Laura Pirkola

Industrial PhD Candidate, Fazer and Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Sweden


Laura Pirkola is an industrial PhD candidate in the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala, Sweden. Her industrial PhD-project “Dietary fibre, gut-brain axis and health communication” is done in collaboration with Fazer. In the PhD project, she is focusing on microbiota composition, effects of fibre on microbiota-gut-brain axis and health behaviour change in whole grain consumption. Her background is in human nutrition from University of Helsinki, and she has worked in Fazer since 2016.



Gut microbiota composition and dietary fibre

The gut microbiota is rather stable at the level of phylum, but the variation at the level of bacterial species is large. Moreover, there are significant inter-individual differences in human gut microbiota composition. Diet has a huge impact on gut microbiota, and especially amount and type of dietary fibre affects microbiota composition and functionality. For instance, intake of certain nutrients have been associated with certain characterised microbiota compositions, so called enterotypes. On the other hand, gut microbiota modulates dietary responses in human. The presentation highlights the effects of dietary fibre on gut microbiota and the impacts of microbiota composition on gut fermentation.