Dr. Krista Power received a Ph.D. from the Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto (2006) and was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Turku, Finland and at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden (2006-2008) where she investigated the role of phytoestrogens and phytoestrogen-rich foods on estrogen signalling in human health and disease. She continued as a Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (2008-2017), where she initiated and led a research program to investigate the role of dietary components in the modulation of the intestinal microbiota and intestinal barrier integrity and function. Dr. Power joined the School of Nutrition Sciences, University of Ottawa, as an Associate Professor in 2017 where her research team focuses on determining the relationships between diet, intestinal microbiome, and chronic disease.
This session will explore the role of diet and nutrition in immunity, behavior, and mental health. Presentations will cover recent scientific evidence highlighting the mechanisms through which dietary components and dietary patterns modulate the gut-brain-axis (GBA)—a bidirectional signalling pathway between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. This session will provide an overview of the gut microbiome and its interactions with the GBA to influence mental health and well-being. Suggested roles for dietary modulation of the gut microbiome in immunity, behavior, and mental health will be reviewed as well as implications for use of a psychobiotic diet in promoting mental well-being. Learning Objectives: 1. Understand principles of the GBA and what we currently know about its role in mental health. 2. Indicate the importance of diet and microbial-derived metabolites as modulators of the GBA in mental health and disease. 3. Describe the field of psychobiotics and their potential use in mediating behavior and mood disorders.