Wednesday Open Thread: A New Connection between the Gut and Brain

It's Day 23 of the Year 2019 CE, meaning that it's January 23, 2019

brain 19

The full headline, in the article to be cited below is:
A New Connection between the Gut and Brain
A surprising way that diet leads risks of stroke and cognitive impairment

Look at that mix and match, gut-brain connection, and diet. Gut-brain pathways have been on the radar for quite some time and consist, until very recently of endocrine (hormones and such), neurological (Vagas Nerve), and immune (cytokines). So what's all this now? Would you believe new news about old news? How about NaCl - Sodium Chloride, aka salt, as in table, sea, and all that. So, this is coming from the following article:

Ok, too much salt is bad. It causes high blood pressure, putting you at increased risk for heart attacks, strokes and the like. However, somewhat recent studies have shown high salt intake to be associated with strokes even in the absence of high blood pressure. As a result there have been some searching for a heretofore unknown link between salt and brain health issues. There is also a lot of work being done on the gut-brain axis and a growing knowledge that disruptions thereof can contribute to a wide range of diseases, including Parkinsons. The growth of research in this area included a couple of studies showing that high salt consumption led to serious immune changes in the gut which in turn made the brain increasingly susceptible to auto immune attacks.

Now, new research shows another connection: immune signals sent from the gut can compromise the brain’s blood vessels, leading to deteriorated brain heath and cognitive impairment. Surprisingly, the research unveils a previously undescribed gut–brain connection mediated by the immune system and indicates that excessive salt might negatively impact brain health in humans through impairing the brain’s blood vessels regardless of its effect on blood pressure.

The phrase "new research" is linked to this abstract Dietary salt promotes neurovascular and cognitive dysfunction through a gut-initiated TH17 response, here: OK, excessive salt intake can be trashing your brain even without elevating your blood pressure. Good to know if you're a hard core salt addict like myself. Isn't it nice to know that all of our processed, prepared and restaurant food is massively over salted?

Two more non-adjacent paragraphs from the article:

The researchers used mice, and found that immune responses in the small intestines set off a cascade of chemical responses reaching the brain’s blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the cortex and hippocampus, two brain regions crucial for learning and memory. This, in turn, brought a decline in tests of cognitive performance. The impairment in learning and memory was clear even in the absence of high blood pressure; they observed that the gut is reacting to the salt overload and directing immune signals that lay the basis for deterioration throughout the brain’s vital vascular complex and compromise cognitive function. While this study has only been carried out on research animals so far, the scientists believe it's likely that much of the same applies to people.
- - -
The implications of this newly identified gut–brain connection extend to several auto immune disorders, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease, that have been shown to activate the same immune signaling pathway implicated in this study. These auto immune disorders have a high stroke risk and are linked to poorly functioning blood vessels in the nervous system. This research is also a demonstration that what we eat affects how we think, and that seemingly isolated parts of the body can play vital roles in brain health. These results motivate research on how everyday stressors to our digestive systems and blood vessels might change the brain and, consequently, how we see, and experience, the world.

I can attest to the bit about outlook, for I've always had a somewhat salty outlook on life. Nonetheless, let us not forget that salt is necessary for survival, it is simply a question of balance. According to the article, almost everybody around the globe consumes too much salt, about twice what the WHO recommend. Perhaps that's because, relatively speaking, almost everybody around the globe is part of the working class and thus:

And remember, high blood pressure needn't be present for these effects to occur:

Image is: Brain 19 by

Its an open thread so have at it. The floor is yours

I will probably not participate, because, if things go right, I'll be in Mazatlan

17 users have voted.


detroitmechworks's picture

I've eaten out recently. Usually is about once or twice a month. I just can't AFFORD it. Grocery Outlet is my friend these days.

Now I'm just going to spitball on the salt theory a bit. Salt Dehydrates. Dehydrated people ALSO don't think well. Add in the vast amount of processed Corn syrup the vast majority of American's eat, and it's no wonder we can't think straight.

Serving in Iraq may have been a boon in one area. I'm very aware when I'm dehydrated these days. If I am not properly hydrated, I get Gout attacks, so I have to stay on top of it. Also I notice I don't tend to think clearly, make poor choices, etc... when I don't drink enough water.

So, yeah, I am of the theory that we can no longer think about our health solely symptomatically. While the Medical field seems to be doubling down, trying to find the ONE cause of it, I think American poor health and decisions are linked. Sick people make decisions based off what they think will make them feel better. Painkillers of all kinds are usually the first decision. Unfortunately, those also kill your thinking about other solutions. Yes, OVERWHELMING pain needs a painkiller, but pain is a sign something is wrong. America has just duct taped over the warning light.

9 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@detroitmechworks thanks, I recall being prescribed chips, or just anything with a lot of salt, to counter one side-affect of an "anti" depressant which gave me super low blood pressure. Every time I stood up I'd get dizzy. Browsing the lower stacks at the library became impossible, 'cause who wants to pass out in public? not me

I got off the pHarma wheel a few years ago, they're worse then heroin pushers if you ask me. Legal! Like bribery in politics is now. Perfectly normal. The mental health system already collapsed, nobody noticed.
Legalization of marijuana off to sluggish start in Sonoma County

On average, marijuana costs 77 percent more at retailers than on the “robust illicit market,” the report said.

So from zero to jack boot in two years. Thanks BCC.

