Brain and Nervous System
We’ve all had “gut feelings”, or perhaps lost your appetite around a particularly intense emotional upset. This brain-to-gut connections is familiar to most of us.
The opposite direction, from the gut to the brain, is the interesting subject of this information and much recent research as well. The gut houses the enteric nervous system, a part of the peripheral nervous system that is made up of 100 million neurons connecting the gut to the brain.
When the gut is in a state of dysbiosis, meaning that there is an imbalance in the ratio of good to bad bacteria, inflammation results. This inflammation destroys the cells lining the intestinal tract, leading to a condition known as increased intestinal permeability, or leaky gut. A leaky gut will allow undigested food particles and toxins (both microbial toxins and environmental toxins) to enter into the bloodstream. The immune system then responds to these particles and toxins as foreign invaders, which is the normal response of the immune system. This response triggers further immune dysregulation and inflammation, which can travel throughout the body manifesting in many different areas, including the brain.
Supporting gut balance by correcting the underlying causative issues can truly restore a healthy foundation upon which optimal brain function can be achieved.