Fulfilling a central need for nourishment means that the gastrointestinal tract was the first organ system to evolve in primitive animals.

Aeons of evolution have led to extraordinary complexities in the working of the gut that we are only now just beginning to unravel.

The gut regulates its own functions using chemical signals - the first 'hormones' - and rich networks of nerves with links to and from the brain.
Not only does it work without conscious input, but in many ways it actually controls our behaviour - not least in the regulation of appetite.

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