Remember my post about how intestinal bacteria play an important role in brain chemistry and mental health?
Well, the topic is hot and there’s a lot of research going on in the field.
Below is a great infographic, which illustrates the connection between our gut bacteria and our brain. “Within the walls of our digestive system is the gut, or the “second brain,” which contains bacteria that could help mold our brain structure, possibly influencing our moods, behavior, and mental health, such as the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”
“The gut is able to communicate with the brain via the vagus nerve — a cranial nerve extending from the brainstem to the abdomen via the heart, esophagus and lung — known as the gut-brain axis. Ninety percent of the fibers in the vagus carry information from the gut to the brain.
Now, an imbalance of beneficial versus harmful gut bacteria, known as “dysbiosis,” has been linked to a number of psychiatric and neurological disorders, such as autism, anxiety, depression and stress. It may even play a role in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This suggests a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression. This is potentially related to pro-inflammatory states elicited by bacteria imbalance on or inside the body.”