Gut – The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Under-Rated Organ
The key to living a happier, healthier life is inside us.
Our gut is almost as important to us as our brain or our heart, yet we know very little about how it works. In Gut, Giulia Enders shows that rather than the utilitarian and — let’s be honest — somewhat embarrassing body part we imagine it to be, it is one of the most complex, important, and even miraculous parts of our anatomy. And scientists are only just discovering quite how much it has to offer; new research shows that gut bacteria can play a role in everything from obesity and allergies to Alzheimer’s.
Beginning with the personal experience of illness that inspired her research, and going on to explain everything from the basics of nutrient absorption to the latest science linking bowel bacteria with depression, Enders has written an entertaining, informative health handbook. Gut definitely shows that we can all benefit from getting to know the wondrous world of our inner workings.
In this charming book, young scientist Giulia Enders takes us on a fascinating tour of our insides. Her message is simple — if we treat our gut well, it will treat us well in return. But how do we do that? And why do we need to? Find out in this surprising, and surprisingly funny, exploration of the least understood of our organs.
Fascinating and engaging – Giulia Enders make me wish I had studied science and become a researcher too but though fascinating to read about I don’t think I want to carry out the research on this subject myself 🙂 Pooh pooh to that thought (pun intended, oh dear).
Who would have thought that a book of all things bowel, gut, digestion, bacteria and … and all things poo related would make such a riveting read? Ms Enders writes in an easy to understand, colloquial manner that, married with the humorous and beguiling illustrations created by her sister Jill Enders, make this book a pure joy to read. A bonus – the knowledge that is espoused in this format is so easy to retain. This is a book I will certainly read again and refer to often.
The Gut is a subject that is trending at the moment – we have so much to learn and appreciate about this organ that can help us to lead happier and healthier lives – I was amazed by how much influence the gut has on the performance of the body as a whole. The information presented here is sensible and easy to digest; some facts you will already know – basic hygiene codes that have been instilled in you since childhood – but some we may just need a reminder of – never before has it been so important to WASH YOUR HANDS – often and regularly.
We live in an era of the super bug; “Every year, many thousands of people die in the West because they are infected with bacteria that have developed resistances that no drug can counter. When their immune system is compromised – for example after an operation, or if the resistant bacteria have got out of hand after a long course of treatment with antibiotics – patients can find themselves in real danger. Very few new antibiotic drugs are in development, for the simple reason that it is not very profitable for pharmaceutical companies to invest in them.” (p.221) Enders provides some advice for those seeking to avoid “unnecessary antibiotic gut wars.” (p.222)
WASH YOUR HANDS
Did you know that the scariest item in your kitchen is the kitchen sponge; “Anyone looking at a kitchen sponge under the microscope for the first time usually wants to curl up on the floor in the foetal position, rocking back and forth in disgust… sponges and cloths should be thoroughly wrung out and allowed to dry –otherwise they become the perfect place for moisture loving microbes.” (p.213)
WASH YOUR HANDS
Did you know…? “Bacteria cannot live on dry surfaces…the optimum temperature for your fridge is something below 5 degrees C…Damp kitchen cloths, a load of underpants or sick people’s laundry should be washed at 60 degrees C or more. Most E. coli bacteria are killed by temperatures above – 40 degrees C; 70 degrees C is enough to kill off tougher salmonella bacteria.” (p.214) etc. etc. So many interesting and vital facts are presented and discussed…to hear the science behind the discussion, to “see” the points made by the charmingly simple yet accurate illustrations is enthralling. Learning has never been so much fun.
WASH YOUR HANDS
PS – There is so much more to this book than simply presenting facts to encourage you to wash your hands – the gut has influence over some many functions in the body. As Ms Enders states in her introduction “The world is a much more interesting place if we look beyond what is visible to the naked eye – there is much more to see!…There is a buzz of constant activity beneath pour skin. We are perpetually flowing, pumping, sucking, squeezing, bursting, repairing, and rebuilding…We see the heart as central to life as it pumps blood around the body; the brain is admired for its ability to create a firework of new mental images and concepts every second. But the gut, in most people’s eyes, is good for little more than going to the loo. …People do not generally ascribe any particular abilities to it. It would be fair to say we underestimate the gut – or, to put it bluntly, we don’t just underestimate it, we are ashamed of it: more ‘guilt feeling’ than ‘gut feeling’! I hope this book will that – by making use of the wonderful ability that books possess to show us more than the world we see around us…And a gut feeling is a good feeling!”(pps7-9)