Not one, not two, not even three, the latest science from Dr Marco Ruggiero is teaching us now about The Fourth Brain.
The First Brain
We all familiar with the brain in our head, made of a human cells called “the neurons and glial cells this is the one that is the boss of your body. It runs the show and controls just about everything you do, even when you’re asleep. Not bad for something that looks like a big, wrinkly, gray sponge.
The Second Brain
Then approximately 20 years ago, the concept of a ‘second brain’ emerged following the discovery of human neurons embedded in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. This ‘second brain’ contains almost as many neurons as our ‘first brain.’ This is not a thinking brain—it does not reason, write poetry, or solve multi-linear regressions however an emerging evidence base suggests that your gut’s health strongly influences your mood
The enteric nervous system is a mesh-like network of neurons that lines the entire digestive track. It causes the sensation of nervous butterflies or a pit in your stomach that are innate parts of our psychological stress responses. Up to 90 percent of the cells involved in these responses carry information to the brain rather than receiving messages from it, making your gut as influential to your mood as your head is.
Have your heard or used the following expressions?
- Trust your gut,
- I’ve a gut feeling
- Gut wrenching
- Bust a gut
When we say we have a gut feeling, that is more than just a saying because of these neurons in the Gut are connected to the neurons inside our heads. When you have a ‘gut feeling’ it is literally that pit in your stomach that is giving you a sense of warning:
More than 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut, not in the first brain which is what was the original thinking. No wonder depression is linked with gut problems, when you damage the intestinal lining of the gut, then it impacts on the bodies ability to produce the mood enhancing serotonin and a whole science in the fields of psychiatry and neurology have increasingly begun to expand treatments to focus on the gut, mainly through nutritional and biomedical protocols.
The Third Brain
In 2010, researchers discovered a new organ: the microbiome. Identified as the ‘third brain’ by Dr Marco Ruggiero PhD, MD, and published in his book Your Third Brain: The Revolutionary New Discovery to Achieve Optimum Health
Consisting of trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes, the microbiome is essentially our body’s operating system. The newly identified organ – the third brain’ weighs about 2 kilos (4.5 pounds), consists of 90% of the cells in your body, and over 99% of the DNA. This essentially means that we are less than 1% human!
Dr Ruggiero’s 35 year career has brought him deeper and deeper into the realization that the microbiome, or ‘third brain,’ contains all of the information required to live long, healthy lives, precisely because it contains more than 99% of all the genetic information that we need and hence the development of the Bravo range of products.
The Fourth Brain
The fourth brain, only discovered recently and published that the brain is not the sterile environment as previously thought, and that infact microbes were also found in the brain, Dr Marco Ruggiero came out with the idea of the “brain microbiota,” it is like the “brain microFlora.” Or if you prefer “the forth brain,” made by the microbes that sits inside our heads next to our human neurons and glial cells and of course, they exact an immense influence on the functioning of our brains.
Additionally, macrophages have also been referred to in science as the ‘Trojan horses’, which can carry microbes to the brain, and these can be either beneficial or pathogenic.
So, hence the four brains, two of them are human, two of them are microbial.
Understanding the existence of the third brain is possibly the most exciting discovery of the last century