Let’s talk about the connection between serotonin and gut health!
Once you get into the science of it, you can see the connection between the gut and the brain and it is very fascinating information.
Embedded into the lining of the digestive tract are these cells called enterochromaffin cells, which are neuroendocrine cells and these cells contain 90% of the serotonin in our body. 90% of the serotonin is produced in these cells that are in the lining of the digestive tract.
The lining of the digestive tract is just one cell deep. Within theses enterochromaffin cells. One side of the cells is towards the lumen of the digestive tract and within the lumen of the digestive tract is the microbiome. So these cells communicate with the microbes of the microbiome. On the other side of the cells, are nerve cells. There are nerve roots that go directly to the vagus nerve, which gives us direct access to the brain. Then there are other nerve roots that are part of the enteric nervous system, so they will communicate with the spinal cord and then the brain. We have direct communication from the digestive tract to the brain. These cells can communicate directly with the microbiome and also have direct communication with the nerve cells to the brain.
Why serotonin is important is because serotonin is a major neurotransmitter. It plays a role in terms of our body’s sleep-wake cycle, it also plays a role in terms of our moods including anxiety and depression.
One of the key ways we can take care of our brain health and our mental health is by taking care of our digestive tract because 90% of the serotonin is produced in the lining of the digestive tract.
The better we can take care of our digestive health and the better we can balance out our microbiome and making sure there is diversity within at microbiome and making sure we heal and take care of the lining of the digestive tract, the better we will be able to support the production of serotonin and serotonin will help with better brain health and better moods.