Recently I read that our digestive tract have more neurons than a domestic cat has in its whole brain. So when I read that microbes in our guts may be controlling the moods we experience in our brains, it came as not such a surprise. The particular strain of microbes in your gut may be responsible for emotional health as well as your physical health. They may determine your sense of fear or anxiety or relaxation and calm. Stephen Collins, McMaster University, Canada, was the first to make this connection, in his studies on rats. Research is being done on humans now, by UCLA’s Center for Neurobiology of Stress, Emeran Mayer, M.D.
I also remember learning in anatomy class that there are not many known or important functions for the vagus nerve. Since then, the vagus nerve comes up frequently in my reading, as a source of receiving emotional signals fron the gut. Dacher Keltner is another great resource for this understanding.
Ciick HERE to see the full article from Rob Stein of NPR.
And if you want to watch a fun and cute video on what microbes are doing in your guts, this is great for review or an introduction:
Laura Maaske, B.Sc., M.Sc.BMC, Medical & Science Illustrator | e-Textbook Designer
November 18, 2013