Documentary Review: The Gut: Our Second Brain

ibs, probiotic, gut

The Gut: Our Second Brain

Background: One of the most cutting-edge topics in neurology is the Brain-Gut connection; that is, the health of the brain is associated to the health of our gastrointestinal system. This documentary-style video aims to educate about the Brain-Gut connection to a wide audience.

ibs, probiotic, gutSynopsis: The film purports the “Second Brain” as the nervous system in and around the gastrointestinal tract- as complex a network of neurons as those which are in the brain. The central thesis seems to be that the substances which come into contact with the nervous system of the gut then cause a chain reaction of multiple physiological changes, leading sometimes to disease states. This is a matter of much contemporary research in neurology, as many common disease states are linked to the GI tract, most notably in the literature are Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, and Migraines, though many more are implicated. A review of the microbiome of the gut, and the possible role probiotics may play, is included. A discussion of behavioral changes based on the microbiome of the gut flora suggests personality is, in part, determined by the gut flora- a relatively new and interesting theory.

Strengths: Excellent demonstration of known and potential pathways for the brain-gut connection, good pictorials and demonstrations, good presentation of some scientific basis for behavioral changes based of microflora. Excellent video!

Weaknesses: This film feels a little bit dramatized; it would be really nice to delve into the scientific basis even further, and discuss further the data supporting this theory to date.

How does this align with the MIND practices? Recent research does support a brain-gut connection for many disease states; further understanding of how specific food items may cause this system to become dysfunctional is expected to be elucidated within the next 10-20 years. We are excited about this theory, and looking very much forward to this cutting edge of neurology. I do recommend interested parties consider watching this interesting video!

Bottom Line: We are what we eat! An old adage which still rings true today; eating healthfully is a major tenet of lifestyle changes for longitude of health.