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Food for thought: Psychobiotics to revolutionise treatment of depression and anxiety

14 May

A new book investigating the connection between our brain health and gut bacteria is being hailed as 'groundbreaking'.

A new book investigating the connection between our brain health and gut bacteria is being hailed as 'groundbreaking'.

The Psychobiotic Revolution, written by UCC Professors John Cryan and Ted Dinan, contains the fascinating results of almost 15 years’ worth of research in the field of biomedicine.

During the course of their research at the SFI Research Centre, APC Microbiome Ireland, Professors Cryan and Dinan established that what we eat can have a significant impact upon our state of mind. This all comes down to the link between our brain and our gut bacteria, or microbiota.

 

 

On the significance of their findings, Professor Cryan explains: “It proves the theory that a healthy gut is connected to a healthy mind. We’re talking about a paradigm shift in relation to how we conceptualise how our brains work.”

In The Psychobiotic Revolution, co-written with US author Scott C. Andersen, Professors Cryan and Dinan explain how mood-altering gut bacteria – which they have coined ‘psychobiotics’ – could revolutionise how conditions such as depression and anxiety are treated.

Professor Dinan says: “For so long, it’s generally been perceived that anti-depressants and cognitive behavioural therapy are the mainstay of treating depression; but our work clearly shows that your microbiota is very important and that, for a more holistic management of depressive illness, we should be focusing on diet and exercise as well.”

"It proves the theory that a healthy gut is connected to a healthy mind"

With the official Irish launch of the book held in UCC this month, The Psychobiotic Revolution has already received rave reviews internationally, with The Lancet describing it as ‘a book you would reluctantly lend to friends, in the fear that they might not return it’.
 
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