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Gut-Brain Axis (GBA)

The Gut-brain axis (GBA) is the bidirectional communication between the central and enteric nervous system.

It is a physical and chemical reaction between the gut and the brain, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions.

The central nervous system (CNS) is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain’s main function is integrating and processing sensory information, playing a role in awareness, movement, sensation, thoughts, speech and memory.

The enteric nervous system (ENS) is the intrinsic nervous system of the gastrointestinal tract and a division of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) starting from the oesophagus and finishing at the anus.

The gut-brain axis communicates the physiological condition of the GI tract and integrates information about the state of the GI in conjunction with the CNS.

This is why the gut is also referred to as the second brain.

The ENS system assists in controlling gut motility, blood flow and the release of certain enzymes. Some of the communication between the CNS and the ENS can become conscious, resulting in feelings of discomfort or pain or result in feelings of hunger and satiety.

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