We’re going to talk about the stomach, and particularly not so much the stomach, but the digestive system. So this is not a clickbait kind of a thing about stomach and happiness. This is more about the small intestine as more particularly, I suppose, but this could affect many different parts of the digestive system. The enteric nervous system is one of the most powerful parts of the body. So this has got to do with how the brain, or the nervous system, interfaces really with the gut, and particularly the small intestine.
We used to have an understanding that hormones like serotonin were made predominantly in the brain, but now we understand that basically that hormone is made almost exclusively in the small intestine. It’s phenomenal. When you think about all these expressions about the digestive system and behavior in people, when, “He hasn’t got the guts to do that,” for example, we understand now that fear and the digestive system, happiness, depression, anxiety, many of these emotions that we experience may well even have their link in the gut, particularly in terms of bacteria and hormones.
So feel the serotonin, we discovered not that long ago, that there are particularly, that some bacteria have receptors on them that are very susceptible to serotonin. So in serotonin is produced in the small bowel up to a certain level, what was probably deemed a normal level, it’s going to keep a bad gut bacteria in check. So research focused on a particular bacteria that’s known to cause digestive problems, in particular foodborne illness, like food poisoning. This is a bacteria called E. coli 0157. There are many different types of Escherichia coli in the gut, but this one in particular is linked with stimulating the ability for the body to get into a food poisoning mode. So what they found is, there were receptors on this bacteria that are very affected by serotonin. So when serotonin levels are efficient in the gut, it will keep those levels of E. coli down.
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So serotonin is also linked with depression, happiness, it’s the feel good hormone. So they discovered that when they give drugs like Prozac, an SSRI drug, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drug, so this stops serotonin being broken down so it lasts longer in the body. So when an SSRI drug’s given to someone, it actually helps their food-borne illness, helps them to recover. So happiness may really be in the gut when you think about it. So most of the relationship, most of the studies regarding the microbiome are focused on the relationships of the bacteria and their ability to cause inflammation and effects like that. But now we’re actually starting to see that there are hormones produced in the gut that influence the health of the body to a very high level. And these hormones don’t only have an effect on keeping the bad guys at bay, but also have a tremendous effect on making us feel happy about our life and contented.
So a lot more research will be coming out in future, but I suspect that most of the way, a lot of the emotions that we feel are, in fact, influenced to a tremendous degree by the balance of the bacteria that we hold in our small bowel. So the more dysfunctional that small bowel gets, the more distorted these groups get, and the more problems we get with hormone productions in that small bowel, the sicker we’re going to become as a society.
And unfortunately, mainstream medicine and mainstream food production is doing what it shouldn’t be doing. It’s actually adversely affecting the small bowel. Is it any wonder why so many people these days suffer from anxiety and depression and mood swings? Just to have a look at the diets that many people are on. And as I’ve always said, if you eat like crap, then you’re going to feel like crap. Very funny, but true. Well, it’s not funny, it’s actually quite tragic. I’ll leave you with it. But something for you to think about, everything you eat influences bacteria, will have an influence on the bacteria, on their levels, but also on the body’s ability to produce hormones, which can make you feel good, bad or indifferent. It’s food for thought.