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Chapter 6 Genomic Pool, Germ Deficiency and Gut Feeling

 

So far we have been doing groundwork for figuring-out elements of biological happiness, with this episode we are going to directly talk about the biological factors that influence human happiness. Let’s begin with Gut, our intestine. ‘Gut Feeling’ has since long been used in human expressions as a measure of deeper intelligence. It is the signal without confusion. Perhaps, these days gut feeling is diminishing becoming less visible, as our gut-brain is getting compromised, and this could be the reason why humanity is becoming more confused and less intuitive, less poetic. Gut is a very important seat of emotions, and without this being proper it is impossible being happy.  




Gut Numbers: Neurons and Germs  

Let’s first take-up some numbers associated with the gut, the important ones are: 1) number of neurons and, 2) number of bacteria or germs. 

Let’s take the neurons first – can you believe neurons present in our gut outnumber the ones present in our brain by a whooping factor of 5X? Yes, gut has them five times. Our brain has around 100 million neurons, and the gut 500 million! Why are there so many neurons and what are they doing there? In scientific circles gut is considered being the second brain. There exists a special linkage between brain and gut and it is called gut-brain axis.    




     

Let’s now come to a second number, it is number that indicates number of germs that stay in out gut. This number could range between 10 and 100 trillion, some recent calculations put it at 38 trillion. Compare this with the number of human cells present in our body - 30 trillion. We could be as much germ as human we are. We are more human in terms of kilos, but not lesser bacteria in numbers. 




There is another way of looking at it, in context of genomic pool. Life process operates through gene, genome or DNA. Genome is the blue print of any particular life form. Our all 30 trillion human cells carry the same genome; however, the genome of bacteria varies as there could be hundreds or thousands of species thriving in us. Henceforth, from the viewpoint of genomic pool our bacterial gene pool could be several hundred time much bigger than the human.  

More diverged is the microbiota, richer it is considered as that presents a much bigger possibility of life processes. These germs have a lot to do with our health and happiness. Our microbiota is like our inner forest, it provides nutrition, it sharpens immunity and it regulates emotions. 




Gut is the seat of emotions 

In terms of emotions scientific opinion is emerging that it has to do more with the gut than the brain, brain could merely be a processor, like the intel processor in your laptop. Take emotions of people having issues like leaky gut or IBS, their emotions are very different. Gut might even be the site where emotions are formed. Gut is also a site where lot of neurotransmitters are formed in congruence with the microbiota present over there. 




Sad news is this that this microbiota is depleting, it is getting extinct in the same manner as the forests or wildlife of the world is getting extinct outside. Microbiota is an internal ecosystem. At this point I would like sharing with you two recent articles published in Nature, as you might be knowing Nature is one of the most respected research journals of the world.       




The first article is of last year and it is on cancer-microbiome connection. The article depicts emerging role of fecal transplants in cancer treatment. Fecal microbiota transplantation or FMT is a therapy in which germs or the potty itself is transplanted from the gut of one person to another. It is being proven useful not only in cancers, but in many other diseases. There are already some companies in existence that sell healthy poop.  

Analogy goes like this - a healthy person’s potty can make you healthy in the same way as a diseased person’s potty might make you diseased. The analogy is extendable to even happiness – a happy person’s potty might make you happy. In some culture’s there are proverbs that support or signal consuming of wise man’s potty being a good idea. Scientifically speaking this all might be having a connection with the genomic pool, thereby, neurotransmitter production, liquid circuits and gut-brain axis.     

  

Now let me take you to the other article which is even more recent, it is of Jun 2023. This article talks about the loss of microbiota, it reveals Californian are nearly 75% deficient in bacterial diversity compared to the nomadic African. Also, in the investigation researchers found some species in the potty of nomadic tribe which are new to the science. Again, verifying the fact that science knows only little. A lot of gut species could actually be getting extinct even without our knowing them.       




“To have proper gut-feeling one should have a proper microbiota. A leaky gut will give you a leaky (depressed) feeling and IBS an irritated.” 

  

In this episode I had planned covering the entire gut aspect and I’m yet to talk about why gut microbiota is getting lost and how to revitalize it to sharpen not only your health, but gut feelings as well. Looks like covering that would make this video lengthy. At this moment let’s try to hold the basic facts about the gut, the fact of 500 million neurons, 38 trillion bacteria, gut brain axis, neurotransmitters and the gut feelings. And also, a bit of the magic of potty in cancer treatments. 

At this point it could be a tremendous idea to think about your gut feelings. …Please keep in mind …as I have repeatedly been pointing out, ‘exploration is important, not the information.’ Please do not take this web series as one more information gathering or knowledge building exercise, let’s get into exploration, together. 

Please try to think about your gut feeling. Do you have any remembrance? You get gut-feelings or not? The moments when you don’t have a calculation or confusion going in your mind but have a faint direction towards something. 

Please share your gut feeling, any recent one, old one, or their absence in the comment section. We can together pool our feelings and get along in this co-exploration through common consciousness. 

Thank you for your kind attention. 

Stay fit, stay intuitive.  





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