The Gut-Brain Axis (GBA)

The Gut-Brain Axis (GBA)

Both the gut and the brain begin from the same cells in the womb. It is important to realize that whatever food we eat, directly affects our gut lining, gut-brain connection, and how we feel. The gut-brain axis is a bidirectional communication network between the central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, hypothalamic pituitary axis and the enteric nervous system. The gastrointestinal tract and the brain are physiologically and biochemically connected through the vagus nerve. Our gut microbiome communicates with the brain via the vagus nerve and directly impacts our thinking, clarity, and mood. An imbalance in our gut microbiome can lead to poor signals sent to the brain and a compromised gut wall lining.


The gut-brain axis (GBA) regulates digestive, endocrine, cognitive, immune and many other human body functions. The gut has its own brain that communicates back and forth with the central nervous system. The GBA is a biochemical messenger system that is responsible for maintaining homeostasis. It regulates dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin production. The condition of our GBA greatly impacts our mood, behavior, mental focus, and mental sharpness. The gut-brain connection is also responsible for the inflammatory and immune responses.  It is important to be aware of your GBA and how to support it.


Being aware of the gut-brain axis (GBA) and how to support it is very important in achieving optimal health. The health of our gut strongly correlates with how well we feel, move, behave, and function. It is critical to support the GBA daily. There are many practices that we can do to benefit gut health. Being mindful of and consistent with these practices are key!! A consistent wake up time is a top way to regulate the gut microbiome and truly support the GBA. Waking up at the same time everyday aligns our circadian rhythms in our human body and gut microbiome, which is crucial for adequate hormone levels, metabolism, energy production, and mental clarity. Morning sun greatly stimulates mitochondria function and boosts vitamin D and energy levels. It also regulates our sleep-wake cycles and supports intestinal wall integrity and immune function. Morning sunlight greatly impacts the skin-gut access. UVB rays influence our microbiome and infrared light decreases blood pressure and increases overall mood and blood flow. Exercise builds diversity of the gut microbiota, regulates hunger hormones, and improves insulin sensitivity, which protects against diabetes. Waking up at the same time every day and getting outside for a quick 10-minute workout in the sun is one of the best things we can do for our gut-brain axis. Eating a whole foods, balanced diet is also key for optimal health. Eating fermented foods and prebiotics fibers ensures the gut microbiome is also being fed what it needs to thrive and function properly. Lastly, stress management is essential in preventing gut inflammation, a weakened gut barrier, and systemic chronic low-grade inflammation. Taking one hour a day in the morning for you to move, meditate, and create will tremendously influence your gut-brain connection and overall well-being. Get up, get outside, and M O V E.


Our gut-brain axis is one of the strongest that we connections that our body has. The gut has its own “on-site brain.” The enteric nervous system (ENS) is composed of two thin layers and more than 100 million nerve cells. The gut is able to control digestion through its own brain instead of sending signals from the spinal cord to the brain. The gut-brain axis is a two-way communication network between the central nervous system (CNS) and ENS that links emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral (outside the brain + spinal cord) intestinal functions via the gut microbiota. This bidirectional communication pathway also includes the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamus-pituitary axis. The gut mircobiota play a key role in the gut-brain axis and communicate via the vagus nerve. Dysbiosis (imbalance of the gut microbiome) can lead to mood disorders, depressive-like behaviors, irritable bowel syndrome, weight gain, inflammation, and poor response to stress. Thus, our gut microbiome has a major impact on how we feel and our moods. It is important to understand that recent research is showing that poor gut health is leading to mood disorders and mental issues, rather than poor mental health leading to gut issues.  One of the best ways to regulate the gut-brain axis and gut microbiome is sunlight.

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