Is the gut our second brain? | RCF

The microbiota, actor of our mood?

The microbiota occurs very early in life : it is transferred from the mother to the child by childbirth, then by breastfeeding. Later, different factors come to modify it. It plays a fundamental role in the body. By participating in the gut-brain dialogue, these bacteria influence our immune system and our behavior. They impact mood, stress or anxiety management.

Already in ancient times, thinkers and doctors studied this connection. Aware that mood was linked to food, they developed the precepts of melancholy and black bile. These were perceived as pathological moods in their own right. Aristotle studied the characters of melancholy, concluding that people who suffered from it were vehement and intemperate. “To treat them, there were many diets”explains Paul Demont, associate professor of classics and professor emeritus at the Sorbonne.

“Everything is connected”

Jean-Michel Lecerf nuances. He is head of the nutrition department of thePastor Institute. For him, it is important not to “not reduce our psychological state to the state of our microbiota”. Other factors come into play, such as lifestyle or sleep pattern. Besides, dietetic comes from Latin “dieitawhich means “kind of life”.

Food does us a lot of good, and plays an important role in regulating our mood. Jean-Michel Lecerf invites you to live in harmony with your body, but also with your environment. From this harmony arise considerable joy and well-being. Thus, a good festive meal is accompanied by the pleasure of eating, which puts you in a good mood. It is a sign that what fills our plates is important to be well. “For me, a cook is a giver of love”. For Paul Demont, there is also the pleasure of cooking, of providing food. It is, even with a simple meal, to transmit and share a joy.

What do the ancient texts say?

“Nothing too much”. This is the sentence engraved on the time of the oracle of Delphi. Paul Demont points to this hunting for excess, already present among the Greeks. Later, the Catholic religion shares the same idea. “The Church is often accused of condemning gluttony”, emphasizes Jean-Michel Lecerf. If the pleasure of eating is not punished, gluttony becomes a sin as soon as it provokes withdrawal into oneself, cuts off contact with others.

The pleasure of food is nevertheless the center of the cult”, emphasizes Claude Demissy. He is a pastor, theologian, and author of the book “And God created happiness” (ed. Cabedita). Among the Greeks, the meal is a feast in which the gods are the guests. Ditto among Christians, who reserve the fat of their meat for the creator. Wine is the “symbol of the covenant between God and men”. It is part of the pleasures of life, of the worship of the mass. Above all, it invites us to be co-creators, and proves that man can magnify God’s creation.

Is the gut our second brain? | RCF