The Gut-Brain Connection

 

Go with your gut and take care of it. The gut-brain connection is vital to a healthy body and if you are living with chronic illness or mood disorders please take the time to understand this.

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Embedded in the walls of your gut which measures about 30 feet or 9 meters are approximately 100 million neurons. It starts at the esophagus & ends at the opening on the other end. This is called our enteric nervous system or more simply “our second brain”.

We all know there are bad bacteria, but did you know there are good bacteria which are needed for life and our gut is home to over 100 trillion various healthy bacteria and microbes? Known as microbiome, they have very important jobs, breaking down food, fighting infection and supporting the immune system. More recently scientist have discovered that these microbes play a very important role in our mental health. This is important information for everyone, but especially for those who live with anxiety and or depression AND have gut issues. This could be ground breaking news.

mouse1 (2)Dr. John F. Cryan is in the forefront of this research and his studies on mice is very exciting. His study showed that gut bacteria can have a major impact on the chemistry of our brain.

Dr. Cryan’s study showed that when mice were born and bred in sterile environments without exposure to healthy bacteria they did not interact socially at a normal level with each other. Further when they disrupted that microbiome in the gut, the mice displayed behaviors similar to human anxiety, depression and autism.

Dr. Cryan who is a neuroscientist and mostly studies the brain wanted to further investigate this link between our brain and our gut. Thankfully his studies have provided new information that would support new forms of treatment to encourage scientists and physicians alike to think beyond the brain when dealing with health situations that seem to be coming from the brain alone.

Dr. Cryan is not alone in his interest of the gut-brain connection. Here in California there has been work done by Sarkis Mazmanian. Back in 2013 he did a study which found that mice having some similar features of autism also had much lower levels of certain beneficial bacteria than what are normally found in healthy mice. These mice were stressed out and antisocial, displaying the same type of gastrointestinal issues seen in humans with autism. Fascinating when the mice were fed the missing bacteria their symptoms were reversed.

In Cryan’s study he found replacing healthy bacteria to be more effective than Lexapro in treating a strain of mice known for pathological anxiety.

Improving your gut health is a win-win situation. When all else had failed, I have seen health begin to improve in literally days, when focus was put on healing the gut. I know this works. Back it all up, it starts with what you are eating and drinking.

FDA Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The recommendations above are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

 

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