The Gut-Brain connection | Iberogast®

FOR THE LATEST CORONAVIRUS UPDATE VISIT WWW.SACORONAVIRUS.CO.ZA

THE GUT–BRAIN CONNECTION

Made up of over 100 million neurons, the gut has its own nervous system: the Enteric Nervous System, often called your second brain.
One of the longest nerves in the body, the Vagus nerve, makes a physical connection directly from gut to brain, transporting messages and keeping the two in constant conversation. Billions of microorganisms inside our gut, known as our microbiome, produce and regulate key neurotransmitters and hormones.

This means that what happens down here is reflected in what happens up there.

Double exposure image of young woman holding her stomach and woman indicating headache

WHAT IS THE GUT-BRAIN CONNECTION?

The gut-brain connection, called “the gut-brain axis” by scientists, is the many ways that these two organs communicate.

Infographic showing gut and brain connection

The gut-brain axis includes physical connection, via nerves and neurons, and biochemical connection via neurotransmitters and hormones.

Double exposure image of a man pointing his fingers on his head

I THOUGHT MY GUT WAS CONTROLLED BY MY BRAIN?

While your brain is in charge of almost everything there are a few networks in the body that work without the help of the central nervous system.

Infographic showing enteric nervous system

One of these is the enteric nervous system which controls function across the digestive tract. This complex network of over 100 million neurons is often called the “second brain” because it resembles the one in your head so closely in structure and function.

Double exposure image of a man looking up and putting his hands together

I THOUGHT THAT BACTERIA IN THE GUT MADE ME ILL?

No, not exactly. While it’s true some bacteria are harmful and cause infections that it’s best to avoid, some bacteria are beneficial and even essential to our survival. We each have a community of billions of bacteria and microorganisms living inside our gut known as our microbiome.

Infographic showing bacteria and microorganisms in the gut

The microbiome is made up of so many of these microscopic organisms that in total it weighs around 1kg. Because of the size and significance of the microbiome, it’s sometimes referred to as the “invisible organ”.



It would be easy to assume that a healthy microbiome is made up of only good bacteria, but this is not the case. A healthy microbiome is one with diversity. So while it’s important to keep numbers of the good guys up, balancing them with a few of the not so nice ones is an important contributor to good gut health.

Double exposure image of young woman eating cereal and woman listening to music

I THOUGHT THAT MY GUT WAS ONLY FOR DIGESTION?

A key part of the gut’s role is the breakdown of food, helped by the bacteria living inside our gut known as the microbiome. But the microbiome also does a lot more for us than just working through our lunch.

Infographic showing how microbiome impacts mood, sleep, immunity and digestion

Specific bacteria within the microbiome produce and regulate key neurotransmitters and hormones. The microbiome also impacts the body, with a healthy microbiome influencing sleep, immunity and more.

Double exposure image of a man suffering from IBS and a man drinking protein shake

WHAT CAN I DO TO LOOK AFTER MY GUT?

Good gut health can be achieved by treating digestive problems as they occur and incorporating good gut behaviors into your lifestyle. If you are suffering from specific digestive symptoms then Iberogast has been clinically proven to offer fast-acting relief and could be beneficial to you.3

Infographic showing how exercising, eating balanced meals, drinking water and avoiding stress impact digestive health

If your gut feels generally okay but want to make further improvements to your digestive health then making small changes to your lifestyle could be helpful. Try to reduce your stress levels where possible and exercise regularly. Eat balanced meals, chew slowly and ensure you drink enough water.

Double exposure image of a man reading an e-book and a man holding a coffee

HOW DOES MY BRAIN KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MY GUT?

The vagus nerve is one of the longest nerves in the body, making a physical connection all the way from brain to gut and keeping the two in constant conversation.

Infographic showing the Vagus nerve

The vagus nerve can carry information in both directions. But it’s the gut that does most of the talking. Between 80% and 90% of the messages transported are from gut to brain, and not the other way around.26

A bottle of Iberogast on green background, surrounded by herbs

Get the power of nature into your home!

Buy Iberogast® prescription-free from your pharmacy.