By now, you probably know a thing or two about how important gut health is to brain health. I remember when I was first learning about this connection, each new discovery blew my mind!
… but in that way that’s like “oh… that makes so much sense!”
Do you realize that the number of neurons that are in our guts are comprable to the number of neurons in our spine! That’s why we experience gut feelings, butterflies in the stomach, and sometimes things are so emotionally challenging that they are “gut-wrenching.”
And… as I point out in How To Feed a Brain, “about 90 percent of the body’s total serotonin and at least 70 percent of its melatonin is found in the gut!”
I’d like to share more about this topic!
So let me introduce you to my friend, mentor, and colleague, Steven Wright.
Steve is a digestion expert, Medical Engineer, and a Kalish Functional Medicine Institute Graduate. He’s spent close to $400,000 overcoming his own health challenges using everything from western medicine to shamans. He and I started connecting back in 2014 and we ended up working on some projects together, including a leaky gut healing program called solving leaky gut.
Now, Steve is the founder of healthygut.com.
Importance of Digestion to Healing:
The human organism has a limited amount of resources to allocate towards healing. And, in all of its wisdom, the brain and body allocates those resources towards normal bodily functions that keep you alive before healing higher level brain functions (like language, walking, balancing, feeling, smelling, hearing, or even seeing acurately).
This is a very important theme that guides treatment with my one-on-one clients.
This is one reason why digestion, the assimilation of the most mass that our organism takes in (other than air) is ESPECIALLY important to brain health.
Many connections in my brain have been damaged, and I think of rebuildng those connections like building a bridge. What do we need to build a bridge?
- We need quality supplies (Brain building nutrition)
- We need skilled workers (Targeted therapy)
- We need to get that supplies to the construction site (Digestion)
If our digestion isn’t healthy, even if we are eating important brain nutrients, those nutrients are not making it to the brain!
And because of this, what happens in the brain is reflected in the gut (and vice versa). If you have a brain injury, you likely have a gut injury. Here’s why:
- The same proteins that show up with gut permeability (break down of the gut lining)… also show up with brain permeability (break down of the blood-brain-barrier)
- A damaged blood brain barrier will lead to a damaged gut barrier (and vice versa)…
- and… if we’ve damaged our brain, we’ve damaged our blood brain barrier
- Somewhere around 70-80% of folks who have depressive symptoms also have digestive issues.
- Many interventions that affect the brain are actually primarily affecting the gut, which is indirectly affecting the brain!
Hippocrates, “the founder of modern medicine,” was on to something when he said: “All disease begins in the gut.”
The flip-side of that coin is also true: “All health begins in the gut.”
Check out the podcast and take the digestion quiz on Steve’s site, and take control of your health!
- Gut/Brain Supplements:
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