Scientists have discovered many ways in which the microbiota have been connected to the brain. For example, a majority of the body’s serotonin, a mood-stabilizing "feel good" hormone, is actually found in the gastrointestinal tract.
In 2015, Yano and colleagues found that the gastrointestinal microbiota play a role in regulating the production of serotonin. That same year, Ogbonnaya and colleagues found that alterations in the gut microbiota-brain axis have been connected to stress-related mental disorders (such as depression and anxiety), neurodevelopmental disorders (such as autism), and cognitive functioning. They also determined that the myelination, or development of the fatty layer that eases brain sigil conduction, is also influenced by gut microbes, at least in particular regions of the brain.
So, the foundation of your health is found in the gut! That is why a paleo lifestyle to maintain gut integrity is so important.
Learn more about foods for a healthy gut here.
Yano, J.M., Yu, K., Donaldson, G.P., et. al. (2015) Indigenous Bacteria from the Gut Microbiota Regulate Host Serotonin Biosynthesis. Cell, 161(2), 264-276.
Ogbonnaya, E.S., Clarke, G., Shanahan, F., et. al. (2015) Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis Is Regulated by the Microbiome. Bio Psych, 78(4), e7-e9.