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Making Sense of The Gut-Brain Connection

Written by the Progressive Nutritional Education Team

Did you know that between 80-90% of the chatter between your brain and your gut starts in your gut?[1] Messages travel along the gut-brain axis by way of the vagus nerve, which is the longest cranial nerve in the body and has been nicknamed the “great wandering protector.” This nerve is crucial for helping to balance body systems including your digestive tract, as well as your cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, and hormone systems.[2]

But the vagus nerve is also an important player in delivering information about how you sense the inner workings of your body, including fullness of your bladder, bowel and stomach. Once you become conscious of this information, you make choices about whether to eat or to find the nearest bathroom.[3] Studies have found that signals from the vagus nerve to the brain are linked to mood regulation. Healthy vagal tone has also been directly linked to the ability to stay cool in the face of stress.[4]

Messages that travel along the gut-brain axis are influenced by the naturally occurring bacteria in your gut. These bacteria (collectively known as your microbiome) influence neurons, which regulate both the movement of food through the digestive tract and brain signaling.[5] Studies show that changes in the microbiome may impact hunger and fullness messages to the brain, and could play a role in over-eating.[6] Other research has shown a two-way relationship between weight and mood.[7] In other words, the microbiome is also intimately connected with how you feel – both physically and emotionally.

To support feeling good, you want to keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy. Use Perfect Probiotics daily to help to support the entire digestive system. With TRU-ID® Certification, you can be confident that Perfect Probiotics contains all of the probiotics listed on the package. You also want to be sure your diet includes plenty of fibre to support diversity in the microbiome and to encourage healthy bowel function.




[1] Breit S, Kupferberg A, Rogler G, Hasler G. Vagus Nerve as Modulator of the Brain-Gut Axis in Psychiatric and Inflammatory Disorders. Front Psychiatry. 2018;9:44. Published 2018 Mar 13. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00044 9

[2] Browning, K., Verheijden, S., & Boeckxstaens, G. (2017). The Vagus Nerve in Appetite Regulation, Mood, and Intestinal Inflammation. Gastroenterology152(4), 730–744.

[3] Kandasamy, N., Garfinkel, S., Page, L. et al. Interoceptive Ability Predicts Survival on a London Trading Floor. Sci Rep 6, 32986 (2016).

[4] Paul, G. (2009). Advances in psychiatric treatment. vol. 15, 199–208 doi: 10.1192/apt.bp.107.005264

[5] Bastiaanssen, T., Cowan, C., Claesson, M., Dinan, T., & Cryan, J. (2019). Making Sense of … the Microbiome in Psychiatry. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology22(1), 37–52.

[6] Sáez-Lara, M. J., Robles-Sanchez, C., Ruiz-Ojeda, F. J., Plaza-Diaz, J., & Gil, A. (2016). Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics on Obesity, Insulin Resistance Syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Review of Human Clinical Trials. International journal of molecular sciences17(6), 928.

[7] Talbott, S., Talbott, J., Stephens, B., & Oddou, M. (2020). Modulation of Gut-Brain Axis Improves Microbiome, Metabolism, and Mood. Functional Foods in Health and Disease10(1), 37–.

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