Commentary: Why Is the Gut So ‘Emotional’?

You don’t get a ‘sinking’ feeling in your feet, nor butterflies in your fingers, nor elation in your shoulders. You feel these sensations in your stomach. But why?

As RCS originally¬†reported¬†nine years ago, the gut is home to at least 100 million neurons, and perhaps as many as 500 million, by far the most outside of the brain. Concentrated in the lining of the gastrointestinal system, embedded in the esophagus and even the anus, these neurons constitute what scientists have dubbed the “enteric nervous system.” Through the vagus nerve, this ‘second brain’ has a direct line to the primary one in your skull, and as you’ve undoubtedly noticed, it likes to talk.

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