Articles about the MicroBiome from Lori Calabrese, MD | The Ketamine Blog

What is the microbiome?

The microbiome is the genetic material of a vast community of microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and fungi that live in the gastrointestinal tract of your body. The combined genetic factors in this environment make up more than 200 times the genetic material in your own DNA. As such, this collection of microbes provide a strong influence over your digestion, immunity, and overall health.

In fact, for you to be at optimum health and wellbeing, these organisms must be in balance. When they are, they assist your digestion and strengthen your immunity.

What is “Balance” in the Microbiome?

There are harmful bacteria and other microbes as well as beneficial ones. As long as the “good” bacteria keep the “bad” bacteria from taking over, you can enjoy health and wellbeing. But if the good guys and bad guys shift out of balance, it can cause you to become very ill from a variety of diseases.

And along with diseases, depression and anxiety can also become unmanageable.

How do you strengthen the gut -brain axis?

To strengthen your microbiome, you can

  • increase the fiber in your diet
  • Eat as much fruits and vegetables as you can, choosing a wide variety and including all the colors available.
  • Choose high fiber vegetables in abundance like leeks, artichokes, garlic, and onions for their prebiotic fiber content. Some vegetables are low in fiber and actually have minimal nutritional value.  Lettuce falls in this category.
  • Seek out polyphenols, as in nuts, seeds, berries, olive oil, brassicas (cruciferous vegetables, mustard plants, and cabbages) coffee, and tea (green tea is best of all!)  These are antioxidants and fuel microbes.
  • Avoid snacking to give your microbiome a rest.
  • Make fermented foods a strong component of your daily diet. Foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee
  • Play in the dirt. Spend time in the country, work in your garden, and enjoy the earth and the fresh air. Doing so will diversify your microbiome and multiply the types of organisms there to improve your health, your immunity and your wellbeing.

These articles about the microbiome are offered to improve your understanding of the beneficial properties it possesses.

Omegas: The Very Real Effect of Fatty Acids on Your Brain

The effect of fatty acids on your brain leads to reduced depression.

Eat a diet that supports your positive mood and mental health. We’ve talked about the microbiome, or “second brain,” and how we can weaken or strengthen it with what we eat. We’ve talked about eating fresh vegetables of all colors. And how fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, kimchee, and kombucha introduce healthful organisms into our […]


Can Genetic Clues Really Predict Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia?

Can genetic clues really predict bipolar disorder in people like this young woman, who doesn't understand her disorder.

If you struggle with bipolar disorder, and the symptoms that seem to dominate your life, it may help you to know that many psychiatric disorders don’t really come with a list of predictable symptoms. If you have times when you’re short-tempered, highly energetic, sure of yourself, and quick to argue, you may have a mood […]


Ketamine and Depression Treatment-Time Marches On

Ketamine and depression treatment are explored in a reprint of a Time magazine article.

Time magazine recently offered a Special Edition on mental health… Did you see it? The article about depression treatment – and ketamine specifically – by Mandy Oaklander published in July 2017, was reprinted for this special edition. The title of the special edition is “A New Understanding”…but since the article Oaklander wrote is two years old, […]


Study Finds Ketamine Nasal Spray Effective For Treating Depression: What You Should Know

Ketamine for depression has changed the face of psychiatry.

A new study finds that a nasal spray formulated from the anesthetic ketamine is a safe, fast-acting and effective treatment for treatment-resistant depression. Researchers presented the findings this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. Esketamine, the intranasal formulation of ketamine, recently received FDA approval as a depression treatment when used with an oral antidepressant, based […]


Opinion: The New Ketamine-Based Antidepressant Is a Rip-Off

Johnson & Johnson patented a form of the psychedelic with less research and a ridiculous price tag. In a popular and public move, the United States’ Federal Drug Administration recently approved intranasal esketamine, one of the components of the psychedelic ketamine, for treatment-resistant depression. The nasal spray costs nearly $900 per dose—or roughly $7,000 for the first month […]

1 Comment

Revitalize Psychiatry: Disrupt – Include – Engage – Innovate !! – The APA 2019 Conference

Disrupt, Include, Engage, Innovate was the theme of the 2019 APA Conference.

I just returned from the American Psychiatric Association’s 2019 Conference in San Francisco. This is the 175th Anniversary of the APA, and look how far we’ve come. The theme this year was: Revitalize Psychiatry – Disrupt – Include – Engage – Innovate. and it certainly provided fodder toward those goals. It was an informative and […]

1 Comment

The Oddities, Charm, and Suffering of Bipolar Disorder

This girl with bipolar disorder is making dangerous decisions because of mania and suffering of bipolar disorder.

“Though I am often in the depth of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony, and music inside me.”  —Vincent Van Gogh May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I’ve been thinking about how to disrupt the stigma of “mental illness.” It’s a term I don’t like – but it’s still used throughout the world, […]


Relieving Treatment-Resistant Depression By Treating Metabolic Deficiencies

Originally published in Brain & Behavior Magazine, July 2017 An important discovery has been made at the University of Pittsburgh. It raises the prospect that there may be an entirely new way of relieving major depression in people who repeatedly have failed to respond to existing treatments—people at elevated risk for suicide whose lives are often unrelentingly dark […]


Treating Mood Disorders: Is the Key Hidden in the CSF?

No Wonder Treatment Resistance Has Been Such a Mystery! Clue: Look in the Cerebral Spinal Fluid! A man in his forties, Greg had never experienced life without depression. Treating mood disorders didn’t seem to be his psychiatrist’s forte. (Oh boy…) At least not in his case. Every accomplishment, every failure, struggled for expression beneath the […]

1 Comment