What If You Had A Second Brain? | Summary and Q&A

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September 29, 2016
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AsapSCIENCE
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What If You Had A Second Brain?

TL;DR

Your gut has its own nervous system, known as the enteric nervous system, that communicates with your brain through the vagus nerve. This second brain controls digestion and can influence your mood, cravings, and even behavior.

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Key Insights

  • 🧠 The enteric nervous system, or the "second brain," communicates with the brain through the vagus nerve, influencing digestion, mood, and behavior.
  • 🦧 Gut microbes produce neurotransmitters that affect mood and cravings, and a healthy gut microbiome is essential for emotional and mental well-being.
  • 😅 Gut bacteria can manipulate our eating behaviors to ensure their own survival.
  • 🎮 Treatment with probiotics or fecal transplants may help regulate cravings and control overeating.
  • 🧑‍⚕️ A healthy gut microbiome is linked to better emotional and mental health.
  • 😟 The enteric nervous system can function independently of the brain for digestion.
  • ❓ Stimulation of the vagus nerve through implantation of a pacemaker can alleviate symptoms of treatment-resistant depression.

Transcript

the brain every time you think feel or perform a multitude of unconscious processes the 100 billion neurons in your skull conduct electrical signals to communicate and carry messages between them ultimately creating well you and everything you do it's the most complex essential and identifiable organ in the body acting as the center of the nervous ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does the brain communicate with the rest of the body?

The brain uses the vagus nerve to send electrical signals to different parts of the body, including the gut, heart, and lungs. This communication allows the brain to regulate various bodily functions.

Q: Can the enteric nervous system function without the brain?

Yes, the enteric nervous system can organize and initiate its own reflexes for digestion even when the vagus nerve is severed. It has its own complex network of neurons that control the digestive tract.

Q: How do the microbes in our gut influence our cravings?

The microbes in our gut produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which affect our mood and pleasure. These microbes can manipulate our eating behaviors by sending signals to the brain via the vagus nerve to crave certain foods.

Q: Can probiotics or fecal transplants help with overeating?

Some studies suggest that treatment with probiotics or fecal transplants could be effective in reducing cravings for high-fat and high-sugar foods. By getting rid of certain bacteria that generate intense cravings, these therapies may help control overeating.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The brain and central nervous system control our thoughts, emotions, and actions, but there is a second brain in our gut called the enteric nervous system.

  • The enteric nervous system, connected to the brain through the vagus nerve, controls the digestive tract and can function independently.

  • The microbes in our gut produce neurotransmitters that affect our mood and cravings, and a healthy gut microbiome is essential for emotional and mental well-being.

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