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Mental Health & Gut Health

Did you know that your brain affects your gut health and your gut affects your brain health?  This is called the gut-brain axis.

The gut-brain axis is made up of the nervous system, endocrine system, immune system as well as neurotransmitters, and gut microbes. 

In this blog we focus on how your gut health interacts with your brain via your nervous system and how this can impact your mental health.


Nervous System

There are millions of amazing nerves in the human body which form the nervous system. The nerves cleverly  send and receive messages via electrical impulses between the brain, the spinal cord and the rest of the body.  Without our nerves we simply wouldn't function.


Neurons are the information messengers.  They transmit the information from areas of the brain to the rest of the body via the nervous system.  There are approximately 100 billion neurons in the human brain and 500 million neurons in your gut.

Vagus nerve

All of the nerves and neurons within the human body are equally remarkable. However, one of the most important nerves in the body is the vagus nerve.  The vagus nerve is the longest of the cranial nerves and is often described as the body's communication superhighway.    The vagus nerve cleverly connects these neurons by sending signals from the gut to the brain and back again.  This forms a vital part of the gut-brain axis.

There is mounting evidence clearly indicating that a healthy gut can help maintain a healthy mind and vice visa.  Don't just take our word for it.  This is a topic of research that is continually developing but we collated a snapshot of research which demonstrates the links between gut health, the vagus nerve and mental health.

The Research

This latest research (July 2021) directly links the positive use of probiotics as an antidepressant and a anxiolytic, a drug used to reduce anxiety. (1

Another interesting study in mice found that feeding them a probiotic reduced the amount of stress hormone in their blood. However, when their vagus nerve was cut, the probiotic had no effect (2)

This fascinating research shows that vagus nerve stimulation supports mental health conditions (3

Take a look at the Challenge Wellbeing Gut Repair Kit.  This kit has been specifically designed to help improve your gut health and your overall wellbeing.