Dr. Kate Klemer, Cranial Conference Presenter 2016, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico
Did you know that your brain influences your gut, and your gut talks to your brain? Your gut is also called “the second brain. ”The enteric nervous system is said to contain about 100 million neurons, which is more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system.” Why are we designed that way? Well let's read on…
A big part of our emotions are influenced by the nerves in our gut. The Vagus nerve innervates the gut. To clarify, the gut includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine
The Vagus Nerve Reads The Gut Microbiome!
● By reading the gut microbiome the vagus nerve initiates a response to modulate
inflammation based on whether or not it detects pathogenic versus
non-pathogenic organisms. In this way, the gut microbiome can have an
affect on your mood, stress levels and overall inflammation.
Your Flora Is Also Known As Your Gut Biome
Your microbiome is your friend. There is a co-regulation, and co-dependence that occurs between this community of microorganisms and our health in many ways. Our microbiome supports food digestion, protects against pathogens, provides essential nutrients, and trains our immune system. A disturbance of flora is linked to disease.
Facts about our microbiome...
○ Is inhabited by 100 trillion
○ This is 10x the number of cells in the
○ Has 150x as many genes than we have
○ Co-exists with gut pathogens
○ Regulates the immune system
○ Regulates the endocrine system
○ Modulates digestion (Vitamin K2, single
chain fatty acids, and fructose)
○ Weighs 2-6 pounds
These Are Ways the Gut and Brain Connect:
1. Immune system= via endocrine/cytokines chemicals produced by the body
2. Neural Sensory (primarily Vagus Nerve picking up info from the gut, going to the brain)
3. Neurotransmitters made by microbiome =endocrine system to the brain
4. Solitary Nucleus brainstem + amygdala, Insular Cortex, Hypothalamus connect to Vagus
5. Corticosteroids via HPA axis affect Microbiome
6.The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. Efferent/motor activity= from the brain/ vagus nerve causes acetylcholine release in organs which lowers inflammation.
Communication of the gut-brain axis is bidirectional:
The brain and gut are also connected by the endocrine system. In a study a baby mouse was taken away from its Mother. What they found is that the gut flora is
altered in the baby mouse after that stressful experience. They also learned that stress and sleep deprivation are known to increase cortisol ,which causes overgrowth of bad bacteria. An overgrowth of gut pathogens triggers the immune system to release more cortisol making prostaglandins which cause swelling in the body.
Gut pathology is linked to brain pathology:
● Anxiety and depressive disorders are linked with autoimmune disease
○ Irritable bowel syndrome is linked with anxiety/depression
○ Schizophrenia is linked with celiac disease
○ Autism spectrum is linked with gut pathology (clostridium, and abnormal level of gut bacteria
*Leaky gut is related to depression which is related to an inflamed brain.
Probiotics stop this!
Lacking of the microbiome creates brain changes
A study showed that germ free mice have too much myelin in their prefrontal cortex. This connects lacking microbiome with disease. Myelin irregularities are associated with schizophrenia. This was reversed in mice when probiotics were given to the mice.
What causes leaky gut (AKA dysbiosis)?
Leaky Gut causes gastrointestinal inflammation, which creates food intolerances, and immune system issues:
Here are the full body effects of leaky gut:
There is a lot of confusion around wheat/gliadin.
The bottom line is that all gliadin/wheat causes gut injury. The mechanism for this is that a substance called zonulin is excreted by the gut when exposed to lipopolysaccharides, (these come from the death of bacteria), wheat, and glyphosate/roundup. Zonulin then goes systemic and injures the gut wall, the blood brain barrier, the vascular system, and kidney tubules. This sets people up for lots of health issues if it is a chronic exposure.
Zonuling Breaches Barriers In The Body That Protect Us,
Top causes of increased zonulin and development of leaky gut:
● Overgrowth of harmful organisms, like bacteria or yeast in the intestine
A. SIBO = small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (caused by low HCL, Ileocecal valve issues, low enz)
B. Fungal dysbiosis or candida overgrowth
C. Parasite infections
● Gliadin in the diet (gluten containing foods)
Elevated zonulin levels and leaky gut are associated with the following:
1. Crohn's disease
2. Type 1 Diabetes
3. Multiple Sclerosis
6. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
It is a good idea to not eat wheat very often.
What is going on nowadays that is creating so many chronic diseases???
● More environmental Toxins
● Too much sugar in mainstream diet
● Too many antibiotics, and given too young= leaky gut
● C-Sections, no breast feeding, no skin to skin with parents (this builds baby’s microbiome)
● Too many medications= leaky gut
● Low fat diets
● Amalgam/mercury fillings in the teeth
● Genetically Modified Foods= leaky gut
● Poor methylation= epigenetics
Facts about baby's microbiome:
Low fat diets and drugs:
Statistics show that the increase of low fat diets and use of statin drugs to lower cholesterol have created an increase of dementia/Alzheimer’s disease.
This pesticide destroys the Shikimate pathway in plants. This pathway makes a substance called Chorismate, and this in turn makes amino acids that we use: tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine. These amino acids make neurotransmitters. Our microbiome is basically microscopic plants. The bottom line is that roundup destroys our microbiome.
Stephanie Seneff, Phd is a MIT researcher. She says: “ at today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic. The side effects of autism closely mimic those of glyphosate toxicity including zinc and iron deficiency, low serum sulfate, seizures, and mitochondrial disorder.”
Rats fed a lifelong diet of one of the best selling strains of genetically modified corn suffered tumors and multiple organ damage.
● Gut bacteria given to a germ free mouse, from a heavy mouse, made the germ
free mouse heavy. When a thin mouse gave a germ free
mouse their microbiome it caused them to be thin.
● Mice raised in a germ free environment where given specific bacteria, and it
was found to change their behavior
● Low Serotonin and High Dopamine is a recipe for violence and aggression
● 50% of all norepinephrine/noradrenaline is synthesized and used in the Gut
● Stress hormones cause rapid growth (4X) of pathogen e. Coli
● Bacteria steal Iron to grow rapidly, and can cause Iron deficient anemia
● Adrenalin Increases biofilm formation, Biofilm is what 90% of bacteria live in
● Bad bugs eat sugar and refined carbs
● Antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as bad bacteria and upset the gut
● 25% women from 40-60 years old are on antidepressants, their gut biome is off!
Brain health depends on a healthy gut environment.
Many symptoms we experience daily in our heads , are due to problems that are based in our guts. Modern lifestyle and medical practices have greatly harmed our microbiome. GMO foods interfere with our gut bacteria’s ability to produce neurotransmitters. Inflammation from leaky gut destroys serotonin, leading to insomnia, pain, anxiety, and excess stress. Overuse of antibiotics, poor stomach function, and lack of gut motility creates small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
Here is a list of what the good guy microbiome do:
● Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species produce GABA
● Lactobacillus produces Acetylcholine
● Escherichia, Bacillus, and Saccharomyces produce
● Candida, Streptococcus, Escherichia, and Enterococcus
● Bacillus and Serratia produce dopamine
What we can do to support our gut brain axis...
One last little tidbit of science. People with bacterial overgrowth in their small intestine/SIBO were studied in conjunction with concussions. Those with SIBO and concussion had the lowest score of neurological function, those with SIBO and no concussion had the next lowest score of neurological function, and those with a concussion without SIBO had the best neurological score. What this is saying is that gut imbalances strongly affect neurological function, more so than a concussion!
Yours in Health, Dr. Kate