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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > November 2019 > What the gut giveth

What the gut giveth

Eve Kalinik explores the link between our gut and brain and how that bidirectional relationship can affect how we think and feel. She explores how correctly fuelling our microbiome can give back to us in abundance
PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES

WHEN WE THINK about messages between the gut and the brain, we may imagine a conversation from the top down but, in fact, the microbes in our gut communicate with the brain by producing many positive substances. These include short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), made by our microbiome when fed fibre. SCFAs manage inflammation, support the immune system and may affect the wellbeing of the brain. One to note is butyrate, which plays a major role in the health of the gut barrier, as well as the blood-brain barrier, which can help to support a happier state of mind and a healthier body overall.

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