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Gut-brain connection and digestion

Gut-brain connection and digestion

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The food digdstion eat can Gut-braain a Gu-brain role in maintaining Guut-brain healthy gut-brain connection. Certain nutrients and dietary components can either divestion or hinder gut Gut-braim and the composition of the digeztion microbiome. Here are some ways in which nutrition can affect the gut-brain connection:.

Here is a ocnnection article on an. best foods for optimal gut health. Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the human body. However, it plays an important role in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome by serving as food for beneficial bacteria in the gut.

When these bacteria consume fiber, they produce short-chain fatty acids SCFAs which provide energy to the gut cells and have anti-inflammatory effects. SCFAs also help regulate appetite and may improve mood by increasing the production of certain neurotransmitters.

Prebiotics are types of fiber that specifically feed beneficial gut bacteria, while probiotics are live bacteria that can colonize the gut and provide health benefits.

Both prebiotics and probiotics can play an important role in maintaining a healthy gut-brain connection. Research suggests that certain probiotic strains may be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and in improving overall mental health. When choosing a probiotic supplement, it's important to look for one that contains strains that have been shown to be effective in human studies.

While the best probiotic for women may vary depending on individual needs, some strains that have been shown to be beneficial for gut health and mental health include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

In addition to fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics, there are several other foods that can support a healthy gut microbiome. These include fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, as well as fruits and vegetables that are high in polyphenols and other antioxidants.

Polyphenols are plant compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and may help promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Maintaining a healthy gut-brain connection involves more than just eating the right foods. Here are some other strategies that can help promote gut health and improve mental health:.

Eating a diet that is rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats, can help promote a healthy gut microbiome and improve overall health.

Whole foods are typically high in fiber, polyphenols, and other nutrients that are beneficial for gut health and mental health. Stress can have a negative impact on gut health by disrupting the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut and increasing inflammation.

Finding ways to manage stress, such as through exercise, meditation, or therapy, can help improve gut health and promote a healthy gut-brain connection. Sleep is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being, and it may also play a role in gut health and the gut-brain connection.

Research suggests that sleep disturbances can disrupt the gut microbiome and increase the risk of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome IBS. Getting enough high-quality sleep on a regular basis is important for promoting a healthy gut-brain connection.

In addition to incorporating whole foods into the diet, reducing stress levels and prioritizing sleep, there are other strategies that can be useful in maintaining a healthy gut-brain connection. One such strategy is to avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners, which can negatively impact the gut microbiome and the gut-brain axis.

Instead, focus on consuming whole, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods provide the necessary nutrients and fiber to support a healthy gut and promote optimal brain function. Exercising is also beneficial for the gut-brain connection.

Studies have shown that exercise can help to reduce inflammation and improve gut microbiome diversity. Furthermore, physical activity has been linked to reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, likely due in part to the positive effects it has on the gut-brain axis.

Finally, seeking the guidance of a health professional can be helpful in improving gut health and mental well-being. Nutrition counseling and health coaching can provide personalized advice and support for making positive changes to diet and lifestyle habits.

Therapy can also be a valuable tool in addressing mental health concerns and managing stress, which can improve gut function and overall health.

In conclusion, the gut-brain connection is a fascinating and critical aspect of human physiology that has far-reaching effects on our physical and mental health. By understanding how this connection works and how it can be supported through nutrition and lifestyle choices, we can take steps to improve our overall well-being.

In particular, the gut microbiome plays a key role in maintaining a healthy gut-brain axis, and certain foods and supplements, such as probiotics, can help to support a healthy microbiome. Furthermore, lifestyle factors such as stress management, exercise, and sleep can also have a significant impact on gut health and mental well-being.

For those seeking to improve their gut-brain connection and overall health, working with a certified health and wellness coach like Ashley Stanek at Sunshine City Counseling in St. Petersburg, Fl can be a valuable tool.

Ashley is experienced in providing nutrition counseling and health coachingand can offer personalized guidance and support for making positive changes to diet and lifestyle habits. Additionally, therapy can be a valuable resource for addressing mental health concerns and managing stress.

Prioritizing gut health and the gut-brain connection can lead to improved physical and mental well-being. By incorporating whole foods into the diet, reducing stress levels, exercising regularly, and seeking professional guidance when necessary, we can take steps to support a healthy gut microbiome and optimize brain function.

With the support of a certified health and wellness coach like Ashley Stanek, anyone can make positive changes to their diet and lifestyle and improve their overall health and well-being.

Functional Nutritionist and Certified Health and Wellness Coach. We provide online counseling and in-person therapy in the states of Florida and Maine. The Gut-Brain Connection: How It Works and Why It Matters for Mental Health and Nutrition.

Mental Health Knowledge Holistic Health. Jun 2 Written By The Team at Sunshine City Counseling. The Gut-Brain Connection: What is it and how does it work? The enteric nervous system ENS The ENS is a complex network of neurons that is located in the walls of the gastrointestinal tract.

The role of the vagus nerve. Two-way communication between the gut and brain The gut-brain axis is a two-way communication system. The Importance of the Gut-Brain Connection Digestion and metabolism The gut-brain connection is crucial for regulating digestion and metabolism. Immune function The gut is home to trillions of bacteria, known as the gut microbiome.

