Both our gut and our brain originate early in embryogenesis from the same clump of tissue which divides during foetal development. While one section turns into the central nervous system, another piece migrates to become the enteric nervous system. Later the two nervous systems connect via a cable called the vagus nerve — the longest of all the cranial nerves whose name is derived from Latin, meaning “wandering.” The vagus nerve meanders from the brain stem through the neck and finally ends up in the abdomen. There’s the brain-gut connection.
The gut’s brain, known as the enteric nervous system (ENS), is located in sheaths of tissue lining the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. Considered a single entity, it is packed with neurons, neurotransmitters and proteins that zap messages between neurons or support cells like those found in the brain.
Think why if you are nervous about a job interview…your stomach can get upset!
70 % of the immune system is in your gut.
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