Your Other Brain…

gut brain

‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.’ This dated idiom has more truth in it than one would expect—in ways having nothing to do with cooking. Psychologists and the medical community alike have come to know and understand the prominent role of the gut, as the producer of most of the feel-good hormone serotonin. The gut is also the key player in regulation of memory, mood and focus; and the primary controller of an effective immune system. Happy gut = happy person.

A few days ago the NY Times published an article on the dangers, abuse and toxicity of the popularly peddled laxative Miralax. This supplement along with various antacid campaigns have been infiltrated into most all primary care practices, pediatric clinics and all hospitals as “routine medications.” Miralax not only prevents absorption of nutrients, strips away critical serotonin but also depletes proper body flora, which is involved in a signaling type of relationship with the brain. Many people prescribed Miralax were told to take it on a routine basis, sometimes lasting years and far too often years during critical childhood nervous system development. According to Dr. Siri Carpenter, in That gut feeling, an article to follow:

Gut bacteria both produce and respond to the same neurochemicals—such as GABA, serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine and melatonin—that the brain uses to regulate mood and cognition. Such neurochemicals probably allow the brain to tune its behavior to the feedback it receives from the army of bacteria in the gut (; accessed 1/14/15). 

Knowing this to be true then and further understanding that as stress can affect our digestion, equally, our poor digestion can effect or create feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, irritability, lack of focus and let’s say even lack of love. Please enjoy the two articles attached to this posting and above all, feed your beloved with real, unprocessed foods of all colors and engage in stress-busting activities (just in case you needed a reminder: Hypnotherapy or exercise is a great place to start!).

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