Mental health and well-being. Schedule Free Coaching Session. How the Gut-Brain Connection Affects Mental Health The gut-brain axis theory The gut-brain axis theory suggests that the gut and brain are interconnected and can influence each other's function.

Role of the gut microbiome in mental health The gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of bacteria that plays a vital role in mental health. Connection between gut health and stress, anxiety, and depression Stress can have a significant impact on gut health, leading to disruptions in the gut-brain axis.

Take Free Anxiety Quiz. Nutrition and the Gut-Brain Connection The food we eat can play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy gut-brain connection. Here are some ways in which nutrition can affect the gut-brain connection: Here is a helpful article on the.

Role of dietary fiber Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the human body. Importance of prebiotics and probiotics Prebiotics are types of fiber that specifically feed beneficial gut bacteria, while probiotics are live bacteria that can colonize the gut and provide health benefits.

: Gut-brain connection and digestion

How Your Brain and Emotions Control Your Gut This connfction the signals generated in the gut can massively influence the brain. It connects the brain to the connectiion and other vital organs. Gut-braln participants were instructed to Gluten-free athletic supplements focused xigestion the experience of eating chocolate, Gut-brain connection and digestion to continue working on Gut-brain connection and digestion puzzle. In the colon, gustducin appears to be involved in the release of GLP-1 and GIP in response to short-chain fatty acids. It can be used as a treatment to maintain the balance or rebalance the gut bacteria, thus improving overall health status. To achieve and maintain a healthy gut and mind, both need to function effectively and in collaboration with each other; not separately or in isolation. When a meal is eaten, levels of GI peptides in the blood rise dramatically Ellrichmann et al.
Ways our Mind and Gut are Connected

The sour taste receptor has a number of candidate channels, including acid-sensing ion channels ASICs , hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated HCN channels, and polycystic kidney disease PKD family member channels, but no one channel has yet been definitively identified.

As summarized by Margolskee, researchers recently have identified taste-like cells in the gut that play an important role in integrating physiological responses during digestion. Taste-like cells in the gut are not actual taste cells, although they have a number of characteristics in common with true oral taste cells: they are morphologically similar under both light and electron microscopy and produce many of the same taste signaling proteins.

Indeed, the signaling process that occurs in certain types of endocrine cells in the gut is very similar to the transduction process that occurs in oral taste cells Cummings and Overduin, see Figure In both types of cells, when G protein-coupled receptors at the apical surface of the cell couple with gustducin and other taste-associated G proteins, they initiate a signal transduction cascade involving multiple signaling enzymes, second messengers e.

Margolskee explained that one of the differences between taste receptors in the oral cavity and taste-like receptors in the gut is that instead of releasing a true neurotransmitter, taste-like receptors in the gut release neuropeptide hormones, such as GLP-1 glucagon-like peptide SOURCE: Modified from Cummings and Overduin, Reprinted with permission of the American Society for Clincial more Margolskee went on to explain that the idea that taste signaling molecules exist in the gut dates back to the mids, when Dirk Höfer discovered alpha-gustducin the alpha subunit of the heterotrimeric gustducin protein being expressed in stomach and intestinal cells that had the general appearance of taste receptor cells Höfer et al.

Subsequently, Enrique Rozengurt's group identified a number of T2R bitter taste receptors in the stomach and small intestine Wu et al. Later, Soraya Shirazi-Beechey found T1R receptors in the gut Dyer et al.

In more detailed microscopic studies, Shirazi-Beechey and Margolskee collaborated and found that both T1R2 and T1R3, the two components of the sweet receptor, are present in a small subset of cells lining the small intestinal mucosa and that the cells have the typical appearance of enteroendocrine cells Margolskee et al.

Margolskee and his team also collaborated with Josephine Egan at the National Institutes of Health and identified several taste signaling proteins in both human and mouse tissues. They also found essentially the entire taste transduction pathway as it was known to exist in oral taste cells, in gut endocrine cells, and particularly in L cells expressing GLP-1 Jang et al.

Li also found a number of short chain fatty acids co-expressed with alpha-gustducin in endocrine cells in the colon, including cells activated by the G protein-coupled receptors GPR43 and GPR Curious about the potential physiological role of gustducin in the colon, she turned to gustducin knockout mice and found that short chain fatty acid—stimulated GLP-1 secretion from colon endocrine cells requires alpha-gustducin.

In other collaborative work between Margolskee's laboratory and Shirazi-Beechey's group, the researchers examined SGLT1 sodium glucose co-transporter 1 expression in two types of knockout mice Margolskee et al. SGLT1 is a protein that co-transports glucose and sodium from the gut lumen across the absorptive enterocytes and into the epithelial cells.

According to Margolskee, this is typically the rate-limiting step for glucose uptake in the small intestine. Margolskee, Shirazi-Beechey, and colleagues found that SGLT1 mRNA messenger RNA , SGLT1 protein expression, and glucose uptake activity in wild-type mice all increased when the mice were treated with a high-carbohydrate diet compared with a low-carbohydrate diet.

But in knockout mice missing T1R3, a component of both the sweet and umami receptors, there was no difference in SGLT1 between the low- and high-carbohydrate diets.

