The human body is a complex structure of interconnected systems and vital organs that work day in and day out to fulfill the functions necessary for everyday living. Here a 5 facts you may not know:
Fact No. 1: Your gut is the only organ with its own independent nervous system.
Your gastrointestinal system (commonly called your gut), which is made up of your stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon and rectum, is often referred to as the “second brain.” It’s the only organ with its own independent nervous system, comprising 100 million neurons embedded in the gut wall.
Fact No. 2: Your veins, capillaries and arteries would stretch for more than 60,000 miles if laid out flat.
In comparison, the Earth’s circumference is approximately 25,000 miles. This means the blood vessels from just one person could stretch around the Earth many times! These blood vessels carry blood to every part of your body: Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart; veins carry blood back to the heart and capillaries connect them together.
Fact No. 3: You lose 200 million skin cells every hour, and these dead skin cells can actually decrease air pollution.
Your epidermis (the top layer of your skin) is continuously working to replace these lost skin cells with new ones. In fact, 95 percent of the cells in your epidermis work to make these new skin cells. As your dead skin cells fall off and collect around your home and office, they’re also taking with them skin oils such as cholesterol and squalene. Studies have shown that squalene can reduce levels of ozone
Fact No. 4: Bacteria in your gut can influence your mood.
Your microbiome produces approximately 95 percent of your body’s serotonin, the critical hormone that stabilizes your mood, feelings of well-being and happiness. Serotonin also helps reduce depression, regulate anxiety, maintain bone health and facilitate processes such as sleeping, eating and digestion.
Fact No. 5: Your heart rate and breathing can sync up to the music you’re listening to.
The music you listen to can cause physiological changes in your blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. For example, songs with crescendos (increases in volume and intensity) can lead to proportional increases in blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. In contrast, decrescendos and silent periods lead to decreases in these vitals.
Want to know more about your body? I recommend that you listen to my engrossing Podcast with Dr. Jonathan Reisman, author of The Unseen Body: A Doctor’s Journey Through the Hidden Wonders of Human Anatomy. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN.