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Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ

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A cheeky up-close and personal guide to the secrets and science of our digestive system

For too long, the gut has been the body’s most ignored and least appreciated organ, but it turns out that it’s responsible for more than just dirty work: our gut is at the core of who we are. Gut, an international bestseller, gives the alimentary canal its long-overdue moment in the spotlight. With quirky charm, rising science star Giulia Enders explains the gut’s magic, answering questions like: Why does acid reflux happen? What’s really up with gluten and lactose intolerance? How does the gut affect obesity and mood? Communication between the gut and the brain is one of the fastest-growing areas of medical research—on par with stem-cell research. Our gut reactions, we learn, are intimately connected with our physical and mental well-being. Enders’s beguiling manifesto will make you finally listen to those butterflies in your stomach: they’re trying to tell you something important.

273 pages, Paperback

First published February 28, 2014

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About the author

Giulia Enders

21 books593 followers
Giulia Enders (born 1990) is a German physician and writer.

Enders is a two-time scholarship winner of the Wilhelm Undelse Heraeus Foundation and currently works on her doctorate of medicine at the Institute for Microbiology in Frankfurt.

In 2012 she won the first prize at the Science Slam in Freiburg, Berlin and Karlsruhe with her talk Darm mit Charme (Charming Bowels). This talk was also published on YouTube. Enders received the offer to write a book about this subject that has sat atop the German paperback charts shortly after the release in March 2014. The drawings for the book were made by her older sister, Jill Enders.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,185 reviews
Profile Image for Brian.
Author 1 book969 followers
September 30, 2015
This is a great intro to a fascinating subject, written with the casual reader and layperson in mind. It is almost unbelievable that we know so little about such an important part of our body (scientists know more about bees than they do about our belly-based bacteria). Our digestive system is the only part of our body that operates outside of the purview of our brain. Perhaps this is why we have so many emotional expressions that we tie to our belly ("gut reaction", "butterflies from being in love", etc.)

Here are some other nifty things I learned:

95% of our body's serotonin is produced in our gut.

Our gut bacteria have 150 times more genes than a human being.

Saliva produces a painkiller called opiorphin - stronger than morphine and only discovered in 2006.

The surface area of our digestive system is about 100 times greater than the area of our skin.

Studies have shown that our gut bacteria has the ability to influence cravings in our brain for particular foods.

The total mass of bacteria in our body equals roughly 2.2 kilos.

A fun, informative read. I look forward to advances in science that will help us to recognize our own personal gut flora and what we can do to best care for it.
Profile Image for Liong.
120 reviews65 followers
March 16, 2023
A magnificent book to read and learn about our guts.

It is easy to understand by using layman's terms.

Discovered and came across very much of the living tips that we hardly know such as pooping, eating, vomiting, and constipation.

How to sit and what position makes us pass our solid waste from our body effectively.

What is the result caused by the "not my toilet" syndrome?

How can Probiotics and prebiotics benefit us?

We need good bacteria to improve our immune system and also reduce our daily stress.

I should give the prebiotic and probiotic supplements a try.
Profile Image for Emma.
971 reviews966 followers
January 10, 2016
*review based on Audible audiobook*

This is a book which is perfect for audio. Written for the layperson, it is informative and funny, but without the added benefit of an amazing narrator (who is able to get the tone just right), it may have seemed a little bit silly. Another reviewer noted the abundance of exclamation marks- in the text, that might be annoying, but when read aloud by Katy Sobey, the jokes and wry exclamations seem just right.

The content was interesting and entertaining, both educational and practical. Despite my background in healthcare and personal experience with an irksome gut, there was lots here I didn't know and tips I could put into practice. This is not just a boring run through of the mouth-anus journey, Enders uses up-to-date research to show how scientists are finding out more and more about how the gut can affect the body in surprising ways. From how having a baby by caesarean section can leave the child more prone to asthma, to the links between certain gut flora and depression, risk taking, and suicide, this book is a trove of fascinating information. It also has a section on what your poo should look like. In other words, it has it all.

Highly recommended for anyone who wants to know a bit more about how their body works.

Profile Image for Jan-Maat.
1,535 reviews1,791 followers
January 26, 2020
A charming book. Which seems an odd thing to write about a book which touches on bad breathe and its causes, tonsil stones, faeces, food intolerances, and vomiting (horses, the poor things, can't vomit, while we can co-ordinate our intestines to do so), and don't she says, attempt to induce vomiting, your gut and brain can be relied upon to sort it all out by themselves, but there we are, this is a book that discusses such things, asserts the centrality of the gut and the role of the bacteria in it in our health and ill-health in an utterly charming way.

