Published 12/14/2013. Updated 1/16/2014.
The Gut-Brain Axis refers to the continuous feedback loop between sensory neurons in our gastrointestinal tracts (from lips to rectum) and motor responses generated in our central nervous systems.
This constant two-way communication has a profound influence on almost every aspect of our beings – from how the brain develops and functions, to GI disorders, how well our immune systems work, whether we develop conditions like heart disease or diabetes, what and how much we choose to eat, how sensitive we are to pain, whether we become depressed or anxious … and much more.
Thanks to recent methodological advances in genetics which have opened doors to detailed research into the ways the gut and brain interact, the field of neuro-gastroenterology, study of the Gut-Brain Axis, has become an exciting new frontier of neuroscience, offering great promise for how we can stay healthy and how we can fix ourselves when we fail.
The Gut-Brain Axis