Your Gut has a Mind of it's Own (Literally!) | #ScienceSaturday

Thomas DeLauer (aka. "Mr. Mineral") explains how our gut has it's own brain! Yes, literally! 

And he explains how you might need to take better care of your gut in order to take care of your brain!

(And then consider grabbing some  Jigsaw Probiotics.)

Thomas Delauer is a member of Jigsaw Health's Business & Scientific Advisory Board.

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- What's going on, Jigsaw Health? 

It's Thomas Delauer and today I'm talking about the gut health but I'm talking about the gut health and the correlation with the brain and how our guts actually have the ability to operate in and of themselves separate from our central nervous system and our brain.

Our guts and that gut feeling that you have might just be a real thing.

You see, we have to understand that we have over 100 trillion microorganisms in our gut.

That's literally like 10 times the amount of actual cells in our body and they dictate a big part of how our bodies respond to things.

You see, our gut biomes are critical when it comes down to our nervous system development and our immune system development.

They have a direct line of communication with the brain and it all has to do with something that's called the gut brain axis and I'm gonna explain more about it and some things that you can do to enhance the effect here later in this video.

So I wanna make sure you stick with me.

But that gut brain axis is essentially the line of communication, the highway between the gut and the brain and there are now increasing bodies of research that are showing that gut brain axis is directly the line of communication between the gut, the brain, and our gut health and our overall brain and mood health.

But let me explain the three different things that really dictate how the gut and the brain communicate.

The three are the vagus nerve, the gut brain axis, and the enteric nervous system.

I'm gonna break 'em all down here.

The vagus nerve is a major nerve that runs from the base of your brain all the way down your spine through your thorax into your abdomen.

Essentially what that vagus nerve does is it controls almost all organ function from your neck down to the second part of your transverse colon.

That means that vagus nerve is automatically regulating all the autonomous function of the organs there causing you to breathe, causing your speech, causing you to sweat, causing your stomach to work.

All that is responsible with the vagus nerve.

So obviously there's a major freeway connecting the brain and the gut right then and there.

Okay the second one is the enteric nervous system.

The enteric nervous system is something extremely interesting.

What it is is essentially your second brain.

What the enteric nervous system does is it has a system of neurons that are in the gut between 200 and 600 million neurons that are in the gut.

They have their own ability to be motor neurons and dictate what the gut does outside of the brain's control.

That's why it's known as the second brain.

So let me put this in a little bit more perspective.

If your stomach or your gut recognizes something it has the ability to operate completely autonomously from the brain and dictate its own thing.

So we have what's called the central nervous system which is what our brain is and what our whole body is and then we have the ENS, the enteric nervous system, a separate nervous system that operates completely separate from the brain and calls its own shots and this is only getting more and more advanced as we evolve even more.

This basically means that the gut has the ability to influence its own activity but also influence the activity of the rest of our body because it still communicates with the brain which leads me to, of course, the gut brain axis to talk a little bit more about that.

What the gut brain axis is is a bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain.

It's the direct communication and the studies are starting to show that there is a strong link between the emotional slash cognitive effects and of course the overall peripheral nervous system effects of the gut itself and this all has to do with that gut brain axis and this is where we're starting to see the strong evidence of the gut's performance affecting the brain's performance.

This is the big tie in.

But you see how they all come together.

Between the vagus nerve, the enteric nervous system, and of course the gut brain axis, we have a trifecta that is almost entirely dictating what our body does just by what goes in our guts.

Now let me talk about a study that's extremely, extremely intriguing that encompasses almost all of this.

This is a big study and it's one that you're gonna find referenced everywhere it you start looking at the enteric nervous system.

What this study did is it took three groups of mice, k? And the three groups of mice were all going to be put under some form of stress.

In this case, what they did is they took baby mice and they separated them from their mothers which is kind of a sad thing but at least it's a natural way of causing stress and not harming the mice.

What they did is they took one group of mice that was completely germ free.

It had no gut bacteria whatsoever.

It was left in a sterile environment with no gut bacteria.

The second group was a normal group of mice with a normal functioning microorganism in gut biome.

It was not in a sterile environment.

Then the third group of mice was another normal group of mice that was not separated from their mothers.

There was no stress induced on that group of mice.

What they were looking at was what happens to the brain when gut biomes are affected and there's still stress? Well what's interesting is, the first group of mice, okay, the group of mice that had no germs, the group of mice that was in a sterile environment, okay when they separated them from their mothers and they induced stress what they found was there was an increase in corticosterone and the stress hormones but there was no change in depression, no change in anxiety, or nothing like that.

Then the next group, the group that was a normal microbiome, a normal gut biome, they separated them from their mothers and caused some stress.

What they found with that group was that there was an instance of depression.

There was an instance of anxiety and it had to do with the gut microbiome.

Then of course the third group there was no change at all because they didn't induce stress on them.

Well it was fairly easy to conclude from that part of the study that there's definitely an effect on the gut microbiome and the mood.

But they wanted to take it one step further.

So what they did is they took the germ free sterile group and they introduced them and exposed them to the gut bacteria from the other group and then they stressed them again.

Well guess what? That group, now that they had the gut bacteria, they did see symptoms of depression.

They did see symptoms of anxiety again confirming that the link between the gut microbiome and stress can definitely end up playing a role in how our guts and brains communicate.

Now this is just one major study and it doesn't necessarily link everything that's happened with humans.

But it does put things in perspective and encourages us to start looking at how powerful the enteric nervous system is.

So now what can you do to start taking back control of your brain health via your gut health? Well one thing is to make sure that you're getting your probiotics in whether it's from probiotic foods or probiotic supplements, whatever the case may be in that particular situation.

What it does is it increases something called GABA okay? And what GABA stands for is gamma-Aminobutyric acid and that is a big component of your brain's calming ability.

GABA has been shown to promote calmness in the brain and GABA is also shown to increase when we consume probiotics.

But additionally, good gut bacteria also helps the brain's receptiveness to GABA in the first place.

So that's one of the strongest links to feeling good, solving mood issues, and getting rid of some of that irritability that takes place when you're overall stressed out.

Now, although it's not the end all be all, it's definitely something to start looking into and understanding how powerful the gut really is when it comes to dictating what our brains do.

As always, make sure you're keeping it locked in here at Jigsaw Health and remember the studies that I'm referencing here are for informational purposes only, however, this is pretty intriguing and sheds some light on the overall power of the gut microbiome and how it may affect our moods.

So I look forward to seeing you in the next video and make sure you keep it locked in here with Jigsaw Health.