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The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection

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Written by the leading researchers in the field, this information-rich guide to improving your mood explains how gut health drives psychological well-being, and how depression and anxiety can be relieved by adjusting your intestinal bacteria. This groundbreaking book explains the revolutionary new science of psychobiotics and the discovery that your brain health and state Written by the leading researchers in the field, this information-rich guide to improving your mood explains how gut health drives psychological well-being, and how depression and anxiety can be relieved by adjusting your intestinal bacteria. This groundbreaking book explains the revolutionary new science of psychobiotics and the discovery that your brain health and state of mind are intimately connected to your microbiome, that four-pound population of microbes living inside your intestines. Leading medical researchers John F. Cryan and Ted Dinan, working with veteran journalist Scott C. Anderson, explain how common mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety, can be improved by caring for the intestinal microbiome. Science is proving that a healthy gut means a healthy mind—and this book details the steps you can take to change your mood and improve your life by nurturing your microbiome.


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Written by the leading researchers in the field, this information-rich guide to improving your mood explains how gut health drives psychological well-being, and how depression and anxiety can be relieved by adjusting your intestinal bacteria. This groundbreaking book explains the revolutionary new science of psychobiotics and the discovery that your brain health and state Written by the leading researchers in the field, this information-rich guide to improving your mood explains how gut health drives psychological well-being, and how depression and anxiety can be relieved by adjusting your intestinal bacteria. This groundbreaking book explains the revolutionary new science of psychobiotics and the discovery that your brain health and state of mind are intimately connected to your microbiome, that four-pound population of microbes living inside your intestines. Leading medical researchers John F. Cryan and Ted Dinan, working with veteran journalist Scott C. Anderson, explain how common mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety, can be improved by caring for the intestinal microbiome. Science is proving that a healthy gut means a healthy mind—and this book details the steps you can take to change your mood and improve your life by nurturing your microbiome.

