The Gut: Our Second Brain

55 mins2013

For a few years now, scientists have known about the existence of another brain within our bodies – billions of connected neurons, molecules (neurotransmitters) that transmit orders and induce independent reactions. This second brain, or "brain down below," is none other than our stomach.

It can function totally independently and carries out far more than just digestion. It reigns over a spectacular colony of one hundred thousand billion bacteria (our gut flora) whose activity is thought to have an impact on our personalities and decisions, and our shyness or temerity.

Even more astonishing: certain diseases of the brain, like Parkinson's disease, for example, could stem from the degeneration of our intestinal neurons. And we could even treat our stomach pains with hypnosis – curing our stomachs by "talking to them." All these major discoveries have revolutionized our approach to an organ that was previously considered to be dull and passive. The stomach's intelligence is a new avenue of research that is fascinating research teams the world over.