Your Secondary Brain

Scientists have known for a long time that your secondary brain is in your gut. This is the origin of the “gut feeling” that we sometimes get when we are about to do something or make an important decision.

197“The neurons in the gut are so innumerable that many scientists are now calling the totality of them ‘the second brain.’ Not only is this second brain regulating muscles, immune cells, and hormones, but it’s also manufacturing something really important. Popular antidepressants like Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro increase the availability of the ‘feel-good’ chemical serotonin in the brain. You may be surprised to find out that an estimated 80 to 90 percent of the amount of serotonin in your body is manufactured by the nerve cells in your gut! In fact, your gut’s brain makes more serotonin—the master happiness molecule—than the brain in your head does. Many neurologists and psychiatrists are now realizing that this may be one reasons why antidepressants are often less effective in treating depression than dietary changes are. In fact, recent research is revealing that our second brain may not be ‘second’ at all. It can act independently from the main brain and control many functions without the brain’s input or help.”

David Perlmutter from Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life

In Richie Davidson’s great book The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live–and How You Can Change Them. which we’ve written about many times (see, for example, The Neuroscience Of Compassion and Meditation Can Change Your Brain) he talks about the neurological signature of your brain’s “emotional style.” Much of your emotional style comes from your secondary brain. Also, meditation can activate it.

So, listen to your gut feelings. What are they telling you to do?

Books by David Perlmutter

Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life

David Perlmutter

The bestselling author of Grain Brain uncovers the powerful role of gut bacteria in determining your brain’s destiny.

Debilitating brain disorders are on the rise-from children diagnosed with autism and ADHD to adults developing dementia at younger ages than ever befo… [Read More…]

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