Likewise with gustducin knockout mice, the research revealed no difference in SGLT1 mRNA or protein or glucose uptake activity between the low- and high-carbohydrate diets. According to Margolskee, the evidence suggests that both T1R3 and gustducin are necessary to elicit an increase in SGLT1 in response to dietary carbohydrate and a subsequent increase in glucose uptake activity.

Margolskee described a similar effect observed in knockout mice fed either a low-carbohydrate diet alone or a low-carbohydrate diet supplemented with a noncaloric sweetener i. Wild-type mice showed an increase in SGLT1 mRNA, SGLT1 protein, and glucose uptake activity when their low-carbohydrate diet was supplemented with a noncaloric sweetener, but knockout mice did not.

These results indicate a chemosensory detection pathway in the gut that responds to luminal sugars and luminal sweeteners and leads to the up-regulation of SGLT1 and an increase in glucose uptake activity across the gut. Margolskee and others have found taste-like receptors not just in the stomach and intestine but also in the pancreas.

Margolskee described unpublished data showing the expression of gustducin in pancreatic islet alpha cells and the expression of T1R3 in both alpha and beta cells. The function of these pancreas taste-like receptors is unclear. However, both in vitro data and data from wild-type versus T1R3 knockout mice suggest that these receptors play a role in sweetener-enhanced insulin release.

Margolskee noted that researchers have observed a number of gut hormones, including GLP1, GIP gastric inhibitory peptide , and CCK, expressed in multiple types of oral taste cells.

Oral taste cells also express intestinal sugar sensors, such as SGLT1, and pancreatic metabolic sensors Yee et al. Margolskee gave an example of the expression of gut proteins in the oral cavity. Based on studies with T1R3 knockout mice showing a loss of response to noncaloric sweeteners but not to sugars Damak et al.

They hypothesized the presence of a glucose transport pathway similar to what has been observed in pancreatic beta cells.

Indeed, they found that a number of the same pancreatic pathway components were present in oral taste tissue Yee et al. Margolskee speculated that gut-like glucose transporters in taste cells may help people and animals distinguish caloric from noncaloric sweeteners.

In summary, Margolskee noted that researchers have identified whole taste signaling pathways in both the gut and pancreas and in both the proximal and distal gut. In the pancreas, both pancreatic islet alpha and beta cells express taste elements.

Gustducin and T1R3 in the gut are involved in the release of GLP-1 and GIP in response to sweeteners and, in the proximal gut, in the regulation of SGLT1 levels.

In the colon, gustducin appears to be involved in the release of GLP-1 and GIP in response to short-chain fatty acids. With regard to the role of taste signaling molecules in the pancreas, preliminary evidence suggests that gustducin and T1R3 are involved in sweetener detection and, under some circumstances, insulin secretion.

Robert Ritter elaborated on information and ideas presented earlier by Timothy Moran and explored in more detail how GI peptides, CCK in particular, provide the brain with information that contributes to the process of satiation and reduces food intake.

He focused on CCK because scientists know more about how it modulates vagal afferent activity compared with what is known about other GI peptides.

GI peptides are localized in specialized enteroendocrine cells scattered among the cells of the absorptive and secretory mucosa of the GI tract, from the stomach through the colon. Nerve fibers pass through the extracellular space beneath the mucosa, into which GI peptide secretion occurs, creating the opportunity for both endocrine and neuronal peptide actions.

According to Ritter, although the actions of some GI peptides were discovered in the early 20th century e. A dozen or more GI peptides have been identified to date.

Several are involved in control of food intake, including CCK, which is secreted in the proximal small intestine, and GLP-1, PYY peptide tyrosine tyrosine , and oxyntomodulin, all of which are secreted by L cells in the more distal small intestine and large intestine.

CCK, GLP-1, PYY , and oxyntomodulin all reduce food intake e. Ghrelin, which is released from cells in the gastric mucosa, increases food intake. Ritter went on to explain that after their secretion from enteroendocrine cells, GI peptides in the blood can broadcast a signal to any tissue with a matching receptor, including tissues in GI organs where the peptides help coordinate digestive function.

Early during the digestive process, they contribute to slowing gastric emptying and stimulating pancreatic secretion of enzymes and bicarbonate. Later they facilitate secretion of insulin and the postabsorptive assimilation of nutrients see the review by Rehfeld, GI peptides also play an important role in limiting food intake.

In Ritter's opinion, food intake can be viewed as yet another part of the digestive process, given that reducing food intake limits the inflow of food into the digestive tract during a meal and thereby facilitates the efficient digestion and absorption of what has been eaten. In addition to their impact on GI tissues, GI peptides act on the brain and innervation of the GI tract see reviews by Banks, ; de Lartigue, ; and Schwartz, According to Ritter, a hallmark of GI peptides is that their secretion and levels in circulation are controlled by nutrients in the GI tract during a meal.

When a meal is eaten, levels of GI peptides in the blood rise dramatically Ellrichmann et al. Initially, upon entry of nutrients into the intestine, CCK levels rise rapidly to six or seven times their fasting level.

Soon thereafter, GLP-1 and PYY levels rise as well. The initial rapid rise in CCK levels has been shown to facilitate the release of the other peptides in anticipation of actual direct stimulation of their secretion by nutrients as food moves down through the intestine.

Another hallmark of GI peptides, according to Ritter, is that their impact on the control of food intake is focused on limiting the size and duration of an ingested meal.

