If you want to be a high performer, you are likely interested in boosting your cognitive function to improve your performance at work or socially. Using nootropics is a great way to increase mental performance. But, before you dive into the wonderful world of nootropics, you can start looking at one of the most effective ways, by improving your gut health.
What is the role of the gut
Your gut is full of microbial cells, more than there are human cells in your entire body. In fact, there are about ten times more to the count. These microbial cells are found mainly in the gut, where they make up a diverse and complex ecosystem known as the gut microflora. From the moment of birth, your intestines are populated by bacteria, and the types and variety depend on several factors, such as your genes, lifestyle, environment, diet, and use of medication like antibiotics.
A higher diversity of bacterial strains in your gut microflora means a more diverse ecosystem. This diversity equals a stronger and healthier gut that can fight pathogens, has better digestion, absorbs nutrients properly, improves general health (mental and physical). Also, it strengthens the immune system and is essential to processes like autophagy (ageing) and cell apoptosis (programmed cell death of dangerous cells or mutations).
There is a substantial amount of research showing strong associations between poorly populated gut microbiome and disease, acne, anxiety and depression, obesity, and cognitive dysfunction. Which has led researchers to consider, ‘why is the gut so powerful?’ and ‘why does it impact cognitive-related conditions?’. Here’s how.
What is the gut-brain axis?
The gut-brain axis (GBA) links the central and enteric nervous systems via the autonomic nervous system, allowing bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain to maintain homeostasis in the body. The connection between the gut and brain is through the vagus nerve, the longest cranial nerve in the body, connecting to all major organs. The vagus nerve is responsible for regulating the digestive, endocrine, immune, and respiratory systems in line with messages sent between the brain and the gut.
The gut is referred to as a ‘second brain’ because it produces many of the same neurotransmitters as the brain that are all associated with cognitive performance, like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin and dopamine. As per a study published by Frontiers in Psychiatry, when an individual has poor gut health, they are more likely to experience cognitive issues.
If the gut is in a state of stress, due to inflammation, oxidative stress, leaky gut, or a lack of nutrient diversity, it reports this to the brain, which in turn shifts into a state of stress, causing cognitive dysfunction. This link has led researchers to believe that cognitive problems like anxiety, depression, memory malfunction, brain fog, and more serious neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, are all related to gut health.
How improving your gut health boosts cognitive performance
If you are experiencing any cognitive problems, you may have poor gut health. Preliminary research indicates dietary adjustments improve key-markers of cognitive performance, specific adjustments that have been shown to populate the gut with good bacteria (probiotics), provide fuel for healthy bacteria (probiotics), and to regulate gut functionality (fibre).
When your gut is happy, so is your brain and vice versa. Consuming a diet rich in probiotics, fibres and a diverse variety of nutrients will contribute to a healthy gut, which sends a message to your brain via the GBA to say ‘I’m good, now focus on your performance!’.
If you already have a healthy diet but want to improve your cognitive performance further, then nootropics might be something for you. Check out CLVR® and BrightSight Omega-3, two natural nootropic supplements that promote cognitive function and supports the nervous system and the vagus nerve.
And remember, if you look after your gut and your brain, they look after each other.
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Braingineers are Swedens and Europe’s number one nootropics provider. We develop innovative and effective, high-quality dietary supplements for cognitive health and visual performance.
We believe the body has an innate ability to regulate our functions that can be supported, restored, and optimized. Our products are designed to help the body regulate its biochemistry and achieve balance. Our goal is to support the integrity of the internal processes to make them more robust and better functioning over time, providing benefits even after discontinued use.