Scientists are now discovering there could be some truth to the “gut feeling” that drives people to make decisions. In fact, it could even equate to your “second brain.” Although your gut may not be capable of thought, it is certainly effective enough to influence your mood and your perception.
Researchers are looking into the Enteric Nervous System or ENS which are two thin layers of nerve cells that line the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to the rectum. Together, these nerve cells have a huge influence on your health. Because of this large influence, the importance of gut health is imperative when looking at your overall health. Here are some of the ways gut health can impact you:
Improve Your Mood:
For many years, scientists have thought anxiety and depression contributed to bowel problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, stomach upset, bloating, diarrhea, etc. However, they are finding that it is the other way round. The ENS controls the digestion process, from swallowing food to releasing the enzymes essential for digestion, all the way to nutrient absorption and waste elimination. There is two-way communication between the brain and the ENS. Irritation in the gastrointestinal system could, therefore, trigger mood-related issues such as anxiety and gloominess. Scientists have found gut bacteria can affect cognitive skills and memory as well.
Improve Your Immune System with Gut Bacteria:
Gut bacteria are known to have a positive influence on immune system, but scientists did not know how a system designed to protect us against pathogens could allow bacteria to live within our gut. They have now discovered the presence of moderate amounts of Vitamin A in the intestines that helps to keep the body’s immune response in check. This vitamin A is produced by the gut bacteria in the intestines by adjusting a protein called retinol dehydrogenase 7 or Rdh7. These findings can now be used to manage autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s Disease and IBS.
Probiotics in Early Life
The immune system helps us tolerate new things like food additives, pollen, and other non-pathogenic microorganisms that are in the world around us.
There are plenty of ways to introduce healthy gut bacteria. Eating probiotic-friendly foods like sugar-free yogurts, aged cheeses, etc. is one way. Or, adding probiotic boosters to breast milk, formula, or baby food diets can help little ones build up diverse gut bacteria. For instance, this booster from Little Spoon can be added to their range of organic baby food blends; it is packed with 3 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus rhamnosus DSM 6594 that promote a healthy gut environment and metabolism.
Having a better understanding of your gut health and how it affects your overall health can be a way of limiting issues with your gut and lead a better life.