In this book, we’ll learn a lot about our gut and even more about our whole digestive system and how important it is for our health. So here is the best I had found.
This book by Giulia Enders –who is a microbiologist– was really interesting as you will see.
This book is really good. I got 109 things on this book that are very interesting to make healthy changes. But I don’t want this review to be so long so here are some highlights of that.
As you will see in this article I will only quote parts of the book without my own opinion or explanation because I want you to make your own deductions and also to read the whole book by yourself.
If you still want to listen my opinion on each point then I recommend you to follow my youtube account where a publish an extended version of each point where I explain it more deeply. You should know that those videos will be in Spanish but with English subtitles so you can understand it and maybe be able to learn Spanish. Subscribe here: [Lenus on Youtube].
Giulia is the author of the book and she’s also a german microbiologist and in the book she tell her story because she was very sick and couldn’t find a solution until she find a relationship with her microbiome, so she started to study more about to recover her health. It’s a interesting story.
I got the english version of this book as an ebook on Amazon so I will use the Spanish page reference for each quote.
“This is because there are substances in our saliva that contain calcium whose sole function it is to make our teeth harder” – 33p
“Saliva is basically filtered blood.” – 34p
Gut or Stomach pain
“Often, when people say they have stomach problems, the trouble is actually in the gut.” – 48p
7 Kilometers of intestines
“If all this—the folds, the villi, and the microvilli—were ironed out to a smooth surface, our small intestine would have to be some 4½ miles (7 kilometers) long.” – 52p | Gut [Amazon]
Large intestine role
“Our large intestine takes care of things that cannot be absorbed in the small intestine.” – 58p
“The final few inches (or centimeters) of the large intestine, however, do not send their blood to the detoxifying liver; blood from their vessels goes straight into the main circulatory system.” – 60p
Digestion of leftovers
“ It doggedly processes leftovers for sixteen hours or so.” – 60p
Sugar that isn’t sweet
“Sugar molecules can be linked to form complex chains. When that happens, they no longer taste sweet, and we know them as the carbohydrates we find in bread, pasta, or rice. ” – 62p
“If it doesn’t enter the system too quickly, sugar is an important raw material for our body. It is used as fuel for our cells—like heat-giving firewood—or to build sugar structures for use in our body, such as the antler-like glycocalyxes attached to our gut cells.” – 63p
“Despite the problems, our body loves sugary sweet treats because they save the body work, since sugar can be taken up more quickly. The same is true of warm proteins. In addition, sugar can be turned into energy extremely quickly, and our brain rewards us for a rush of rapid energy by making us feel good. However, there is one problem: never before, in the history of humankind, have we been faced with such a huge abundance of readily available sugar.” – 63p
“When we eat too much sugar, our body simply stores it away for leaner times. Quite practical, really. One way the body does this is by relinking the molecules to form long, complex chains of a substance called glycogen, which is then stored in the liver. Another strategy is to convert the excess sugar into fat and store it in fatty tissue.” – 64p
“Sweetness is not in itself unhealthy, we simply eat only the most unhealthy kind of sweetness.” – 297p | Gut [Amazon]
The most useful source of energy
“The atoms are so cleverly combined that they can concentrate twice as much energy per ounce as carbohydrates or protein. ” – 64p
Olive oil into the pan
“But merrily drizzling your olive oil into the pan for frying is not such a good idea as heat can cause a lot of damage.” – 68p
The animal fats
“The animal fats found in meat, milk, and eggs contain far more arachidonic acid than vegetable fats. Arachidonic acid is converted in our body into neurotransmitters involved in the sensation of pain.” – 69p | Gut [Amazon]
“Grains do not like us to eat them. What plants really want is to reproduce—and then along we come and eat their children. Instead of creating an emotional scene, plants respond by making their seeds slightly poisonous. That sounds much more drastic than it is—neither side is going to lose much sleep over a few guzzled wheat grains. The arrangement means humans and plants both survive well enough. But, the more danger a plant senses, the more poisonous it will make its seeds.” – 74p
“Everyone has heard their little housekeeper at work. It is the rumbling belly, which, contrary to popular belief, does not come mainly from the stomach, but from the small intestine. Our bellies don’t rumble when we’re hungry, but when there is a long enough break between meals to finally get some cleaning done! When the stomach and the small intestine are both empty, the coast is clear for the housekeeper to do its work.” – 107p
Creature of habits
“that creature of habit, the gut,” – 129p
