The gut can be thought of as the second brain.
Our digestive tract is home to some 100,000 billion bacteria. This set constitutes our intestinal flora called microbiota and lives in harmony (symbiosis) with our body. Its role is not limited to digestive or immune functions, but also nervous. In fact, the bacteria in the intestine and the brain interact in both directions by transmitting information to each other via the ENS (Enteric Nervous System). We are talking about the gut-brain axis.
Flora or microbiota?
These are two expressions for the same thing. “Flore” is commonly used in French when the Anglo-Saxons prefer the term “microbiota” (the content) which designates the set of microorganisms living in a “microbiome” (the container).
Microbiota and health
It is now accepted that the microbiota plays a role in well-being and health. The list of microbiota disruptors is wide: a diet poor in fiber, vitamins and trace elements, but rich in refined foods, various pollutants; alcohol and tobacco; daily tensions causing stress; hormonal changes; bacterial infections; taking medication; excessive sporting activity … They will trigger an imbalance: some members of the microbiota will be found in insufficient number and others will see their population increase until they become pathogenic, we speak of dysbiosis.
Mood and behavior disorders
This imbalance in the microbiota is found systematically in certain diseases, particularly in mood and behavior disorders. The food intake of selected lactic ferments (microbiotics), is able to restore the intestinal ecosystem, in order to better preserve our neuro-health capital. Some of them produce GABA, one of the main neurotransmitters, which is involved in brain well-being: This is the concept of “psychobiotics” or Gababiotic®.