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Two Brains, One Body: Your Gut and Your Mind

The Tale oF TWO Brains The Intricate Relationship Between Your Mind and Your Gut Ever feel butterflies in your stomach before a big event? Or get queasy when you know you've done something wrong? That "gut feeling" results from an overlooked network of neurons that line your gut, and their relationship with the brain is both fascinating and complicated. Your Second Brain The digestive system has its own, local nervous system that is extremely complex, and handles the majority of digestion. It is called the Enteric Nervous System. Serosa Muscularis externa Muscularis Interna Submucosa O Mventeric Plexus Submucous Plexus 1 Myenteric Plexus: Controls the digestive track's motility, the movement of the bowels. 2 Submucous Plexus: Requlates qastrointestinal blood flow and controls epithelial cell function. Sensory Neurons Receive information from sensory receptors and compile a list of information about the digestive tract, then send status reports to the brain. Mołor Neurons Interneurons Control gastrointestinal motility, secretion, and absorption. The enteric nervous system relays this information to the muscles in the digestive tract. Collect information from sensory neurons and relay that information to motor neurons. Healthy Food for a Happy Mood The connection between the stomach and the brain is so strong that what you eat can have a significant impact on your mood and behavior: In a recent survey. 45% 97% 73% GLUTEN Milh ...of people suffer from a form'of food intolerance. .of people polled reported problems related to mood as a primary symptom of food intolerance. ...of people polled stated that their mood significantly improved after altering their diets. 90% 70% NH2 .of the body's serotonin is produced in the gut. .of the body's immune system is concentrated in the gut. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that is involved in mood, sleep, depression, and memory. It expels and kills bacteria and other harmful contaminants that we consume with our food. Recent research also shows a frequent association between depression and gastrointestinal inflammation. Because of this, one of the most effective, and natural, ways of treating depression is through eliminating foods you are intolerant of, or sensitive to, from your diet. The Shrain on Your Brain With such a tight-knit relationship, it's not a surprise that eating unhealthy could eventually cause damage to your brain as well. A diet high in simple sugars, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats will cause more than just a chubby gut. 1 Impaired Learning Memory Loss 2 It only takes 10 minutes after consumption of a cheeseburger or donut for the fatty food to impair the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Chronic consumption of foods high in sugar and fat cause suppression of the brain peptide BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which is significantly involved in memory formation. lce Cream Fries 3 Insulin Resistance Slow Cognitive Function 4 A fatty diet will cause the pancreas to spike insulin production while it tries to metabolize the junk food, leading to the brain to become insulin-resistant and causing permanent neural damage. While healthy omega fatty acids support the flow of chemical signals between neurons, "bad" fats slow it down effecting cognitive behaviors. The scientific community is continuing to uncover more and more about the complex relationship between the brain in your head, and the little brain in your gut. Researchers are currently studying the benefits of probiotics on brain function and mood. It's important to understand the relationship between the gut and the brain so that we can make smart choices in our diets for the both of them. Sources: www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/basics/gi_nervous.html www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-gut-brain-connection www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18779997 www.blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/01/17/your-food-influences- your-mood-the-second-brain-residing-in-our-stomachs/ www.dictionary.reference.com/browse/serotonin Voss, Gretchen. "Food For Thought." Women's Health July 2013:130-135. Print. www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/changing-gut-bacteria-through-245617.aspx RENEWLIFE

Two Brains, One Body: Your Gut and Your Mind

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There are an often overlooked super highway of neurons that exist inside your stomach. Recent studies have attributed this "second brain" to everything from serotonin production to depression.

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RenewLife

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