If naturally I was one of her teaching staff I might with a sigh of "Fräulein Enders" dock her ten marks for that charm and another ten for the lack of footnotes, but just, of course, because you've got to keep students on their toes. She is careful to note how many participants there have been on trials and if they were on humans or hamsters, and that while the Masai do consume certain bacteria and have very low cholesterol despite a diet of almost entirely meat and milk that they also walk for thirteen or so hours a day and fast for one month in every twelve. In short despite the absence of footnotes she is both charming and careful.

In The Brothers Karamazov, I believe that Father Zosima, or somebody similar, say that the Kingdom of God is within us. In Enders account of the digestive system we see that this is literally true. Bacteria co-exist with us making it possible to digest foods and extract the nutrition we need, even producing chemicals that we are incapable of manufacturing ourselves. Lack of certain bacteria or a rich enough variety of them increases our risk of autoimmune disorders, faecal transplants a powerful cure for certain diarrhoeas. The brain she mentions in passing by analogy to other creatures, is only useful for getting about from A to B. If you can become completely sedentary, you could do without it completely, the Gut, completely capable of running the show on its own, indeed she points out, it has a deep and not completely understood influence upon the brain.

If, she says, you you use a cloth to wipe your dishes and a towel to clean them you are finely and evenly coating your crockery and pots with a layer of bacteria . At the same time she warns against using anti-bacterial products as these are indiscriminate and kill the good and useful - creating living space for the harmful and indestructible.

This is though plainly a book that will be supplanted, or revised many, many times, as Enders tells us the study of the Bacteria in our gut is rather new, we know a fair deal about some of those involved in digesting milk but not much more, yet potentially it can provide insights in to the migration and settlement patterns (and diet) of ancient human populations (as we inherit a health wodge of gut bacteria from our generous mothers) and into weird areas - Toxoplasmata has an effect on risk taking in a study of 3,890 Czech army recruits tracked over a few years the presence of Toxoplasmata in the blood was the highest risk factor of likelihood of having an accident, so much for free will.

A very gentle introduction to the world within us from the teeth to the anus and the creatures that live in between, looking at the impressive physical structures that keep us moving and functioning. She's careful in her descriptions so you are not plunged into a stew of indigestible language and Latin terms. Also the friendly text is broken up by illustrations by the author's sister which also contributed to the charm of the book.
Profile Image for أحمد فؤاد.
Author 7 books637 followers
May 19, 2021

هل لديكم هوس بغسيل اليدين المُتكرر؟ هل تعاني من نوبات اكتئاب مُفاجئة بدون أسباب؟ هل عانيت مؤخرًا من حساسية لاكتوز أو غلوتين رغم أنك كنت طبيعيًا سابقًأ؟

هل أنتم حريصون على استخدام المعقمات في المنزل لتطهير الأيدي، والأرضيات وتطهير كل شيء يقع داخل المنزل؟ إن كانت الإجابة بنعم... يؤسفني أن أخبركم بأنكم تزيدون من معاناتكم ومعاناة أسركم!

سواء كانت إجابة الأسئلة التالية بنعم أو لا، يجب عليكم أن تقرأوا هذا الكتاب الهام جدًا.

لقراءة المُراجعة على موقع عالم موازٍ -

اضغط على هذا الرابط

كتاب "الأمعاء كنزك في بطنك" لمؤلفته الدكتورة الألمانية جوليا أندرز، والتي نالت الجائزة الأولى لـ"ليالي العلوم في برلين" عن أطروحتها عن الجهاز الهضمي في جامعة فرانكفورت.

أجمل ما في الكتاب أنه كُتب في صورة ساخرة فكاهية مُدعمة بالصورة التوضيحية الساخرة، اجتهدت فيه المؤلفة في تبسيط المعلومات بشكل يسهل على العامة فهمها واستيعابها.

الكتاب مليء بالمعلومات المُذهلة، وقد أصابني الإرهاق من كثرة الاقتباسات التي حاولت الاحتفاظ بها، قبل أن أستسلم وأتوقف عن ذلك، كون الكتاب بالكامل تقريبًا يصلح للاقتباس!

