You Have a Second Brain

Courtesy of Future Generations

Courtesy of Future Generations

Kaitlyn Berg

Did you know humans have a second brain? This brain is found in your gut, and mainly just controls your digestive system, it’s also the reason you have that “gut feeling” or “butterflies in your stomach.” In fact, because of this brain your Enteric Nervous System can survive completely on their own without your other brain. Your Enteric Nervous System can also send signals to your brain, this is all because of your second brain that controls, more than you think. 

The main reason we have our second brain is to control our digestive system, but, long ago it was for another reason. Back when our ancestors lived as hunter gatherers, one of the biggest life and death decisions they had to make, was about food. This is why they needed a direct line of connection between the gut and the brain.  As an example, fat and sugars in food, a long time ago were good sources for the body so we’ve evolved to release Dopamine, that makes us feel good. The microbes in our gut is responsible for releasing 50% of Dopamine  and 90% of the serotonin, that can affect your mood, happiness, and pleasure.

Your second brain is in charge of eating, digesting, and harvesting nutrients from your food. Your enteric nervous system is where your second brain is, this system is mostly made up of nerves, neurons, and neuro transmitters. Your Vagus nerve helps connect your enteric nervous system to your central nervous system. Short chain fatty acids send signals to your brain through the gas nerve, neuro pod cells connect the gut to the Vagus nerve so the short chain fatty acids can send signals to your brain, they can also use the circulatory system for this. The bacteria that lives in your gut can also communicates with your brain.  Scientists did a study on mice, they took their Vagus nerve and destroyed it leaving the mice not stressed. This proves that your Vagus nerve is responsible for the stress you experience. If you want your mood and mental health to be better though, the answer is in your diet the better stuff you eat the better you’ll feel. 


I asked Mrs. Duyen to talk about the gut brain she said, “The gut and the brain, one thing they have in common is their physical appearance. They’re related, because the gut sends signals to the brain. The gut’s bacteria sends signals to the brain and that’s how the gut communicates if there’s something wrong.”