5 Reasons You Should Know About the Vagus Nerve Gut Brain Connection


Share post:

- Advertisement -

The vagus nerve gut brain connection is the communication pathway between the brain and digestive system. While changes to your mental health may affect the functioning of your gut, the health of your digestive system may have an impact on anxiety levels and mood regulation. We’ll explain why you should know about this gut brain connection, and recommend one of the best gut health supplements on the market.

The vagus nerve is a long and complex nerve that runs from the brainstem to the abdomen, connecting many major organs, including the heart, lungs, liver, and digestive system. It is the longest cranial nerve among mammals, deriving its name from the Latin ‘vagus’ about its wide distribution throughout the body. In addition, the vagus nerve acts as a conduit between the gut and the brain. The vagus nerve gut brain connection regulates numerous bodily functions, including heart rate, digestion, and breathing. There is such a strong connection between the gut and the brain that many experts call it the “second brain.”

Changes in mental health can affect the functioning of the gut, leading to symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. Conversely, digestive problems can negatively affect mental health, causing mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Therefore, it is essential to maintain good gut health and optimal mental health through a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management, and supplementation with gut-friendly probiotics and prebiotics.

You May Also Like:

5 Great Reasons to Try Alpha GPC for Brain Health

Finding the Best Supplements for Brain Fog After COVID: 5 Top Brands Reviewed

- Advertisement -

A healthy diet and the vagus nerve gut brain connection

Healthy dietary choices benefit overall health, support a healthy vagus nerve, and improve vagal tone. Diets that promote good gut health are critical as the vagus nerve can detect inflammation and microbial metabolites such as butyrate in the gut. The gut brain connection along the vagus nerve also enables neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine to affect appetite control, pain sensations, mood, memory, and other bodily functions. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain sufficient sodium and choline intake while avoiding trans fats to support the function of the vagus nerve. Fish consumption, mainly because of omega fatty acids, is also good for maintaining a healthy vagus nerve.


Vagus nerve gut brain connection and exercise

A small 2016 study uncovered that participants who did moderate-intensity interval cycling experienced enhanced vagus nerve activity. Furthermore, brisk walking, weightlifting, swimming, and Pilates can significantly enhance cranial nerve stimulation. Cardiovascular exercises are highly effective because they require you to regulate your breathing, which activates your body and leads to a connection between the vagus nerve and gut-brain, resulting in a calmer state. However, it is vital not to overdo it, as a 2022 study showed that extreme workouts like HIIT might place too much pressure on your vagus nerve.

A boy is running.

Stress management and your vagus nerve gut brain connection

No pun intended, we cannot stress this point enough; stress is the number one destructive force on your health. For many people, controlling stress requires conscious effort, even more so than smoking or using illegal drugs.  According to Dr. Lin of the Cleveland Clinic, the vagus nerve plays a critical role in deactivating the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for triggering the fight-or-flight response. As a result, when facing stress or fear, your body reacts by increasing heart rate and blood pressure while focusing on survival. However, this state of heightened alertness can leave you feeling exhausted over time. Therefore, maintaining a relatively stress-free life is essential to ensure a healthy vagus nerve gut brain connection.

Gut microbe.

Supplements may facilitate the vagus nerve gut brain connection.

Supplements considered beneficial for good vagal health include omega-3 fatty acids,  pistachios, probiotics, vitamin B12, and high-choline foods. It’s important to consume omega-3 fatty acids to maintain a healthy body since they are critical fats the body cannot produce independently. These fatty acids are predominantly found in fish and are crucial for keeping your brain’s and nervous system’s electrical synopsis functioning. Likewise, probiotics are primarily found in fish and are vital in maintaining healthy brain and nervous system functions.

Medicine Man Plant Co. offers a standout gut health supplement

The Gut Pill, manufactured and sold by Medicine Man Plant Co., is a notable premium brand supplement known for its plethora of ingredients from all corners of the globe. Significant components of this formulation include Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Calendula, Marshmallow Root, and Triphala Fruit, which could benefit the connection between the intestines, brain, and vagus nerve. Moreover, these preceding ingredients have shown anti-hypercholesterolemic, anti-inflammatoryantioxidant, and antiacid properties. It is remarkable for one pill to contain all of these gut-beneficial resources.

In addition to clinical practice, sales and distribution, marketing, and management, Steve Skiff, co-founder, and CEO, has over 20 years of experience in healthcare. Furthermore, Medicine Man Plant Co. is three years old and has already earned positive reviews from various sources. They have an incredible selection of products, from supporting your DNA and protecting your liver to managing your blood pressure and anxiety.

Vagus nerve gut brain connection and meditation

An often preferred relaxation method is meditation, which can activate the vagus nerve and enhance vagal tone. Studies demonstrate that meditation can elevate vagal tone, foster positive emotions, and encourage self-compassion. Additionally, research suggests that meditation decreases the sympathetic nervous system’s “fight or flight” response while increasing vagal modulation. Meditation reduces cortisol levels in the bloodstream when practiced alongside laughter and socializing. Cortisol, a steroid released by the adrenal glands during stress, can thus be mitigated by these activities.

Points for positive emotions.

A final word

The vagus nerve is a powerful tool within the body that helps counteract the fight-or-flight response, leading to a healthy stress response and increased resilience. Activation of the vagus nerve promotes calmness, compassion, and clarity, ultimately benefiting the autonomic nervous system and mental health. A healthy vagal tone is linked to emotional regulation, improved physical health, greater connection, and increased ability to overcome trauma and hardships, resulting in greater success in life.

- Advertisement -

It works against our body’s fight-or-flight system, which helps us build more robust responses to stressful situations and increases our durability. Studies have found a connection between this stimulation and various beneficial results, such as enhanced emotion regulation, better relationships, and physical wellness. In addition, supplements are of benefit to maintaining a healthy vagus nerve. The vagus nerve gut brain connection is crucial for overall health and well-being. 

For further reading:

Insider: 5 ways to stimulate your vagus nerve and regain control from stress faster

Physiology: Cardiac Vagus and Exercise

Forbes: What The Vagus Nerve Is And How To Stimulate It For Better Mental Health

StatPearls: Neuroanatomy, Cranial Nerve 10 (Vagus Nerve)

- Advertisement -

Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.

Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Related articles

Tarragon: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, And Other Important Information

Tarragon, scientifically known as Artemisia dracunculus, is an herb that has been used for ages in both culinary...

Trailing Arbutus: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information

The scientific name for trailing arbutus is Epigaea repens, and it is a low-growing, evergreen shrub primarily found...

Salatrim: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information

Short- and Long-Acyl Triglyceride Molecules, or Salatrim for short, are a type of structured lipids that have important...

Scarlet Pimpernel: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, And Other Important Information

The study of natural compounds for cognitive enhancement has recently become a recurring topic of research for scientific...