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Stomach pH changes depending on emotions. Fear and disgust increase acidity

Stomach pH changes depending on emotions. Fear and disgust increase acidity

Emotions are not only related to the heart or the brain: they also have a close connection with the gastrointestinal system, especially the stomach, which reacts to disgust and fear by increasing acidity and does the opposite when you feel happiness.

This was discovered by the Italian study led by the Sapienza University of Rome and carried out in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Technology and the Santa Lucia Foundation of Rome, thanks to some pills equipped with sensors.

The research, published in the journal eLife, paves the way for more in-depth investigations of both patients suffering from gastrointestinal pathologies, as well as those suffering from depressive and autism spectrum disorders, who show changes in the emotional sphere.

Researchers led by Giuseppina Porciello recruited 31 participants between the ages of 20 and 30, all men, who were forced to take a capsule equipped with sensors capable of measuring pH, temperature and pressure inside the digestive organs.

The use of this type of technology, developed for gastrointestinal medicine, is an absolute innovation in psychological studies. Then, the volunteers were shown videos capable of evoking different emotions, while they were also externally monitored via heart rate, nerve activity and eyes.

The results show that emotions are not only concentrated in the heart or lungs, but now directly involve the stomach at a perceptible level.

In fact, participants who felt disgust or fear had a lower pH (and therefore more acidity) in their stomachs, while videos that induced happiness increased it.

However, no correlations were detected for temperature and voltage. According to the authors of the study, the innovative technology used can also be applied to new research on the relationship between internal organs and mood changes.