Can your gut microbes affect your mood? That preposterous theory has now been well demonstrated in animals, and more recently, humans. The microbes that chase the blues are called “psychobiotics”.
Through various avenues, your microbiota can communicate with your brain. If your microbiota gets out of balance, you can quickly become anxious. If you’ve ever suffered food poisoning, you know the feeling. This is called dysbiosis, and if you can’t shake it, you can end up with chronic inflammation and long-term depression.
“This is a book that you would reluctantly lend to friends, in the fear that they might not return it.”
— The Lancet
Learn how a sour gut works and how to fix it. With some unexpected suggestions, Anderson and his two brilliant coauthors, Cryan and Dinan, show readers how to address chronic inflammation and then how to support a happier psychobiotic microbiota.
Available at all major online bookstores:
From the book:
Microbes surround us and suffuse us. We are seriously outnumbered. A single bacterium, given enough to eat, could multiply until its brethren reached the mass of the earth in just two days. That’s a big clue to their superpower: they are excellent at reproduction. They are also profligate interbreeders and think nothing of swapping genes with whoever is nearby. They are so promiscuous that biologists can’t even positively identify many of them. Their DNA is shot through with genes borrowed from other species—even other kingdoms of life. Dose them with antibiotics, and they may just depend on a passing virus to grab a handy antibiotic resistance gene. They can mutate every twenty minutes, while humans try to counterpunch with genetic evolutionary updates every ten-thousand years or so. They are genetic dynamos, running circles around us.
Ted Dinan gives a brilliant talk about psychobiotics.
John Cryan with a thought-provoking TED talk about psychobiotics.
10 thoughts on “Home”
Congratulations on this very important book I haven’t read it yet but have several copies on order and have shared it’s presence with all my clients and on my Facebook page as well as the Facebook page of the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland.. I wish you every success
Fascinating topic! Do you plan to put this book in audio to make it more accessible?
I love this topic and am a promoter of supporting leadership through the food we eat.
My company would be interested in introducing your book to the chinese market, where we are established since a decade.
The good folks at National Geographic would be happy to help you with that!
I loved the book. Can anyone recommend good sources of GOS or a good supplement? Seems easier to eat FOSs.
Chris, I like a product called Bimuno. You can get it at Amazon: https://amzn.to/2tIn773
Thank you, I Love this deep dive into a spectacular topic. However, I tumbled on page 103 where a western diet namely a high-fat diet is mentioned to be a potential cause for today’s increasing inflammatory conditions. In functional medicine I learned that it is not the fats but supposedly the loads of bad fats and carbs that are inflammatory. Actually functional practitioners recommend to forget about the fat lie and nurture the body with healthy fats. With this background, your paragraph is very confusing. Great if you could clarify!
Hi Mary. The amounts of fats they use in these studies are quite high. It’s hard to say exactly which foods will be inflammatory for any person because of the variation in microbes. But any food that causes microbes to fall out of balance or to bloom in the wrong place (like the small intestines) can lead to “leaky gut”, and that’s when the problems occur. Carbs are the problem for some people, excess fats for others. And if you have an active flareup, you should take a break from fiber until you can calm things down. That’s what the FODMAP diet does. It’s not a fun diet, but it’s only meant to be a short-term fix — once the gut is healed, you should try to get some good fiber to balance those simple carbs.
I have experienced mood related improvements with a specific antibiotic which led me to your website. I have terrible anxieties that have been with me from a young age. I noticed when I took amoxicillin, the way I feel is night and day. I explain it similar to the movie Awakening. I suddenly feel calm and relaxed. Once the treatment is over all the anxiety, tension, fears return.
Do you have any recommendations on where or how I can pursue some type of help? I have tried anti-depressants and other medicines that do not help as much as the antibiotic. I also have tried natural things such as fermented foods and pro-biotics which seem to help a little but not to the degree I experienced. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
Kevin, I’m sorry you’ve been afflicted so long! It’s impossible to give you an answer because there are so many variables involved. But you’re on the right track by trying ferments and probiotics. I have personally benefited from a prebiotic, GOS (galacto-oligosaccharide), but it was only after trying hundreds of other products. When you try something, you should give it a week or two and KEEP NOTES! Good luck in your journey. The odds are good that you’ll find a way to feel better!