Did you know You Have Two Brains?

18 Mar

You have neurons in your brain, but did you know you also have neurons in your gut, including neurons that produce neurotransmitters like serotonin (also found in your brain) that can affect your mood? Your gut literally serves as your second brain, and even produces more serotonin than your brain does.

In other words, you have two nervous systems: the central nervous system (composed of your brain and spinal cord) and the enteric nervous system (the intrinsic nervous system of your gastrointestinal tract). Both are actually created out of the same type of embryonic tissue. During fetal development, one part turns into your central nervous system while the other develops into your enteric nervous system. To put this into more concrete terms, you’ve probably experienced the visceral sensation of butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous, or had an upset stomach when you were very angry or stressed.

The flip side is also true, in that problems in your gut can directly impact your mental health, leading to issues like anxiety, depression, and perhaps even more serious neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.

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