“If you normally go to the toilet in the morning but suppress the urge because you’re traveling, it is as if you have broken an unspoken agreement with your gut.” – 132p | Gut [Amazon]
Means of Osmosis
“The same principle helps to revive wilting lettuce—simply soak the sad salad in water and half an hour later your greens will be crispy again.” – 136p
Bacteria are harmless
“People are slowly beginning to realize that the vast majority of bacteria are harmless, or even helpful.” – 172p
“More than half the bacteria that grow in our digestive tract are just too well adapted to living there to be able to survive outside the gut.” – 175p
“Almost nothing influences our gut bacteria as much as the food we eat.” – 299p | Gut [Amazon]
“If our little immune cell encounters something it cannot clearly identify as belonging to the body or coming from outside, it stops and prods at it a little. That is a fatal error: this cell will never graduate to the bloodstream.” – 178p
“Indeed, cesarean births are not the exclusive cause of less-than-ideal starting populations in the gut. Poor nutrition, unnecessary use of antibiotics, excessive cleanliness, or too much exposure to bad bacteria can also feature among the causes.” – 192p
“Genetic engineers have created transgenic corn with a gene that produces avidin to make it less susceptible to insect damage during storage.” – 204p | Gut [Amazon]
“If the equilibrium is disturbed and large numbers of overconfident bacteria migrate to the small intestine, we have a case of what doctors call bacterial overgrowth. This relatively unexplored condition causes symptoms that can include severe bloating, abdominal pain, joint pain, and gastrointestinal infections, as well as nutrient deficiencies and anemia.” – 211p
Bacteria feed us
“In the industrialized world, about 90 percent of our nutrition comes from what we eat, and we are fed about 10 percent by our bacteria. So, after nine lunches, meal number ten is on the house, so to speak.” – 215p
Get thin by eating
“Several studies have shown our satiety signal transmitters increase considerably when we eat the food our bacteria prefer. What our bacteria prefer is food that reaches the large intestine undigested, where they can then gobble it up.” – 220p | Gut [Amazon]
“We spend money on disinfectants to get rid of things we can’t even see. The surface in question looks exactly the same after cleaning as it did before—yet just knowing it is clean is extremely important to us.” – 261p
“Fear-driven hygiene involves attempting to clean everything away or kill it off. We don’t know what it might be, but we assume the worst.”
“The higher the hygiene standards in a country, the higher that nation’s incidence of allergies and autoimmune diseases. The more sterile a household is, the more its members will suffer from allergies and autoimmune diseases.” – 262p
Not all bacteria are bad
“More than 95 percent of the world’s bacteria are harmless to humans. Many are extremely beneficial.” – 262p
“Even harmful bacteria can be good for us when the immune system uses them for training.” – 263p
Frequent hand washing makes no sense
“Too frequent hand washing makes no sense—and the same is true of too frequent showering. If the protective fat layer is rinsed away too often, our unprotected skin is exposed to the environment. That gives odor-producing bacteria a better foothold, making us smell more pungently than before, creating a vicious circle.” – 266p | Gut [Amazon]
“Cleanliness is a healthy balance of sufficient good bacteria and a few bad ones.” – 268p
“If the good and the bad are in equilibrium, the bad ones can make us stronger and the good ones can take care of us and keep us healthy.” – 300p
“Antibiotics are reliable killers of dangerous pathogens. And their families. And their friends. And their acquaintances. And distant acquaintances of their acquaintances. That makes them the best weapon against dangerous bacteria—and the most dangerous weapon against good bacteria.” – 269p
“Even though antibiotics have been in use for more than fifty years, studies of the long-term effects can still be counted almost on one hand.” – 272p
“Every one of us accepts a trade-off when we take these drugs. We agree to sacrifice our good bacteria in the hope of getting rid of the bad. In the case of a minor cold, that’s not a good deal; for serious illnesses, it’s a trade that pays off.” – 276p
As you can see, it has a lot of interesting things. I would like to add more but I think those are enough to get the most important idea of the book.
I recommend this book especially because Giulia explain a lot of physiological process in a very clear and simple way to understand. I wish all medical books could be like that.
Because of that, I think this book deserves a 4.5 out of 5.
It doesn’t deserve a 5 because Giulia keep promoting the consumption of antibiotics even after she explain how antibiotics can harm us directly and indirectly. She keeps following the modern medicine’s protocols even though those need to be change. But you have to understand that it’s not easy since it’s more about politics than science.
But as we have learned. Take what is worth and leave the rest. That’s the beauty of health since only you can be responsible for your own life.
Take the right choice and keep learning.
Don’t forget to Stay Healthy!
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