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Finding Genius Podcast

Apr 26, 2023

Science journalist and author of a revolutionary book on psychobiotics shares compelling insight on the latest research in microbiome and gut-brain connection research.

Tune in to discover:

  • In what specific ways the behavior of mice has been shown to change in response to the presence or absence of gut bacteria
  • What role the vagus nerve may play in the gut-brain connection
  • What types of foods lead to physical and functional changes in the brain identifiable via MRI, and how these changes may be associated with greater resilience during stressful situations
  • How your gut microbiota could be controlling your cravings

Psychobiotics are a class of microbes that help improve mood. In 2003, research on germ-free mice resulted in a shocking finding: there is a causal connection between bacteria and behavior. 

Anderson explains all the details of this research and how it has served as a launching pad for additional research in the field. He discusses the production and function of serotonin in the body and as an antidepressant, and the questions that still remain as to why and how serotonin seems to improve mood in the brain.

One of the leading theories of the impact of psychobiotics in the brain is that they have the effect of lowering systemic inflammation, which is caused by bacterial dysbiosis in the gut, which in turn can lead to nearly every systemic disease that exists, including Alzheimer’s, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Anderson discusses the connection between depression and anxiety and obesity, the research that’s been done on the composition and diversity of gut microbiota in thin versus overweight individuals, how some people may be able to keep the brain healthy naturally with the use of probiotics or prebiotics, the advent of metabolomics and why it is so important to the study of the gut-brain microbiome axis, and shares a personal story about gut health and how he was able to correct it overnight.

Visit to learn more, and find his book, The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection on Amazon.

Episode also available on Apple Podcast: