We all have a second brain, located in our gut, which influences our mood and even our well-being. It consists on hundreds of million of neurons, more than the spinal cord has, and it is embedded in the walls of our gut. Its main job is transmitting information from the microbiota to the brain and the other way round. And the relationship both brains established may be behind some mental disorders, like depression or anxiety.
Professor of Psychiatry Ted Dinan, from the University College Cork, is one of the world main experts on this link between mental health and our guts. He studies the variety of ways in which the microbiota signals to the brain and the brain signals back to the gut and how this communication can be linked to brain-related conditions. We interviewed him during the 5th Gut Microbiota for Health World Summit 2016, held in Miami in February and we had the opportunity to talk about the gut-brain axis.