Impact of Gut Microbiota on Neurological Diseases: Diet Composition and Novel Treatments

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(19):3102-3116. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1484340. Epub 2018 Jul 12.


Gut microbiota has significant effects on the structure and function of the enteric and central nervous system including human behaviour and brain regulation. Herein, we analyze the role of this intestinal ecosystem, the effects of dietary changes and the administration of nutritional supplements, such as probiotics, prebiotics, or fecal transplantation in neuropsychiatric disorders. Numerous factors have been highlighted to influence gut microbiota composition, including genetics, health status, mode of birth delivery and environment. However, diet composition and nutritional status has been repeatedly shown to be one of the most critical modifiable factors of this ecosystem. A comprehensively analysis of the microbiome-intestine-brain axis has been performed, including the impact of intestinal bacteria in alterations in the nervous, immune and endocrine systems and their metabolites. Finally, we discuss the latest literature examining the effects of diet composition, nutritional status and microbiota alterations in several neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's disease and anorexia nervosa.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Gut microbiota; anorexia nervosa; autism; depression; prebiotics; probiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / microbiology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / microbiology*
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics


  • Prebiotics