how our gut health affects our brain

Dr Jess says: When I graduated medical school in 2006 to become a doctor, I had little knowledge about the emerging research on the gut microbiome (the trillions of microorganisms living in our gut). This explosion of evidence came in 2012 and has only grown since then. We are still learning the astonishing number of ways that the gut can influence our health, including its impact on inflammation, our risk of disease, our weight and food cravings and whether we will get or be likely to die from infections. It’s certainly worth thinking about, given the recent pandemic. 

Sadly, medical evidence takes at least 17 years to filter through to standard  medical practice, so it is still rare to hear your GP or consultant talk about the microbiome and the importance of protecting it. 

I agreed to do a talk on the gut-brain connection several years ago and after reading the most recent studies, I was excited to find a wealth of research showing how much of our mood, brain function and even risk of diseases like Parkinson’s’ and Alzheimer’s are linked to gut health. 

This all fits with the knowledge running through traditional medicines, which have emphasised for thousands of years that the gut is the root of disease and that food is our most important medicine. We also have phrases in our language like ‘gut feelings’ and ‘gut instinct,’ which show our innate knowledge that the gut and brain are somehow connected.

I have observed more times than I can count that working on a patient’s nutrition and diet changes their mood and also improves memory, focus, motivation and concentration, whether they are three or 83. The gut-brain axis allows you to take control of your mood and brain symptoms by working on your gut health. 

what is the gut-brain axis?

Simply put, the gut-brain axis is the many ways that our gut communicates with and affects our brain health. Recent research strongly confirms that…