What is the GUT? The gut starts with the mouth and teeth and finishes at the end of the large intestine. Our gut absorbs essential nutrients from the food we eat to sustain our bodily functions in addition to breaking down the food we eat. Our gut is one of the most hard-working organs in our body, performing tasks such as energy production, toxin removal, hormone balance, and skin health.
Here are the 7 surprising facts about your gut:
1. The gut is your Second Brain
Scientists have even considered it as the Second Brain. The gut nervous system can control itself without the need for a signal from the brain, so it doesn't have to wait for the brain to notify it to do the amazing work of digestion.
2. There are 10 times more bacteria in the gut than the whole body.
The millions of bacteria that live in our gut play a vital role in our overall health and longevity. There are some astonishing functions of gut bacteria such as improving immune function, enhancing digestive health, keeping weight off for good, reducing inflammation, and improving overall mood.
3. Around 70% of your immune system is in your gut.
The gut also includes 70-80% of immune cells, which play a critical role in the activation of antibodies and the elimination of pathogens. When your gut is healthy, it will reduce your symptoms and protect you from a variety of chronic diseases.
4. It contains both good and bad bacteria strains.
From immune function to brain activity, nutrient synthesis to the elimination of toxins, the bacterial balance in your gut affects almost all aspects of your health. That’s why it’s essential to maintain a diverse microbiome for good all-
around health and to support a healthy bacterial balance.
5. Your gut can make you happy.
About 95% of your body’s serotonin, known as the happy hormone, is found in the gut. When your gut bacteria is out of balance, your body releases less serotonin, which is linked to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
6. The bacteria in your gut tell you what to eat.
Our appetite was once thought to be primarily controlled by the brain, but it is now becoming apparent that hormones generated in the gut also have an impact on our eating habits.
7. The guts have a self-cleaning function.
It has its own cleaning system. The clean-up begins an hour after eating, with a strong wave of peristalsis passing through the tubes. This distinctive pattern of movement is thought to move along any undigested food.
Overall, there are other several surprising facts such as the guts can get the best out of your food’s nutrition, contains 100 times more DNA located, and has its own immune system. Are you surprised that your gut has so many fascinating facts? Well, now you know!
Written By: Ng Kai Wen
BSc.(Hons). Food Science with Nutrition
Reviewed By: Jasmine Lim
Love Earth Organic Nutritionist
Bachelor of Science Degree in
Dietetics (major) & Food Science (minor)
Iowa State University, USA