30 review for The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chrisl

    After 60 pages, the stickies for passages to re-read were a thicket. Feeds long term interest in subject. Useful index, appendix, and further reading list. Well done. Like the format. Teaching me. Let the quotes begin: "The community of microbes living in your gut--your so-called microbiota--is like another organ of your body. It's a seething alien living inside you, fermenting your food and jealously protecting you against interlopers. It's a pretty unusual organ by any measure, but even more so After 60 pages, the stickies for passages to re-read were a thicket. Feeds long term interest in subject. Useful index, appendix, and further reading list. Well done. Like the format. Teaching me. Let the quotes begin: "The community of microbes living in your gut--your so-called microbiota--is like another organ of your body. It's a seething alien living inside you, fermenting your food and jealously protecting you against interlopers. It's a pretty unusual organ by any measure, but even more so in that its composition changes with every meal. "It's not just made of bacteria. Your microbiota is also home to ancient life-forms related to the colorful creatures that tint hot springs, called Archaea. It includes the kings of fermentation, the yeast. It hosts swimming single-celled protozoans, constantly on the prowl. It also includes an even more insane number of viruses, as small relative to bacteria as bacteria are to human cells. Your gut microbiota is spectacularly cosmopolitan, making it a challenging beast to study. "Your microbiota communicates directly with your second brain, a phrase coined by Michael Gershon in 1998 to refer to the network of nerves surrounding your gut. A good set of microbes encourages this second brain to keep the feast moving. For good health, including mental health, the food you eat needs to be good for you and for your microbiota ... including what we now call psychobiotics." ... "Research keeps unearthing connections between seemingly unrelated gut and brain diseases. What do skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema have to do with brain problems like multiple sclerosis (MS)? The surprising connection is the gut microbiota. Even seemingly intractable conditions like autism may be improved with psychobiotics. Normal social bonding may depend on a healthy gut." ... "We underestimate these tiny creatures at our peril. So-called single-celled bacteria can in fact form great citylike complexes composed of several different species living harmoniously in a biofilm. It sounds exotic, but you step on biofilms every time you walk over a lichen-covered rock. The biofilms in and on your body are related to lichen, and share their features of resilience and togetherness. "Biofilms are marvelously complex. They have pores for pumping nutrients, acting as a basic circulatory system. They maintain a protective coating--a primitive skin--that holds water in. The various species communicate with each other, using signaling molecules, including neurotransmitters ... they have in essence become a hardy, multicellular organism. "The biofilms are everywhere, from your mouth down to your anus. In your mouth, you might know it as plaque. In your intestines, a pathogenic biofilm might be behind Crohn's disease. These biofilms are unavoidable. Fortunately, you can put them on your payroll. ... Properly established, a compatible biofilm can lead to a lifetime of gastronomic bliss, unburdened by inflammation and its frequent companions, depression and anxiety. "A microbiota that is unbalanced and that provokes an immune response is called dysbiotic. It can lead to inflammation, which is a significant contributor to depression and anxiety. Worse yet, it is a major predictor of mental decline ..." ... "The first theories about the gut-brain connection go back to the 18th-century French anatomist Marie Francois Xavier Bichat, who discovered that the gut has its own nervous system, independent of the central nervous system. It isn't organized in a lump like the brain but rather as an intricate double-layered lacework surrounding your entire gut like a tube sock. Bichat also, far ahead of his time, saw the connection between emotion and the gut, and situated the passions in the 'epigastric center,'as he called it. At the end of the 20th century, the concept was dusted off and better defined by Michael Gershon, who dubbed the intestinal nervous system the 'second brain' in a book with the same name." ... "At the beginning of the 20th century, a French pediatrician named Henri Tissier ... discovered that babies fed on mother's milk had a population of unique microbes he called Bifidobacteria ... "Tissier ... had two experimental groups of babies: bottle-fed and breast-fed. In the poop of children reared on cow's milk, Tissier didn't find Bifidobacteria. These babies were also not as healthy ... in fact, bottle-fed babies at that time were dying at seven times the rate of breast-fed babies." ... "We are going to be talking enough about Bifidobacteria that we can nickname it Bifido. ... "Tissier couldn't know that Bifido, along with other microbes, were not only helping with digestion but were also educating the baby's immune system. Without that basic education the immune system can mistakenly attack beneficial bacteria and even the baby's own cells. That can lead to inflammation and may plant the seed for depression and anxiety as the baby grows. Depression and anxiety can have many roots, but this one may start to grow even before the baby is born." ... "Bercik also tried fecal transplants between mice with specific behavioral traits and found that some of those traits transferred with the feces. When they took feces from an exploratory mouse and transferred it into a timid mouse, exploratory behavior transferred, too." ... "When you wake up craving a doughnut, where do you think that idea came from? Your cravings are often just committee memos sent up from your gut microbes. They contain a complete list of the carbs, sugars, and fats they are looking for. "Here's an example of how that works. Some microbes, especially our friendly Bifido species, produce butyrate, which feeds and heals the lining of your gut. Butyrate can make its way to the brain, where it can induce a good mood, dampen inflammation, or encourage the production of a brain-growth hormone." "Your Bifido thrive on the fiber in your diet. If you feed them fiber and find your mood improving, over time you will start to yearn for the fiber that makes you feel good. That is a simple Pavlovian way to create a craving. Your Bifido has conditioned you to feed it." ... "Cravings undergo a major change in people who have gotten a stomach bypass to lose weight. They have a completely different microbiota and brand-new cravings. In fact, much of the weight loss attributed to a smaller stomach is actually due to other factors, including changing tastes. Studies are starting to indicate that much may be due to the altered microbiota." ... "Our cravings seem like an integral part of our psyche ... But when you think of your cravings as microbial longings, it may be easier for you to take back control." ... ***

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kitten Kisser

    As a person who has suffered with digestive issues for over 10 years, I have read a lot of books. I followed a lot of advice in a wide variety of said books claiming to fix what ails me but most of it made me worse until I started following Digestive Health with Real Food: A Practical Guide to an Anti-Inflammatory, Low-Irritant, Nutrient Dense Diet for IBS & Other Digestive Issues. After a few years of strictly following that diet I discovered FODMAPs. FYI, you don't need a bunch of books on As a person who has suffered with digestive issues for over 10 years, I have read a lot of books. I followed a lot of advice in a wide variety of said books claiming to fix what ails me but most of it made me worse until I started following Digestive Health with Real Food: A Practical Guide to an Anti-Inflammatory, Low-Irritant, Nutrient Dense Diet for IBS & Other Digestive Issues. After a few years of strictly following that diet I discovered FODMAPs. FYI, you don't need a bunch of books on FODMAPs. I highly recommend: The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders & the cookbook (the recipes are sooo good) The Low-FODMAP Cookbook: 100 Delicious, Gut-Friendly Recipes for Digestive Disorders including IBS, Crohn's, and Colitis Around a year ago I read Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ. I loved this book so much I got the Audible edition next. The next book on the topic I read was The Gut Makeover: 4 Weeks to Nourish Your Gut, Revolutionize Your Health, and Lose Weight & now this book. So far out of all the books, my favorite is still the first I read. However this book falls in second place. I love learning about the inner workings of our body. The more that is discovered, the better I am able to understand & take control of my own health. The most interesting part to me is the one thing that still hasn't changed no matter what new things are discovered about our amazing bodies & that is in order to be healthy we need to eat a variety of vegetables, healthy meats (not factory crap), & fermented foods. This informative book covers a lot of ground regarding what they call 'physcobiotics' these are basically foods that affect our mood. The premise is that our gut bacteria control our cravings & our mood. If our gut bacteria contains too many of a bad type of bacteria we may crave more of what that bacteria eats. This could be why some of us crave potato chips & others chocolate. - I recently read an article where in the US most women crave chocolate for "that time of the month" but in other countries women craved rice or fish. - The idea is that by eating better, we will feed the good bacteria & over time will reduce or eliminate our cravings for unhealthy foods & improve our mood. By eating good healthy foods & having happy belly bugs, we will likely loose weight, feel better (both physically & mentally), avoid many diseases, heal our bodies & our minds. The book discusses proboitics that have been tested & proven. Yet one of these, Activia (yogurt you can find pretty much in any chain store) contains sugar. The author recommends avoiding sugar in yogurt because it negates the benefits. I have looked for plain Activia & it doesn't seem to exist. There are other probiotics mentioned. One seemed like it might be perfect for me, but it is banned in the United States. I have decided to order some organic yogurt cultures from a seller on Etsy (WellsOfHealth) that I've bought from in the past with excellent results. I am able to access my own fresh jersey cows milk, so all I need are the cultures. In the meantime I've been adding more yogurt to my diet. I came across a Oui by Yoplait (available in plain & packaged in glass) & the Simple Truth brand by Kroger that seem pretty good until I can start making my own. Overall if you are looking to improve your health in any way, you will want to read this book & many others like it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    juliemcl

    If theres one takeaway its that there is much more research to be done & much more to be discovered about the gut-brain axis. The workings of the human body are still mostly a mystery, medicine still more of an art than a science. A book like this can help a person to Be Ones Own Doctor even if it doesnt definitively answer questions like what probiotic I should buy for a particular condition. While the book does point towards some products/strains to try, this part is a little frustrating If there’s one takeaway it’s that there is much more research to be done & much more to be discovered about the gut-brain axis. The workings of the human body are still mostly a mystery, medicine still more of an art than a science. A book like this can help a person to Be One’s Own Doctor even if it doesn’t definitively answer questions like what probiotic I should buy for a particular condition. While the book does point towards some products/strains to try, this part is a little frustrating because it seems that the most promising formulations, with good research to back them up, have yet to hit the market, but that’s of course not the book’s fault. The book presents a good overview, in any case, of recent and current research.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Manda Scott

    Fascinating, life changing read A detailed, readable, informative and accessible insight into the role of gut bacteria in everything from mood to Alzheimers. If this doesnt make you give up sugar, nothing will.... Fascinating, life changing read A detailed, readable, informative and accessible insight into the role of gut bacteria in everything from mood to Alzheimer’s. If this doesn’t make you give up sugar, nothing will....

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Fascinating! I thought I knew quite a bit about gut bacteria and how it controls pretty much everything we do, but this book blew my mind! Not an easy read, which kind of bums me outeverybody should know that they can control their moods, psychological disorders, and autoimmune diseases by eating the right foods. But it makes me hopeful that this relatively new research will be going mainstream soon. Fascinating! I thought I knew quite a bit about gut bacteria and how it controls pretty much everything we do, but this book blew my mind! Not an easy read, which kind of bums me out—everybody should know that they can control their moods, psychological disorders, and autoimmune diseases by eating the right foods. But it makes me hopeful that this relatively new research will be going mainstream soon.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    An interesting book correlating mood with the digestive system. A bit too detailed for my taste but I suppose it is important to fully understand the content. I hope to explore this subject more fully.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Akshay Nilangekar

    The gut-brain axis and genetics will be the next revolutionary advances in medicine. This book summarizes the first one very well.

