Memory and Gut Health have an interesting relationship….one that may surprise you. It’s easy to imagine the brain as the Master Communication Center – the headquarters that sends out the emails and communiques with all the directions for the rest of the body.
However, our gut is another major communication center, with directives to the brain and the neurotransmitters and neurons in our nervous system. The “gut bugs”, or bacteria is responsible for signaling to the brain. These gut bugs make up the microbiome of the gut.
The brain is a “receiver”, as well as the “sender” of messages. Some experts even think the brain structure is heavily influenced by the microbiome in the gut.
Do you have a healthy gut? It’s important to recognize this will directly impact the sharpness and functions of your brain.
Memory and Gut Health –
It’s Not All In Your Head
Are you finding your memory is slipping a bit lately? While it’s easy to blame it on being short on sleep, or too much on the calendar, your gut may be a huge source of this problem.
Brain health, memory, and lifelong cognitive stamina are greatly affected by the way our gut microbiome is maintained throughout our lifetime. So before we get going, let’s get some gut basic info covered.
I’ve mentioned gut bacteria. So let me introduce you to them formally, as they are known by experts – Bacteroides, Bifidobacteirum, Faecalibacterium, Ruminococcus. In fact, there are over 100 trillion bacteria that live and work in your gut. This happy community of bacteria make up the microbiome in the gut.
A healthy gut microbiome is ALL ABOUT diversity. We need this diversity in order for the gut and brain to perform the tasks our bodies demand 24/7.
The gut microbiome performs these tasks:
- digest food
- process nutrients
- make Vitamins B and K
- produce molecules that fight inflammation and heals wounds
- And Today’s Spotlight Focus – The microbiome works in tandem with the brain!
The Gut and The Brain have a perfect communication highway that runs 24/7. This highway carries the biochemical communication through nerve cells. The highway is called the Gut Brain Axis. Read my article, Gut Health Basics – The Happy Hometown.
Part of the Gut Brain Highway involves Serotonin production. The gut produces Serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates our emotions and brain health). I think of emotions as more of a “brain thing” , versus a gut thing, don’t you? And the brain can signal the gut to stimulate or suppress digestion. It’s a mutual exchange of communication between the gut and the brain.
The Gut, Alzheimer’s, And Brain Health
Experts are finding that people with Alzheimer’s disease have less diversity in their gut microorganism community. These people show imbalances of the bacteria – some of the bacteria are extremely high (compared to a healthy gut) and extremely low in Bifidobacterium. Experts have found the imbalances of microbes are directly connected to Alzheimer’s disease proteins in the spinal fluid.
Scientists are now beginning to look at ways to improve the Gut Brain Axis in Alzheimer’s patients. They believe that by improving the microbiome of the gut, it’s possible to prevent or slow this disease.
Dr. Perlmutter is an expert on Gut Health. He suggests limiting sugar as a primary way to improve memory, the brain, and the gut.
BUT… I Don’t Have Alzheimer’s Disease
GOOD! But you never know what is coming in the future. So we need to do the best we can NOW. Once a diagnosis is made of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia or clinical depression, it is too late to make significant improvements.
Starting NOW, before deterioration goes too far, is the key.
The origin of brain disease is in many cases predominantly dietary. Although several factors play into the genesis and progression of brain disorders, to a large extent numerous neurological afflictions often reflect the mistake of consuming too many carbs and too few healthy fats.Dr. David Perlmutter
Stop making excuses for those memory lapses.
Use that realization to kick start your changes to help gut health:
- Limit sugar intake
- Increase your healthy fats
- Eat fresh produce for fiber
- Get daily probiotics (supplements or with fermented foods)
- Exercise 3-4 times per week
- Get 6-9 hours of sleep nightly
All of these are going to impact your brain health, gut health, and memory. That’s a long-term benefit that is worth the effort.
The biggie and the challenge is this –
You Gotta Remember To Take Care Of Your Gut Brain Axis,
Or Else Your Memory Will Decline.
I love to help you to Enjoy Your Healthy Life! Gut Health is just one way to do this!
Chemical Minimalist/Mindfulness Mentor
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