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