What's your gut reaction to this story?

There are more than 1,000 varieties of bacteria that live within the human gut, and an average person can have around 300 different varieties of the little critters living within them. Each type of bacteria not only supports one another but support your ability to digest food, stay healthy, and if your gut community is a bit off, perhaps gain weight or develop diabetes.

Or this one?

[The] often-overlooked network of neurons lining our guts that is so extensive some scientists have nicknamed it our "second brain".  A deeper understanding of this mass of neural tissue, filled with important neurotransmitters, is revealing that it does much more than merely handle digestion or inflict the occasional nervous pang. The little brain in our innards, in connection with the big one in our skulls, partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body.

U.C.L.A.'s [Emeran] Mayer is doing work on how the trillions of bacteria in the gut "communicate" with enteric nervous system cells (which they greatly outnumber). His work with the gut's nervous system has led him to think that in coming years psychiatry will need to expand to treat the second brain in addition to the one atop the shoulders.

And from a much older source:

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  (1 Corinthians 12:21-26)

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 8:06 am | Edit
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