تأخذنا الكاتبة في رحلة غاية في الروعة لنرى بمجهر مُكبّر عالم داخلنا نجهل عنه أكثر مما نعرف، تحدثنا عن كيفية التنفس والبلع والمضغ، بالإضافة إلى رحلة الأكل في المريء والمعدة والأمعاء الدقيقة والغليظة قبل أن يغادر ما تبقى منه في أجسادنا على هيئة فضلات، تحدثنا أيضًا عن الأمعاء وكيفية عملها وضرورة وجود الميكروبات في أجسادنا.

وقفت مشدوهًا كثيرًا وكأنني أتابع موسوعة ضخمة من موسوعات "هل تعلم؟"

لماذا المعدة ملتوية؟ لماذا نتجشأ؟ هل تعلم أن البكتريا تُكسبنا الوزن؟ هل تعلم أن حجم الأمعاء الدقيقة 7 أمتار؟ هل تعلم أنه لو تم مد كل الزغابيات والطيات على الأمعاء إلى سطح مستوٍ لكان طوله 7 كيلومترات!، هل تعلم أن أقراص الأدوية أكثر تركيزًا وأسوأ على المعدة من التحاميل الطبية لنفس الدواء؟ هل تعلم أننا نقوم بعملية البلع من 600 إلى 2000 مرة في اليوم الواحد دون حدوث أي خطأ تقريبًا!

معلومات متتالية لا تجعلنا نرغب في التوقف عن القراءة، نفهم مثلًا لماذا نشعر بطعم السكر في الحليب ولا نشعر بذلك في اللبن (الرائب)؟، أو لماذا يجب أن تكون مائدة الطعام خالية من التوتر؟ ولماذا يؤدي التوبيخ والتهديد للأطفال إلى مشكلة في عملية الهضم؟

مهما حاولت أن أنقل لكم معلومات من الكتاب، ستظل المعلومات الموجودة بالكتاب أكثر مما يمكنني نقله هنا، لهذا ستجدون معلومات أكثير بكثير مما هو مكتوب في هذه المراجعة.

لكنني أرغب في الإشارة إلى بعض المعلومات الهامة جدًا في الكتاب:

نوعية الطعام قد تؤدي إلى إصابتنا بنوبات من الاكتئاب ونوبات من الهلع.

تكمن أهمية الولادة الطبيعية في وجود مخزون بكتيري يصل إلى أكثر من 900 نوع بكتيري ملتفة حول جسم الجنين مستعدة لانقطاع الغشاء المحيط به، نصف هذه البكتيريا من الأنواع المُلبّنة وهي التي تفرز حمض اللبن، وهي أيضًا التي تبدأ بتدريب الجهاز المناعي للطفل.

الأطفال المولودون ولادة قيصرية، يلتقطون البكتيريا من البيئة المُحيطة بهم (وليس من جسم الأم) وذلك من أجل تكوين مخزون بكتيري يحمي أمعائهم من الجراثيم وتطوير جهاز المناعة لديهم، لأن تعداد البكتيريا لن يزداد من ميكروبات الأم كما في حالة الولادة الطبيعية. لهذا فهم عرضة لالتقاط أية بكتيريا ممن يقوم بتوليدهم، فثلاثة أرباع المواليد الجدد الذين يلتقطون جراثيم المستشفى العادية هم من المولودين ولادة قيصرية، ويكون لديهم قابلية كبرى للتعرض للحساسية وأمراض الربو.

تزيد الرضاعة الطبيعية من محتوى بكتيريا
وهي مفيدة في تطوير الجهاز المناعي للطفل، كما أن الرضاعة الطبيعية تسمح بانتقال جزء من الجهاز المناعي للأم والمتمثل في الأجسام المضادة إلى الانتقال إلى الطفل، وذلك لحمايته ضد البكتيريا الضارة.

كلما ازداد استخدامنا للمعقمات، ازدادت معاناتنا لعرضتنا لاستقبال أمراض حساسية، وذلك لأن المعقمات تقتل البكتريا السيئة وا��مفيدة في نفس الوقت، وبالتالي يتأثر جهازنا المناعي بانعدام تدريبه وبالتالي عدم فعاليته أمام أي هجمات بكتيرية محتملة.

يجب غسل أي شيء يلمس اللحم النيئ أو قشر البيض، حتى ولو كان ذلك عند إذابة تجميد اللحم، وذلك كي نتجنب بكتيريا السالمونيلا.

