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Laura Pirkola

I am an industrial PhD student in Department of Molecular Sciences. My current reseach focuses on dietary fibre in grain products, gut microbiota, gut-brain axis and health communication.


Dietary fibre, gut-brain axis and health communication

The food we eat affects our brain via the gut microbiota and gut-brain-axis, the connection between gut and the brain. Nordic grains rye and oats are rich in dietary fibre and polyphenols, components known to affect gut microbiota. This PhD project investigates how different grain products and dietary fibre affect microbiota and gut-brain axis. In addition, communication and health behaviour over these topics are investigated. The project consists of an in vitro fermentation study, a clinical trial focusing on gut-brain axis and a health communication study. The project is one of the governmentally funded LivsID industrial doctoral projects and it is performed in collaboration with Fazer, Örebro University and Uppsala University.


I have a Master’s Degree focused in Human Nutrition from University of Helsinki. After my undergraduate studies, I have worked in Fazer since 2016 with a focus on nutrition research and communication.

Selected publications

Pirkola L, Laatikainen R, Loponen J et al. Low-FODMAP vs. regular rye bread in irritable bowel syndrome: randomized SmartPill® study. World J Gastroenterol 2018;24(11): 1259-68. (DOI:


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