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Duke University neuroscientist wants to use nutrients to treat the brain from the gut

DURHAM, N.C. -- It turns out, your brain and your gut have been talking behind your back, your whole life.

“The brain is constantly gathering information to make sense of the world, whether it's sound, sight, taste, smell,” says Diego Bohorquez, who studies the gastro-intestinal system and neurobiology at Duke University. “The core of who we are is food, right? Like, we are what we eat.”

But what has largely gone unnoticed – perhaps, “unknown,” would be a better way to put it – is how directly your gut and your brain communicate.

Some of that was due to the fact that we tended to think the body’s organs worked mostly independently.

Bohorquez says that assumption is, to a degree, understandable.

“The way that we have built hospitals is around divisions, right?” he says. “The department of nephrology, gastroenterology so it's around the components of it.”

The work Bohorquez’ lab at Duke has done, may change the way we can work on our brains, in the future, through our guts.

“Our ambition is that we will be able to use nutrients with an intentional purpose with being able to treat the brain from the gut,” he says.

See how they made their discovery, in this edition of the Buckley Report.