غسل اليدين المتكرر ليس له فائدة، وذلك لأننا حين نغسل أيدينا بتكرار فإننا نقوم بإزالة طبقة الدهون الواقية، فتتعرض بشرتنا غير المحمية إلى البيئة المحيطة لتتعرض للبكتيريا الضارة.

يجب التقليل من استخدام المضادات الحيوية، واستخدامها عند الضرورة فقط، وللالتهابات البكتيرية فقط وليس الفيروسية. ولا يتم تناولها إلا تحت إشراف الطبيب، حيث أن استخدامها لفترة طويلة يخلق جيل جديد من البكتريا مقاوم للأدوية.

لحوم الحيوانات مليئة للأسف بكمية كبيرة من المضادات الحيوية، والتي تنتقل إلينا بالتبعية عند تناولها. يحرص موردي اللحوم على حقن الحيوانات بها كي يظلوا بصحة جيدة وسط حظائر مكتظة ووسخة، يُباع هذا اللحم في النهاية كنوع عادي، بينما يُباع لحم الحيوانات التي لم تتناول كميات كبيرة من المضادات الحيوية عليها ختم مميز "طبيعي".

الكتاب حقًا مليء بالمعلومات الشيّقة والتي بالتأكيد لا نعرف الكثير منها، سيجعلك الكتاب أكثر قدرة على فهم جسمك، وعلى التعامل بشكل أفضل مع مشاكلك التي قد تكون تعاني منها ولا تعرف سببًا لها.

ملحوظة أخيرة... ترجمة الكتاب جيدة لكن بها سلبيتين: السلبية الأولى هي كثرة المصطلحات الطبية، والتي تُرجِمَت إلى العربية والتي قد لا يفهمها الناس لانتشار المصطلحات الطبية باللغة الإنجليزية، وهذه ليست مشكلة المترجم في الحقيقة، وإنما أظن أنه كان الأفضل كتابة المصطلحات بلغتها الأجنبية بجوار التعريب. أما السلبية الثانية فهي عدم قدرة المترجم على نقل روح النكات المختلفة التي استخدمتها الكاتبة وقام بترجمتها حرفيًا مما أفقدها معناها وغرضها. للأمانة... ترجمة النكات والحسّ الفُكاهي بشكل عام أمر بالغ الصعوبة.

ورغم أنني فكرت أن أخفض تقييمي بنجمة كاملة بسبب الترجمة، إلا أنني أجد نفسي غير قادر على تقييم هذا الكتاب بتقييم أقل من العلامة الكاملة.

تقييمي 5 من 5
Profile Image for Caro the Helmet Lady.
760 reviews341 followers
August 1, 2017
I did enjoy scientific parts of this book, I found out some stuff I haven't heard before, but fart jokes and such became rather annoying at some point. I understand that the author was trying to keep it "light" so her readers wouldn't start yawning and dozing off on facts parts, but I think it would be better off without it... Oh well, maybe I'm just not the target reader for this book.

In general - pretty good, informative and rather recommended, especially if you didn't know you shouldn't put your fingers in your mouth after scratching your butthole. You're welcome!
Profile Image for Nhi Nguyễn.
964 reviews1,220 followers
May 25, 2018
Đọc cuốn sách này đúng là một trải nghiệm mở mang tầm mắt và vô cùng bổ ích nhé :)) Với lối viết hóm hỉnh cùng những hình minh họa dễ thương, tác giả đã biến những kiến thức tưởng chừng khô khan về ruột trở thành những câu chuyện đầy thú vị và tràn đầy màu sắc. Đọc tới nhiều đoạn mà mình phải ồ à vì thích thú khi biết được nhiều sự thật không thể nào ngờ được về thế giới ruột của chúng ta :D

Hóa ra ruột không chỉ là một bộ phận dùng để tiêu hóa thức ăn, rồi sau đó thải ra chất thải qua phân, mà nơi đây còn giống như một "bộ não" thu nhỏ đầy diệu kỳ. Tác giả đã đi từ cái chung nhất đến cái thế giới vi khuẩn trong ruột, giải thích cặn kẽ những hiện tượng sức khỏe liên quan tới ruột mà chúng ta thường gặp phải, ví dụ như dị ứng, chứng bất dung nạp lactose từ đâu mà ra. Rồi cả việc, hóa ra tiếng bụng kêu rột rột mỗi khi chúng ta đói, không phải là tiếng động phát ra từ bao tử, mà thực chất đó là "tiếng gọi" của ruột non hiện đang "rảnh rang" vì chưa có thức ăn để tiêu hóa tiếp :D. Việc đi đại tiện một ngày chừng 2, 3 lần là chuyện hoàn toàn bình thường ^^ Và hành động nôn ói của chúng ta mỗi khi hồi hộp hay căng thẳng chả phải là một trải nghiệm gì đáng xấu hổ cả, mà đó chính là công việc cần phải làm của một bộ ruột thông minh nhằm tiết kiệm năng lượng tiêu hóa thức ăn, để dành năng lượng ấy cho bộ não xử lý những công việc quan trọng khác (ví dụ như giúp chúng ta vượt qua buổi phỏng vấn khó nhằn chẳng hạn :D).

Phần sau cùng, tác giả đi sâu vào trình bày tỉ mỉ và có hệ thống thế giới vi sinh vật trong ruột, và vì thế nó có vẻ khá khó hiểu đối với mình ở nhiều chỗ. Tuy nhiên, đây lại là phần có giá trị nghiên cứu và thực nghiệm nhất, vì nó đưa ra rất nhiều giả thuyết về mối liên hệ giữa vi khuẩn trong ruột với tình trạng sức khỏe tâm thần của chúng ta cùng những căn bệnh khác. Không ngờ vi khuẩn trong ruột có quyền năng vô cùng to lớn, thậm chí có loại vi khuẩn có thể góp phần gây nên chứng trầm cảm ở người và tác động khiến người đó nảy sinh ý định tự sát nữa. Cuốn sách cũng cung cấp nhiều thông tin thú vị về vi khuẩn H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) - con vi khuẩn được xem là "thú nuôi" trong ruột của chúng ta :D Và rằng có H. pylori trong bao tử hoàn toàn không phải là chuyện xấu, nếu số lượng vi khuẩn không nhiều và không gây ra những tình trạng nghiêm trọng.

Thông qua quyển sách, tác giả cũng một lần nữa khẳng định lại định nghĩa về sự sạch sẽ trong thời đại này. Đó là không phải tiêu diệt toàn bộ vi khuẩn trong ruột, vì 95% vi khuẩn trên thế giới là vi khuẩn tốt cho sức khỏe con người. Trái lại, giữ sạch sẽ chính là làm sao tạo nên sự cân bằng giữa vi khuẩn tốt và vi khuẩn xấu, để chúng ta có thể hưởng lợi được từ vi khuẩn tốt và giúp cho hệ miễn dịch của cơ thể (hóa ra nằm phần lớn ở ruột và hệ tiêu hóa nói chung) được có cơ hội "trui rèn bản thân" :D Tác giả cũng cung cấp những bí quyết giúp chúng ta ăn uống sạch sẽ, và giải thích cặn kẽ thế nào là probiotic, thế nào là prebiotic (mấy cái này coi quảng cáo sữa chua thấy hoài mà chắc là phần lớn chúng ta chưa nắm rõ chúng là gì đâu hen ^^).

Nói chung là ai có hứng thú tìm hiểu về ruột, đồng thời muốn học cách nâng cao chất lượng cuộc sống cũng như sức khỏe của mình thông qua việc chăm sóc cho hệ tiêu hóa của mình được khỏe mạnh thì hãy nhanh tay mua cuốn sách này về đọc đi :D Không hối hận chút nào đâu :)))
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,830 reviews358 followers
August 18, 2015
Recommended for those who would like to know more about how their bodies work, but are afraid of biological/medical jargon. Written by a young woman in medical school, this work explains things in lay-person’s terms and is very accessible.

A pretty good section on our reliance on gut bacteria to mentor our immune system and help us to process our food. She explains very clearly why too much cleanliness is not necessarily a good thing. (Did you know that the whole “cleanliness is next to godliness” idea was part of the campaign to stop the spread of tuberculosis? That our society’s disparagement of public spitting dates from this epidemic?)

I guess I was expecting too much of the book however—I know that the gut & the skin develop from the same embryonic layer and that there are quite a few links now between gut problems and skin rashes. I was hoping for a more detailed discussion, but it occupied only a few sentences in the book.

Also, I continue to search for something that will explain the connection between gut bacteria and food intolerances/sensitivities and suggest useful methods to cope with such things. This was mentioned in passing, but no “how to help yourself” guide. Rats!

