Ever had that ‘gut feeling’ about a situation? Or perhaps you have had a ‘gut-wrenching’ experience? Ever noticed that your digestion feels off when you are anxious? There is a reason for all of this – your gut is intrinsically linked to your brain!
Our brain and our gut are connected like a phone line, communicating back and forth. This ‘phone cord’ is the vagus nerve, a neural path between the brain and the gut. The vagus nerve is important in anti-inflammatory pathways, managing hunger cues, and relaxation. It transfers information about the gut all the way to the brain in your skull (and vice versa).
The vagus nerve connects to a section of the brain called the hypothalamus which controls emotions and hunger (it is the reason why smelling food can initiate hunger!). Long-term stress can diminish the diversity of bacteria in the gut and can increase bad bacteria. These changes to the microbiome also affect the development of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, which makes sense since the emotion centre (the hypothalamus) is involved.
As you can imagine, this can be a vicious cycle. For instance, you might be going through a stressful life event which creates an unhealthy balance of gut bacteria. This means a disrupted gastrointestinal tract sends signals to the brain which can affect your mood, creating more stress. A manageable way of keeping the gut-brain axis healthy is to fuel our gut with fibre and good bacteria. These habits influence our moods, so a happy gut quite literally results in a happy brain! Try Queen Garnet prebiotic powder products for healthy lifestyle and benefits from good bacteria science in the gut.