The Gut: Our Second Brain

55 mins2013
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Scientists have known about the existence of another brain within the human body for many years – billions of connected neurons, molecules (neurotransmitters) that transmit orders and induce independent reactions. This network of neurons they call the second brain, or "brain down below," is none other than our stomach.

It can function totally independently and it's more than a digestive system - it’s an enteric nervous system. It reigns over a spectacular colony of one hundred thousand billion gut microbiota (our gut flora or gut microbiome) whose activity is thought to have an impact on more than just our gastrointestinal functions — it also affects our immune systems, mental health, personalities, and even central nervous systems.

Even more astonishing: certain diseases of the brain, like Parkinson's disease, for example, could stem from the degeneration of our intestinal neurons. We could even treat the colon's inflammatory response to colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) stomach pains, and more. All these major gut health discoveries have revolutionized our approach to an organ that was previously considered to be dull and passive. The stomach's intelligence is fascinating research teams the world over as new research comes to light. Explore the gut-brain connection and the key role it plays in our well-being.