Dr. Emeran Mayer on Optimal Health, the Future of Science, and the Mind-Gut Connection [#1]

“Yeah, it’s a fascinating topic. … We’re basically going back to ancient concepts, but we’re rediscovering them with the most sophisticated machines that humans have ever built.” 

My guest for this first-ever edition of The Polymath Project podcast was Dr. Emeran Mayer.

In the last few decades, there’s been a revolution in our understanding of how the gut and the brain talk to each other, with some serious implications for how we think about health and cognition.

Dr. Mayer is one of the pioneering researchers in this field. He’s also executive director of the Oppenheimer Institute for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and holds advanced degrees in both neuroscience and gastroenterology.

Dr. Mayer came on to talk about his recent book, The Mind-Gut Connection.


 

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Transcript & Notes

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Some topics we talked about:

  • How to eat to optimize body and brain health
  • Why it’s so important, from a gut health perspective, to get things “right” before the age of three—and what to do you if you don’t
  • How your gut is related to important stuff you wouldn’t expect like your emotions or your ability to make good decisions

We also go down some fun philosophical rabbit holes, including:

  • A global paradigm shift that is changing how we do science
  • How modern science is ‘rediscovering’ things from Chinese medicines
  • Our changing understanding of what it means to be human
  • The intersection of big data and psychoanalysis (I’m not joking!)

Books Mentioned