 130 research and educational presentations, lectures, panel discussions and culinary demonstrations. Be amazed and inspired by the 2016 line-up of experts and sessions offered in the all educational tracks during the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo™.

192. The Gut-Brain Highway: Can Traffic Be Regulated by Diet?

  • Room: Grand Ballroom West
Sunday, October 16, 2016: 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
CEU Credits:1.5
Level 2 - Intermediate


The gastrointestinal tract contains trillions of microbes and more nerve connections than any other organ in the body. Do gut microbes use the GI tract as a highway to send signals to the brain and vice-a-versa? How can we as nutrition practioners use diet to influence this signaling? Mounting preclinical evidence suggests that the gastrointestinal microbiota can modulate brain development, function and behavior via the brain-gut-microbiota axis. Importantly, clinical trials demonstrate that diet is a key factor in the composition of the human gastrointestinal microbiota. After this session, the dietetic professional will be able to diagram the signaling pathways between the gut and the brain, and implement dietary regimens that impact the microbes in the gastrointestinal tract thereby influencing communication along the gut-microbiota-brain axis.

Planned with the Research DPG

1 Learning Objectives

Diagram the neurological and physiological connections that enable the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain

3 Learning Objectives:
Implement dietary regimens that target the gut and gastrointestinal microbiota to improve or maintain optimal physical and mental health

2 Learning Objectives:
Identify lifestyle, dietary, and microbial influences on the flow and function of signaling molecules along the gut-microbiota-brain axis

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Learning Needs Code 1:

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Brook Harmon PhD, RDN, FAND
Assistant Professor
University of Memphis
Session Speaker
Hannah Holscher PhD, RD
Assistant Professor and Director of the Nutrition and the Human Microbiome Laboratory
Division of Nutritional Sciences, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Session Speaker
Naiman Khan PhD, RD
Director of the Body Composition and Nutritional Neuroscience Laboratory
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign