Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Gut: The Inside Story Of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ
© 2015 Giulia Enders
271 pages

Through the teeth, past the gums, look out stomach, here we come! Gut is a tour of your innards, of the surprisingly clean but bustling twists and turns of the digestive system. "Wait a second," say you, "I've had this tour before. Mary Roach did it in Gulp!". Well, yes, and she did take you the entire way -- from the mouth right out the other end, none the worse for the wear. Gut is different, however. The author is a touch more serious, for one thing; while never lacking in humor, she doesn't provide a constant effusion of fart and poop jokes. Enders provides more of a thoughtful study of how the gut impacts us, particularly in our microbiome. This is a mix of Roach's Gulp and I Contain Multitudes: a study of our intestinal habitat and the fauna thereof. I bought this primarily because I was interested in the ways our gut can influence our psychology. I've heard reports of there being neural cells active within the gut, and while there is a chapter on the "vagus nerve", it wasn't as extensive as I hoped. The author conveys the impression that the nerve collects and conveys feelings of general un-ease and distress within the body, providing the brain with its first reports of problems within. More extensive are the chapters on the bacteria within us -- how they change depending on our diet, how they can contribute to our health or diminish it , that sort of thing. This ground was covered more extensively in 10% Human and I Contain Multitudes, but a review of this subject is perfect in a book on the gut: 90% of our bacteria live there, after all.

If you're interested in the digestive system -- and who isn't, really? -- Gut is a quick, fun read that takes its reader more seriously than Gulp, and includes more concrete information from an actual M.D.

10% Human 
I Contain Multitudes 


  1. I think is on my TBR. Thanks for the tip on the other books, I will probably end up reading them also.

    1. The more microbes the better, that's what I always say..

  2. I'm not sure that I'm interested enough in the gut to read this, but thanks for the review.

  3. This is just about to enter my 'read next' mini-pile along with a few other health/human biology books. Looking forward to it.


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