Paper Authors and Title

Sophie Mulligan (Technological University Dublin), Suzanne Doyle, Ellen Lynch, “An Investigation into Dietary Fibre Intake, Mood and Bowel Function in Irish Adults”



Emerging research indicates diet can influence mood via modulation of the microbiome and the gut-brain axis. This cross-sectional study explores the intake of fibre and its association with mood and bowel function in a cohort of Irish adults at a university campus. The focus of this study is on outcomes relating to fibre intake and mood, while its sister project focuses on fibre intake and bowel function.


An online questionnaire was created and distributed to staff and students at Technological University Dublin. Three validated surveys were used in the creation of the questionnaire, assessing dietary fibre intake, mood and bowel function. Data was collected between the 28th of February and the 13th of March 2023.


A total of 275 responses were received. The majority of those who participated were female (69%) and members of the Faculty of Sciences and Health (66.5%). A significant association between mean dietary fibre intake and mood was observed, with those who were happy having higher fibre intakes than those who were unhappy (22g/day vs 16g/day, P=0.039). Those who consumed more fruit and legume fibre also reported better mood (P=0.029 and P=0.011, respectively). A significant association between mood and bowel function was also observed, with those who were happy having better bowel function than those who were unhappy (P<0.001).


The findings of this study suggest an association between both dietary fibre intake and mood and bowel function and mood. Increased awareness of the health benefits of dietary fibre is required for this study cohort as intakes were estimated to be largely insufficient.


Download and view Sophie Mulligan’s poster.