  8. 5 out of 5

    John Boyle

    One of the best books on medicine of the gut microbiome. Explores some really exciting science that will likely revolutionise medicine of the 21st century and beyond.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emilyakoren

    Love the topic and I'm fascinated by the research. Microbiome research is a new frontier, and the truth is strnager than fiction-

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Really informative look at how our microbiota, our gut bugs can influence our mood and health. I really enjoyed the early chapters because they seemed to be based on more solid scientific ground. The further you go into the book the more hypothetical the book becomes -- not because the authors are sloppy, but because the research in this burgeoning field just hasnt been completed yet. The book offers a thorough explanation of our microbiota and how our enteric nervous system, this second brain Really informative look at how our microbiota, our “gut bugs” can influence our mood and health. I really enjoyed the early chapters because they seemed to be based on more solid scientific ground. The further you go into the book the more “hypothetical” the book becomes -- not because the authors are sloppy, but because the research in this burgeoning field just hasn’t been completed yet. The book offers a thorough explanation of our microbiota and how our enteric nervous system, this “second brain” interacts with our regular nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system. Would have liked a little more information how the microbiota interplays with epigenetics, but that’s another frontier of science that probably has not yet been fully explored. One quibble, there’s a rather protracted discussion of antibiotics and despite their life-saving powers, they can often unintentionally destroy a healthy gut. But in the recommended foods to promote a healthy gut, they include fish, chicken, and eggs; despite those industries (along with farmed fish) often being some of the biggest users of antibiotics.) There is a single mention of this danger (just not near the psychobiotic food pyramid section), and urges antibiotic-free fare but it would be nice if that caveat was a bit more front and center with the recommendations, the way the authors concurrently remind of the danger of mercury in fish when listing foods. The book is well written and offers some solid pointers. The single best take-away of the book would probably being: “don’t eat junk food, eat more fiber” for a healthy mind, body, and microbiota. Definitely worth a read!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vasco

    The bad: nothing in particular. The good: it's an excellent book on the functioning of the gut and its microbiota and ecosystem, as well as the effect of multiple foods and substances in it. I don't consider it a five-star book for the actual value proposal, which is psychobiotics - substances that improve mood through their benefital effects on the gut - but as an excellent summarised book on all previous content I had read about gut and the effect of foods, substances, exercises, and much more. The bad: nothing in particular. The good: it's an excellent book on the functioning of the gut and its microbiota and ecosystem, as well as the effect of multiple foods and substances in it. I don't consider it a five-star book for the actual value proposal, which is psychobiotics - substances that improve mood through their benefital effects on the gut - but as an excellent summarised book on all previous content I had read about gut and the effect of foods, substances, exercises, and much more. I consider it an interesting and comprehensive compendium on the gut. To re-read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Constance

    Very interesting. Not too technical, but technical enough to explain aspects of the human diet that were often too complacent to ask questions about. I learned more about why we should eat certain foods over others. Not an easy read, so be prepared to check the pantry and look at labels and think more about how what you eat affects your mind and mood and gut. An excellent resource as well. Good index! Very interesting. Not too technical, but technical enough to explain aspects of the human diet that we’re often too complacent to ask questions about. I learned more about why we should eat certain foods over others. Not an easy read, so be prepared to check the pantry and look at labels and think more about how what you eat affects your mind and mood and gut. An excellent resource as well. Good index!

