Writer in chief, Leigh Stewart, shares her favourite podcasts about the gut microbiome.
For a long time, I didn’t think podcasts were for me because I mistakenly assumed that I wasn’t an audio learner. But when you spend enough time working alongside scientists, doctors and researchers in a company focused on the future of health, you start experimenting too.
I first started listening to non-fiction audiobooks on my daily walk to work, about 30 minutes each way. It was faster than public transport and I didn’t have the time or mindspace for the gym - so walking was my best bet. And, as I like to remind our readers: WALKING COUNTS!
Walking is great, it clears the mind, gets you outside and has tangible benefits for the body and cardiovascular system. Then I realised I could turbocharge my sense of achievement by listening to smart people talking about cool science. So basically, in my hour-long daily commute, I could cram in physical exercise, pleasure and learning. Yes please!
Quickly, I discovered that podcasts are also excellent company in the kitchen, a place I have always loved and spent a lot of time. I even took a break from Atlas Biomed to qualify as a chef, a skill I selfishly reserve for my close ones - who have now also been converted to my podcast obsession.
And if you have trouble falling to sleep without the TV, something I experience when I’m stressed or in a new place, podcasts are also an excellent alternative. Soothing voices, no loud bangs, no blue light to disrupt the circadian rhythm and the chance to learn something fun.
Best of all? Even if you get distracted, fall asleep or walk away to do something else, you can always rewind. Because podcasts are free, and, let’s face it, a refreshing and flexible alternative to our busy, screen-filled and often lonely lives.
So, without further ado, here are my top picks for podcasts about the gut microbiome, selected for expertise, diversity of topics addressed and recording quality.
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What is the gut microbiome?
BBC Food Programme
Food and health are two sides of the same coin. And what better way to get introduced to the gut microbiome than through the BBC’s award-winning podcast. Presented by Dan Saladino, he investigates the gut microbiome as a food reporter and that makes this podcast uniquely brilliant.
In this two-part episode, he explains the discovery of gut microbes, their functions, the importance of diet and travels to Africa to learn about microbiome testing with Jeff Leach and Pr. Tim Spector.
Co-founder of American Gut, a major citizen science microbiome project, Jeff Leach famously gave himself a microbiome transplant under a baobab tree. Pr. Tim Spector is a renowned researcher and British advocate for gut microbiome health.
Why is fibre so important?
The Doctor’s Kitchen
After an unusual health scare as a medical student, Dr Rupy Aujla became a passionate advocate for eating right, minimising stress and building a healthy routine for his body. In this podcast, he interviews Dr Megan Rossi of King’s College London to discuss digestive health, fibre and gut microbiome.
The Doctor’s Kitchen is a podcast series that interviews experts on how to eat for every part of the body and different illnesses, from your teeth to polycystic ovary syndrome. Dr Rupy Aujla has published two science-backed cookbooks and is designing a “culinary medicine” course to educate more GPs on the importance of diet in human health.
IBS, stress and the gut-brain axis
Feel Better Live More
Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, made famous by the TV show, Doctor in the House, interviews Pr. John Cryan, a leading researcher on the gut-brain axis. They dive into the relationships between stress, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression and the gut, as well as stress-resistant microbes and more.
I’ve actually never seen Dr. Rangan Chatterjee on TV , but I have listened to every single episode of his podcast series. With two books on how lifestyle and stress affect human health, he has the rare ability to explain complex science in an easy and approachable manner.
How your digestive system works
As the smartest creatures on the planet, we understand surprisingly little about how the human body works. And that’s what this episode is all about. Because it’s good to know about gut microbes, but the digestive tract is also pretty vital for extracting nutrients and energy from your food.
Atlas Biomed actually sponsors this brand new podcast series with leading nutritional expert, Julia Davies, and award-winning podcaster, Ollie Gallant. Over the coming episodes, they’ll uncover some basic truths about human nutrition and how to apply them in your everyday life.