What are the bacteria in the gut of a person with depression like?

  • Juan C. Leza and Javier R. Caso
  • The Conversation*

Illustration shows connection between the gut and the brain

Credit, ChrisChrisW / Getty Images

The phrase “the hand is the outer brain of man” is attributed to Immanuel Kant. It is true that the control of these extremities occupies a huge part of brain function: just look at the representations of the “homunculus”.

Evidently, they are essential both for the reception of external reality and for the expression of our ideas. However, they are not vital organs. The gut, yes, and its relationship with the brain goes much further.

What connection is there between the brain and the gut?

A study published in Nature by gastroenterologist Emeran A. Mayer explains how both the brain and the gut are connected.

This interaction between them has relevance not only in the regulation of gastrointestinal functions, but also in mood and intuitive decision making.

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