Your Gut, the Second Brain by Natasha, Tetra Nutrition

by Amrit B

Your gut is called your second brain for a reason—it makes, stores and manages the neurotransmitters that dictate your mood and general wellbeing. Learn all about this magical connection, and get in touch if you want to know how to use testing, gut cleansing and probiotics to heal your body and mind ✨

Illustration by Paula Troxler for The Noma Guide to Fermentation


The gut-brain connection is a two-way street that connects the brain and the gut, AKA the gastrointestinal tract. This communication channel is vital in our digestion, mood, and overall sense of well being. Two key components of the gut-brain
connection are neurotransmitters and the vagus nerve. Let's explore ...


Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals
between neurons in the brain and cells throughout the body. A lot of these are produced, regulated and released in and by the gut, making gut function a crucial aspect of mental function. A few important ones are

Serotonin regulates our mood and feelings of well being. It is primarily found in the gut (even more than the brain), where it is produced and stored. Imbalances in gut serotonin can trigger conditions like anxiety and depression + digestive problems like IBS. Gut bacteria play a role in serotonin metabolism by affecting tryptophan (the amino acid precursor) to serotonin conversion.

Dopamine is another neurotransmitter involved in mood and motivation. Imbalances in dopamine can lead to conditions like mania, bipolar disorder, and addictions. Gut microbiota can impact dopamine levels by affecting the availability of tyrosine, the amino acid precursor of dopamine.

Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory. The gut produces and releases glutamate, and imbalances have been linked to conditions like autism and schizophrenia. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps regulate anxiety and stress. The gut microbiota can produce GABA,
and influence GABA levels in the brain.

GABA is synthesised from glutamate through the action of gut bacteria + nutrients like B6 and magnesium. Gut bacteria can produce both glutamate and GABA, such as probiotic-rich foods or supplements containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve running from the brainstem to various organs, including the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. It affects peristalsis (gut motility), secretion of digestive enzymes, and nutrient absorption.

It also transmit signals from the gut to the brain that influence mood, anxiety levels, and overall emotional well being.


Gut healing and dietary strategies to optimise neurotransmitters involve supporting the gut-brain axis, ensuring adequate intake of amino acids and nutrient cofactors needed for neurotransmitter synthesis, and maintaining a healthy gut microbiota. What can you do?


Seek professional help with a nutritional assessment and advanced gut tests. Contact Tetra Nutrition for more information. A clean, protein-rich diet and daily intake of live culture probiotics from Bhu to help rebalance and repopulate your gut.


Take control of your health, SHOP Bhu Kombucha or find us at a stockist near you.
~ This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website ~