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Episode 129
The Doctor's Farmacy

The Science Of Mood And Your Microbiome

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

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We often hear about food in the context of physical health—eating for a strong heart, healthy weight, and glowing skin. But what about the other impacts of food, like how it makes us feel emotionally and mentally? 

The growing field of nutritional psychiatry is shedding light on this profound connection, and it’s something I’m personally really excited about. 

On this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, I was so happy to talk to Dr. Uma Naidoo about the connection between food and mood, looking at how what we eat impacts everything from anxiety and depression to ADHD and more. 

Dr. Naidoo used food as medicine to support herself after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She shares her personal story and how that led her to realize that she was lacking a deeper education in nutrition. She also noticed improvements in her own anxiety after using functional ingredients like turmeric and black pepper. Dr. Naidoo now recommends diet and lifestyle changes, like mindfulness practices, along with all her psychiatric prescriptions for optimal results. 

One of the most common food offenders she sees with her patients is gluten. We discuss the correlation between anxiety and consuming gluten, even in those without celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Studies have shown gluten leads to dysbiosis in the microbiome which is linked to mood imbalances. 

That is just one of many food-mood connections. We also talk about the research behind omega-3’s for neuroinflammatory conditions, how poor food choices affect us from childhood, and so much more.

Get Dr. Naidoo’s book, This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More, at https://book.umanaidoomd.com/. 

This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market and Joovv.

Our mitochondria get weaker and less abundant as we get older, plus lots of things in our lives like stress, bad food, and toxins damage them over time. But a modality called red light therapy helps me support healthier mitochondria and fight inflammation—I use Joovv red light therapy devices to do this at home. If you want to check out Joovv’s various red light therapy devices for yourself just head over to joovv.com/farmacy.

Right now, Thrive is offering all Doctor’s Farmacy listeners an amazing deal. When you sign up for a new membership, you can get up to $20 in shopping credit that goes towards all your favorite natural food, body, and household items. And any time you spend more than $49 you’ll get free carbon-neutral shipping. Just head over to thrivemarket.com/Hyman to check out all their awesome products.

I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

In this episode, you will learn (video / audio):

  1. Dr. Naidoo’s cancer diagnosis and how she used food to help her anxiety while undergoing treatment
    (4:24 / 7:49)
  2. How Dr. Naidoo came to think about nutritional psychiatry
    (7:06 /10:31)
  3. America’s mental health crisis and reliance on medications to treat anxiety, depression, etc.
    (10:58 / 14:23)
  4. Creating a personalized nutritional plan to treat mental illness
    (14:22 / 17:47)
  5. The relationship between gut health, diet, anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, etc.
    (18:06 / 20:15)
  6. The correlation between anxiety, depression, gluten, omega-3 fats, and folate
    (19:33 / 21:41)
  7. How the food we eat can drive neuroinflammation
    (23:11 / 25:20)
  8. Is food driving divisiveness in our society?
    (36:51 / 39:00)
  9. Mental health issues in children
    (41:52 / 44:01)
  10. The benefits of eating a diversity of vegetables and fruits
    (50:33 / 52:42)

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Dr. Uma Naidoo

Michelin-starred chef David Bouley described Dr. Uma Naidoo as the world’s first “triple threat” in the food as medicine space. She is a Harvard trained psychiatrist, professional chef, and Nutrition Specialist. Her niche work is in nutritional psychiatry and she is regarded both nationally and internationally as a medical pioneer in this more newly recognized field. In her role as a Clinical Scientist, Dr. Naidoo founded and directs the first hospital-based clinical service in Nutritional Psychiatry in the US. She is the Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Director of Nutritional Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital Academy while serving on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Naidoo is the author of the recently released book, This is Your Brain on Food. In her book, she shows the cutting-edge science explaining the ways in which food contributes to our mental health and how a sound diet can help treat and prevent a wide range of psychological and cognitive health issues.

Show Notes

  1. Persistent microbiome alterations modulate the rate of post-dieting weight regain
  2. Lach, G., et al., Anxiety, Depression, and the Microbiome: A Role for Gut Peptides. Neurotherapeutics, 2018. 15(1): p. 36-59.
  3. Hoban, A.E., et al., The microbiome regulates amygdala-dependent fear recall. Mol Psychiatry, 2018. 23(5): p. 1134-1144.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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