How your gut affects your mental health
Play • 40 min

In a lab in Ireland, a group of scientists stand around a stainless steel table. One of them is holding a device, not unlike a small turkey baster. His free hand plunges into a box on the table and retrieves a mouse.  

Using his device, he administers the brown solution within…rectally. 

This unfortunate soul has just received a fecal microbiota transplant. The donor was not another mouse but a human being. And the person in question had symptoms of severe depression. 

Jonathan speaks to John Cryan, author of the study that showed a relationship between gut and brain. In this episode, we learn more about his fascinating research, how microbes may affect our brain, and to eat to appease your gut bugs. 

  • John Cryan is a professor at University College Cork and a world-leading researcher into the relationship between our brain and our gut microbiome.

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00:00 - Introduction

02:05 - Quickfire questions

03:26 - Are there links between the gut and the brain?

06:31 - The gut-brain axis

09:17 - How do gut bacteria affect our brains?

11:12 - Why does John call the microbiome “the chamber of secrets”?

14:20 - Does the microbiome explain drug side effects?

15:51 - Are there links between our microbiomes and mental health?

20:40 - If we improve our microbiome health can we improve our mental health?

24:58 - Can food help improve the microbiome and thus improve mental health?

28:33 - Microbiome’s effect on behavior

29:54 - Actionable advice

34:43 - Microbiome in adolescence

37:18 - Summary

38:26 - Goodbyes

38:48 - Outro

Episode transcripts are available here.

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This podcast was produced by Fascinate Productions.

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