CCK, GLP-1, and PYY all reduce food intake, primarily by reducing meal size and meal duration rather than by decreasing the number of meals initiated see the review by Ritter, Ritter elaborated on what Moran had discussed about CCK reducing food intake through its effect on vagal afferent neurons.

According to Ritter, a vagal mode of action characterizes not only CCK but most other GI peptides as well; in fact, their ability to reduce food intake is attenuated or virtually abolished when the abdominal vagus nerve is cut.

For ghrelin, however, the stimulatory effect on food intake is more complicated. According to Ritter, ghrelin appears to antagonize the excitatory effects of some of the other GI peptides on vagal afferent firing, although a role for the vagus in actually mediating the increase in food intake through ghrelin is doubtful.

All vagal afferents release glutamate, a neurotransmitter, in the hindbrain. Thus, not surprisingly in Ritter's opinion, CCK-induced reduction of food intake has been shown to be sensitive to antagonism of glutamate receptors in the hindbrain.

In fact, antagonism of NMDA-type N -methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors with selective receptor antagonists injected directly into the hindbrain reverses or prevents reduction of food intake by exogenously administered CCK Wright et al. An interesting feature of vagal afferent fibers, according to Ritter, is their very quick release of all available neurotransmitters and failure over time.

Susan Appleyard has shown that upon stimulation of vagal afferent inputs, postsynaptic cells fire but then fail; however, their failure can be reversed by local application of CCK Appleyard et al.

In terms of the specific cellular mechanism by which CCK enhances vagal afferent transmission, Ritter has found that CCK activates an enzyme, an extracellular receptor kinase, that phosphorylates synapsin. Synapsins are proteins that bind synaptic vesicles to the cytoskeleton of the neuron; they help control the availability of neurotransmitters for release.

When phosphorylated, synaptic vesicles are freed from the cytoskeleton and the availability of transmitters for release is increased. When dephosphorylated, the vesicles remain bound to the cytoskeleton of the neuron and fewer transmitters are available for release Cesca et al. Normally, CCK reduces food intake for only a short period of time, about 30 minutes, but inhibiting dephosphorylation of synapsin can extend and enhance the ability of CCK to reduce meal size Campos et al.

According to Ritter, it is not yet known whether other GI peptides operate in a similar way. Ritter emphasized that the GI signals controlling food intake are directly related to food that has just been consumed and is in the process of being digested and absorbed.

However, other parts of the physiology of an organism provide the brain with indirect information about metabolism that can also impact food intake. Notable among these, said Ritter, is leptin, a protein produced by adipose tissue. Injection of leptin into rats and mice dramatically reduces food intake by reducing meal size, with administration over days or weeks leading to weight loss Kahler et al.

Given that leptin acts on the brain to produce reductions in meal size in a manner very similar to that of feedback signals from GI tract hormones such as CCK, Ritter and his colleagues were driven to ask whether vagal afferent function is modulated in any way by leptin.

Indeed, interaction between leptin and gut hormones begins in the GI tract, at the peripheral vagal afferents. About 45 percent of vagal afferents that innervate the stomach and small intestine express both CCK and leptin receptors Peters et al.

It has been shown that leptin and CCK can enhance each other's action, with the combined administration of subthreshold doses of both substances resulting in reduced meal size i. Nevertheless, according to Ritter, there is good evidence that leptin produces major effects on food intake by acting on the hypothalamus, where it activates what are known as POMC pro-opiomelanocortin neurons and increases release of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone alpha-MSH , which then acts on the melanocortin-4 MC4 receptor see the review by Ellacot and Cone, Of interest, Ritter noted, antagonism of the MC4 receptor also attenuates the response to CCK Sutton et al.

Ritter and his colleagues have hypothesized that the modulatory effect of leptin occurs at the vagal afferent terminal itself. Evidence to this effect includes MC4 receptor expression by vagal afferents Wan et al. Indeed, Campos and colleagues demonstrated that POMC neurons act at receptors at the first presynaptic element in the visceral afferent communication pathway and that administration of an MC4 agonist into the hindbrain can elevate phosphorylation of synapsin for hours.

The ultimate effect, Ritter explained, is that leptin-initiated activation of MC4 enhances vagal afferent transmission and normally, transmission from the vagal afferents to the hindbrain experiences about a 70 percent failure rate.

Activation of the MC4 receptor cuts that rate in half. It also decreases the rate of decline of the amplitude of postsynaptic depolarizations that occur in response to vagal stimulation. Essentially, then, MC4 activation increases the fidelity and strength of vagal afferent transmission. Based on this growing body of evidence, Ritter proposed a model in need of further study: CCK and other gut peptides activate vagal afferents and provide the primary signal for satiation, but the signal is modulated by leptin and perhaps other endocrine signals.

Ritter concluded by emphasizing that several GI peptides are involved with food intake and that they all interact with each other as well as with relevant non-GI hormones to reduce food intake. One of the places where they interact is the first visceral afferent synapse in the nucleus of the solitary tract of the hindbrain, which, he said, is where the experience of satiation begins.

Laurette Dubé considered the different levels of context within which brain-digestive system interactions operate.

Dubé referred workshop participants to two recent reviews of scientists' understanding of that context: 1 Dagher , on brain regions activated during functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI studies of food cue reactivity, and 2 Vainik et al.

