7 minute read
A Second Brain: How our microbiome and mental health is connected.
The term microbiome is becoming more and more popular as consumers demand products that naturally support their wellbeing. Fun fact: Did you know the human body has more bacteria than it does cells? This collection of bacteria is known as the microbiome. The microbiome is a vast community of trillions of bacteria and fungi that have a large impact on our bodies overall health. In order to keep a healthy balance of bacteria within your system, both good and bad fungi are needed. Let's explore the connection between the gut and brain, and uncover how it's linked to our mental health.
What is the gut-brain axis?
Have you ever heard of the term "gut feeling"? Aside from our intuition, this phrase has as a bigger meaning than you may think. The gut-brain axis (GBA) is the biochemical signaling that occurs between your gut and brain. This is referring to the interaction and influence of our emotions and cognitive center with intestinal functions. The connection between our gut and brain has a large impact on our bodies overall wellbeing.
Researchers have discovered how the brain and gut are connected, and the influence it has on mental health. According to a recent study, "The autonomic nervous system, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and nerves within the gastrointestinal tract, all link the gut and the brain, allowing the brain to influence intestinal activities, including activity of functional immune effector cells; and the gut to influence mood, cognition, and mental health."
How is the microbiome and gut-brain axis linked?
Have you ever experienced a gut-wrenching feeling? Butterflies in your stomach? Eaten a certain food that has affected your mood? Oddly enough your gut and brain are connected! A recent study discussed the importance behind a healthy microbiome and how it is vital for brain functions and emotional behaviors.
Researchers are developing a better understanding of the relationship between our GBA and its association with the central nervous disorders, through communication pathways. Emerging evidence has shown that anxiety and depressive-like behaviors may be influenced by the microbiota a.k.a gut bacteria. In a recent publication, "New studies show that bacteria, including commensal, probiotic, and pathogenic bacteria, in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract can activate neural pathways and central nervous system (CNS) signaling systems." Neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders have been shown to possibly be caused due to an imbalance within the microbiome.
How does the gut-brain axis communicate?
Pathways allow your microbes to interact with the GBA. There are a multitude of different types of pathways that link the gut and brain. These systems have a snowball effect on one another, meaning what helps one also assists the other. Let's dive into two different types of pathways and how they communicate signals from your brain to your gut.
1.) The Vagus Nerve Pathway
Also known as the "body's superhighway" helps oversee crucial bodily functions. These include immune response, managing mood, digestion, and more. Researchers conclude that this pathway connects the brain and gastrointestinal tract, sending vital information to our organs. The bacteria in our gut also influences food intake and diet, through signals that are sent to the brain. The vagus nerve plays a vital role with psychiatric disorders, including stress-induced and inflammatory diseases.
2.) The Immune Pathway
Did you know? 70% of the immune system resides in our gut. Being one of the largest organs in the body, the bacteria that resides in our microbiome helps respond to pathogens. This bad bacteria can lead to inflammation and disorders caused from the gut microbiota. This pathway signals to the body when it needs to fight off toxins or other potentially harmful pathogens.
Gut-Brain Axis Takeaway
The GBA has a large impact on our bodies overall wellbeing. From our immune system, to hormones, the gut-brain axis provides the body with afferent and efferent neutral signals that are crucial for bodily functions. With the GBA having a large influence in the microbiome, balance is key to supporting a healthy lifestyle. Infused with fulvic, blk. reduces inflammation and provides optimal mineral absorption to keep your body thriving! Studies have shown that fulvic acid supports the microbiome, improving the gut function and has a yin-yang effect when it comes to these physiological states. Our fulvic infused functional beverage gives you the ability to incorporate powerful antioxidants and over 77+ trace minerals into your diet all while increasing your bodies bioavailability.