A new study puts forth a ton of new findings–and implications–about the role of gut bacteria in brain function and development. This is of particular interest to me because EpiCor, the immune balancing supplement ingredient, has been shown to have a significant prebiotic effect in feeding the development of beneficial gut bacteria.
This article is packed full of too much information to do justice with a summary here. But, a few of the more intriguing passages:
- Human cells in the body–the cells of our organs, blood, skin, etc.–contain 30,000 genes. Beneficial bacteria inhabiting the gut and skin contain 3 million genes. As one investigator said, our cells in our body are only 1% human!
- Bacteria formation in our infant years is the key to shaping our brain function, our nerve function, etc.
- Gut bacteria may have an influence on the body’s use of vitamin B6, which in turn has profound effects on the health of nerve and muscle cells.
- The bacteria appear to interact with or influence multiple neurotransmitters within multiple regions in the brain.
- Regardless of how these intestinal “guests” exert their influence, these studies suggest that brain-directed behaviors, which influence the manner in which animals interact with the external world, may be deeply influenced by that animal’s relationship with the microbial organisms living in its gut. And the discovery that gut bacteria exert their influence on the brain within a discrete developmental stage may have important implications for developmental brain disorders.
The lesson: No gut (bacteria) no glory.