  13. 5 out of 5

    GONZA

    Interesting but not an easy reading, most of the times I had to use my former knowledge about biology and chemistry, but in the end it was worthy. Interessante, ma certo non classificabile come lettura facile, anche perché per fortuna avevo una conoscenza precedente di chimica e biologia altrimenti non l'avrei finito. Valido, ma non per tutti! THANKS TO EDELWEISS FOR THE PREVIEW!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Intriguing topic but I think the authors jump to conclusions without enough evidence to back up some of their theories.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    For centuries there have been cases in which a change in diet --often accidental-- led to relief from a mental illness. However, given the sporadic nature of such effects and the complete lack of understanding of microbes, the enteric nervous system (i.e. the guts own brain that communicates with -- but is also autonomous of -- our first brain,) and the complexity the symbiotic relationships involved, these anecdotal cases had limited influence on the state of medicine. However, recent years For centuries there have been cases in which a change in diet --often accidental-- led to relief from a mental illness. However, given the sporadic nature of such effects and the complete lack of understanding of microbes, the enteric nervous system (i.e. the gut’s own “brain” that communicates with -- but is also autonomous of -- our “first” brain,) and the complexity the symbiotic relationships involved, these anecdotal cases had limited influence on the state of medicine. However, recent years have seen an explosion of understanding in this domain. This has resulted in a vast number of books being written on the role of microbes in the gut for overall health, the role that changing diet can have on changing our microbiome, and related topics such as how the overuse of antibiotics can have a deleterious effect on health by tossing out the microbial baby with the bathwater. This book touches on all those topics (and more) as it explores the role of our bacterial hangers-on on our mental health. The book consists of nine chapters. The chapters are organized so as to first present one with the necessary background to understand how changes to one’s gut microbiome can improve one’s health —particularly one’s mental health (though many of the mental illnesses influenced by microbiota are linked to physical ailments)— before moving on to the specifics of what microbes have been shown to have a given effect and what diseases can be influenced by consumption of probiotics. The first five chapters give the reader an introduction to the topic and an overview of information one needs to know to understand the later chapters. Chapter three gives one an overview of the changing profile of one’s microbiota over the course of one’s life. Particular emphasis is given to one’s youth and to the transfer of bacteria to infants. [Readers may be aware of the problem that c-section births result in a failure of babies to receive a dose of beneficial microbes imparted by passage through the vaginal canal.] Chapter four takes one on a quick ride through one’s alimentary canal from mouth to rectum, with particular emphasis on questions such as how bacteria survive the stomach’s acid bath, and which parts of the digestive system contain which microbes (and to what effect.) The last four chapters dig deeper into the specifics. These chapters look at specific probiotics, how one can get them into one’s system, and what science has found out about probiotics and psychobiotics (like probiotics, but specifically ones that influence mood and mental states) effects on specific ailments. Chapter eight, which deals with major diseases, does cover physical ailments as well as mental ones because – as mentioned— these afflictions often go hand-in-hand. The last chapter (Ch. 9) looks at where this body of knowledge is going. It delves into practices that are presently well-established, such as fecal matter transplants, but also into challenging works-in-progress such as attempts to develop narrower spectrum antibiotics so that we can get the life-saving benefits of these medications without their crippling side-effects. The book has many graphics, as one would expect from a work that investigates such a complex scientific topic. I can’t really speak to the quality of the graphics as the review copy I read didn’t have completed graphics. However, the subjects of the graphics seemed appropriate and well-placed. The book also has a glossary, annotations, and a further reading section to assist the reader in the study of this subject. I found this book to be informative and engaging, and would highly recommend it for anyone interested in the role of microbiota on mental health. The text was well-organized and readable. Given the scientific nature of the material, it’s easy for such a book to become ponderous, but the authors made attempts to keep the tone light and the presentation non-intimidating.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Arlena Harmon

