Book review: Gut. The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ

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Today’s review will be about Gut by Giulia Enders. It is a book that I originally read in Dutch, but I’m happy to announce that it will be available in English on the 12th of May this year! This book has been a huge hit in both Germany (the country it was originally released in) and in the Netherlands. Written by the 23 year old Giulia Enders from Mannheim, Germany, the gut is the main topic of this book. As Enders is studying medicine and currently working on her thesis, she seems to be the perfect candidate to enlighten us about the importance of this internal organ.

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I have become more and more interested in eating healthy and taking care of your body and mind, I’ve read a number of books about these topics. And as I found out a couple of weeks ago that the symptoms of my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were for the majority caused by dairy products, I decided that it was time to know a bit more on how the intestines function and what can go wrong. From scientific research I already knew quite a bit about the relationship between our gut and both our physical and mental wellbeing (and I think this is one of the more exciting things going on in food science at the moment).

‘Gut’ is a good summary of the most recent insights in intestinal function, pre-packaged in an easy-to-read book. Having an unconvential point of view, that of the gut, Giulia Enders, has attracted a lot of media attention and people are literally raving about this book. As it is fairly easy written, with a lot (sometimes a bit childish) drawings, even people without prior knowledge of biology can understand the points she is making. For me, as a biologist, this was also the greatest ‘fail’ of the book. I finished it in a day or three and I wondered afterwards what this book had taught me. But that doesn’t take away that this book, with its many examples, helps people to understand the importance of the gut and the lack of attention this organ has traditionally been receiving.

Summarized, this book was not the climax I thought it was based on all the media attention it received. Giulia Enders does give an elaborate overview of what is going on inside our belly and what could potentially go wrong. To people without too much biological knowledge, I therefore think that this book is amazing, with a lot of clear examples to back the story up.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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