Dubé then described in detail two empirical studies she and her colleagues conducted based on the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire DEBQ , used to assess three types of eating behaviors: restrained, emotional, and external van Strien et al. External eating involves a predisposition to ignoring homeostatic signals and reacting primarily to external hedonic cues Burton et al.

Together, the results of these two studies suggest to Dubé that as scientists move forward in their quest to understand eating behavior, they need to study more closely the interactions among the rewarding, executive, and homeostatic control regions of the brain and their psychological and behavioral correlates.

In the first study unpublished Dubé described, her research team asked participants to come to the laboratory and work on a puzzle. While working on the puzzle, the participants were interrupted six times to eat chocolate.

Some participants were instructed to remain focused on the experience of eating chocolate, others to continue working on the puzzle. The researchers evaluated impact on consumption by measuring self-reported hunger before and after consumption.

They found that high-external eaters behaved as expected based on reports in the literature; that is, they experienced a much more intense hedonic response and only a small change in hunger before and after consumption. Low-external eaters, in contrast, experienced a significant decline in hunger before and after consumption when distracted by the puzzle task and not focused on the sensory experience of eating chocolate.

This finding reflects their individual predisposition to rely on biological processes more than on environmental cues. When asked to focus on the chocolate, however, low-external eaters experienced no decrease in hunger, their attention to sensory cues seemingly interfering with usual biological signals.

In the second study Lebel et al. In other words, their eating behavior is driven by a full array of mental schemata, attempting to overrule biological processes. Low-schematic eaters score low on all three types of eating. However, they did find significant differences in preconsumption fullness and change in fullness between pre- and postconsumption , with high schematics reporting greater preconsumption fullness and a smaller change in fullness upon eating, and low schematics reporting being less full before consumption and experiencing a greater change in fullness upon eating.

Participants also were either told that their job was to taste the bar imposed consumption or asked whether they would like to try it free choice. The researchers found that participants who were told that the bar was tasty reported similar levels of hunger after consumption regardless of whether consumption was imposed or they were given free choice.

In contrast, participants who were told that the bar was healthy reported significantly greater hunger after consumption when consumption was imposed compared with when they were given free choice. Again, for Dubé, these results highlight the need for scientific study of eating behavior and the complex interplay among different brain systems within a broader behavioral context.

Dubé characterized the fetal environment as a key context in biology and behavior. She pointed to the Barker hypothesis as an example. Barker hypothesized that low birth weight is associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity later in life. Dubé pointed workshop participants to a forthcoming review in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences on intrauterine growth restriction IUGR and its impact later in life.

In fact, researchers are finding correlations between IUGR and eating behavior not just later in life but early on as well. A study of year-old women who had been observed over their lifetime showed that low-birth-weight women were consuming more carbohydrates and had higher BMIs Barbieri et al.

Meanwhile, a study of week-old preterm newborn babies showed that low-birth-weight babies reacted less to sensitivity tests, postulated as being due to increased need, compared with non-low-birth-weight babies of the same gestational age Ayres et al. Numerous other studies have found similar correlations across a wide range of ages e.

Dubé and colleagues recently collected self-reported birth weight data for children aged 6 to 12 years from both the children and their mothers and used the DEBQ to measure eating behaviors and daily food consumption. They found that low-birth-weight children showed the same pattern as in the previous literature, with higher consumption of fat and sugar manuscript under review.

They also examined high-birth-weight children—that is, children born with high BMIs—and found that the high-birth-weight children showed more restrained eating and more emotional eating as defined by the DEBQ compared with controls, but no difference in external eating manuscript under review.

According to Dubé, both increased restricted eating and increased emotional eating are associated with obesity and high BMIs. In the same cohort of children aged 6 to 12 years discussed above, Dubé and colleagues also measured attachment Muris et al.

Attachment is an extensively studied construct in both animals and humans, Dubé explained, with a measure of attachment providing information about the role of the primary caregiver in defining how an animal or person decides to explore beyond what has been programmed at birth.

More secure attachment allows child and adult alike to engage with confidence in novel activities, including exploring alternatives to biological programming such as an innate liking for sugar typical of high-calorie food and dislike of bitter foods which typically encompass many nutritious foods, including vegetables.

Using hour recall not just for food but also for other healthy and unhealthy eating-related habits, Dubé and colleagues found that children with insecure attachment experienced high eating schematicity for all three DEBQ eating behaviors; greater consumption of salty snacks; lower consumption of water and fruit; and greater likelihood of skipping breakfast, eating out, and eating in front of the television during weekdays.

In Dubé's opinion, these findings suggest that more attention should be paid, in both research and practice, to exploring how the early home environment influences a life course of eating behavior.

Other relevant findings include Puhl and Schwartz's report that parental food rules can influence eating behavior, with some parents using food to reward or punish and encourage or discourage good or bad noneating behavior.

Parents applying a control food rule typically use high-calorie food to encourage good behavior. Dubé cited a study showing higher caloric content, fat, and sugar in the diets of children exposed to parental food control rules. This effect was stronger for children in particular boys with an individual predisposition to being responsive to rewarding environmental cues as indexed by the Behavioral Activation System BAS scale, with children scoring on the high end of the scale tending to be more sensitive to reward Carver and White, Dubé cited Côté and Moskowitz , Lu et al.

