Nutritional Treatments as Good Targets of Gut-Central Nervous System Axis

by Anne Trueman on  May 25, 2012 at 12:27 PM Health Watch
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Nutritional therapies including dietary fibers, the use of prebiotics and probiotics can reduce gut inflammation and improve health, according to a recent study published in the Nutrition Journal.
 Nutritional Treatments as Good Targets of Gut-Central Nervous System Axis
Nutritional Treatments as Good Targets of Gut-Central Nervous System Axis

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 anorexia.

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 food intake.

Nutritional therapies 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.

Increased prevalence of diabetes type 2 and obesity are directly related with changes in gut microbiota-CNS axis.

Bariatric surgery

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)

Inflammatory bowel 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.

Dietary fiber supplementation is also an incredible and excellent source of improved and healthy intestinal microbiota.

Besides other "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

Source: Medindia

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