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4 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Your Gut

Discover these surprising things about your gut.

Most people go through each day without giving their gastrointestinal system, often called the gut, much thought at all. However, if they knew that this part of the body had so much power over their physical, emotional and mental health and well-being, they may pay more attention. If you have yet to get familiar with your gut, consider these facts you may find surprising as well as methods for boosting a healthy GI tract.

It Holds Majority of Immune System
Did you know that 80 percent of the body's immune system is found within your gastrointestinal tract? As Well + Good explained, the root cause of catching a cold can be traced back to digestion. Though it may be surprising, the answer to boosting your immunity begins by taking care of your digestive system and keeping bacteria levels in the gut healthy.

Taking care of your gut is important for your overall health and well being.Taking care of your gut is important for your overall health and well being.

Author and certified nutritional consultant Brenda Watson explained to the source that when your gut is healthy, it informs the immune system, which translates to you feeling nourished, energized and relatively good overall. On the other hand however, when the microbes in your gut are unable to rid the body of toxins and pathogens, it signals a warning to the immune system – which can leave you feeling under the weather.

It's Called "The Second Brain"
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the common phrase about going with your gut instinct may have more of a literal meaning that one may think. Researchers have observed a connection between gastrointestinal complications and conditions such as depression and anxiety, leading them to believe that the gut within our digestive system is actually acting as a second brain. This means that there is much more to mental health and digestion than is commonly thought.

"The gut is considered your second brain."

Though it cannot think for itself, this second brain interacts and exchanges information with the brain in our heads on a regular basis, Dr. Jay Pasricha, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology and one of the leading researchers on the concept, explained.

As our Hallelujah Diet health experts have previously reported, your gut has a big impact on how you're feeling emotionally. In fact, it provides the body with more than 95 percent of its serotonin – a chemical known to improve moods. A number of hormones are managed from the second brain as well.

It Can Influence Fat Storage
Your gut plays a role in nearly all areas of your health, which is why it may not be all that surprising to learn it can also impact your weight – though perhaps not in the way you may think. According to Nutritious Life, the GI tract needs to manage a healthy balance of both good and bad bacteria at all times. When the bad bacteria starts to overpower the good, it can cause excess fat to be stored. This can be extremely frustrating for those trying yet unable to understand why they can't shake the last few pounds.

It Loves Probiotics
As our health experts explained, most regularly functioning guts hold close to 3 1/2 pounds of bacteria at one time. Most Americans, especially those following the Standard American Diet, do not get enough probiotics on a regular basis. One of the best ways to include more probiotics into your diet is with fermented foods such as tempeh, sauerkraut and kefir. As Nutritious Life explained, you may also consider adding prebiotics to your diet. Non-digestible or partially digestible fibers that fuel the good bacteria, prebiotics can be found in bananas, garlic and sunchokes. 

When you take care of your gut, you take care of your entire health.


  1. Annette March 27, 2018

    Good information about the gut! I do take a probiotic every day and it helps me too. Did not think of it as been a second brain, but I know now. Again thanks!

  2. Angela Solomon March 27, 2018

    Great information nice to know we have a sencond brain and we do need to take care of it!

  3. Connie Gesser March 28, 2018

    Yes, I agree that gut health is very important to the health of the rest of the body.

    I did not know why the gut was called the 2nd brain. I appreciate the explanation — the second brain interacts and exchanges information with the brain in our heads on a regular basis

    More than 95 percent of its serotonin is a lot of serotonin. It is no wonder that many people with digestive disorders also struggle with brain issues.

    This article is a great incentive to take care of gut health.

  4. T Black April 2, 2018

    A lot of people are really surprised to hear that a large portion of our immune system lies within our digestive system. It goes to show that what you eat really does influence your health, good or bad.

