Impressive Facts On Why You Should Take Care of Your Digestive System
Do you know which part of your body contains more nerve cells than the spinal cord and works independently of the central nervous system? The “intestine” may not be the first answer that comes to your mind, but the gut in your body contains millions of neurons, which is why it is called the “second brain”.
Bet you just got your daily dose of information!
Our digestive system performs many functions beyond the limits of digesting the food we eat, and the number of microbes that live in it can affect our general health tremendously. Scientists are even investigating whether improving the digestive system’s health contributes to enhancing our immune system and treating disorders that affect mental health!
Here are some surprising facts:
The intestine is an independent nervous system
The intestine can function on its own, and differently from any other organ in the body. It’s autonomous in making decisions and doesn’t need the brain to tell it what to do. This enteric nervous system usually communicates with the central nervous system through the “sympathetic” and “parasympathetic” nerves.
About 70 percent of immune cells live in the gut
This fact makes the health of the digestive system vital for boosting our immunity against diseases. Recent research indicates that digestive problems increase the likelihood of common diseases, such as influenza.
The human gut is home to millions of bacteria and microbes
Discovering that might make you cringe, but the fact is that your gut is home to millions of microorganisms. There are more than 100 billion bacteria per gram of gut content, which equals roughly ten times the number of microbes in all your body’s cells.
Strangely enough, most of these bacteria are useful and even necessary for life. So keeping your digestive system in a good and healthy condition ensures that you stay away from problems like indigestion, constipation, and stomach pain.
The digestive system is related to your mood
One of the factors that connect the gut to our general mood is the production of high serotonin levels in the digestive system! Serotonin is a “chemical messenger” that affects various bodily functions, including bowel movement, and its abnormal levels are associated with mental disorders.
A prolonged period of stress can lower serotonin levels and thus affect emotional state, including your mood, anxiety, and happiness levels. Studies in animals and humans have been able to gather evidence of digestive problems in patients with depression and other mental health problems.
Your digestive system is undoubtedly more than just a means of digesting and excreting food. It is considered the main entrance to the body, and its protection is necessary to safeguard the rest of your systems.
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