Gut instinct: Three quarters of Brits rely on their ‘second brain’ to make life decisions

A study of 2,000 adults found they might have good reason for doing so as more often than not – six times out of 10 – this method has proved successful.

Many of those polled have used their gut to decide things such as what gifts to buy for loved ones (25 per cent), where to go on holiday (25 per cent), and even whether to visit the doctors (22 per cent).

While 24 per cent have depended on it when weighing up whether to leave their job.

And one in 10 have gone with their instincts when deciding if they should accept a wedding proposal.

Commissioned by makers of gut health products, Biotiful, the study found more than a quarter are ‘unaware’ of the benefits of gut health despite ‘relying on it’ for decisions.

Founder Natasha Bowes said: “The adage ‘gut instinct’ is familiar to all of us and there is growing evidence suggesting the gut truly is our ‘second brain’. 

“If we all listen to our guts regularly, we need to make sure they are the healthiest that they can be.”

The study also found 71 per cent believe they tend to make better decisions when they don’t think about them too much.

Although 64 per cent admit they have a tendency to do just that – overthink things.

However, three in 10 have increasingly depended on their instincts as they’ve got older – which may suggest we become more knowledgeable with age and experience.

But there are times when we’re more likely to make a gut decision rather than what could be considered a rational one.

Almost half (46 per cent) cited this as being when ‘there’s no time to think’, while 31 per cent would turn to it in a life-or-death scenario.

However, the study carried out through OnePoll, found despite so many relying on instinct to make decisions, 78 per cent don’t know the benefits of ‘good’ bacteria on their gut.

This means they don’t know ‘good’ bacteria supports immune function and helps control inflammation.


  1. What gifts to buy for loved ones
  2. Where to go on holiday
  3. Whether to leave an existing job
  4. Whether to go to the doctors
  5. Whether or not to date someone
  6. To buy a car
  7. Picking lottery numbers/when betting
  8. Whether to use a tradesperson
  9. To get pets
  10. Whether to move to a new location
  11. Important work-related decisions
  12. How to decorate/renovate a house
  13. Whether to change careers
  14. Whether and where to invest money
  15. To have kids
  16. Which school to send my kids to
  17. Whether to employ someone for a job
  18. To borrow a large amount of money
  19. To lend someone a large amount of money
  20. Booking an especially expensive holiday like a honeymoon

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