All posts tagged: gutbrain

Addiction and the Gut-Brain Axis

Addiction and the Gut-Brain Axis

[ad_1] It doesn’t have to be this way. Source: Midjourney Addiction carries a heavy mantle of social stigma. One-fifth of the population are afflicted, and it puts a burden on them, their friends, and their family members. It seems like a character flaw: Why can’t the addict simply quit? But research is consolidating around a new view: Addiction has a connection to your gut microbes. This weird association is both intriguing and liberating. It’s intriguing that tiny gut microbes can run our lives into the ground, but it’s liberating because we can control our microbes with diet and lifestyle changes. At least 40 percent (and maybe more) of addicts may be helped or even cured by repairing a bad gut. How the Gut Alters Our Mood and Cognition The story of the gut-brain axis is finally well accepted after two decades of brilliant, ground-breaking research. The gut, and the microbes therein, can alter our mood and cognition in three basic ways. From fastest to slowest, these include speedy nerve connections (via the vagus nerve), slower …

Neuroscientists identify new gut-brain circuits linked to sugar and fat cravings

Neuroscientists identify new gut-brain circuits linked to sugar and fat cravings

[ad_1] Have you ever wondered why certain foods, especially those high in fats and sugars, seem irresistible, no matter how hard we try to resist them? Recent research from the Monell Chemical Senses Center provides a fascinating answer. By studying the neural mechanisms that drive our cravings for fats and sugars, scientists have uncovered separate pathways in our brain that make foods rich in these macronutrients particularly appealing. Even more intriguing, they found that when these pathways are activated together, they supercharge our desire to eat more than we normally would, highlighting a possible internal struggle that undermines conscious dieting efforts. The findings were recently published in Cell Metabolism. Previous research has shown that while the taste of food can influence our food choices, the nutritional value of what we consume plays a more significant role in our eating behaviors. The team at Monell sought to decipher the neural circuits involved in the reward we get from eating fats and sugars, delving into the gut-brain connection mediated by the vagus nerve. “My lab specializes in …

Long-term meditation might change your poop, hinting at effects on the gut–brain axis

Long-term meditation might change your poop, hinting at effects on the gut–brain axis

[ad_1] Tibetan monks engaged in long-term meditation practices have a distinctly different composition of gut bacteria present in fecal samples compared to their non-meditating neighbors, according to new research published in General Psychiatry. This finding not only adds a new layer to our understanding of the mind-gut connection but also hints at the profound ways in which our mental activities, such as meditation, can influence our physical well-being. The inspiration for this study came from a growing body of evidence highlighting the benefits of meditation on mental health, including its ability to combat depression, anxiety, and stress. Meditation, a practice rooted in ancient traditions, is known for its ability to focus the mind and foster a state of peace. Recognizing the intricate relationship between the gut and the brain, researchers were keen to explore how meditation might impact the gut microbiota, the trillions of microorganisms residing in our intestines that play a crucial role in our overall health. This interest was sparked by the possibility that meditation could offer a novel approach to improving health …