Book Review: The Good Gut By Justin and Erica Sonnenburg

The Good Gut
By Justin and Erica Sonnenburg

320 pages
Published by Penguin Books; Reprint edition (3 May 2016)

“There are more microbes present on your hand than there are people in the world.” The Good Gut tackles the discreet world of our bellies. Using an uncomplicated vocabulary, the authors examine the microbiota (ensemble of microbes residing in our gut).
Through their home experiments and within their own family, they dissect, as precisely as they can, the immune system which prevents us from catching a cold, develop IBS and investigate the correlation between gut bacteria and obesity.

If we are new to the “gut enterprise”, which I was, this book reveals in short, completely approachable chapters, the secrets residing in our bellies. Isn’t it outrageous that we know more about our skin or hair than about what is inside our bodies trying to effectively keep us alive?

From their point of view, today’s society is too sanitized. We are preventing good bacteria from entering our living organism, hence protecting us from pathogens and infectious diseases. Our species is in danger due to the fact that we are incessantly chasing and will be soon lacking bacteria in our guts.

Up until the last chapter we learn about the gut and its derivative functions.
They attempt to elucidate antibiotics and solve the mystery of the infamous probiotics. Do we really need to supplement ourselves with fermented foods? If so, where do we find them in the supermarket aisles? Can anything we ingest influence depression? Could allergies be partly caused by the lack of bacteria in our guts?
Numerous daily issues can be resolved by reading this book, while others like cancer still remain unfortunately unanswered.
Even if we are unable to read it from cover to cover in one sitting, this book is a keeper. One never knows when he or she will want to dive into their own guts!