Reviewing Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ, by Giulia Enders, isn’t going to make much difference to the world even though it and its subject lie well within the sub-definition of this blog: Probaway – Life Hacks ~ Many helpful hints on living your life more successfully. Clearly one of the most basic things of life is consuming food, and that is demonstrated in this book to be a complex subject for us humans. Our gut has approximately the same number of neurons as our brain, and thus by some weird definition of intelligence it would be as smart as we consider ourselves to be.
Our gut must decide what to do with the vast variety of stuff we throw into it, and do that quickly and efficiently. It gets a lot of help from about four pounds of bacteria living in our gut, and each of these tiny living things has its own DNA. These too have their input into our voluntary decisions. We have hundreds of known bacteria, and possibly ten times more that are not prominent, and not even known to exist until something spurs them into action and prominence. The seven billion people of our present world offer lots of opportunities for alternate varieties of food and thus other intestinal biomes to exist. More than ninety percent of the life within our skin isn’t what we would call our human DNA, and yet we couldn’t live without it. The inner biome is sometimes referred to as an organ of our body, because it is just as important as any of the other vital organs for our functioning.
Ultimately what this book offers that is useful to us are suggestions for treating our gut better and thus improving the enjoyment of our lives and increasing our longevity. This is a popular update on Missing Microbes by Martin J. Blaser, which was written by a major scientific researcher. I reviewed that book last November. That book dealt more deeply with the problems of scientific research, and this one more with the results.
There might not be much new in the book for people fully up to date on nutrition, but this book is clearly written with charm, and it even makes the parts that might make some people queasy fun to read.
Whether you are or are not a nutritionist, you will enjoy reading Gut, and probably find things you will change about your relationship with your gut.