1% Better S2,

Ted Dinan on Psychobiotics, Good Bacteria & the importance of Vigorous Aerobic Exercise – EP7 S2

April 27, 2018

Hi there,

Go with your gut is a phrase we’re all very familiar with. How it’s tied into intuition and that feeling you get in your stomach from time to time, when you know something isn’t just right or that you’re very certain of a situation or decision yet can’t understand why! It’s fascinating and something I’ve been keen to learn more about over the years.

When I heard about research on good bacteria impacting your mood, in particular Psychobiotics, and that leaders in this field were in Cork, I knew I had to find out more. So, I was absolutely delighted to be able to meet with and record a show with the man who coined the term ‘Psychobiotics’, Ted Dinan.

Ted Dinan is Professor of Psychiatry at University College Cork and a Principal investigator in the APC Microbiome Institute. His clinical activity is focused on treating patients with severe forms of depression.

Ted, along with two other professors in UCC, released a book called the Psychobiotic Revolution last year that has ground breaking research in the area of the gut and now it impacts your mood and overall mental health. The Psychobiotic Revolution has been hailed by the science community as a “game-changer”. The book explores the mysterious world of the gut – a “second brain” that weights around 2kg – and how to nourish our microbes. The book claims that by changing our diet to include fibre-rich vegetables, fermented foods, yoghurts and pickles, we could help to alleviate depression and anxiety.

During this fascinating interview, Ted talks about growing up in Cork, his passion for medicine and, specifically, the brain, from the early stages of his career. He brings us through his journey to New York, London, Dublin and then back to Cork, and discusses the work and learnings he’s had along the way! Of which, there are many.

To give you a taster, some of the areas we discuss include:

  • Fascination with Human Biology and how the Human Brain works
  • Brain Biology influencing behaviour
  • The Biology of Stress and how this could be altered
  • 80/90% of people with depression recover
  • Look at how microbes in our gut influence the way we feel, the way we think and how we might best be able to modulate these
  • Probiotics & Prebiotics
  • The Psychobiotic concept
  • Are there bacteria out there that can have this impact?
  • Factors that cause depression
  • Nootropics and other smart drugs
  • CRISPR Technology
  • How Psychobiotics could be available in 3-4 years
  • The use of psychedelics in the treatment of depression
  • Views on Mindfulness, Meditation and CBT
  • Importance of Exercise

1% better tips & rapid fire Q&A:

  • You are what you eat – focus on a healthy diet with lots of vegetables
  • How to generate a wide variety of bacteria
  • Vigorous Aerobic Exercise this has potent cognitive advancing capacity
  • Aerobic Exercise is the most potent anti-depressant there is!
  • Prescribing more and more exercise and diet in the treatment health problems
  • The Japanese & classic Mediterranean diet – Suffer from less Depression
  • Work-life Balance – Running, Reading, Family and Movies
  • Managing Stress personally – Exercise regularly, Sleep more and Eat Well!
  • Sleep & 8 hours per night
  • Productivity and How best to get work done!
  • Writing approaches – getting the trash out of your head!
  • Decision Making – rationally work out the problem!
  • Advice that stands out from Ted’s past – selecting a career path that gives you a good quality of life with a good life style!
  • Try never to have a job that you fine a chore!
  • Success – Being privileged and having a lot of fun along the way

Book Recommendations:

Connect with Ted & the  APC Microbiome Institute:

Ted Dinan on Twitter

Via the UCC site


Just a quick note to say thanks for listening. There are a lot of podcasts to choose from and you picking this one means a lot to me. I know that sounds like a cheese-ball thing to say, but it’s true! I’m enjoying creating these shows, learning from them and I’m hoping that you are too.

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