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The Relationship between Guts and Brain

guts and brain

Already 2000 years ago, Hippocrates said: “All disease starts in the intestines.” He understood how profoundly our brain is related to our guts. Not only do they have a similar structure, but research also confirms that what goes on in our gut, relates to what happens in our brain. The better we take care of our intestines, the better is the working of our brain.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

The chemicals that cause a leaky gut syndrome also cause damage to the brain. When the single cell layers, present in both the gut and the brain, are harmed, they withhold its natural function to protect us from illness.

Without being aware of it, many people suffer from a Leaky Gut Syndrome, caused by undigested food in the gut, leading to inflammation of the mucous membrane, and in the long-run to the leaking of the small intestine. These interventions lead to symptoms like constipation, diarrhoea, aching joints and fibromyalgia.


Inflammation and Brain Disorders

Inflammation is a serious issue when it comes to illnesses in western cultures. It’s an ailment caused by disturbed gut bacteria, due to environmental toxins and a lack of biodiversity in our body. Inflammation affects and destroys the microbiomes of our bodies, and leads to a lower blood flow to the brain, causing brain ailments such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, Autism, Multiple Sclerosis, but also auto-immune disorders, joint related diseases, diabetes and cancer.

Although brain related disorders are often a reaction to different causes, it can be reversed by eating a proper diet and engaging in habits that support health. A lack of biodiversity in the body is not induced by our gene but by our environment, such as the intake of processed food, stress and antibiotics (through prescriptions and the consumption of animals products). Antibiotics kill many of the trillions of microbiomes that live in our body, which we need to balance our immune system and stay healthy, physically as well as mentally.


Physicians are encouraged to use antibiotics for a broad spectrum of ailments, killing all possible virus, but also our healthy organisms. An extreme overuse often causes diarrhoea. The price we pay for using antibiotics is huge, affecting our gut for many years, or in some cases forever. The consumption of meat and dairy from factory farms that are using antibiotics as a routine is the main cause for the resistance of it.

Although, antibiotics can be useful in some cases and perhaps save lives, in most cases the use is unnecessary. We don’t need antibiotics for a cold or flu, as the body is well able to take care of it. Always use probiotics after your cure, such as Acidophilus & Bifidus or Lactobacillus Plantarum. The intake of probiotics and fibres changes our microbiome for the better and optimises the working of our intensities, which is necessary for our well-being.


Natural probiotics can be found in:

Artichoke, Mexican Yam, Leeks, Onion, Garlic, Sauerkraut, Chinese Cabbage, Dandelion greens and Naturally Fermented food. These foods provide us with organisms we need for an optimal functioning of the intestines. Unfortunately, we have lost contact with this knowledge. Our ancestors had a daily probiotic intake (through food) of 125 grammes or 4.4 ounces; today we reach a maximum of 5 grammes or 0.20 ounce per day.

We can regain our health by living pure and natural, preferably from our own garden.


Next to the intake of antibiotics, we seem to have an obsession with hygiene, which causes an unbalanced immune system and therefore disease. Our intestines need bacteria and parasites to perform their work correctly. Worldwide research has shown that people living in remote area’s, especially in Africa, have an advantage when it comes to ‘western’ ailments. So we better get a bit more dirty to keep our gut healthy. Bacteria are not our enemies but our alliances!


Today, 1 out of 68 children are diagnosed with Autism. There is a strong indication that it is related to the vaccines which the young babies receive as of birth. The countries with the highest rate of vaccines have led to the highest rate of Autism. Ingredients, such as aluminium and mercury, can not be processed nor drained by the body. Mercury also reduces the memory and learning abilities, and leads to an impaired function of the total nerve system, starting in the intestines. A thorough research confirmed that Autism often comes together with profound digestive issues. Hence, gut treatments have shown dramatic improvement for this target group.

According to Dr David Perlmutter Autism possibly relates to the increased conduction of cesarian section. A natural birth provides the baby with loads of germs and bacteria (from the mother’s vagina), which is the foundation for the baby to create a healthy microbiome. Depriving the young born from the germs and bacteria at birth, possible leads to ailments such as Autism and ADHD, and in adulthood causing auto-immune diseases and obesity.


The Lancet Medical Journal published a study amongst children that suffer from ADHD and ADD, and their relation to food intake. Surprisingly enough, 79% of target group significantly improved their functionality, after removing sugar, artificial colours and flavours. Also, exposing the children to food with a high rate of vitamin B’s increases their achievements at school.

Drugs prescribed for Hyper Active Children seems to harm them more than anything else. Dr Daniel Amen specialised in children with ADHD, has treated over 20.000 people in his clinic. He discovered that different factors are causing ADHD, but the food was really the first intervention. Food is nature’s medicine!



Our intestines play a major role in how we express ourselves, which is related to what we inherit from our parents. The gut bacteria regulate the expression of our genes and the neurodevelopment of our chemistry, regulating our mood, metabolism, how much calories we abstract from our food and whether we are fat or thin.

In his book Brain Maker Dr Perlmutter explains that our inherit genes are not static, but hugely dynamic and hugely influenced by our activities, food choices, stress management and thoughts.

If the food we eat is healthy, our minds are able to function properly.

CTE Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain, found by athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma. In his book Change your Brain, Change your Life, Dr Daniel Amen explains that this ailment is reversible. By eating a healthy diet, the brain function improves within two months, caused by an increased blood flow. A cognitive test showed that 7 out of 9 persons result in a significant improvement on; memory, attention, processing speed, mood, sleep and motivation.


Food with low energy does not sustain us and has a very addictive character. Our body, mind and spirit need nutrients to functioning well. If we don’t feed it well, our mind keeps giving signals: “I need more”, but it actually needs vitamins and not an overexposure of calories, which the body can not digest and leads to obesity.

Obesity also damages the brain, because when our weight goes up, the physical size of our brain literally goes down. An experiment with two target groups, one with an average weight and one with overweighted, showed that the overweighted people had an overall lower activity in the frontal lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe is the most important and most evolved part of the brain and the part that distinguishes us from other living species.

The frontal lobe is related to planning, organising, judging, impulse control, empathy, and learning from the mistakes we make. When this part of our brain is damaged, our ability to make good decisions is harmed too, which makes it hard to function well in a society that gives us so many poor and challenging choices. The optimum intake of nutritional food helps us towards an optimal functioning of the brain.

Our lifestyle either promotes health or illness. We always have a choice what we put in our mouth.


Although our genetics are unique by design, to some level we all need fat for an optimal digestion and a healthy mind. It is important to integrate fat products in our diet, such as avocado, nuts, coconut oil and olive oil (pure and organic). These fats don’t make us thick but help us to lose weight!

We all digest differently, some people need something to eat every 2 hours while others can do easily without food for 5 hours. Use your discernment and intuition to find out what works best for you, or find a naturopath to help you with it.

Relationship to Food

Nutritious food, fresh and organic, has an amazing effect on our cognitive behaviour and temper. It is important to get our minds right to only ‘want’ what gives us something good and worthwhile in return. Like any relationship, we should only want to engage with the good guys and gals.


A study done in the 80’s, amongst 80.000 people with a delict, showed a drop in deviant behaviour by 50% after removing chemicals and sugars in their diets. It might be clear that eating a healthy diet improves our social behaviour. Ultimately, proper food improves the lives of all human beings, allowing them to make better decisions and let them be part of a wholesome flow of life.

Good Food provides us with a Good Mood.


Digestion starts in our head, by being aware of what we put in our mouth and how it feeds us, and by being thankful before consuming. A wonderful way to celebrate life and ourselves is choosing conscious eating habits with healthy nourishing food.

Spending time with healthy happy people is the best way to create a happy, healthy life because people’s habits are contagious! Although happiness and taking away worry are great enhancers for longevity, conscientiousness overrules it, as it determines our decision making, which is the most crucial part of living a happy and healthy life.


The Food Revolution 
David Perlmutter M.D. – The Gut-Brain Connection
Daniel Amen M.D. – The Brain Warrior’s way

More info and Literature:
Natascha Campbell-McBride M.D.Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS)
Also in Dutch: Gut and Psychology Syndrome

Creator of Practical Life Guide. A practical guide for living a meaningful life with joy and purpose.


  • Catherine DePino

    This is an excellent article that covers all basis about what it takes to make you healthy and happy. Great advice for everyone!

  • Gabriela

    How good it is to have it all brought into focus , once again , dear Monique ! Your article is such a welcomed reminder on what we all know we should be doing , but sometimes simply …forget ! I fully agree that what and how we eat is the determining factor on our overall well being … having had experienced first hand a horrible episode of gastrointestinal mayhem a few years ago … and not having any help whatsoever from all the specialists i’ve seeked answers from at the time , i learned on my own , how through the use of probiotics , along with a very mindful diet , things can easily be restored to normal and maintained so . I hope i’m doing all the right things , but a comprehensive reminder such as this one , so well documented by you , always helps and validates things for me …and hopefully for so many others !
    Thank you again for the tireless research and love you put into your wonderful blogs !
    Blessings and hugs to you ! <3

    • Monique

      Thank you for your appreciation of this blog Gabriela, and your supporting words and kindness!
      Isn’t interesting though, that we often become interested in our health and the way we live when it is threatened. Realising that we can not take anything for granted, especially our health.

      It is good to hear that you discovered your own journey and how it has benefited your health for the better. It is the way how I learned too! In a way, it is a blessing in disguise when medical doctors do not find the cause or proper medicines. The journey to find healing often encourage us to change our lifestyle altogether, from which we benefit for the rest of our lives!

      Thank you once again for your encouraging feedback!!
      Love and Blessings to you my friend…. for a long, joyful and healthy life!! ❤️

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"Throughout my life I've worked through many life processes with the assistance of spiritual teachers, authors and guru's. However, the real change occurred when applying this knowledge into my daily life, directed with the wisdom of my heart and soul".Read More>>


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