The Gut, the Bad and the Ugly: Understanding the Role of the Gut Microbiome in Nutritional Psychiatry (1 CME Point).

Event Dates:

7:00 pm Monday 15th Jan 2024

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Alice Benskin


Alice has a BSc and MSc in Nutrition, and has worked over the past 10 years in the food industry, agriculture, nutrition education and research, most recently at University of Oxford where she was on placement pre pandemic, investigating breast and bottle feeding nutrition and nociception in neonates. She is a registered nutritionist with Association for Nutrition in the domain of Nutrition Science, and currently an MSc Psychology student at University of Wolverhampton. She has a keen interest and passion for research in the areas of nutritional psychiatry and psychotraumatology, and works in a freelance capacity as a Nutritional Scientist, doing consultancy work, as well as volunteering as a career development advisor for newly graduated nutritionists and dietitians looking to work in industry and research. Alice is head of partnerships for Nutritank, co supervises the university placement students with our lead dietitian and serves as a representative for the nutrition implementation coalition. She also volunteers as part of Nutritank’s writing and research teams. Aside from Nutritank, Alice is a vicar’s wife, a mum to three small children, a yoga teacher and plays for her local ladies’ football team. Overall, her ambition is to empower others to live healthier lives using nutrition and lifestyle strategies, contribute to the field of nutritional psychiatry as a researcher, and see more women empowered to pursue careers in research and education in the field of nutritional science.


The Gut-Brain Axis is a bidirectional communication system which plays a key role in mediating mental health. In this lecture we will take a deep dive into the role that gut microbiome composition plays in mental wellbeing, and how dominance of specific strains has been implicated in the development of mental illness. However, the gut microbiome is influenced by dietary and environmental factors, and nutrition science research has indicated role of dietary modification as a promising intervention.

Learning outcomes:

  • To explore research regarding gut microbiome and brain health
  • To understand role of gut microbiome composition in mental wellbeing and mental illness
  • To explore key dietary interventions for modifying gut microbiome composition
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