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The Mind-Gut Connection

Spirituality & Health Magazine
reviewed by Kathryn Drury Wagner

The Mind-Gut Connection
How the Hidden Conversation Within Our Bodies Impacts Our Mood, Our Choices, and Our Overall Health
By Dr. Emeran Mayer
Harper Wave

More than 100 trillion microbes reside in the human gut—if you put them all together, they would weigh about 2.6 pounds, or roughly the same as our brain. More and more, scientists are starting to see this almost as an organ just like the mind, beginning to understand the powerful role these microbes play not only in our physical health, but also in our mental and emotional well-being. In The Mind-Gut Connection, we hear from a leading voice in this emerging field, Emeran Mayer, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine at UCLA and director of the Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience. He’s a leading researcher examining the way our microbiomes—the ecosystem of thousands of microbes that live on and in the human body—and our brains interplay.

It’s no surprise to the reader that diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome are connected to the delicate balance of flora in the gut. More shocking, though, is the role of microbes in disorders such as anxiety and depression, and our reactions to stress. “Could a regimen as simple as eating fermented foods and taking probiotics help anxiety-prone individuals become more relaxed?” Mayer writes. Case studies he presents suggests yes, it can. This book will have you running out to buy the sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt.

For millions of years, Mayer points out, life forms on Earth have had a remarkable harmony between microbes and larger hosts. The connection between what we eat, how we feel and the complex interplay we have with our tiny inhabitants is only now coming to light. Keeping this balanced partnership is something well worth exploring.


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Book ReviewsGut Health

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