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The Second Brain

Posted by admin 3:58 am, 6 October 2015

Recent research has indicated that the gut may be our ‘second brain’ and be strongly linked to psychological functioning and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Serotonin is the main neurotransmitter that plays a role in anxiety and depression and the gut has been found to actually produce around 90% of the serotonin in our bodies. Dr David Perlmutter, US neurologist, has written a New York Times bestseller book called Brain Maker and has spoken about brain and mental health being hugely influenced by the flora of our digestive system. (More information about Dr Purlmutter can be found at http://www.drperlmutter.com/). The human gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) has always been linked to emotions. Greek philosopher Hippocrates said “all disease begins in the gut” and recent research may be providing evidence for this. We know that we often get butterflies when we’re nervous or even throw up when highly distressed. Yet recent research has suggested that the type of bacteria in the GI tract may be closely related to mental health issues. In an All in the Mind recent podcast a number of psychiatrists and other brain specialists discuss the issue, and propose that future treatment of these issues could be based on specific probiotic medications that may help make sure the gut is healthy. Have a listen to the podcast for further information.
Dr Rani Simpson