Gut Bacteria and Brain Chemistry: What’s the Connection?

You know that a healthy gut promotes proper digestion, but that’s not its only responsibility. It also encourages a boosted metabolism and thriving immune system. Additionally, your gut can even influence brain chemistry, according to Michael Gershon, professor and chair of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University.

“The gut can work independently of any control by the brain in your head – it’s functioning as a second brain,” Gershon told Psychology Today. “It’s another independent center of integrate neural activity.”

What’s the Connection?
So what makes this possible? Research from the University of Exeter Medical School and the University of Zaragoza in Spain found that the microorganisms in the gut may be regulating brain chemistry, according to Natural News.

There are 100 trillion bacteria and other microbes of different species living in the gut, often referred to as the gut microbiome. Some of those microbes located in the gut are marked by the protein TLR2, which helps regulate the chemical serotonin – a neurotransmitter that carries signals for the brain but also regulates bowel function. Through TLR2, the researchers believe that some of the gut microbes can impact serotonin levels, which ultimately influences your mood.

A healthy gut goes beyond good digestion.

Research published in the journal BioEssays also suggests that the microbiome in the gut have an impact on the food decisions we make through the vagus nerve, which connects from the digestive tract to the base of the brain. Athena Aktipis, a researcher involved in the

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