    The information presented in this book has helped me understand the scientific backing of a topic that I have felt is a big deal, for a long time. You know on the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, how one of the relatives uses Windex as a fix for EVERYTHING? That is me! Except instead of Windex, I use probiotics (and more recently, prebiotics). On a more serious note, I have been dealing with anxiety/depression lately and in the month that I have been doing what I can to increase my good gut The information presented in this book has helped me understand the scientific backing of a topic that I have felt is a big deal, for a long time. You know on the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, how one of the relatives uses Windex as a fix for EVERYTHING? That is me! Except instead of Windex, I use probiotics (and more recently, prebiotics). On a more serious note, I have been dealing with anxiety/depression lately and in the month that I have been doing what I can to increase my good gut flora, I have noticed a significant difference. I don't take medication for my anxiety/depression, because I am breastfeeding, so I have struggled with options for what to do, aside from exercise and therapy (which I also do). I had heard about psychobiotics, and since they were in-line with my love of anything to do with probiotics, I decided to learn more. This book took me a bit to get through, but it does a good job of explaining the gut-brain-axis. To be honest, my primary care physician told me verbatim that the brain can speak to the gut [with regard to serotonin levels], but that it's a one-way road and the gut does not speak to the brain... while that may be true on some level, it is very clear to me (after reading this book), that gut flora indeed can influence serotonin levels in the body, among many other things, and therefore the gut does speak to the brain. Ironically, when I started having anxiety problems, I also started dealing heavily with gut problems, and apparently this is quite common. This book suggests that if you fix the gut and its microbiota, you can (possibly) fix your anxiety and depression. It may seem too easy, but for me there has been such a difference that I want to tell all of my loved ones who deal with anxiety and/or depression, to read this book and learn about how the microbiota in the gut can influence the brain and body. For me, it was a no-brainer to try it out, and I am so, so glad that I did.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kiren Chaudhry

    The first part of the book is like an episode of the magic school bus taking you thru a tour of your microbiota and its history. Im a huge proponent of accessible reading. A good little ride along for some cool, basic bio concepts. The second part gets a little more instructive as to what might ail you and what you might need to supplement. Overall its an informative read, I didnt love how it lumps all mood disorders together, ( I mean theres an entire DSM V for a reason). I guess youre getting The first part of the book is like an episode of the magic school bus taking you thru a tour of your microbiota and its history. I’m a huge proponent of accessible reading. A good little ride along for some cool, basic bio concepts. The second part gets a little more instructive as to what might ail you and what you might need to supplement. Overall it’s an informative read, I didn’t love how it lumps all mood disorders together, ( I mean there’s an entire DSM V for a reason). I guess you’re getting the reader digest version ( pun intended). It references animal model studies a lot which makes sense because psychobiotics are new or rather newly resurfaced topic for discussion in science with cutting edge kinda gross stuff taking place mostly aboard Georgia, Poland ( soon to be co-opted and capitalized on by biohacking tech bros I’m certain). Also made me think about how American drug and supplement scheduling takes place.. double blind gold standard trials and more noisy data and less efficacy for everyone. Thanks BigPharma... Overall nothing earth shattering mostly makes a case for lifestyle changes which we for the most part know about…but culturally there are huge barriers to implementing such changes. Maybe it should be considered a milestone for public health that life style change is even on the table for discussion these days. My takeaways are more yogurt, kimchi,sauerkraut, fiber and veggies because I’m a 90s baby when docs believed in the scorched earth policy and I got broad spectrum antibiotics like they were M&Ms. I wish the book went into bioavailability of nutrient for people with compromised microbiota, but overall a good quick enjoyable read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    "The Psychobiotic Revolution" is about how certain gut microbes positively or negatively affect your mood and what you can do about it. The main author wrote in a mildly humorous way and for the common person. While he'd use scientific terms, he immediately defined or described what those terms meant. The other two authors are people actively doing research in this field. They double-checked the content of the book and were occasionally quoted when explaining something they've discovered. Much of "The Psychobiotic Revolution" is about how certain gut microbes positively or negatively affect your mood and what you can do about it. The main author wrote in a mildly humorous way and for the common person. While he'd use scientific terms, he immediately defined or described what those terms meant. The other two authors are people actively doing research in this field. They double-checked the content of the book and were occasionally quoted when explaining something they've discovered. Much of the book was an overview of what we know about gut microbes--what they are, how they might affect our moods, how our gut microbe composition changes from birth to death, how it changes from your mouth to toilet bowel, and such. The last chapters talked about helpful probiotics (including what to look for in a probiotic) and how to change your diet to support psychobiotics and discourage microbes that can make you depressed or anxious. They looked at common health conditions that are often accompanied by depression or anxiety and talked about what probiotics have been found helpful in studies. By the end of the book, the reader is equipped to make positive changes. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting book. I received an ARC review copy of this book from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abbie