  5. I was recently diagnosed with gastroparesis iam not diabetic it’s awful nausea pain on right side I had this a year I bloat like iam pregent at 65 years old they did upper scope I have the bad polyps that can turn into cancer but the Gastro Dr I see says every five years I passed blood twice within two years I had 8 magor surgeries right down from top to bottom of stomach many promblems I lived in Ohio 27 years moved to KY in1996 in 205 I got sick no one could find anything by the grace of God somthing happened and we had to go back to Ohio thank God I was not eating drinking for a long time my goal was to see
    Y Drs there of 27 years I had painon right side my Dr did every test possible no stones in gallbladder but he decided to remove it when I woke up the last words were I don’t feel good from that point knowing me he kept me inthe hospital I was fadeing fast I had septicemia I don’t remember nothing from that point I was told muchlater I was dieing my Dr made them give me a med that gave me one percent chance to live myorgans were shutting down they told me much later I was dieing I was on life support I don’t know anything thathappen he once he knew I had a chance I was cut wide open we to this day do not know what caused this he told me later much later my heart stoped 4 times by the grace e of God and my Dr and teams of Drs and nurses I was called a mirical if I would have stayed in KY I would not be here today it was a long road he asked do you remember anything no he said it’s best they had no more room to put another tube I got pneumonia several times Now backin MY Drs. Rush me off they don’t do nothing iam high risk whT happento Drs path and the meds they use here they stoped useing these meds 30 years ago he told me I was on a journey not in this world in my coma iam dealing with Gastroparesis I found out al
    OST a year later and many ER trips you don’t live a life you can’t enjoy ring or going out to family you don’t make appoints
    Ents you don’t know how sick you will be the nausea med is not working Zoltan Bentyl that’s what the Gastro gave me here in KY each day you pray I cannot make plans I had a bad 2017 all of a sudden my kidney count came back low I couldn’t lift my toes I do not know after blood work I was very low on bit D I took D2 which caused
    Ore pain 50 thousand u nits after a 6 month period I askedto Be put on D3 I was dig oozed severe spinal Ace poses di s detoration it’s pain ful they I had a wait of 6 months to get in to pain managemt a ARPN put me on narco which never helped but I took the dose perceives ed daily hopeing please relive this pain I got to pain ct finally they wanted to burn nerves shot steroids inmy spine no to much at one time I asked for them to change my med no no my aunt at 84 has a lot of these promblems they give her a pain med that works when it gets bad she dose not have to take the full dose I been hit with Toni h iam afraid of more going wrong I talked to my aunt no my other aunt it did not help her it put my Iuncle in a wheel chair yes I have fear could that narco have caused this promblem in my stomach that I begged to change meds no surgery possible I would. E in a wheele chair I weaned my self off but now the few I had left due to pain from Gastroparesis I take half I don’t sleep at night I see my pay rosy iam so stressed out I have anixty med 34 years that do not help but can’t just stop grand mall seizures my eye inplants are foggy ow I went into deppressionoui louiville is the closest Dr to treat this a six to eight month wait we are in our 60s he has to work still. Barley to live our saveing is gone I go on Medicare nov first confused on that iv had a bad stomach many years due to sever mental abuse 46 and still Nashville is the larger hospitals near me but you cannot find a Dr to treat this in 4 large hospitals in Nashville why is this rare iam loseing weight fast it’s like do t bother us we can’t do anything the Drs I see if you can tell me more and treatment iam raiseing g my grand kids thank God they are older now I cannot do nothing due to bone disease I hurt I
    any things with family I moved here my family lived here I lost my mother father and little brother I was always strong did everything myself I don’t have a life at all and no understanding get from husband family iamone always

  6. I agree that most Americans do not get enough fermented foods and have too much bad bacteria in the gut. This can lead to leaky gut and other health problems. Probiotics, fermented foods and prebiotics can help repopulate the gut with friendly bacteria.

  7. purchase the book by Dr. Michael Greger, “How Not To Die” I promise your will see a marked improvement in your health.

  8. Shei;a Dunn February 3, 2020

    That was a very good information on the gut. I knew about the second brain, however, I wasn’t sure about the communicate that takes place. Can taking pre and probotics help with a health gut?

  9. CAROLYN B CALHOUN February 3, 2020

    Have always been made aware the a lot of our physical problems begin with the gut. Thanks for this information.

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