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The stomach: the second brain in children and adults

The stomach: the second brain in children and adults



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You may not have heard it before, but the stomach is called the second brain of the human body. And it is that in our stomach there are more than 100 million neurons and there is a very close relationship between what happens in the brain and in the stomach.

How does this second brain act in children and adults when it comes to feeding? Why is it called that way?

The stomach has come to the fore with the title of "the second brain of the body in children and adults", what are the reasons?

- The amount of neuronal connections that exist throughout the gastrointestinal tract is very high, maintaining a closeconnection between what happens in the stomach and the center of operations of the body, the brain.

- The arrival of food to the stomachproduces the release of many hormones, with different effects on the body.

- The stomach also has some control over emotions, being very different when you are full from when you are hungry. To avoid the bad mood and aggressiveness that an empty stomach generates, and to achieve adequate levels of tryptophan and serotonin that promote relaxation, it is advisable to offer food several times a day to the little ones.

- The stomach is in direct communication with the brain through neuronal connections and the microbiota, this communication being bidirectional.

In addition, research in recent decades has focused on the importance of the intestinal microbiota, the microbial population that inhabits the intestine, and whose function was unknown until now.Bacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract are in direct communication with the immune systemThis is considered the largest organ of the immune system, with approximately 70% of the lymphoid tissue located in this area. If the microflora is damaged, if there is an alteration in the balance of this ecosystem, it has a direct impact on the body's defenses, and intestinal dysbiosis may occur, related to the appearance of allergies and other types of diseases, especially of a gastrointestinal nature.

Pregnancy is the period in which the microbial flora begins to establish in the gastrointestinal tract of the developing baby, andthese bacteria could be the first stimulus for the development of the baby's immune system, protecting against allergies, asthma and other diseases, especially in premature babies. However, the microflora does not establish definitively until around 2 years of age, and therefore, in the first years of a child's life, with their immune system still developing, and their microflora in diapers, it is very important that the feeding ensures a correct supply of commensal bacteria that establish themselves in the gastrointestinal tract.

In the first place, and to maintain that first population that the baby inherits through the mother - they arrive crossing the placental barrier - breast milk is the ideal food, sincethese beneficial bacteria are able to reach it from the maternal intestine, and thus continue to colonize the intestine of the newborn. Subsequently, after the introduction of complementary feeding, a continuous supply of live bacteria, from fermented foods, such as dairy products -cheese, yogurts and kefir, for example-, sausages and pickles, among others, ensures that the intestinal balance is maintained. and a healthy bacterial population is established in the stomach and intestines,allowing the second brain in children and adults to function in tandem with the first.

You can read more articles similar to The stomach: the second brain in children and adults, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.


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