How is the small intestine the second brain?
Several studies have shown that there is a link between digestion and our various emotional states. This is why many people experience various kinds of discomfort in the gut when they are anxious, stressed or nervous. So what is the special relationship between these two parts of the human body? What is the role of the intestinal microbiota in this relationship? The point in this article.
Link existing between the intestine and the brain
The digestive tract and more singularly the gut is filled with countless microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria and yeast. For more information, try this out This set of microorganisms is called the intestinal microbiota or intestinal flora. It is of vital importance in all the processes of assimilation and digestion of nutrients. The intestinal flora also plays an important role in the immune system of any individual. In addition, researchers have noted the presence of 500 million nerve cells in the intestine. This represents an incredible network of enteric organs. This is why it is called the second brain of the human body. In a more profound way, the neurons existing in the intestine are in perpetual exchange with those of the brain by the means of the bloodstream and more precisely by the pneumogastric nerve in order to transmit various information. Still called cardio-pneumo-enteric nerve or by abuse of words vagus nerve, the pneumogastric nerve is located in the intestine-brain axis where it plays a role of transition between the brain and the digestive system.
Role of the gut microbiota
According to the famous German-born researcher Guilia Enders, the brain must be informed for the sole purpose of knowing exactly how the human body interacts with the environment. The gut acts as a reliable informant for this. Dr. Guila also states that 90% of the activity observed on the vagus nerve goes only in one direction: gut-brain. In doing so, the gut microbiota provides all the information to the brain. After receiving this information, the brain decides on the most appropriate response. A regulation of the organism occurs thereafter. Furthermore, it is likely that the activity of the gut microbiota affects brain activity and emotional state. Furthermore, the level of serotonin in the human body comes from the gut and is directly transmitted to the brain. Furthermore, it has been shown that 95% of the serotonin(1) in our body is released from the gut and sent to the brain. Being a neurotransmitter, serotonin has a positive effect on stress, emotions and mood. This ability gives it the nickname of "serenity hormone".