    I have no scientific background atall and I found this book very clear and understandable. It's a really comprehensive round-up of what's going on in the field now as well as what is already known about the gut and how it affects us in ways you wouldn't expect. It's also got a lot of practical advice to do with diet and probiotics, with evidence to back it up, and it really makes you think about making some positive diet and lifestyle changes. It's a very unexpected page turner this book and it's I have no scientific background atall and I found this book very clear and understandable. It's a really comprehensive round-up of what's going on in the field now as well as what is already known about the gut and how it affects us in ways you wouldn't expect. It's also got a lot of practical advice to do with diet and probiotics, with evidence to back it up, and it really makes you think about making some positive diet and lifestyle changes. It's a very unexpected page turner this book and it's difficult not to talk to your friends about some of the interesting things you've learnt about the gut - something I found myself telling people about often was how some gut bacteria can make you crave certain foods so that they get fed the food they want - this is in the section "How microbes order Pizza" and it talks about how we each bacteria has its own way of asking for the food it wants and has ways of rewarding you for giving it to them. Fantastic read, would definitely recommend.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anne-marie

    While this is quite technical in parts, it is a fascinating read. It presents the case of how the brain and the gut are integrally connected and how they influence each other. It is also quite convincing in its suggestion that perhaps the gut is the key driver in the human body, rather than the brain. It explains the role of the gut in depression and anxiety and explores why we see such a drastic increase of these conditions in recent years. It also explains why breast feeding babies is critical While this is quite technical in parts, it is a fascinating read. It presents the case of how the brain and the gut are integrally connected and how they influence each other. It is also quite convincing in its suggestion that perhaps the gut is the key driver in the human body, rather than the brain. It explains the role of the gut in depression and anxiety and explores why we see such a drastic increase of these conditions in recent years. It also explains why breast feeding babies is critical and how antibiotics explode like a bomb inside you, when perhaps ‘an antibiotic sniper’ could do a far more efficient job in killing pathogens. Its left me curious to see where the science is heading! I dropped a star as it is really gets quite technical and I’d like to have seen more stories or read more about related clinical trials.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Janna Dorman

    The bacteria living in your stomach, colon, and intestines can have a direct effect on your mood and mental health. A large growth of certain types of bacteria lead to inflammation, and inflammation is known to cause depression and anxiety. Its clear everything in the book has been highly researched; the authors are a science journalist, a neuroscientist, and a psychiatrist. I found this book fascinating as someone who suffers from mild anxiety, and as a human being who has a stomach and a The bacteria living in your stomach, colon, and intestines can have a direct effect on your mood and mental health. A large growth of certain types of bacteria lead to inflammation, and inflammation is known to cause depression and anxiety. It’s clear everything in the book has been highly researched; the authors are a science journalist, a neuroscientist, and a psychiatrist. I found this book fascinating as someone who suffers from mild anxiety, and as a human being who has a stomach and a brain. It was pretty science-heavy and I felt a little lost at times (I did only take one science class in college…and it was environmental science). Check out the full review at LiteraryQuicksand.com. I received a free copy of this book for my honest opinion.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Max

    There is a lot of good information in this book. Eating probiotics and prebiotics correctly, you could hack your diet/mental health. You can mitigate some effects of depression and anxiety by gearing your diet to your gut microbes. It gave a lot of good information on the above section. However, there were parts of this book where the author made claims, then failed to back them up. It argued against eating much meat (then didn't back it up), against drinking alcohol (then argued for moderation, There is a lot of good information in this book. Eating probiotics and prebiotics correctly, you could hack your diet/mental health. You can mitigate some effects of depression and anxiety by gearing your diet to your gut microbes. It gave a lot of good information on the above section. However, there were parts of this book where the author made claims, then failed to back them up. It argued against eating much meat (then didn't back it up), against drinking alcohol (then argued for moderation, but didn't back either) to name a few sections that could have further analysis. I very much appreciated the information, I'd just recommend reading this carefully, and noting references for sections that aren't well defended.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Glenn