Dubé explained that plentiful correlational evidence collected at the population level over the past few decades links changes in eating behavior and BMI with various changes in the food environment. Examples are the increased availability of processed food, typically with high fat, sugar, and salt content, and increased food advertising Buijzen et al.

Dubé argued that it is necessary to examine the effects of the food environment on individual and social processes. She reported results of a study conducted in the Montreal metropolitan area Buckeridge et al. In another study conducted in Montreal, an individual food environment was defined by a buffer zone around a person's residential address Paquet et al.

That study demonstrated interactive effects between the density of fast-food restaurants and eating behavior. Individuals scoring low on the BAS were not influenced by the density of fast-food restaurants, while those scoring high on the BAS consumed more fast food when exposed to a higher density of fast-food restaurants.

Dubé urged more such studies. She encouraged the use of geographic information systems GISs to aid in examining multiple layers of data for the same geographic area.

For almost 10 years now, Dubé has been leading a network of McGill University and other scientists in studying eating behavior in its broader context.

Together, they developed the Brain-to-Society BtS model of eating behavior Dubé et al. The BtS model is based on the premise that eating is a neurobehavior that operates in contexts on different sectoral, temporal, and geographic scales. Not only does each contextual level need to be studied by itself in depth, Dubé opined, but the different levels also need to be studied in combination through a systems science framework Dubé et al.

Following Dubé's presentation, the speakers in session 1 participated in a panel discussion with the audience. Questions from the audience spanned a wide range of topics. During his presentation, Moran had emphasized that vagal afferents innervating the stomach were stimulated by load volume, not content.

A member of the audience observed that Moran had presented gastric load data from experiments using glucose and asked whether other macronutrients produced the same effect. Moran replied that he and his research team compared glucose and casein and observed no difference.

Additionally, in experiments using pyloric cuffs, 12 no differences in subsequent food intake were observed across loads of different nutrient characters Phillips and Powley, Moran reiterated that in the stomach, the reduced food intake response is a response to gastric volume.

He pointed to work showing that in the intestine, on the other hand, nutrient content can be sensed and can guide behavior Sclafani and Akroff, While the discussion was on the topic of nutrient-specific responses, Margolskee was asked whether any other macronutrients produce taste-like responses similar to what he and his colleagues observed with the sweet taste-like receptor and response.

Margolskee replied that he and his team observed responses in the proximal gut to sugars and sweeteners, triggering the release of the gut hormones GLP-1 and GIP. But in the distal gut, where one would not expect sugars to be reaching, they observed at least some association with short-chain fatty acid responses leading to release of GLP-1 Li et al.

In Margolskee's opinion, then, different macronutrients do in fact trigger taste-like responses depending on where in the gut the GLP-1—producing L and GIP-producing K cells are located. With respect to bitter taste, Margolskee said, the evidence for expression of the bitter T2R receptor in the gut is weaker than the evidence for the sweet taste receptor molecules, as is the evidence for a physiological role for bitter taste-like receptors in the gut.

With respect to salt, there is good evidence that ENaC is involved in a low sodium concentration response in the oral cavity. Also in the oral cavity, there is likely a different, still unidentified receptor involved in a high sodium concentration response.

But according to Margolskee, it is unclear how what is happening in the oral cavity relates to salt-responding cells in the gut. Several questions were raised about taste and taste-like cells. First, an audience member asked whether tastes have differential effects on reward and subsequent eating behavior.

For example, would subsequent eating behavior differ if umami were placed in the gut instead of glucose? And do different amino acids placed in the gut have different satiety potency?

The audience member cited evidence from Kunio Torii that monosodium glutamate is particularly effective in the gut in producing satiety and controlling dietary-induced obesity Yasumatsu et al. Noting that the umami oral taste system in rats appears to be more specifically sensitive to monosodium glutamate relative to other amino acids than is the case in humans, he asked whether the same is true of the umami gut system.

Margolskee remarked that the umami taste system is highly complex, even in the oral cavity. In addition to significant differences in umami receptors, T1R1 and T1R3, in the oral cavity of rodents versus humans, which may explain some sensory differences between rodent and human preferences for particular amino acids, there is good evidence to suggest that other receptors play a role as well.

But it is difficult to tease apart which receptors are involved with which amino acids. In Margolskee's opinion, this is likely as true of umami receptors in the gut as of those in the oral cavity.

Some taste-like cells appear to have both sweet and umami receptors, for example, or both sweet and bitter receptors. During his presentation, Margolskee briefly touched on the existence and role of taste-like receptors in the pancreas.

An audience member asked whether the same pancreatic response that has been observed in wild-type mice—that is, that sucralose promotes insulin release—would be expected in mice or rats that are prediabetic or have type 1 diabetes.

Margolskee replied that one would expect the same kind of response, but the question has not been studied. Margolskee also was asked about oral sensory detection of fat and its effects on physiology. He mentioned work he is doing in collaboration with Anthony Sclafani and John Glendinning Sclafani et al.

During his presentation, Ritter emphasized that stimulation of one type of nerve fiber can influence the response of other types of nerve fiber because of the proximity of different types of nerve endings in the brain. This and other observations led an audience member to ask the panel to comment on whether studying cells or tissues in isolation creates a different impression of brain-digestive system interactions compared with studying whole organisms.

