80% of our immune system is in the Gut. It is called the “Second Brain”.
Our “Second Brain” is the Enteric Nervous System (ENS), which is composed of over one hundred million neurons (more than in the spinal cord!)
• Controls the gastrointestinal system but also influences the rest of the body through the action of 30 different neurotransmitters. (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/)
• When the brain senses a reason to be stressed or in fear, we do indeed “feel” it in our gut (e.g. “butterflies”, diarrhea) as well as the rest of the body. Gut feelings are real.
• The ENS makes 90+% of the body’s serotonin. Thus, sound sleep, pain regulation, and balanced mood are highly influenced by our gut health.
• The ENS makes ~50% of the body’s dopamine. Thus, our ability to focus, control our muscles, learn new habits, and have good memory is all highly influenced by the health of the gut.
• And even beyond this, your microbes make neurotransmitters too!
• The gut & the brain are highly connected. Dysbiosis, endotoxin (LPS), gut-generated inflammation can all contribute to “neurological” issues such as anxiety and depression.
• The gut and brain connect via a highly interactive vagus nerve with 90% of the nerve fibers going from the gut to the brain
“The brain-gut axis is a bi-directional system of communication between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral control and function of the gut. Serotonin is a key element of this axis” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728667/)
This is a fascinating topic highly researched. Let’s pamper our gut and brain to achieve optimal health!
For additional recipes and health tips direct to your inbox, be sure to subscribe to my blog!
GET EVEN HEALTHIER!
If you have any questions about how you could benefit from health coaching, please schedule an initial consultation with me. During this session we will discuss your health and lifestyle to determine how I can best support you in achieving your goals.