How does gut health impact the brain? From this post written by the best Ballarat naturopaths, let us learn the six (6) parts of the gut-brain connection and its role to our cognitive health.

There is a strong link between the health of your gut and the health of your brain. Your hypothalamus is responsible for maintaining your energy levels. It oversees and regulates the amount of food you eat; balancing it against the amount of energy you use throughout the day.

Gut hormones are essential in mediating interactions between your gut and your brain. They let your brain know what nutrients are present in your gut; signalling when energy stores are low and helping to control your blood glucose levels.

All of these six hormones are essential for a healthy gut. What are they?

1st: Ghrelin

The first part of the gut-brain connection is ghrelin. It is one of the hormones involved in this system. It is made in your stomach and helps to stimulate your appetite. Levels of this hormone increase naturally following exercise or fasting, encouraging your body to rebuild its energy levels.

2nd: Leptin

Leptin, as another part of the gut-brain connection, helps to regulate your energy levels by opposing the action of ghrelin. Leptin helps to inhibit feelings of hunger. It is made by the same cells that store fat and helps to regulate fat accumulation.

3rd: Secretin for Gut-Brain Connection

Created in the small intestines, secretin has an important role to play in a number of different aspects of digestion. This hormone helps to regulate the body’s water levels, modulate the pH in the small intestines, and stimulates the release of bile – which helps break down fats.

4th: Cholecystokinin (CCK)

Cholecystokinin (CCK) is released in the small intestine when fats and proteins are detected. This hormone signals the body to let it know that it has what it needs from a meal. This triggers a short-term suppression of your appetite. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels by inhibiting the production of glucose in the liver.

5th: Glucagon-like Peptide 1 (GLP1)

Glucagon-like Peptide 1 (GLP1) is another hormone that is part of the gut-brain connection, which is very similar in its role to CCK, as far as appetite inhibition. It is released in response to the presence of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. This hormone helps control your blood sugar levels by slowing down how fast your stomach empties its contents into the small intestine.

6th: Peptide YY for Gut-Brain Connection

The amount of Peptide YY that is released for the gut-brain connection depends on how large the meal was. This hormone is highest after a meal and helps let your brain know that you are ‘full’.

All of these six hormones are essential for a healthy gut. If you want to learn more, schedule an appointment with the best Ballarat naturopaths here. You may also check our articles about general health issues and concerns.

Katherine Knott

Katherine is a certified naturopath and the founding director of Acorn and Oak.   Her journey into studying Naturopathy started when she was 18 years old.  Katherine  has also studied 2 1/2 years of nursing and midwifery, but decided that she was happier to work with women as a naturopath and support them through their […]

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