Ahead of the release of Brain Maker, there’s an important question I want to answer: why did I write this book?
New and exciting research is revealing a strong connection between our mood and the various bacteria that live within our intestines. This is certainly a sobering notion. Think of it: the bacteria living within the digestive system are, to some degree, involved in determining whether we are happy, sad, anxious or even depressed.
In a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, researchers in the Netherlands explored the idea that changing the array of gut bacteria by giving a multispecies probiotic supplement could have an effect on mood. The study provided the probiotic for a 4-week period to 20 healthy individuals, none of whom had a mood disorder. A similar group of 20 individuals received a placebo over the same period. At the conclusion of the study, both groups underwent an evaluation to determine their reactivity in terms of cognitive function to sad mood. This is a fairly standard research tool that assesses depression. Continue reading
We talk a lot about leaky gut and the complications that result from this condition. However, a similar problem can happen in the brain. The blood brain barrier that keeps the brain as a sanctuary away from things like bacterial components and damaging chemicals can also be breached – and some of the same mechanisms that give rise to a leaky gut can create a leaky brain.
Learn more in my most recent video, as well as in my new book, Brain Maker.
We’ve talked much about the power and importance of probiotics both here on my blog and in my upcoming book, Brain Maker. The good bacteria that make up your microbiome play a vital role in not just your digestive health but your overall well-being.
But how do we best set up these friendly “good bacteria” for success? By eating a diet that includes sufficient amounts of “prebiotics,” the fuel that feeds your success. Popular prebiotics include garlic, onion, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens and more.
Watch above as I discuss the power of prebiotics, and learn more about your microbiome in Brain Maker – available April 28.
As of late, the subject of vaccination safety was been dominating the conversation in the healthcare space. It seems everyone, from physicians to parents to celebrities, has an opinion on whether or not we should be giving young children vaccinations for life-threatening diseases, such as MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), or forgoing those vaccinations due to a potential increased risk of autism, or other side effects.
Several of you in our Facebook community have asked my opinion on this subject, and I’m happy to be able to discuss the safety of vaccinations in today’s video.
Right now in America more than 6 million children carry a diagnosis of ADHD. I think it is fair to say that autism has become an epidemic when you consider that, today, as many as 1 in 40 male births will ultimately be diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.
So aside from hoping that effective treatments will be developed, there’s no question that we have to wonder what may be causing these issues, and if that can be determined, what can be done to fix the problem. One thing that has been clearly supported in research is a relationship between what goes on in the gut and the development of neuropsychiatric disorders like these mentioned here. Bowel issues are common in ADHD and are seen almost universally in autistic children.
Certainly, front and center in research these days is the understanding that the gut bacteria, part of the human microbiome, plays a huge role in terms of brain health and function. As such, researchers in Finland decided to explore the possibility that changing the microbiome might be associated with a reduced risk for both ADHD and autism. Continue reading
While I don’t have the exact statistic, it probably isn’t far off-base to state that many, if not most, Americans start their day with a cup of coffee in their hand. For many years, the science on coffee has moved in competing directions, from studies that call it dangerous for long-term health, to those that endorse daily mass consumption.
In Grain Brain, I briefly explored the health benefits of coffee, notably as an activator of our Nrf2 pathway, and it’s a topic I return to in Brain Maker. Now, learn how coffee plays a roll in influencing the composition of our gut bacteria, and how that daily cup of joe might be fighting a leaky gut. Drink up!