The author of Gutbliss and one of today’s preeminent gastroenterologists distills the latest research on the microbiome into a practical program for boosting overall health.
Michael Pollan’s widely discussed New York Times article, “Some of My Best Friends Are Germs,” was just the tip of the iceberg. The microbiome—the collective name for the trillions of bacteria that live in our gut—is today’s hottest medical news topic. Synthesizing the latest findings, Dr. Robynne Chutkan explains how the standard Western diet and lifestyle are starving our microbiome, depleting the “good bugs” that keep us healthy and encouraging overgrowth of exactly the wrong type of bacteria. The resulting imbalance makes us more prone to disease and obesity and negatively affects our metabolism, our hormones, our cravings, our immunity, and even our genes. But beyond the science, what sets this book apart is Dr. Chutkan’s powerful three-level program for optimizing your gut bacteria for good health.
Dr. Chutkan shares:
Why hand-sanitizing gels and antibiotics are stripping our bodies of their natural protective systemsEssential prebiotics and probioticsRecipes with ingredients that replenish the microbiome for each rehab levelCutting-edge research on the connection between the microbiome and the brainAn intro to the stool transplant, the superfix for a severely troubled microbiome
Dr. Chutkan is one of the most recognizable gastroenterologists working in America today, and this is the first book to distill the research into a practical, effective plan for replenishing our microbiomes. The Microbiome Solution will bring welcome relief to the millions who want to grow a good “gut garden”—and enjoy healthier, happier lives.
Gastroenterologist Chutkan (Gutbliss) makes a strongly argued proposal that people should "live dirty" and "eat clean." She believes that damage to the human microbiome, or gut bacteria, lies at the root of many current health problems. Chutkan's health plan accordingly aims to reverse what she identifies as negative consequences of urbanization and modern medicine: antibiotic overuse, chlorinated water supply, chemical- and hormone-filled processed foods, microbe-depleting pesticides, and increased rates of cesarean sections. She proposes to "rewild" the body using the term for the reintroduction of species into areas where they've become extinct by eliminating specific medications, practices, and foods. In the book's first half , she breaks down how bacteria works in the body during different stages of life, from the womb to adulthood, and claims that modern hygiene, for all its benefits, can adversely affect immune system functioning. The book's latter half outlines a diet focused on food in its "natural" state, grooming and personal care advice (complete with beauty product recipes), and strategies for handling health challenges, probiotics, and stool transplants. This is a thoughtful approach to health and wellness that's well worth the time of readers able and willing to research and evaluate Chutkan's many claims for themselves.
A Life-changing Read
This is an outstanding book. From reading this book, it appears (hopefully) we are on the cusp of a sea change in the way the health care system will soon be working. We have lost thousands of species in the world around us, mostly due do human activity and behavior. Similarly, we have lost thousands of microbial species that previously lived in the human gut due to too many antibiotics and other overzealous medical practices.
In spite of the grim news previously mentioned, the author provides advice and strategies for increasing the varieties of good bacteria in our gut and for nurturing those and the ones we already have. The author’s writing is very smooth flowing and extremely clear. The book is extremely informative with a vast array of excellent recipes included in the final chapter.
For 6 months prior to purchasing this book I had chronic diarrhea that previously could only be ameliorated with Amodium A-D. I was tested for every bad organism, condition, and disease and they found nothing. My gastroenterologist told me to take 3 to 4 Amodium A-D pills per day as a maintenance drug. This daily dose would mostly keep things in check. At my initiative, my GI Dr. said it would be OK to try to wean myself off from the anti-diarrheal. I tried at least 4 times in the 6 months and my symptoms would fully come back within a week. It has been nearly 3 weeks since I began the dietary recommendations in Dr. Chutkan’s book. I have been very strict at following her dietary guidelines and have tried several of the wonderful recipes. It has been 2 weeks since I stopped the OTC anti-diarrheal (a personal record), and all is still OK. Moreover, I feel better than I have for 6 months.
In closing, I will add my cynical comment about the medical system. The book implies that the medical system needs to vastly improve many of its medical practices. I firmly believe that those improvements will eventually come. (Now, here comes the cynicism.) These improvements will occur at a much faster rate as soon as those in the establishment, and/or perhaps those outside the establishment, can find a way to profit (or at least receive income) from enhancing the human microbiome. With all of this will probably come some new insurance billing codes for microbiome related procedures/treatments/counseling.