Psychobiotics: Microbes, Mood and the Gut-Brain Connection

Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson (@Psychobiotic) is a veteran science journalist with specialization in medical research and computer programming. He is the author of a number of books covering topics as diverse as Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Video Production skills, and he was also one of the creators behind the computer game Lego Island, which was one of the biggest selling computer games of the 90’s.

Scott runs a laboratory called Freedom Health that studies bacterial health in racehorses and has developed prebiotics for animals and humans, and his newest book “The Psychobiotic Revolution“, along with John Cryan and Ted Dinan from the APC Microbiome Institute, explores how and why your brain health and state of mind are intimately connected to your gut microbiome.

In today’s episode we discuss the history of the gut-brain research, how the gut and the brain communicate with one another, why the bacteria living in your digestive system may contribute to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, how western dietary habits lead to the destruction of a healthy gut ecology, and we also discuss some of the pre and probiotic foods that you can start consuming to bring your brain and body back into balance.

 

Related Links

Feed Your Microbes, Nurture Your Mind – John Cryan, TEDx Talk

Food for thought: How gut microbes change your mind – John Cryan TEDMED Talk

Book Recommendations

Images (modified) courtesy: Hey Paul Studios (Brain, Gut

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3 replies
  1. guybrush
    guybrush says:

    Wow, this is really interesting stuff. I got lots of questions concerning my diet.
    Are there experts on this topics who can give me recommandations? I wonder how harmful sugar is and how much you can consume. Is sugar in fruits bad? Will a cup of soda mess up my gut instantly?

    This is all pretty new and exciting and I don’t know how to eat “psychobiotically healthy”.

    Reply
    • Danny Whittaker
      Danny Whittaker says:

      Hey Guy,

      From what I gather this is a fledgling field of research so I’m not sure it’s the kind of thing you could seek a consultation about through your doctor… Don’t quote me on that though.

      My advice would be to start with Scott’s book “The Psychoboitic Revolution” http://amzn.to/2D3Fg3K. We just about scratched the surface during this interview, so I’m sure there’s much more detail to be gleaned from reading the book.

      Another popular one seems to be “The Mind-Gut Connection” by Emeran Mayer http://amzn.to/2ACl4CW.

      I still have a lot of questions myself, having recently decided to commit to a daily probiotics regimen consisting of 1 cup of Greek Yogurt, a probiotic tablet (http://amzn.to/2COXGYR), less processed carbs and no artificial sweetener.

      The biggest change for me has been much less brain fog. Definitely not placebo effect, the difference has been too stark and persistent. I still have the occasional desert, milkshake, etc, and certainly don’t feel like I’ve gone back to square one.

      My advice would be to just get a basic regimen started, stick to it for a while, see how you feel and then worry about the details later.

      Best of luck. Thanks for listening ~ Danny

      Reply
      • guybrush
        guybrush says:

        Thanks for the reply. My reading list is never ending thanks to your podcast, but I’ll definitely prioritise “The psychobiotic revolution”.

        Seems like there is still a lot of research to be done, you can hardly google for probiotics/psychobiotics without finding mildly esoteric websites.

        Today I bought 1L german bread kvass, Soy joghurt, vegan feta(fermented tofu) and unpasteurised Sauerkraut. I’ll dust off my old joghurt maker and I’m looking forward to making my own Sauerkraut, Kimchi and pickles.
        Also I’m cutting back on sugar as much as possible.

        Let’s see if this is worthwhile.

        Reply

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