Diet and Mental Health with Prof Felice Jacka

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Diet and Mental Health with Prof Felice Jacka

There is chronic, worldwide lack of funding available for research into the impact of diet and lifestyle on mood, behaviour and mental health.

Prof Felice Jacka has pioneered an innovative program of research that examines how individuals’ diets and other lifestyle behaviours interact with the risk for mental health problems.

Prof Jacka is currently leading the first randomised controlled trial to examine the impact of dietary improvement in patients with major depression, known as The Smiles Trial and later this month she will be presenting these research findings at the 2017 Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) conference in Melbourne.  

Today on FX Medicine, Prof Jacka shares with us a window into her accomplished career, a taste of what to expect from the forthcoming ACNEM conference and her passion for food and the microbiome in mental health and wellbeing. 

Covered in this episode

[01:10] Introducing Prof Felice Jacka
[02:52] Prof Felice Jacka's career
[06:15] Research: linking the mind and body
[09:50] Government funding for research?
[12:04] Poor diet is the leading cause of death worldwide
[14:34] The quest for funding
[16:02] Western diet: an environmental toxicant
[17:08] 60% of Americans' diet comes from ultra-processed food
[19:18] How prevalent is a "bad" diet in Australia
[20:16] Irreparable damage to the microbiome
[23:28] Microbiome and mood connections
[29:45] Supplements vs. diet
[40:28] Microbiota diversity is key to health
[41:17] Back to basics: fermentation & pickling
[44:05] Akkermansia muciniphilia
[45:10] Probiotics: discussing the evidence
[47:31] Prof Felice Jacka's forthcoming speaking engagements
[48:54] Advice for professional dietary modification
[51:26] Final thanks to Prof Jacka

Additional Resources

Prof Felice Jacka: Deakin University
Food and Mood Centre
International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR)
Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine Conference
Southern School of Natural Therapies
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Dr Matt Ball: Wild Kombucha
Dr Sarah Lantz: Buchi Kombucha
Prof Petrice Cani: In Gut We Trust
Black Dog Institute


The information provided on FX Medicine is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please seek the advice of a qualified health care professional in the event something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.

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FX Medicine Podcast
FX Medicine is at the forefront of ensuring functional and integrative medicine gains the recognition it deserves and ultimately establishes itself as an integral part of standard medical practice. Hosted by Andrew Whitfield-Cook, our podcasts are designed to promote research and evidence-based therapeutic practises, acting as a progressive force for change and improvement in patient health and wellbeing.