Nature's Sunshine Products est. 1972
Nature's Sunshine Products est. 1972
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The Second Brain

The Second Brain

Worry, and resulting anxiety, can negatively impact our physical health, with the gastrointestinal system often experiencing distress. Functional gastrointestinal disorders (disorders that have no apparent physical cause) affect 35 to 70 per cent of people at some point in life. So how exactly does what's happening in the mind impact how we feel in the gut?

Life-sustaining functions are regulated through the autonomic nervous system. This complex network of nerves has two major divisions – the sympathetic nervous system, which triggers the “fight or flight response”, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms the body down after the danger has passed. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems interact with another component of the autonomic nervous system – the enteric nervous system. The enteric nervous system is an arrangement of neurons and supporting cells throughout the gastrointestinal tract, and it’s sometimes referred to as the “second brain”.

Dr Emeran Mayer, gastroenterologist, neuroscientist and author of the book The Mind-Gut Connection, states, “The connection between the two brains lies at the heart of many afflictions, both physical and psychiatric e.g. anxiety, depression, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome. Research also shows that the majority of individuals with anxiety and depression will also have disturbance in their gastrointestinal system.”

Stress can have the following impact on your digestion:

  • Decreased secretions needed for digestion
  • Slower small intestinal transit time
  • Encourages over-growth of gut bacteria
  • Weakens the intestinal barriers, leading to leaky gut syndrome
  • Stress can increase acid in your stomach, causing indigestion
  • Stress can impact the colon leading to diarrhea or constipation
  • It may contribute to stomach ulcers, celiac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease etc.

Keeping stress at comfortable levels is essential for our physical and mental well-being. Excess stress and poor digestion can alter the way we eat and sleep, the way we feel and the way we react to and think about people and things around us. Take charge of your health today – by making small changes to help reduce your stresses can have you on the right track to performing and feeling your very best.

Nature’s Sunshine Nutri-Calm is scientifically formulated to support the nervous system, especially when under stress. Nutri-Calm contains key nutrients to soothe frayed nerves, aid in relaxation, encourage restful sleep and help energy levels.

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