You know those mornings when you’re in such a rush that you settle for a pop tart for breakfast as you run out the door. Then a few hours later a burger at the drive through is your next choice of fuel. You may notice that as the day wears on you begin to feel a bit groggy and sluggish. You’re not hungry because your stomach was fed, but your brain didn’t receive the nutrients it needed to keep racing through your busy to-do list.
More studies and evidence are beginning to show that your gut and mind are interconnected, and what effects one could have a drastic impact on the other. There is even research being done at this time to determine if gut health influences mental illness such as depression, anxiety, and dementia.
Here are a few ways the gut can affect the brain.
Did you know there are about 500 million neurons that connect your gut to your brain through your nervous system? Within these nerves is the vagus nerve. It is the biggest nerve that connects your gut to your brain and sends signals both ways. According to healthline, an interesting study that was done recently “found that people with irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease had a reduced vagal tone, indicating a reduced function of the vagus nerve.”
A different test that was done on animals showed that stress could strangle the signals sent through the vagus nerve, potentially causing gastrointestinal problems. They also found that if they fed mice probiotics it could bring down the stress levels in their blood to help increase the nerve signaling. This, however, was no longer effective if the vagus nerve was cut, suggesting the importance of this nerve to gut and brain health.
Gut microbes affect your brain function in a big way. Not only do they make chemicals that affect how your brain works, but they are also the gatekeeper for what is allowed to enter into your body through the immune system.
Inflammation can occur if certain toxins are allowed to pass from the gut into the blood. This inflammation has been linked to a number of brain disorders such as severe depression, dementia, and schizophrenia.
With the gut and mind working so closely together it’s important that we pay equally close attention to what we are putting into our own body. Are we doing things that will help or hinder our gut health?
At Bionu we’ve researched the connection between gut health, mental health, and the neuro connection, which is why we’ve created a supplement to help. NeuroDrive is meant to provide mental clarity, improve memory, increase energy, reduce brain fog and improve brain and nervous system function by enhancing cranial blood flow and by increasing brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Pair NeuroDrive with GIRepair to repair and restore balance to the Gut-Brain Axis.
If you're interested in learning more about how poor gut health can affect your mental health then start focusing on what you're fueling your body with. Sometimes the smallest changes can have the biggest impacts on your health.