By Graham Clifford
A waft of something fishy tickles my nostrils as the automatic doors go their separate ways. It could be salmon…or the calamari?
I’ve stepped into the foyer of the Cork International Hotel and it’s dinner time. “Has the Chef read the book?” I wonder.
I’m here to meet two men whose names have been propelled into the spotlight on both sides of the Atlantic, and beyond, following the release of their book ‘The Psychobiotic Revolution.’
Focussing on how bacteria in the gut, or microbiota, can play a key role in regulating brain functions, particularly emotional processing and behaviour, it has the potential to change the way various diseases are treated adding further credence to the Hippocrates instruction ‘Let food be thy medicine’.
Diversity in microbiota may be crucial in the fight against depression and a range of other conditions.
Professor John Cryan, Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at the University College Cork and Ted Dinan, a Professor of Psychiatry at the University who also works as a Psychiatrist, were already well-known in the world of microbiology but these pages have brought them to the attention of the inquisitive layman and woman too. Pardon the pun but the book is ‘digestible’ – even for those with limited knowledge of this field.
With the assistance of Ohio-based author Scott C. Anderson the two scientists have managed to capture the world’s attention. They’ve reshaped that which was presumed for generations.
The book, published by the National Geographic, has received rave reviews not just in medical publications such as the Lancet – but also with readers on Amazon. Its appeal has spanned a vast spectrum and its already being reprinted in the States.
Its been a long, but thoroughly rewarding, day for the duo. As the APC Microbiome symposium draws to a close the two men take a seat for yet another interview.
Since news of their discoveries emerged, even before the book hit the shelves in the U.S., they’ve been in high demand.
Here's what they had to say when I met them: