The University of Auckland
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HVN1968 LINK Metadata Record - Unlocking the potential of polyphenols: A novel approach to target the gut-brain axis

posted on 2024-01-16, 02:48 authored by Nicola GilliesNicola Gillies

This metadata record and it's attached files make statements about the kinds of data collected as part of this research, and set out policies for governance of that data, now and in the future.

Description: There is growing awareness that gut health is linked to virtually all aspects of human health, from digestive function to metabolic health, immunity, cognition, and mental wellbeing. At the same time, the prevalence of functional gut disorders is on the rise, thought to result from disturbances to the gut-brain axis.

The Arepa formula has the potential to provide additive benefits along the gut-brain axis. The Neuroberry® blackcurrant cultivar used in the Arepa formula is unique to Aotearoa and is particularly rich in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are thought to have a proliferative effect on ‘good’ gut bacteria, yet research in humans has been limited to date. Other plant-derived bio-actives in the Arepa formula are known to target stress, anxiety, cognition, and sleep – all of which can have beneficial effects on the gut microbiota and vice versa.

This is a clinical trial assessing impacts of daily consumption of blackcurrant beverage compared to a placebo. A systems approach will be used in this research, providing insight into links between the gut microbiome, blood markers, neurocognitive responses, and diet. The researchers aim to determine whether daily consumption of the Arepa performance beverage has a prebiotic effect, improving the gut microbiota composition and its predicted function. This research also aims to tease apart the role of the gut microbiota in mediating the known neurocognitive benefits of Arepa.



University of Auckland

Temporal coverage: start


HVN Project / Programme Name


Data access requirements

All individual participant data (including data dictionaries) collected during the trial will be available after de-identification, along with the study protocol. Data will be available beginning 3 months following the first publication of study results and ending 36 months following publication. Data will be available to investigators who provide a methodologically sound proposal approved by the study Steering Committee, for use to achieve the aims in the approved proposal. Proposals should be directed to the Principal Investigator ( To gain access, requests will need to sign a data access agreement.

Principal investigator organisation

University of Auckland

Collaborating researchers and affiliations

Principal Investigator: Dr Nicola Gillies, Nutrition Department, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland Investigators: Dr Brooke Wilson (University of Auckland) Professor Nicole Roy (University of Otago) Dr Andrea Braakhuis (University of Auckland) Professor Andrew Scholey (Swinburne University)

Data description

Outcomes of the Study and associated data Primary outcome -Stress reactivity to a multi-tasking cognitive stressor (purple multi-tasking framework), measured by Bond-Lader visual analogue mood scales and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (State subscale). This is reported as a composite measure. Associated data: Composite measure of stress reactivity and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (State subscale). Secondary outcomes - Faecal gut microbiota (composition and predicted function), measured by shotgun metagenome sequencing. - Cognitive performance, measured by the Purple multi-tasking framework (MTF) - Sleep quality, measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index - Serum brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentrations - Circulating tryptophan metabolite concentrations, measured in a blood sample - Circulating inflammatory marker concentrations (interleukin-6), measured in a blood sample - Mood, measured by the profile of mood state questionnaires Associated data: faecal gut microbiota, MTF, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Serum BDNF, blood tryptophan metabolite concentration, interleukin-6 (IL-6), mood state questionnaires Other - Diet quality index (DQI) - Adverse events - Demographic, medical and lifestyle history, medication and supplement use questionnaire - Anthropometric measurements - Three-day food record Associated data: DQI, adverse events, Demographic, medical and lifestyle history, medication and supplement use questionnaire, weight, height, BMI, three-day food record

Principal investigator contact email

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