The 4th Symposium on ‘Nutrition for the Ageing Brain’ will be held on 25-26 June 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal.  Full details can be found on the events page here.

Exploring the effects of diet and food components on brain health

Strategic vision

The task force lays the groundwork for researchers interested in the brain effects of food and nutrients.

Background

The increasing ageing populations is bringing the focus on nutrition and its relationship with maintenance of cognitive performance and understanding of cognitive decline.

Objectives

  • Drive scientific knowledge on the effects of food components on brain functions.
  • Increase awareness of the importance of nutrition for the maintenance of brain health and mental performance across the lifespan.

Achieved Results

  • The proceedings of the 1st and 2nd events on ‘Nutrition for the Ageing Brain’ (Vauzour et al., 2017 and Miquel et al., 2018) are published in Ageing Research Reviews (IF: 7.6).
  • The outputs of the task force are presented at the 13th European Congress of Nutrition (FENS2019) and at Food Matters Live 2019.

Scientific Impact

  • The task force is involved in the project NuBrain: UK Consortium for Optimal Nutrition for Healthy Brain Ageing, supported by a UK Nutrition Research Partnership (UK NRP) collaborative award.
  • The series of events on ‘Nutrition for the Ageing Brain’, that started in 2014 attract around 100 experts every second year.

For more detailed information, please contact Lucie Geurts at lgeurts@ilsieurope.be  or Adam Coventry at acoventry@ilsieurope.be

Task Force Members


* Scientific Advisor

Expert Groups

Review of the Planetary Health Diet and its Impact on Brain Health Throughout Life – NEW

Background & Objectives
Recently a Commission for the medical journal Lancet published recommendations for a diet sustaining health and protecting the planet (Willett W. et al 2019). The aim of this diet is to be able to feed the estimated 10 billion people in 2050 with minimal environmental impact. However, little is known about the effects of such a diet on brain functions, especially on the brain development at early stages of life and in the context of the still increasing rate of cognitive decline in the ageing population (i.e. vulnerable populations).

The objectives of this activity are to:

  • Evaluate the planetary health diet’s impact on brain health and functions throughout life, specifically among more vulnerable populations
  • Highlight the implications of the planetary health diet for proper lifelong brain health.

Output
We propose therefore to develop a perspective paper based on scientific evidence showing the effects of sustainable diets components (taking the EAT-Lancet planetary health diet elements as basis) on brain development and health throughout life.

Expert Group Members
To be announced soon.

Joint Nutrition Cluster Activity on ‘Mechanistic Insights into the Gut-Brain Axis’In collaboration with Early-Life and Long-Term Health; Health Benefits Assessment of Foods; Nutrition, Immunity & Inflammation; Prebiotics and ProbioticsTask Forces

Background & Objectives
Currently, half of the literature available on the gut-brain axis is state-of-the-art reviews or correlative studies and comprehensive mechanistic insights underlining the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain are lacking.

In this context, several Nutrition Task Forces decided to join forces to understand where we stand today regarding In this context, several Nutrition Task Forces decided to join forces to understand where we stand today regarding the mechanisms and more specifically to:

  • focus on translational aspects from pre-clinical to clinical studies;
  • focus on lifespan-related changes (but not disease-related) in gut structure and function which play a role in long-term immune and brain health;
  • discuss the nutritional and lifestyle interventions with positive impact on the lifespan gut structure/function and thus on immune and brain health.

Output
A workshop will bring together key experts from different fields of expertise to debate and discuss on the current knowledge and data gaps, followed by a live-streamed debate leading to the publication of a report/position paper. A series of webinars will then be organised to discuss the identified gaps in more details.

Implications of Food Component Interactions for Research Design: Guiding Principles for Studying Effects of Multi-Component Combinations on Brain Functions

Background & Objectives

The effects of food on brain functions are mostly seen from nutrient combinations rather than from isolated nutrients.
However, the scientific interests and efforts are increasingly focusing on understanding the role of individual nutrients on brain functions. But clear guidance and evidence for a multi-component combination approach is lacking.

This activity aims to:

increase awareness and understanding of the interactions of nutrients on brain functions; provide clear substantiation and evidence when designing future studies aiming at investigating the impact of multi-component combinations on brain functions.

Output

Deliver a peer-reviewed publication that provides robust guiding principles on good scientific practice for the study of multi-component interventions for brain health.

A Systematic Review of Plant-Based Ingredients and their Effects on Cognitive Performance

Background & Objectives

There is increasing interest in plant-based ingredients that may improve cognitive performance and prevent or reverse cognitive function decline during adulthood.

This activity aims to:

  • summarise and evaluate the current literature relating to plant-based ingredients, their constituents and cognitive performance;
  • produce a collective review of these ingredients in a systematic way;
  • critically evaluate the findings in an attempt to provide guidance on the most effective ingredients and combinations thereof.

Output

This activity is expected to deliver two systematic reviews on different categories of plant-based ingredients.

4th Workshop Symposium ‘Nutrition for the Ageing Brain’, 24-25 June 2021, Lisbon, Portugal

Background & Objectives

Until now, it has not been clearly stated that specific nutrients help maintain brain function during ageing.
The task force embarked on this project in 2014 to review the evidence supporting how nutrients, food and diet influence brain health by organising a series of events on this topic.
These workshops are organised every second year and attract multi-stakeholder experts from different countries.

The 4th symposium in this series will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, on 24-25 June 2021 and will focus on the following themes:

  • latest evidence in molecular mechanisms and epidemiological aspects;
  • the Gut-Brain Axis: Evidence of targeting the gut for maintaining brain health;
  • sustainable Food Systems.

Output

The proceedings of these events are published in peer-reviewed journals. The proceedings of these events are published in peer-reviewed journals. The proceedings of the three first events (2014, 2016 and 2018) were published in Ageing Research Reviews.

Expert Group Members

Joint Nutrition Cluster Activity on ‘Mechanistic Insights into the Gut-Brain Axis’In collaboration with Early-Life and Long-Term Health; Health Benefits Assessment of Foods; Nutrition, Immunity & Inflammation; Prebiotics and ProbioticsTask Forces New

Implications of Food Component Interactions for Research Design: Guiding Principles for Studying Effects of Multi-Component Combinations on Brain Functions

A Systematic Review of Plant-Based Ingredients and their Effects on Cognitive Performance

Symposium – ‘Nutrition for the Ageing Brain’ Organising Committee

Posters

Tests of cognitive function: criteria for validation and considerations for investigating the effects of foods and nutrients in ageing
Assessing the Impact of Nutrition on Children’s Cognition

The measurement of Diet-induced Changes in Cognition: Methodological Aspects

Recommendations for long-term nutritional intervention studies on cognitive function

Publications

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