Irish scientists write ‘game changing’ book on mental heath

Irish scientists write ‘game changing’ book on mental heath

A new book written by Irish scientists says that certain foods can be used to treat mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

The Book – The Psychobiotic Revolution – revealed that our state of mind is directly linked to our gut bacteria (microbiome).

It could change the way we treat mental health issues, with a greater focus on diet.

Irish scientists write ‘game changing’ book on mental heath

Oily fish and fibre-rich vegetables are good for improving a person’s mood, according to the book.

Was written by Professor John Cryan and Professor Ted Dinan of the University of Cork.

They have spent 14 years establishing a connection between the gut and the brain. This includes research into how different foods can have a different impact on our psychological well-being.

They investigated how the bacteria living in our gut, the microbiota, can influence our brains and used clinical trials to establish the role that our diet plays in our state of mind and mental health.

Professor Dinan said: “We have discovered that the gut microbiota influences our emotions. We have shown that people who are clinically depressed have less diversity in the bacteria in their gut than people who are not depressed. The question now is how can we improve the diversity of our bacteria.”

Professor Cryan added: “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 conceptualize how our brains work.

“In medicine, traditionally, we tended to compartmentalize systems in the body so if you’re interested in what happens in neuroscience or psychiatry you’re interested in what happens from the neck up. However, what we are talking about in this book is so very different as we show how bacteria in the gut can influence brain function.”

The two Professors wrote the book with US science writer Scott C Anderson and have seen it being lauded as a game changer.

It could have a major impact in how we treat conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Professor Dinan said: “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.”

Listen below to an interview with Prof John Cryan:

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling