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Dr. Simone explains the gut-brain connection

Can you explain why ‘the stomach is called the second brain’? 

We classify the gut (gastrointestinal tract) as the second brain. The gut is the long tube that starts at top of the throat and goes right down to the anus. The reason why the gut is termed as the second brain is due to the enteric nervous system (ENS) or intrinsic nervous system which controls the function of the gut and gives endless feedback to the brain.

Is 90% of serotonin made in your gut?

Yes 90% is produced in the gut and in the enterochromaffin cells. We are unsure as to why this occurs as it is part of the body’s biochemical make. It is imperative for everyone to have their gut functioning effectively to keep our mood, sleep and appetite patterns in balance.

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Is there anything we can do to enhance efficacy of the gut or digestion?

Most of us all need digestive support as a result of overindulging in junk and acidic foods such as coffee, excessive alcohol and/or not enough water. Even if you eat well and have a low toxic lifestyle as we age our stomach acids decrease. Consequently, we don’t digest our foods as efficiently and our gut function is greatly impaired. I recommend to my patients The Super Elixir as it contains all the supergreens to help alkalise the body, having an anti-inflammatory effect on the gut and also contains billions of pre and pro biotics, L-Glutamine, milled flaxseeds and psyllium husk supporting the entire gut from your throat to your bottom.

The Super Elixir Nourishing Protein launching in March 2015 also contains billions of pre and probiotics in addition to an exciting complete vegan protein base with detox, anti-stress and metabolic boosting agents.

Is there anything that prevents efficient digestion that has an effect elsewhere in the body (skin, sleep, hormones etc)?

Excessive animal protein, dairy and sugar puts excessive pressure on the digestive system which negatively effects gut function. The excessive animal proteins and dairy create excessive acidic waste and slows gut motility. To prevent this, try to always eat organic chicken, meats and line caught fish. As a general rule, animals with less legs are less acid forming so fish for example is less acidic than red meat or pork.

Excessive sugar consumption not only causes more acidity but also a significant spike in your blood sugar levels which negatively affect your hormones, skin, sleep, appetite and mood. Keep your sugary foods to 1-2 times per week, after all life is all about balance and not about abstinence.

Dr Simone Laubscher PHD spoke to Francesca White, Beauty Editor of Tatler UK – see upcoming issue for full story.

Elle in New York & Los Angeles this week…
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