Gut Brain Connection

Remember we always say…trust your gut…a gut feeling is inexplicable but so very powerful.  To feel something intensely is to feel it viscerally, literally in the intestines. 

The idea that Gut-Brain Axis is a two-way street had some cultural momentum before science caught on, continuing with my thoughts from BLOG #51.

What we do know is that science has caught up with the “trust your gut” thinking, there is an axis that has many connections, including the endocrine system of hormones and the immune system that fights disease.  It is known that there is a vagus nerve that connects the brain to the nerves that line the gut, known as the enteric nervous system, through which information flows both ways.  These nerves are so extensive, and control so many body functions, that they are sometimes nicknamed the “second brain.”

But the brain also operates through many chemicals produced by the gut bacteria.  Some gut bacteria, for example, produce amino acids, which are the building block of proteins.  Some produce neurotransmitter chemicals such as serotonin which is important to the brain’s regulation of mood, almost all of which is produced in the intestine.

These chemicals affect the Brain’s operation, not just in healthy maturity, but at crucial steps along the developmental path from infancy.  Without gut bacteria, our brains could not become what they are, or work as they do.

There was a key experiment completed to understand brain function using laboratory mice.  They were raised in a “germ free’ environment that blocked all micro-organisms from colonizing the mice’s gut, which drastically impaired many aspects of their development, from immune response to brain growth.  We know now that this intricate communication network between the gut microbiome, the gastrointestinal trace, and the nervous system has shown to influence brain health into adulthood.

Have questions, just ask me,  info@mindhealthconnect.ca

Ref: National Post October 21, 2023

December 18, 2023
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