From a practical point of view, we do many reductionist, reduced preparations where we drive the system to be able to see a response, for example, with isolated pancreatic eyelets.

We can do things to the eyelets that would be much harder to do in the intact animal model. Your gut microbes produce lots of short-chain fatty acids SCFA such as butyrate, propionate and acetate They make SCFA by digesting fiber. SCFA affect brain function in a number of ways, such as reducing appetite.

One study found that consuming propionate can reduce food intake and reduce the activity in the brain related to reward from high-energy food Another SCFA, butyrate, and the microbes that produce it are also important for forming the barrier between the brain and the blood, which is called the blood-brain barrier Gut microbes also metabolize bile acids and amino acids to produce other chemicals that affect the brain Bile acids are chemicals made by the liver that are normally involved in absorbing dietary fats.

However, they may also affect the brain. Two studies in mice found that stress and social disorders reduce the production of bile acids by gut bacteria and alter the genes involved in their production 19 , Gut and gut microbes play an important role in your immune system and inflammation by controlling what is passed into the body and what is excreted Lipopolysaccharide LPS is an inflammatory toxin made by certain bacteria.

It can cause inflammation if too much of it passes from the gut into the blood. This can happen when the gut barrier becomes leaky , which allows bacteria and LPS to cross over into the blood.

Inflammation and high LPS in the blood have been associated with a number of brain disorders including severe depression, dementia and schizophrenia Your gut and brain are connected physically through millions of nerves, most importantly the vagus nerve.

The gut and its microbes also control inflammation and make many different compounds that can affect brain health.

Gut bacteria affect brain health, so changing your gut bacteria may improve your brain health. Probiotics are live bacteria that impart health benefits if eaten. However, not all probiotics are the same. Some probiotics have been shown to improve symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression 25 , One small study of people with irritable bowel syndrome and mild-to-moderate anxiety or depression found that taking a probiotic called Bifidobacterium longum NCC for six weeks significantly improved symptoms Prebiotics , which are typically fibers that are fermented by your gut bacteria, may also affect brain health.

One study found that taking a prebiotic called galactooligosaccharides for three weeks significantly reduced the amount of stress hormone in the body, called cortisol Probiotics that affect the brain are also called psychobiotics.

Both probiotics and prebiotics have been shown to reduce levels of anxiety, stress and depression. A number of foods such as oily fish, fermented foods and high-fiber foods may help increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut and improve brain health.

Millions of nerves and neurons run between your gut and brain. Neurotransmitters and other chemicals produced in your gut also affect your brain. Omega-3 fatty acids, fermented foods, probiotics and other polyphenol-rich foods may improve your gut health, which may benefit the gut-brain axis.

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. Probiotics are microorganisms that provide a health benefit when consumed. Here's everything you need to know about probiotics. Both probiotics and prebiotics help keep your gut bacteria healthy but serve different functions.

Here are the functions and benefits of each. Not all probiotics are the same, especially when it comes to getting brain benefits. See which probiotics work best for enhancing cognitive function.

Some medical professionals deny that leaky gut exists, while others claim it causes all sorts of diseases. Here's an unbiased look at the evidence. Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important for your body and brain.

This article lists 17 science-based health benefits of omega-3s. Having healthy gut bacteria is important for your health. However, many diet, lifestyle and other factors can negatively affect the health of your gut.

Short-chain fatty acids are produced by the friendly bacteria in your gut. They may promote weight loss and provide various health benefits. While they're not typically able to prescribe, nutritionists can still benefits your overall health.

Let's look at benefits, limitations, and more.

‘Good’ bacteria gov means it's official. NCBI Bookshelf. Ghrelin, which is released from cells in the gastric mucosa, increases food intake. In this Page. Challenging situations can also give rise to difficult emotions which can be overwhelming but can be helped with the appropriate counselling or psychotherapy treatment or in some cases, medication. Still, she encouraged development of an interface protocol and stressed the importance of having a sense of the system as whole while studying single pieces. Scientists have shown in rats that removing or cutting the vagal afferent nerves blocks CCK satiety and under some circumstances increases the volume of food consumed.
The Gut-brain connection and digestion system between your ditestion and brain is called the gut-brain Caloric expenditure tracker. The gut-brain Gyt-brain is a term for Gut-vrain communication network that Gut--brain your gut and brain 1Gut health solutions3. Neurons are cells found in your brain and central nervous system that tell your body how to behave. There are approximately billion neurons in the human brain 4. Interestingly, your gut contains million neurons, which are connected to your brain through nerves in your nervous system 5. The vagus nerve is one of the biggest nerves connecting your gut and brain. It sends signals dkgestion both directions 67.

Gut-brain connection and digestion -

Galway galway mindandbodyworks. Mon-Fri 8am-9pm Sat 9am-6pm. The gut and the brain: two separate entities yet intimately connected. It is an organ system which comprises of the mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestines. It plays a major role, not only in our digestive health, but in the wellness of the entire body.

The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. It produces our every thought, action, memory, feeling and experience of the world. Researchers have discovered that the gut and brain are closely connected; and that this relationship serves an important function not only in managing emotions and stress but also aiding digestion.

