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GI symptoms linked to behavioral problems in children, especially those with autism

This study highlights the link between GI symptoms and some problematic behaviors we see in preschool-aged children. Clinicians and parents need to be aware of the high occurrence of GI problems in kids with autism


Link between autism and eating disorders may be due to an inability to identify emotions – new research

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rates of any mental illness. They don’t discriminate, affecting people of all ethnicities, sexualities, gender identities, ages and backgrounds. However, one group is disproportionately affected by these disorders: people on the autism spectrum.


Gut bacteria in people with Huntington's disease may be a potential drug target

A world first clinical study of the gut microbiome in people with Huntington's disease (HD) has found that it is not just a disease of the brain, but also of the body. The study, led by Monash University's Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, with collaboration from the Florey Institute for Neurosciences found evidence of gut dysbiosis (altered bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract) in people with HD, with some of the gut measures associated with disease symptoms, such as impaired movements and thinking.


REM sleep tunes eating behaviour

Despite our broad understanding of the different brain regions activated during rapid-eye-movement sleep, little is known about what this activity serves for. Researchers at the University of Bern and the Inselspital have now discovered that the activation of neurons in the hypothalamus during REM sleep regulates eating behavior: suppressing this activity in mice decreases appetite.


Body weight has surprising, alarming impact on brain function

As a person's weight goes up, all regions of the brain go down in activity and blood flow, according to a new brain imaging study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. One of the largest studies linking obesity with brain dysfunction, scientists analyzed over 35,000 functional neuroimaging scans using single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) from more than 17,000 individuals to measure blood flow and brain activity. Low cerebral blood flow is the #1 brain imaging predictor that a person will develop Alzheimer's disease.


Sweet-taste perception changes as children develop

Compared with adults, children and adolescents are less sensitive to the sweet taste and need 40% more sucrose in a solution for them to detect the taste of sugar, a new study found. Along with higher taste-detection thresholds, both children and adolescents prefer significantly more concentrated levels of sweetness than adults.


What food cravings tell us about the quality of our diets

Do you dream of ice cream in a Zoom meeting or reach for potato chips as you check the latest COVID-19 stats? You may be experiencing something deeper than a whim, according to a team of scientists at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University.


Supplements with potential to prevent Alzheimer's affect blood, but less so the brain

For years, a scientific puzzle has bedeviled researchers aiming to fight Alzheimer's disease, a common and incurable form of dementia. The results of numerous lab investigations and population studies support the preventive potential of omega-3 fatty acids, "good fats" found abundantly in fish. However, to date the majority of studies evaluating omega-3s for averting or curtailing cognitive decline in human participants have failed to show benefits.


Microalgae makes case as a viable omega-3 alternative to fish, study concludes

Microalgae may provide an alternative source of fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids, while also proving to be more environmentally friendly to produce, says German researchers.


Kids' physical activity before age 5 matters so much because of the developing brain

In the current pandemic many parents of young children are finding themselves spending more time in the role of caregiver than usual. Keeping young children physically active and miminizing screen time while parents manage work schedules may be a serious challenge. The importance of early childhood physical literacy development should not be overlooked. The brain connections and neural pathways that are formed before the age of five set the foundations for how the brain will develop throughout life.


Study pinpoints brain cells that trigger sugar cravings and consumption

New research has identified for the first time the specific brain cells that control how much sugar you eat and how much you crave sweet tasting food. The study specifically identifies the brain cells that respond to the hormone FGF21 to regulate sugar intake and sweet taste preference.


Probiotics alone or combined with prebiotics may help ease depression

Probiotics alone or combined with prebiotics may help ease depression


‘Disconcerting discovery’: Study shows plant-based milk lacking in calcium, protein, vitamins

An analysis of 115 plant-based milk sold in Australia showed that the category is lacking in several micronutrients, including vitamin A, B12, calcium, and protein when compared to cow’s milk.


Fast fructose consumption overwhelms the gut and leads to fatty liver

A new multi-centre study in mice has explained the mechanism behind how excessive consumption of fructose can 'overwhelm' the gut and lead to fatty liver disease, revealing the importance of fructose consumption timing.


Cannabis offers immediate relief from symptoms of depression: study

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the U.S., affecting roughly one in five adults and is at the core of numerous other health conditions including cancer, substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, and other physical disabilities. Until recently, there has been little research on the actual effects of common and commercially available cannabis products on mood and behavioral motivations more generally.


Abnormal proteins in the gut could contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease

A new study published in the Journal of Physiology has shown that misfolded protein build-up in the gut could contribute to the development of Alzheimer's-like symptoms in mice. This could suggest a new treatment approach for Alzheimer's disease that would target the gut before symptoms of cognitive deficits appear in patients. As these proteins were found in the gut, which is a window to the world, this suggests environmental factors might be contributing to cognitive deficits seen in Alzheimer's disease and other conditions.


Oat and rye bran fibres alter gut microbiota, reducing weight gain and hepatic inflammation

In a newly published experimental study, the consumption of dietary fiber from oat and rye brans supported the growth of beneficial gut microbiota, which in turn ameliorated cholesterol metabolism, enhanced gut barrier function and reduced hepatic inflammation. In addition, diets enriched with oat or rye bran were shown to attenuate weight gain. The effects of oat and rye were partly different, but both were beneficial for health.


Fussy eating—and parents' stress—remedied by online guide

Parents battling their children's fussy eating have been given fresh hope thanks to an online resource proven to relieve the problem. With around half of toddlers and young children turning their noses up at certain foods—often healthy fruit and vegetables—many families face stressful mealtimes. And parents' reactions, often using unhealthy foods as a 'reward' or limiting access to them, can be counter-productive and lead to bad habits that last into adulthood.


Brain iron accumulation linked to cognitive decline in Alzheimer's patients

Iron accumulation in the outer layer of the brain is associated with cognitive deterioration in people with Alzheimer's disease.


Researchers find on-off switch for inflammation related to overeating

Researchers have identified a molecule that plays a key role in the body's inflammatory response to overeating, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases. The finding suggests that the molecule could be a promising therapeutic target to control this inflammation and keep metabolic diseases in check.