Does Your Gut Have Its Own Brain?

Does Your Gut Have Its Own Brain?

Research development in the gut world is moving at a very exciting pace. 

The reason being is there are numerous first-time developments showing how our gut influences many behaviors in our body. 

One of those is how our gut and brain talk to each other as well as influence each other. 

The development of this relationship could be life altering in how we heal the body, reduce the risk of illness as well as disease. 

In some recent research, scientists are unraveling the complexity of how probiotics are positively influencing conditions such as depression and autism.

bacteria_image2-225x300What we know right now is that the gut bacteria you create produces “feel good” brain chemicals and also direct cell to cell communication according to Jack Challlem who spoke at the Natural & Organic Products Europe Conference in London.

He also added that the lymphatic system could be considered a pathway from your gut to your brain.

What he is referring to is the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain.  Some call this the gut-brain axis and the research field is Gastroneuroenterology. 

Studies have resulted in the possibility that microbial-based strategies through the use of probiotics and probiotics for the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Other significant research has shown important roles in metabolic function.  Researchers believe that this could lead to the understanding of how your gut bacteria plays a role in the processes involved in developing obesity and type 2 diabetes. 

So does the gut actually have a brain or at least behave like a brain? 

Your gut is made up of neurons lining the wall of your stomach and the alimentary canal contains over 100 million neurons.  This canal contains more neurons than your spinal cord or your peripheral nervous system. 

So is your gut a “Second Brain”?  

brain (354x339) (354x339)This term was first coined by Michael Gershon, chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York. 

Gershon has written that the process of breaking down food, absorbing nutrients and excreting waste involves numerous processes and that the gut must have evolved its own reflexes and senses to be able to control your gut behavior independently of the brain.

It stands to reason that the food and nutrients you eat could have a bearing on your mood as well as your physical and mental well-being.

In this study, they found that 90% of the signals passing along the autonomic nervous system didn’t come from the brain, but instead from the gut.1

The numerous studies that are ongoing right now in this field are significantly going to provide new insights into the workings of your ‘second brain’ as well as its impact on your body and mind. 

So how do we make sense of all this? 

To Put It Laymen’s Terms:

Your gut is more powerful than you think and the foods you put into it may very well influence your mood, behavior, your weight status and risk of future diseases. 

The simple solution for right now is to consume healthy foods that produce and provide good bacteria for your gut and if you want to take it an extra step to ensure a healthy gut is to consume a probiotic supplement. 

bacteria_med

Since good foods can create and provide good bacteria eating the wrong things can also create and provide bad bacteria or kill off the good bacteria. 

Supplementing with probiotics may help ensure that healthy gut environment and keep your ‘second brain’ operating properly for optimal health.

One other topic that is growing rapidly in the medical world is our continuous chronic state of internal inflammation and how this influences and increases our risk for various diseases.

Probiotics may play a role in that as well.  On the next page, you will discover how probiotics and your gut can lower this inflammation, therefore decreasing your risk of various diseases.

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References:

  1.  http://ajpgi.physiology.org/content/283/6/G1217.full

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