Ever had butterflies, had a gut-wrenching moment, or thought you’d follow that feeling in your gut? It turns out the science suggests there are reasons we get these ‘feelings’ and it’s known as the gut-brain connection or gut-brain axis. Yes, that’s right, there is a communication system between your gut and brain. Interestingly, recent studies suggest that your brain affects your gut and your gut may affect your brain.
Your gut and brain are connected by your nervous system, most notably by the Vagus nerve, one of the largest nerves that connect your gut and brain. This nerve sends a signal in both directions between the gut and brain. Studies have found that reduced functioning of the Vagus nerve may be a factor in stomach issues such as IBS or Crohn’s disease. Your gut and brain are also connected by neurotransmitters which are chemicals that are produced in the brain and in the gut. They are responsible for helping control feelings and emotions.
Recent research suggests that due to these connections, your brain may affect your gut. For example, if you’re stressed, anxious or depressed, you may encounter distress in your stomach or intestines. Equally, if you have gut issues, it may cause anxiety, stress or depression. While a lot of this information is still new and more studies are needed, it has long been thought that a diet rich in gut-friendly foods may benefit your brain function.
If you feel like you may need to improve your gut-brain connection, our NeoVos test analyses key biomarkers called Short-Chain Fatty Acids to understand how healthy your gut is. You will then receive a gut health score out of ten and dietary and lifestyle advice on how to improve your gut health. Shop the test here.