    This groundbreaking book explains the revolutionary new science of psychobiotics and the discovery that your brain health and state of mind are intimately connected to your microbiome, that four-pound population of microbes living inside your intestines. Leading medical researchers John F. Cryan and Ted Dinan, working with veteran journalist Scott C. Anderson, explain how common mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety, can be improved by caring for the intestinal microbiome. This groundbreaking book explains the revolutionary new science of psychobiotics and the discovery that your brain health and state of mind are intimately connected to your microbiome, that four-pound population of microbes living inside your intestines. Leading medical researchers John F. Cryan and Ted Dinan, working with veteran journalist Scott C. Anderson, explain how common mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety, can be improved by caring for the intestinal microbiome. Science is proving that a healthy gut means a healthy mind—and this book details the steps you can take to change your mood and improve your life by nurturing your microbiome. See Book notes !!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Very helpful look at the research on psychobiology, the gut brain connection, and how to help your body heal and function better by eating probiotic rich foods. As a long time sufferer of GI ailments I have found the recommendations to be effective. I will say that if you have a tendency towards obsessive food patterns or disordered eating youll probably want to take the recommendations with a grain of salt (i.e. they recommend totally removing all refined sugar, I take a more flexible approach Very helpful look at the research on psychobiology, the gut brain connection, and how to help your body heal and function better by eating probiotic rich foods. As a long time sufferer of GI ailments I have found the recommendations to be effective. I will say that if you have a tendency towards obsessive food patterns or disordered eating you’ll probably want to take the recommendations with a grain of salt (i.e. they recommend totally removing all refined sugar, I take a more flexible approach to this).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Hagen

    As I become more and more aware of the gastrointestinal struggles that my mom and her parents deal with (and Im beginning to recognize in myself) this book was wonderfully informative. It was a fairly easy read, although keeping track of the different types of bacteria was a challenge. This book covers everything from prenatal digestive health to anxiety disorders. It redefines the food pyramid, promoting a veggie and whole grain heavy diet that doesnt exclude dairy and meat; it just makes sure As I become more and more aware of the gastrointestinal struggles that my mom and her parents deal with (and I’m beginning to recognize in myself) this book was wonderfully informative. It was a fairly easy read, although keeping track of the different types of bacteria was a challenge. This book covers everything from prenatal digestive health to anxiety disorders. It redefines the food pyramid, promoting a veggie and whole grain heavy diet that doesn’t exclude dairy and meat; it just makes sure you balance them.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alien B

    An overview of some of the interesting connections between gut bacteria, mental health and physical health. The science is summarized and footnoted. The book goes in more of a self help direction. The final conclusion is simplistic - all mental health problems could be solved with the right gut bacteria. This knocks down a 4 star book to 3 stars. The brain is far more complex than any organ - you cannot really claim that this one factor will solve depression and anxiety while neglecting all the An overview of some of the interesting connections between gut bacteria, mental health and physical health. The science is summarized and footnoted. The book goes in more of a self help direction. The final conclusion is simplistic - all mental health problems could be solved with the right gut bacteria. This knocks down a 4 star book to 3 stars. The brain is far more complex than any organ - you cannot really claim that this one factor will solve depression and anxiety while neglecting all the other psycho-social factors, genetic factors, etc.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Great concept and some good general health information, but found this book to be a bit repetitive. Also not nearly as scientific as I was hoping for. Its true to the form of science journalism; If youre already fairly knowledgeable about anatomy, physiology and nutrition (I just finished a nursing degree) you may be underwhelmed. Great concept and some good general health information, but found this book to be a bit repetitive. Also not nearly as scientific as I was hoping for. It’s true to the form of science journalism; If you’re already fairly knowledgeable about anatomy, physiology and nutrition (I just finished a nursing degree) you may be underwhelmed.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    The thing I mostly took away from this was that the author really likes the term "psychobiotic"...I think maybe he's got a trademark on it or something. Other than that, it didn't offer a whole lot of new information on potential practical implications of gut biome research that were of interest to me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rafael A. Garcia

    An eye opener into the world of our tiny friends! The in-depth look at the world of microbes and bacteria presented in this book, has completely changed my understanding of their contributions to our well being. So far , the best discussion about brain-gut axis connection I have ever seen. Great book, worth reading !

  30. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Ondrus

    I skimmed through this and am intrigued! The book mentions historical cases from Roman times to present day involving gut health. In brief, it is worth looking into connection between depression, anxiety, and the health of one's gut. Ch. 7 focuses on the what to buy aspect. The book also tauts the benefits of fermented foods from yogurt to sauerkraut.

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