Emotions are felt in the gut. Feelings such sadness, anger, nervousness, fear and joy can be felt in the gut. An anxious mind can create stress in the body causing upset or disharmony in the gut. Similarly, problems in the gut can cause an imbalance in the mind. These two entities are continually in communication with each other.

So the brain and gut are directly linked. It is important to address not just the physical body when identifying the cause of gut upset, but also to look at the role of stress and emotions.

Emotions such as fear, sadness, stress and anger can all affect our gut. The word emotion literally means energy in motion when translated from Latin. Emotion is the experience of energy moving through the body and these energy currents can increase or decrease the movements of the gut and the contents within it; making the digestive system susceptible to bloating and other types of pain.

Chronic stress is often a build-up of energy that gets stuck or lodged in the body. This can cause tightness, tension and contraction which can affect our digestion and emotional health. This build-up can be released through a process of rest, relaxation, counselling or psychotherapy and in some cases the support of medication.

So, both entities need to be working effectively to achieve optimum health and homeostasis. Our body is constantly giving us a reliable stream of information in the form of sensations, if we can access its wisdom.

Understanding the subtle signals, we receive from our bodily sensations can access a powerful reservoir of knowledge. The gut also plays an important function in our internal body-sensing and intuition.

Another function of the gut is like an internal compass to support us with intuitive decision-making while also engaging the mind. A healthy gut and digestive system can affect energy levels, motivation, clarity of thought and intuitive decision making.

A brain or mind that has adequate stimulation, nutrients and rest can support improved gut functioning. At the centre of this dialogue between the brain and gut is the vagus nerve, which conveys messages in both directions.

The vagus nerve is the major neural connection between gut and brain. It connects the brain to the gut and other vital organs. Signals are sent via the nerve into the brain and the brain transmits signals to the peripheral body and gut.

Gut instincts and visceral sensations are transported up to your brain via the vagus nerve. The human microbiome changes dramatically in first months after birth as new bacteria colonize the gut.

A key hypothesis is that those changes in the microbiome might be important for brain development, so bacterial differences between babies might be reflected in different cognitive abilities.

One problem is that babies are tricky subjects. They cry and sleep and wriggle. This took some clever experimenting. It is a social skill that predicts future language and cognitive development. So, testing the attention skills of a five-month-old, as most of these babies were, is testing right when that window starts opening.

The experimenter then drew attention to one of the toys by slowly rolling it to the side. When they made eye contact, the experimenter then silently pointed and gazed at one of the toys for seven seconds. Then the experimenter lowered their head and held it there for five seconds, and looked back up at the baby, indicating the test was over.

They did this five times. If it was at the wrong toy, they failed. If they did not pay attention, it was marked invalid. Trainor studies rhythm, which you might think is even harder to test in babies than attention. It seems esoteric, Trainor said, but rhythm is a fundamental organizing principle of the brain.

The brain is processing it as if there is this underlying beat, even without an actual stimulus. But their brains instinctively look for regularity in what they hear and, in some cases, even try to impose it, influenced by past experience of what to expect. As with joint attention, this is a skill that develops early.

So, when the babies heard an ambiguous six-beat rhythm — which you could hear as either a waltz or a march, but not both at the same time — the EEG could tell which way they were hearing it, as double-beat or triple-beat. The experimenters could then prime the babies to hear the ambiguous beat this way or that by making some of the rhythmic beats a little louder than the others.

Making every second note louder primes listeners to hear a march. Making every third note louder primes them to hear a waltz. This ability to differentiate rhythm did not correlate significantly with any measure of the gut bacteria. Another experiment came up with no significant findings.

This one used functional near-infrared spectroscopy, a brain-imaging technique that harmlessly shines light into the brain to measure how oxygenated blood is, a proxy for what the brain is doing.

But because of the other significant results, she has added a microbiome component to a forthcoming experiment on the cognitive development of premature babies. The Gut-Brain Axis is coming into view. Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles.

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Create an Account Sign in. Join the Conversation. Their discovery that nausea and pain involve similar nerve centers has prompted new treatment plans for certain patients, potentially improving their quality of life. Center researchers are also investigating how the trillions of bacteria in the gut the gut microbiome interact with the enteric nervous system a component of the autonomic nervous system and ultimately with the central nervous system, notes center co-leader Allan M.

Bartlett Professor of Surgery at HMS and chief of pediatric surgery at MGH. The Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute hosts a public lecture series to continue its efforts to educate the public on the latest scientific discoveries in neuroscience and translate how these discoveries are relevant in our daily lives.

Since its founding in , the Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute has helped advance neuroscience at Harvard Medical School by promoting public awareness of the importance of brain research and by helping to fund research at the School's Department of Neurobiology.

The emerging anx surprising view of Gut-brain connection and digestion the enteric nervous system wnd our bellies goes figestion beyond just processing Gut-brain connection and digestion food we Kidney bean nachos. By Adam Hadhazy. Light microscopy of nerve digdstion or neurons clustered to form a ganglion. These nerves are part of a vast interconnected network found in the muscle walls of the gut. Getty Images. If you're enjoying this article, consider supporting our award-winning journalism by subscribing. By purchasing a subscription you are helping to ensure the future of impactful stories about the discoveries and ideas shaping our world today.

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