The Gastrointestinal tract, or more commonly known as the gut, is a fascinating structure that undertakes one of the most important processes on this earth: digesting food. However, the gut cannot merely be confined to this one role and has a lot more tricks up its sleeve! Here are a few lesser known facts:
- Roughly 70% of our immune system is located in the gut.
- If spread flat, your digestive system would cover a tennis court. Crazy to think that we could theoretically host a Grand Slam final!
- Your gut has a brain of its own. The digestive system has its own nervous system, known as the “Enteric Nervous System”. There are more neurons in the gastrointestinal tract than the entire spinal cord. So if you’ve ever had doubts about trusting your gut, rest assured that your decision will be well informed!
- Gut bacteria can influence our behaviour. Increased amount of certain strains of pathogenic bacteria within the gut can promote certain behaviours like anxiety. So is our diet the biggest culprit when it comes to feeling under the weather?
This just goes to show that our bodies are fascinating and mysterious creations. And if you ever find yourself being involved in a gut trivia, you're now well equipped to win!
Written by Harin Vinumon