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What is the Gut-Brain Axis?

There’s no mistaking the power of a gut feeling, and if you’ve had one, you know what we mean. It’s how your body tells you what to react to or how to feel. While a gut feeling is your brain sending signals to the rest of your body, it can work the other way too. Think of how you experience brain fog or an afternoon slump after a heavy lunch. The gut and brain are connected and in communication with each other, and their back-and-forth is what we call the gut-brain axis.

The gut-brain axis allows the gut to influence the brain and vice versa. Here’s what you need to know about the gut-brain axis:

  • Neurotransmitters, like those associated with mood, are produced in the gut.[1]
  • Chemicals which have been shown to support brain function are also produced in the gut.[2]
  • The overall health of your gut may influence your behavior, how you respond to stress, and your mood.[3]
  • Immune function may be impacted, as specialized immune tissue called GALT (Gastric Associated Lymphoid Tissue) is found in your intestines.[4]
  • Your brain controls the speed at which food moves through the digestive tract.[5] Ever had to run to the bathroom when you’re stressed? You know what we mean.
  • The brain can impact the quality of the digestive tract lining[1] and the release of chemicals to support healthy digestive function.

The gut-brain axis is a powerful connection and maintaining a healthy digestive tract can positively impact your brain health and make you feel better all-around. Certain probiotics can be a powerful ally in supporting digestive balance and subsequently influencing your gut-brain connection. Try adding Fortify™ Daily Probiotic Mood and Stress to your everyday probiotic routine for digestive health support, plus targeted support for emotional well-being; Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum strains promote emotional well-being and help support your body's physical and emotional response to stress.*

When you take Fortify™ daily probiotics, you’re helping to support your gut-brain axis — and your gut instinct.  

[1] Cirillo C, Vanden Berghe P, Tack J. Role of serotonin in gastrointestinal physiology and pathology. Minerva Endocrinol. 2011;36(4):311–324.
[2] Bathina S, Das UN. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and its clinical implications. Arch Med Sci. 2015;11(6):1164-78.
[3] Rea K, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. The microbiome: A key regulator of stress and neuroinflammation. Neurobiology of Stress. 2016;4:23-33.
[4] Donaldson DS, Else KJ, Mabbott NA. The Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissues in the Small Intestine, Not the Large Intestine, Play a Major Role in Oral Prion Disease Pathogenesis. Journal of Virology. 2015;89(18): 9532-9547.
[5] Schemann M. Control of gastrointestinal motility by the "gut brain"--the enteric nervous system. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2005;41 Suppl 1:S4–S6. doi:10.1097/01.scs.0000180285.51365.55