The understanding of
the factors that control energy balance (including the role of the central
nervous system) has helped in the treatment of conditions like obesity, type 2
diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), and cancer-associated
The central nervous
system and the hormones secreted by the gut play important roles in controlling
the beginning and termination of meals, thereby controlling the total amount of
that affect the gut-central nervous system axis influence the prevention and
treatment of various diseases.
Hippocrates, the Greek physician and "the Father of Medicine" said,
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food."
This statement brings out the significance of food in determining our body's
health. The influence of the nervous
system, gut hormones and nutritional therapies in some diseases are highlighted
in the studies mentioned below:
Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus
Wu et al studied the
relationship between obesity and intestinal bacteria. His study revealed that
low dietary fibers and increased fat consumption were linked with changes in
the intestinal microflora in obese individuals.
of diabetes type 2 and obesity are directly related with changes in gut
Bariatric surgery is
associated with rapid weight reduction and correction of diabetes type 2, and
marked lowering in cardiovascular deaths. Post surgery, the various gut
hormones result in reduction of appetite and normalizing glucose homeostasis.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs)
diseases include ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel disease and Crohn's
disease. Macfarlane et al suggested that these diseases occur due to the
localized inflammation and modified gut microbiota. Pavlov and Tracey said that
autonomic nervous system has a significant role in moderating inflammation and
immune system by controlling brain.
Nutritional Therapies that act through gut-CNS axis
The dietary fibers,
prebiotics and probiotics are the vital components that are responsible for
having healthy intestinal microbiota. They reduce gut inflammation and result
in less pain and discomfort.
supplementation is also an incredible and excellent source of improved and
healthy intestinal microbiota.
"healthy' nutrients, unsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 are great options for
improvising the inflammatory processes.
Further researches are
needed for maintaining the gut microbial homeostasis and improving the
usefulness of food in preventing inflammation via the gut-CNS axis.
Gut-central nervous system axis is a target for
nutritional therapies; Gustavo et al; Nutrition Journal 2012