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There's a saying I always hear whenever I'm stuck making a decision, I remember this one time I did the farmer's market and I had to dodge my head. I'm like, I went to buy maple candy or the cookie didn't want the sweet sugary maple candy. I want the soft doughy. Maybe you just so hard to choose, my friend, come over to be like tightwire standing in the middle of the farmer's market. And I'm like, I can't I can't decide.
And then he'd look at me and say, Dude, just trust your gut. Should I trust my gut? I was. I'm tired, and this is my podcast tasks, asks why there are so many good questions, they just want to get answered.
How do you fix climate change?
What happens after we die? Love.
Why do we treat?
And should you trust your gut? My gut is this big pile of intestines that digest my food, I don't really know is to be trusted there.
I know that I get these feelings in my gut like butterflies when I'm nervous or when I'm hungry, like my stomach, like feel queasy, but like, why is my gut able to make decisions and, like, tell me what to do.
That seems pretty crazy because, I mean, it has a brain and that that seems great. You know, it's just like it's my intestines, but like maybe there is a brain in my gut, but at the same time, it's kind of far fetched and wacky. So I decided to take this theory to the park and see what my friends had to say.
Do you think there's a brain in your stomach? No, no one has your brains in your head.
I think your brain makes everything you feel possible.
There couldn't be a brain because I wouldn't miss this. Or else you'd have, like, a big lump on either side. My feelings and anxiety and stress as they come from here. My God, your stomach does not think it's that when it's hungry.
I think there is some sort of connection. But I imagine myself as a were like, wow, I really, really.
You know, I think Kyra's on to something. It is like really complicated. And I did a little bit of research. And apparently there are little creatures in our gut and they're called microbes.
I remember reading this one factoid from the science center saying that all the microbes in your body where about a kilogram and you know, that's crazy. These microbes, they're apparently all over our body and they're like inside us everywhere. Therefore, we're supposed to trust our gut then. Does that mean that we have to trust all of the little microbes? Do the microbes have a brain?
Are they sentient?
And as I was doing this research, I saw this scientist called Dr. Embry at Hyd for my Ph.D. I studied the microbiome, so I decided to call her up.
What is a microbiome? So you can't see it because, well, for one, it's inside of you, but for two, they're invisible to the naked eye. So it's all of the microbes that live in and on your body. So that includes bacteria, viruses, fungi, some parasites. And it's not just the microbes, but it's the things that they do in your body.
So the microbiome in or God is responsible for a lot of processes in our body. But like I wanted to know, do the collection of microbes form like a brain?
Your gut is full of neurons, which are the same exact cells that are in your brain. And there's this amazing nerve called the vagus nerve, which connects your brain to your digestive tract. And your brain can send signals directly to your gut and your gut can send signals directly back to your brain through this nerve.
And they're always communicating and talking to each other. And because of that, a lot of people like to call this system the second brain in your gut, but I think it's probably more appropriate just to call it an extension of your nervous system.
Does our gut brain have like a conscience and think since we don't fully know the answer to that yet, microbes live in your gut and they help affect this communication between your gut and your brain. And people are wondering if maybe microbes have a mind of their own. And if they do, then maybe, you know, you could extrapolate a little bit and say, well, if the microbes have a mind of their own and they're affecting how my gut is talking to the brain, then maybe that could be the conscious aspect of it.
But we just don't know yet.
What do you think the brain and the gut are communicating?
Is the gut feeling like we're able to process that pizza that you sit down a couple hours ago now, bring on some more and they sends it to your brain and then your brain tells you, hey, I'm hungry, give more food?
Is that what it's like? Well, that's definitely part of it, but I think it's just a little part of it. So have you ever I don't know. You seem like a very good podcast or interviewer, but maybe if you've ever gotten nervous before giving an interview or having to talk to somebody and maybe you felt butterflies in your stomach, that is a result of your brain in your gut talking to each other, in addition to giving signals about whether or not we should eat or whether we're hungry.
There's a lot of emotional input as well that comes between your brain and your gut.
If you are stressed out or you're really sad about something, you'll notice that you're not quite as hungry. It's really amazing the ways that your brain and your gut can talk to each other.
Yeah, because like, you know, if you're sad in the gut, like, oh, man, my partners bombed out.
No, I'm bummed out. I remember seeing my best friend in a spirit of math and he looked bummed out. So I'm like, oh, dude, what happened? And then he said, Oh, my Hamsterdam. And then he was just calling me the whole time and it just made me feel music. Oh, no. Because when he said I'm so if my gut brain in my head brain really close friends.
Do I make my head brain braincells when I eat something, you know, kind of nasty? Let me ask you a question.
Have you ever eaten the food that you used to like and now you don't want to eat it at all ever again? Just thinking about it makes you feel sick. No. Well, that's happened to me and it's happened to one of my best friends. She hates macaroni and cheese, which I think is crazy, but she just doesn't like it any more because one time she ate it and it made her sick. And this has to do with a really intricate and elegant way that your memories are formed and how they make you react to certain situations.
And the gut brain axis has a very important role in that.
So our eyes and our senses are tied to our head brain and those will help make us recognize the mac and cheese. That's right. Right. So the gut brain needs to communicate with the head brain because they had brain can recognize it.
Yeah, absolutely. And the next time the food goes in, your brain will say, last time my immune system, you know, told me this. So maybe I just have bad memories associated with this.
And then it completely affects whether you want to eat that food or not, you know, when like you're like, oh, I don't want to buy the candy bar or save the money. You're stuck with the indecision. And then, like, if you're with, like, your parent or a friend, they'll just be like, hey, dude, trust your gut. Do you think that's like scientifically accurate? And do you think a scientist was actually like, I am smart scientist.
Your gut has brain trust your gut because it has brain.
You know, a lot of it has to do with this memory formation. Sometimes we don't remember the memory, but our brain subconsciously remembers it and our gut also remembers it. And so together they are able to tell us that, hey, trust us on this point and, you know, make this decision versus that decision. When you say trust your gut, do you think that's the brain thinking and then the message gets sent to the gut? Hmm.
Or do you just think it's the gut itself?
Your gut doesn't come up with it on his own. Your brain sends a message to your gut. You're just not aware of it. And then your gut then response sends a message back to your brain and you're aware of that one. And then you get that feeling from it and you make your decision, whatever it is that you decide. And, you know, sometimes people fight against their gut feeling and they go with just their head brain half the time it works and half the time it doesn't.
Does that mean do you think you should trust the gut itself or the brain?
If you take one away, you break that whole cycle of communication and then the messages you get are going to be different. They're not going to be full. You're going to be missing part of the story. And so I really think it's both. You have to trust both.
And then if your gut brain is gone, then your head brain is sad because he doesn't have a friend.
Yeah, exactly. Maybe the gut brain is the head brain's only friend and the only possible friend.
That's a very interesting way of putting it. I like it.
They've been with each other through so many hardships.
Grumble, grumble. Thank you. So there is a brain in our gut that's made of all of these microscopic organisms and they're constantly communicating with our head brain and they can even infect our emotions. And so when we say trust the gut, we're kind of just saying trust the head, brain, gut, brain friendship. But like, should we trust that friendship? Because these microbes, they're still not like us. They're external organisms. So do these microbes define ourselves?
And if so, what really does that make us? Now, these are the kind of questions that Dr. Tobi's raises asking. About a year ago, I became director at Research Institute in downtown Los Angeles called Berggruen Institute, where I'm building a new program. And I also became Reid Hoffman, professor of humanities at the New School of Social Research in New York.
I'm just a kid who is playing a sandpit, you know, I'm just a kid who's a little older.
People sometimes refer to this as the second brain that's actually wrong, because when you think in terms of evolution, which nervous system our brain or to enteric nervous system in our gut came first, then it's actually in our gut.
So this is not the second brain is the first brain.
So the gut brain, the brain, our gut. It came first, right? Yes. Tagert brain came first. That's right.
Then why has barely anybody even heard of it?
So when we think about intelligence, everyone usually touches their head and thinks it's in their head. But they don't recognize in that moment that it actually happens in the whole body. And they absolutely don't think about the possibility that microbes, bacteria are a part of this.
Now, maybe eight years ago when the first studies were published that suggested that there is a direct communication between bacteria in our gut and our brain. In this column, you can imagine many neuroscientists thought that's crazy. Why would that be? Because they have been studying the brain as being tucked away in our skull and not really related much to the body. And so the idea that the bacteria are important is is wild.
And this is where it gets really, really weird to buy things that these bacteria change everything about who we think we are.
If you think about your brain as being you, as being the place where your consciousness or your sense of self or your mind is located, but then your brain depends on little substances that are produced by something that seems to not be you, that seems to be external to your body, namely bacteria.
Then you have a very funny, quirky situation where Natsu is actually part of you, we don't know, very tight ends and his microbiome begins. So I'm not really just tie the person, I'm tie the eco system and there's like a weird flurry of microbes in me and around me and the world I interact with becomes part of me and my mind.
Like at that point, what makes me a human boy when I when I ate that cookie and that cookie became part of my brain?
Is that a good thing or should I stick with the maple candy? Did I really make that decision or did the cookie microbe's just want to be with more of their family?
And if I'm not the one making the decisions, who am I?
For such a long time? The brain was the place of self. But if the brain how it functions depends on chemical substances that are produced by bacteria. How can one think about humans as more than mere human?
And this more makes it very difficult to think about the human as such as if it would exist as free or set apart or as independent feared like thoroughly integrated with our bacteria and through them with our environment. Do you think the listeners, after they turned the podcast off, do you think that all this talk is going to change the way that they think about themselves and define themselves?
The very short and very straightforward answer is Tiye, so hope so. Then you take the microbiome serious and you say, well, I don't know where tie ends and his microbiome begins and what he thinks or what he will do depends largely on his bacteria. Then you cannot make this differentiation between the human, on the one hand, creative, meaningful, philosophical and mear nature and the other side. So you have to learn to think about humans as integrated.
In a moment there, we have a lot of mass species extinction, but we have climate change produced by humans, so it will be very interesting for for me and very important for us and the planet if we could succeed in thinking about ourselves as integrated.
Thank you so much for spending the time to talk to me. Just a guy with his hands in the dirt wanting to know more.
Thank you. Was a lot of fun. So I started this whole journey trying to find out if I should trust my brain or my gut, and I was kind of like pinning them against each other, painted on style. But now I know that my gut and my brain, they can't be separated and we actually can't really separate our minds from our bodies and our bodies from the world.
It's a lot to take in. But like I wonder if Tobias. All right.
I'm thinking, like, if we can make people aware of what we really are, could we get them on board with the, like, super human purrfect, the Earth Perfect US program?
And I wanted to start with my brother because, you know, he's my brother. He lives right beside me.
He killed people. How are you doing? I'm good. I play soccer games and launching attacks, but I normally do anyway.
When you think of yourself, you think of your brain in a way, right? When I think of me, I think of like my body. In my head. In my bones. Yeah.
But like, have you ever thought of as your God, as a part of your identity, your brain identity? Oh, no, no. So, Ken, how shocked would be if I told you that the bacteria that help form the gut brain. Or external bacteria, that hot dog you can add onto what you did.
Yeah. Oh, my God, that's so magical.
But what do you feel about that ghoul? Would you consider the gut brain is a part of you if it's just like external organisms? Yes, because it is part of me. But the thing is, they're they're all just organisms and microbes that aren't from you, your intestines. You're just basically the super duper long sharp that's like, you know, and it goes all the way to your mouth. Right. But we learn that the gut, which is part of it, is actually filled with external organisms.
Do you think that kind of connects you with nature in the world in some way? Um.
No. Do you think this talk will change who you think you are? No, I don't. I thought I was like, butterfly. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. This is getting deeper and deeper into my soul. But look in your eyes, I'm serious.
I started with this question about the validity of the statement. Should you trust your gut? And it's somehow you're like a couple interviews. It turned into enlightening people to the ways of the superhuman men. So now whenever someone asks me to trust my gut, I'm not going to think gut or brain, gut or brain all think, oh, wait, they're best friends, the head brain trusts, whatever the gut brain says.
So the next time I'm like to want that poutine at all the burger or do I want the pizza, I'll just listen to my gut, even if it's just more greedy pizza microbe's because the gut brain is my head brain's best friend. To whom it may concern? I'm writing this from the top of Ty's body, shoulder stretched between the ears.
It's me head Grace. I want to let the world know that there's someone special to me, someone so special that I just wanted to tell you what his name is.
But because you had brains don't understand that.
You can just call gut brains and microscope. The God brain will always be my brother's friends. So be. That's for sure. He's my best friend. Well, always it the same sense of humor. We'd like the same food. I just eat whatever he's craving, you know, he just always kind of gets what I want. He pretty much reads my mind. He completes me.
I was going to go by the God brain will always be my brain, my brothers, my friends and I'll be the best was for show. Oh, take it away scot free for the rest of your.
Thank you so much for listening, prime time poll. The show was produced by Veronica Simmons and Yasmin Maturin. Our digital producer is Olivia Pasquarelli. My guests were Dr. Henry Hyde and Dr. Tobias Reid. Thanks to Cristol. Do him for the editorial assistant.
The theme music is by the legendary Johnny Bench and also thanks, Johnny, for helping me write and record the Gottfredson next time on tasks like death, the language of love is universal, and so was the language of pain and suffering and loss till next time.
I'm Ty. Keep asking why.
Another podcast you should check out, it's called The Fridge Light, it's a fascinating journey into the hidden stories behind the Foods We Eat, hosted by top food writer Chris Nuttal Smith, each episode chows down to one food for num, num, num, num, num reveal in the unexpected back story.
Part science, part business, part psychology. Always fresh, hot and delicious. Here's a taste.
Are you a dark meat person or a white meat person? What's your preference and why?
That's a complicated question. Dark meat is juicier and tastes better and it's got vitamins not found in white meat.
Less work when you eat white meat because dark meat you have to get dirty and you have to take the bones out.
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