Sat, 30 Jul 2016
Gut Feeling

by Giulia Enders

This is not a big book, and it's written in a bright and breezy way that is very easy to get through. I like a good science book but normally stay away from anything too funny or humourous; but I actually found myself smiling, and in some cases even laughing. She definitely has a way with funny asides and descriptions (of things normally swept under the carpet, or into the toilet, as she might point out). Case in point, near the beginning is a section How does pooing work? I think this is worth considering.

Enders has a scientific background, doing a medical doctorate at the Institute for Microbiology in Frankfurt, so has some expertise in the field. She describes a lot of very interesting research done in the past few years that have really highlighted how important our gut health is to us. We are home to trillions of bacteria, most in our large intestine, and this alone is a staggering fact. There might be more to having a "gut feeling" than we think, especially when we factor in the enteric nervous system, a "second" brain that runs through our body and is tied to our gastrointestinal system. Our gut bacteria and their health might govern a lot of things, from diabetes, to obesity, to stress and depression. This also makes diet very important.

Enders is a student who's become a minor celebrity in Germany, where the book became a bestseller on its release two years ago. She's interviewed on YouTube as well (a good, brief overview of her work). Great book to read and quite eye-opening in the implications for our health. Listen to what your gut is saying.