For many years, researchers have been uncovering the hidden connection between the gut and other organ systems. This connection was once originally thought to only impact certain health conditions, but we are finding now that the gut is linked and interconnected with every aspect of the body. Aside from the gut being a major player in overall health, the brain is a close second. Research has now shown that the Gut-Brain axis impacts the Central Nervous System, the Sympathetic Nervous System, and the Parasympathetic Nervous System.
Table of Contents
The Beginning Of The Gut-Brain Connection
The gut-brain axis begins as early as birth. The mother’s vaginal canal houses special microbiota that is transferred to the infant during the birthing process. This microbiota coating kickstarts the child’s microbiome as infants are born essentially “sterile”. If an infant is not exposed to the mother’s microbiota (example: if a child is born via cesarian-section) the infant has a significantly higher chance to develop autoimmune diseases in their lifetime as well as asthma. This is believed to be due to the fact that the bacterial contact the child received was out of order.
The Influence of the GI tract and the Central Nervous System
There are many factors that influence the development of the microbiota. The most common changes occur from stress, dietary reactions, and certain environmental triggers. The body handles physical and emotional stress the same way, which leads the sympathetic nervous system to ramp up.
We rely heavily on our gut being our first line of defense when succumbed to stress. The second factor that influences the GI tract and the Central Nervous System is dietary components. These dietary components look different for each individual. For some, gluten or dairy products cause inflammatory reactions while others are affected by high fructose diets. High fructose diets have been linked to insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and metabolic syndrome. These chronic health conditions manifest more inflammation and a higher probability of bacteria gaining access to the epithelial barrier.
One of the last factors that has been shown to impact the microbiota are environmental factors. These factors include toxins that can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
All of the factors mentioned above (stress, high fructose diets, and environmental factors) alter the cytokine levels throughout the body. When cytokines are altered, brain chemistry and neurotransmitters are altered. Cytokines have the ability to bypass the Blood-Brain Barrier. This directly acts on levels of serotonin released, overall affecting the mood and behaviors individuals feel.
It is important to realize how the body systems are interconnected and just how easy one aspect can influence bodily function.
Everything begins in the gut, which essentially means everything begins in the kitchen. Being aware of the nutritional components you ingest, will significantly improve gut health, leading to improved brain health. We often do not connect depression or headaches with our gut and diet, but it is one of the main factors that impact our overall health! Eating an anti-inflammatory diet and maintaining a regular exercise regime is a great place to start. – Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
Vreeland, Chapter: “The Gut-Brain Axis: The Role of the Gut in Brain Health,” 2015 from Integrative “Therapies for Depression: Redefining Models for Assessment, Treatment and Prevention.”
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
The information herein on "The Guts Relation to Optimal Brain Health " is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card