Whether we are healthy or suffering a medical issue we can all have a sense of knowing or “gut feeling,” (in the belly or tummy) that something is not quite right. It turns out the strongest connection to your brain and your immune system is found in your intestines, the tummy or “gut.” These friendly microbes, or flora, join to form an immense ecosystem within our gastrointestinal tract called the Microbiome. Several important neurotransmitters that communicate with our nervous system are produced here.
Scientists refer to this Microbiome as the THIRD BRAIN.
The gut Microbiome is also our immune system: without it we would have no immunity and would not survive. Numerous chemical reactions take place here that are vital for turning on our macrophages, B cells and T cells, cells that protect us from pathogens, toxins and cancer. The belief in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which dates back almost 4000 years, is that the gut is the origin of all disease and illness. By having a healthy colon you are conferring protection from disease to the rest of the body.
Most allergic conditions such as asthma, and food intolerances like gluten, may be attributed to an imbalance of our gut flora. In fact a single course of an antibiotic can wipeout our entire gut Microbiome which, without supplementation with probiotics, can take 9 months to replace. This usually leads to more infections and in turn more antibiotics until the condition becomes chronic.
The Microbiome has numerous vital effects to maintain normal health: