By Sneha Challapilli
Have you ever felt “hangry” or had “butterflies in your stomach”? It is your gut communicating with your brain! With interesting interconnectivity, here’s telling you how your gut-brain axis works.
What is a Gut-Brain axis?
There have been a lot of research studies that have investigated the connection between your gut and brain. In simpler terms, the communication between your gut and brain is what constitutes the gut-brain axis. These two organs are connected in many different ways. As neurons are the cells that are connected throughout the body, interestingly the gut and brain are connected through millions of these neurons. The neurons in turn communicate through chemicals known as neurotransmitters.
How does it make a difference?
To begin with, your gut walls are lined by bacterial colonies that support your digestive system. These bacterial colonies produce metabolites such as serotonin, dopamine, bi-products of carbohydrate fermentation, etc, that help the neurotransmitters communicate with your brain (1,2). Millions of nerves connect your gut and brain, the most significant of which is the vagus nerve (3). With everything being connected in the human body, an imbalance in these metabolites is said to lead to various symptoms that could be connected to your gut-brain axis (4).
Is there a way to support your own Gut-Brain axis?
There has been a lot of research within this field, continuous research is still being performed. Traditionally bacterial strains of interest for the gut flora can be traced back to foods such as yogurt, tempeh, miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, etc. When these foods are consumed the bacterial strain from them joins your other gut bacterial flora and promotes a balanced gut function which may also impact the gut-brain axis.
Nevertheless, within the scientific community, there is a lot to be researched, validated, and debated. It remains to see what the upcoming research reveals, and what science has in store for us. We at Neobiomics, look forward to following ongoing academic research with great interest.
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