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A healthy gut equals a healthy brain

A healthy gut equals a healthy brain | Mr Vitamins
The GBA (Gut Brain Axis) is a widespread and complex, two-way communication system that links your gut, digestive flora, central, autonomic and enteric nervous systems, and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. Dietary and lifestyle choices, environmental toxins and even some medications, particularly antibiotics, can all trigger disturbances within the GBA, adversely affecting both your gut and brain function.

Your ‘big’ and ‘little’ brain

Your gut contains many nerve cells, and is often referred to as your ‘little’ brain. These nerve cells share similar nerve endings and chemicals as those found within your ‘big’ brain. They communicate with each other and this is how your thoughts, feelings, emotions and stress levels can impact your gut function, and how your gut can impact your mood or behaviour, cognitive function, motivation and pain. Decreased gut function leads to decreased brain activity, which in turn suppresses intestinal immunity and decreases intestinal blood flow. When this happens, there is an increase in the growth of yeasts and bacteria, leading to increased intestinal permeability, or ‘leaky gut’, associated with chronic low-grade inflammation and immune activation. Inflammatory mediators produced in the gut can then travel through the blood and cross the blood-brain barrier, making your brain effectively ‘leaky’ too.

Symptoms of GBA dysfunction

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog, memory problems or progressive cognitive decline
  • Chronic digestive issues
  • Inflammatory bowel conditions
  • Anxiety or low mood
  • Hyperactive or behavioural disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Food allergies or intolerances

Supporting GBA activity

Maintaining healthy gut and brain function, by supporting GBA activity with herbs, nutrients, diet and lifestyle choices, can pay big dividends for your health and wellbeing:
  • Probiotics Healthy, balanced gut flora can help to modulate gut function, behaviours and brain processes. Probiotics help to rebalance gut flora by inhibiting the growth of unfriendly gut flora and helping to re-establish friendly gut flora, and by supporting healthy immune function. 
  • Slippery elm bark Slippery elm bark contains mucilage, which coats the mucous membranes of the gut. Mucilage provides a protective barrier to the gut lining, helping to soothe irritation and inflammation, and by protecting the gut lining from stomach acid.
  • L-glutamine L-glutamine is necessary for maintaining the intestinal mucous membranes where it helps maintain the integrity of the intestinal lining and supports normal gut barrier function and permeability. L-Glutamine also helps to maintain healthy immune and nervous system functions.
  • Magnesium Magnesium helps to maintain a healthy nervous system and is required for the transmission of nerve impulses throughout your body. Choosing organic forms of magnesium ensures that your body can absorb and utilise the maximum amount of magnesium.
  • Diet and lifestyle tips
    • The GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet is recommended for those with GBA disturbances where foods that are difficult to digest or damaging to gut flora are removed, and replaced with nutrient-dense foods that heal and repair the gut lining, rebalance the immune system and restore balanced gut flora.
    • Exercise helps to improve energy levels, reduce stress and pain, and improve gut function.
    • Reduce your stress levels with meditation, yoga, reading or relaxing with friends and family.

Mr Vitamins recommends

Herbs of Gold Products for a healthy gut and brain Find out more and shop online for Herbs of Gold Healthy Gut and Brains products above