The enteric nervous system (ENS) is one of the main divisions of the autonomic nervous system and consists of a mesh-like system of neurons that governs the function of the gastrointestinal system.

The enteric nervous system has a complete network of neurons, neurotransmitters, and special proteins responsible for communications, “thinking,” “remembering,” and “learning”. As a result, the enteric nervous system is often called the “second brain.”

The ENS consists of some one hundred million neurons.  It can operate autonomously.  Studies show, even if the vagus nerve has been severed, the enteric nervous system continues to integrate your vital functions.  It also makes use of more than 30 neurotransmitters including dopamine, and serotonin.  More than 90% of the body’s serotonin lies in the gut, as well as about 50% of the body’s dopamine.  (from Wikipedia)

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