So many questions arise when you speak about the gut! Where is the gut? What can you do to improve gut health? Can CBD improve gut health? We can talk about the gut and its importance of our overall health for weeks, but in this article, we will cover the most basic of better gut health and how to improve your gut with the benefits of CBD products. The gut-brain connection is one of the most powerful parts of good health. We cover all the most common questions in our new article: Can CBD improve gut health – all you need to know!
2. What is gut health?
Gut health” describes the function and balance of bacteria of the many parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Ideally, organs such as the esophagus, stomach and intestines all work together to allow us to eat and digest food without discomfort. All food is ultimately broken down in the gut to a simple form that can enter the bloodstream and be delivered as nutrients throughout our bodies, therefore this is only possible with a healthy digestive system. A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious agents like bacteria, viruses and fungi. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which then in addition helps maintain general health and well-being.
5. The gut-brain connection?
The gut is controlled by its own network of neurons in the lining of the gastrointestinal system, known as the enteric nervous system. In addition, it’s also controlled in part by the central nervous system in the brain and spinal cord.
Our digestive system is sensitive to emotion, including anger, anxiety, and sadness. This is why you might feel sick to your stomach when you’re particularly stressed out. Stress, depression, and other psychological factors can send the brain-gut connection out of whack and cause alterations to gut composition.
There is a strong relationship between mental health issues and gastrointestinal symptoms like heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, bloating, pain, constipation, and diarrhoea.
This brain-gut connection is not a one-way street!
Evidence has shown that when someone is dealing with gastrointestinal problems, their gut’s enteric nervous system may send signals to the central nervous system that trigger emotional changes. For instance, these findings could explain why a higher-than-average percentage of people with digestive problems develop depression and anxiety.
It’s this connection that has many researchers hopeful that improving gut health and the bacteria in your digestive tract, which is why probiotics might one day be an option in treating mental illness. While we know probiotics support a healthy gut and can restore normal microbial balance, more research is required to see if it supports a healthy brain.
One study was done on the gut-brain axis where strong evidence suggests that gut microbiota (bacteria) has an important role in bidirectional interactions between the gut and the nervous system.