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Your Gut Processes Emotion and Regulates Health While You Sleep | Dr. Emeran Mayer

Dr Emeran Mayer is a world-renowned gastroenterologist and neuroscientist with 35 years of experience in the study of clinical and neurobiological aspects of how the digestive system and the nervous system interact in health and disease. His current research focus is on the role of the gut microbiota brain interactions in emotion regulation, chronic visceral pain, and in obesity. His research has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Dr Mayer is a professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, executive director of the G Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, and co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at UCLA.

Mayer’s latest book is “The Mind-Gut Connection: How the Hidden Conversation Within Our Bodies Impacts Our Mood, Our Choices, and Our Overall Health” (https://goo.gl/vKFPZt).

Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/emeran-mayer-on-sleep-and-the-mind-gut-connection

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Transcript – So when we sleep and we have an empty stomach then the activity, the contractile activity of our gut changes to a very unique pattern. It’s a 90-minute cycle, very powerful waves of contractions migrate from the esophagus all the way down to the end of our large intestine. And they move very slowly. So this has been referred to as the intestinal housekeeper that sort of cleans the gut from any residue that’s present. And the rhythm for that is generated by the brain so it’s dependent on the input of the vagus nerve on the second brain in the gut. And this has been something that also should occur when during daytime when in between meals when our stomach and intestinal system is empty.

However with the sort of modern habit of snacking in between meals so a lot of people don’t have that during the day but have it during sleep. If you add the microbes into this now it’s quite likely, not really proven. I mean the microbes obey some kind of a Circadian rhythm by themselves so they’re different during sleep and during daytime. But it’s quite possible to assume that this powerful wave that sort of cleans everything out will also affect the microbes, the composition of the microbes because if we don’t have it – so people that don’t have that for some reason they will develop abnormal colonization, for example, of their small bowel with a lot of microbes that don’t really belong there. So clearly an important role in regulating the populations and the regional distribution of these microbes in our gut. What happens during sleep, so during REM sleep when we have a lot of activity going on within the autonomic nervous system circuits within the brain and the signals are being sent to the gut. So our body is inhibited but not our intestinal activity. Read Full Transcript Here: https://goo.gl/nWQORr.

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