When Big Al says "somebody from California" will complain about citizen ballot initiatives it's probably me. wah Proposition 64 was not a good law, so our legislature made it worse, because of course. D-BIGly investors came and bought up all the little licenses, sacramento gave middle finger to timber families up north. Same as it ever was.

waiting for cascadia
blah blah blah

9 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@eyo But I won't touch any drugs that mess with my mind. Pot is as close as I'll come, and I've cut down a LOT in the last few days. (Went from 2-3 daily to 2-3 weekly. Good start, and I hope to keep it going.) They keep talking about "Consolidation" on Pot, which means that the cheap weed we see in Portland will be going away soon. Better not to be dependent on ANYTHING at this point.

Took the kids to PCC last night to look into welding classes. Looks interesting, but we'll have to do it during the summer because we have to get permission from her school in order to learn.

I will repeat that.

We need permission from the government, to teach my kids how to weld. This right here is WHY I want to learn outside the university if possible. Because while we're sitting around fucking with paperwork, we could have had ten lessons by the time it's done.

9 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

detroitmechworks's picture

@detroitmechworks You won't hear too many people talking about how you need to eat lots of more salt. But you WILL hear people talking about electrolytes, that your body "Craves". What is that, I wonder?

4 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Teachers to return to classrooms Wednesday

The agreement calls for a drop of one student per class next year in grades four through 12, one more the year after and two more the year after that. That final-year reduction, however, may not be set in stone. It could be contingent on new tax revenue, a district source told The Times.

A few classes could see bigger drops. If maximum sizes are enforced, some extra-large classes could lose five to 10 students immediately, Caputo-Pearl said.

Campuses targeted for special help — 75 elementary schools and 15 middle schools — will see their class sizes drop by an additional two students. The district has 1,240 schools.


The tentative deal includes what amounts to a 6% raise for teachers — with a 3% raise for the last school year and a 3% raise for this school year.

But teachers also lost about 3% of their salary by being on strike for six days, according to the school district. Other employees got the same 6% raise without having to makes such a sacrifice. The district had offered 6% to teachers before they went on strike.

woo hoo congratulations... ?
Thank you for the Mazatlan ear worm, will be driving the cow shortly. lol Cool flag, check out the middle, needs some funny quotes to go with:

is that deer blowing smoke or what. laugh bubble? there are no words

The Mermen - Driving the Cow (Live 2013)

Happy Hump Day!
Edit: Brocket Deer

The genus name Mazama is derived from Nahuatl mazame, the plural of mazatl "deer".


9 users have voted.
magiamma's picture


? I hope so but have little faith in the system. cuts have been happening every year since the late 70s when my kids were in school and they are still happening. not much to cut. meh!

green veggies best vitamin bang for buck. Eggs best cheapest source of protein. The body needs a lot of different oils/fats to survive but I don't remember which ones. new info out on that. butter creates more global warming than red meat. bummer. (see blog tomorrow) reading lots of foody stuff. ag. on fats salt and sugars. drink no alcohol says new studies. none. all bad. hmmmm... beans and rice. thanks for the ot. have a good one el et al...

5 users have voted.

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tempus fugit. Was able to get my weight up to 130 and keep it on, mostly. Normal BMI, not low. Thanks for all the ideas from everyone. I rarely eat meat, but adding milk and cheese back to my diet was a good thing. Still mostly grains and beans, some veggies, and not enough fruit, that's my "diet". Sometimes I run out at the end of the month, so I pretend like I'm fasting. Works fine. I never crave fruit, but I always always crave salt. huh

Gut trouble, it comes and goes like the depression. sneaky I read the SA article, downloaded the PDF. Huh and huh, I have more to think about now, so thanks.

Coinky-dentally "salt of the earth" was the subject of the email I sent to my farming friend, who gifted me a four pound jug of salt from costco last year, or maybe the year before. It's about half gone now. hmm But then I looked it up, and thought it's not a very nice thing to call someone "the salt of the earth" oops Well I know we will have a good laugh about it next time I see her anyway, I know nothing about the bible words, and she preaches them out every Sunday.

But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.


4 users have voted.

describe themselves as the salt of the earth? No one I know that actually works for a living. According to The American Heritage Book Of Idioms that phrase originated in the Bible where Jesus supposedly said that those who were persecuted for being loyal to him were the salt of the earth. The only people I know who consider themselves the salt of the earth are either deluded by various ideologies or not in the 99%. Of course they attribute that quality (ie the status of being as important as salt) to themselves, as opposed to someone else saying it about them. Hence, they seem to me to be a pathologically arrogant crowd.
That being said, one of my all-time-favorite snacks is very salty, buttery, popcorn.

Good morning all and thanks for the OT e.l.

4 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

I need to tune in better to the dialogue between my gut and brain. I didn't realize a conversation was taking place all these years. Why haven't I been told this before? (hands on hips, taps foot)

We don't eat out much. We live in a rural area with few eat-out choices, which is better all around for us. I'm better able to control my food intake, which I prefer. We, obviously, have to eat out when we travel, although I do bring along a lot of our own food and try to stay in places with kitchenettes. It is also why we prefer traveling in an RV - I can control our food prep, etc. I'm a salt-a-holic. So is my granddaughter. We have to watch our intake...

Have a beautiful, salt-controlled (and tune into that convo taking place), day, folks! Pleasantry

8 users have voted.

"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

magiamma's picture

0 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation