How do you plead ? Not guilty – my bacteria made me do it…

gut bacteria controlling brainDo you ever find yourself  “Knowing it in Your Gut” or having a “Gut feel for something”. 

Turns out, that this may be more than just a slip of the tongue, but a deep biological wisdom. The bacteria in your gut have a direct line to the brain and are quite happy to issue commands and instructions.    

Researchers at McMaster University believe the chit chatting that is happening between the bacteria and our brain, plays an important role in overall health.  We already know they influence our intestinal health and “manage” our immune system, we suspect they might be making us fat and now they may be driving us i.e. directing our personality.    

The brain power of the microbiota

A normal mouse is made up of mouse cells plus a couple of billion bacteria. By keeping mice in a sterile bubble from birth, you can produce an animal that is 100 % mouse. These mice are called germ-free mice.   Germ-free sounds like a pretty good position to be in – no bugs and therefore no disease.  But in actual fact, germ free is not synonomous with perfect health.    

In this particular study they looked at what happened in the brain’s of germ free mice.     

Germ free brain wired differently 

Germ free mice end up being wired a little bit differently, particularly in the area of the hippocampus (this is the part of the brain which is involved in learning and memory).    The nature of this wiring, affects all sorts of things, from how you deal with stress, to your charming personality.       

My bacteria made me do it ….     

At this point in time, scientists aren’t sure exactly how the  communication system works, but the gut bacteria are clearly  powerful enough to do a little interior decorating in the brain.   Only time will tell the true extent of their power.      

Get a good team or 

The collection of bacteria living in your gut largely depends on what you eat.    If the gut bacteria are capable of directing your brain then the saying “You are what you eat” takes on a whole new meaning.      

Try to eat foods that encourage the good guys to take up residence and watch those stress levels.      

Reduced anxiety-like behavior and central neurochemical change in germ-free mice. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 2011; 23 (3): 255 

K. M. Neufeld, N. Kang, J. Bienenstock, J. A. Foster.Know someone who will find this post useful ?  Share it on facebook,  linkedin,  twitter      

Further reading 

thumbnail brainbladder   
thumbnail gut love 
little girl avoiding dirt 
For big decisions bringing in the bladder to “help” the brain is best  Love connections begin in the GUT Little girls need to wallow in dirt to grow up healthy 

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.  

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep !  Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below….. 

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