Gut-Brain Axis: A Bi-directional Pathway Between the Enteric and Central Nervous System

Healthy food is equal to good mood!
Happy Gut, Happy you
Happy Gut, Happy you unsplash

The gut-brain axis refers to the communication network that exists between the gut and the central nervous system. This network plays a vital role in regulating a variety of physiological functions, including digestion, immune function, and mood.

The gut and brain are intricately connected and communicate with each other through a variety of mechanisms, including neural, hormonal, and immune pathways. For example, the gut is home to millions of neurons that make up the enteric nervous system, sometimes referred to as the "second brain." This system regulates many of the gut's functions, including motility, secretion, and blood flow.

The gut also produces several hormones and neurotransmitters that can impact brain function and mood. For example, the gut produces approximately 90% of the body's serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is closely linked to feelings of happiness and well-being.

Recent research has shown that the gut microbiome, the collection of bacteria and other microorganisms that inhabit the gut, plays a crucial role in the gut-brain axis.
Neha Suryavanshi, Dietician

A bacterial metabolite called lipopolysaccharide (LPS) comes from the bacteria present in the gut (gram negative enterobacteria) is the primary cause for the leaky gut syndrome. The human body naturally prevents this by antibodies produced against LPS. The LPS levels are usually found high in the patients with depression.

The microbiome can produce and modulate many of the same hormones and neurotransmitters as the gut and may also impact brain function through immune and inflammatory pathways.

Understanding the gut-brain axis has significant implications for the treatment of a variety of disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Some treatments, such as probiotics and prebiotics, aim to modify the gut microbiome to improve symptoms in these conditions.

"A daily intake of fermented foods, high fiber vegetables improve the gut health immensely. "
Neha Suryavanshi
yogurt to increase good bacteria in the gut
yogurt to increase good bacteria in the gutunsplash

A healthy gut is important for overall health, and there are several foods that can help promote good gut health. Here are some examples:

  1. Yogurt: Yogurt contains live and active cultures that can help promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

  2. Kefir: Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is also rich in probiotics.

  3. Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish that is rich in probiotics and fiber.

  4. Kimchi: Kimchi is a Korean fermented vegetable dish that is rich in probiotics and fiber.

  5. Kombucha: Kombucha is a fermented tea that contains probiotics and can help improve digestion.

  6. Prebiotic-rich foods: Prebiotics are types of fiber that are not digested by the body, but instead are used as food by beneficial gut bacteria. Foods rich in prebiotics include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, and oats.

  7. Bone broth: Bone broth is made by simmering bones and connective tissue from animals. It is rich in amino acids and minerals that can help improve gut health.

  8. Fatty fish: Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation in the gut.

  9. Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are rich in fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients that can help improve gut health.

Overall, incorporating a variety of whole, unprocessed foods into your diet can help promote good gut health.

In conclusion, the gut-brain axis is a complex and dynamic system that plays a vital role in regulating many aspects of our health. Further research in this area will likely lead to the development of new treatments and therapies for a variety of conditions.

Happy Gut, Happy you
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