A good, basic explanation of how the digestive system works.
Profile Image for Nataliya Yaneva.
165 reviews322 followers
February 17, 2019
Всички имаме една обща характеристика, от която не можем да избягаме, ако и да ни се ще, и това е храносмилателната система (е, и останалите системи в тялото, но сега за тази ми е приказката). Или както правилно отбелязваше В. в далечната две-хиляди-и-ехее-кога-беше-то – „Брад Пит също ака“. Неоспорим факт, а той би могъл да го прави по-образовано, ако прочете книгата на Джулия Ендерс.

„Черво с чар“ е наистина забавен пътеводител в света на собственото ни тяло, като въпреки заглавието това не е научнопопулярен филм на ужасите, осеян единствено с черва. Може да научите какво се случва и из устната ви кухина, къде са най-чистите животни на света (мишки са впрочем), защо прекаленото миене на ръцете е „глупост“ (признавам, че аз го правя, дори мисля, че имам нещо като синдрома на лейди Макбет – очарователно име за иначе леко манийната необходимост да минеш през сапун и течаща вода по около 133265 пъти на ден) и други все полезни късчета информация. А, и не се оливайте с антибиотиците. Лоша поличба е.

Като цяло вече от доста време съм убедена, че връзката между това, какво поглъща човек (защото то е не само храна, а и милиарди бактерии, без да осъзнава) и останалата част от живота му, е неразривна. Тази връзка може да окаже влияние върху настроение, склонности, че и щастие дори. По-интересното, което тази книга ми показа, е, че не само мозъкът е отговорен за всички тези процеси и не само той е капитанът, който изпраща сигналите по морза до останалата част от тялото, а то като един обикновен юнга изпълнява. Разбира се, част от книгата не схванах особено, колкото и простичко да е написана. Смятам да я чета отново или поне избрани моменти. Препоръчвам я на всеки, които има дори бегъл интерес към това, че е човек и е жив (двете условия трябва да са изпълнени едновременно).
Profile Image for Roy Lotz.
Author 1 book8,128 followers
December 21, 2020
I began this year by reading a book about the human body by Bill Bryson. And, as it happened, this was a fateful choice. Not only does that book include a dire warning about the possibility of future pandemics, but I now find myself teaching an elementary school class on the human body. It seemed only right, then, to return to this fragile walking, talking colony of cells in these final days of 2020.

I must now admit that I read the English version of this book in the hopes that I could finally read the German version, which a friend had loaned to me months ago. Incidentally, the German title is significantly better than the English one: Darm mit Charme (“Intestines with Charm”). The Spanish version at least captures the spirit of this title, if not the literal meaning, with La digestión es la cuestión. In English, however, we are left with the pithy but charmless: Gut.

Giulia Enders published this little book at the ripe old age of 25. And a lot of the charm of this book derives from the odd juxtaposition of a bubbly young woman describing farts and feces. The light and fun tone does help to offset the potentially gross subject-matter, and the result is an effective work of popular science. (I also must say that parts of the book struck me as extremely German. Am I supposed to believe that sauerkraut, potato salad, and yogurt are the keys to intestinal health?)

Considering the discrete silence that usually attends the act of swallowing, digesting, and expelling, most of us know surprisingly little about this actual process, so even some of the basic science is interesting. But Enders also incorporates some newer discoveries. I did not know, for example, that there is an extensive nerve network in our guts that operates semi-autonomously from our brains; and I had only vague notions about the bacteria residing in our large intestines.

Now, my only hope is that this book does not turn out to be a fateful choice, too.
Profile Image for Sonja Arlow.
1,071 reviews7 followers
April 14, 2021
This is a nice little book for readers who normally shy away from medical based books.

It handles the science in a light, at times humorous way to make the medical explanations more palatable (pun intended).

I am a keen reader of medical non-fiction, so I prefer slightly more rigorous books on this type of topic (see Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers). Or investigative books that go out of their way to provide a plethora of trivia (see Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal).

I had a slight issue with the author's brand of humor and the dumbed down writing style (but I am not the target audience so I get why it was written in this fashion) however, this was not a complete waste of time as I found the latter part of the book enjoyable.

Especially the sections on cholesterol and gut bacteria, the gut-brain connection as well as the chapter on dangerous bacteria like toxoplasmata. If you are a cat owner, you may want to Google this 😊

Recommended for people who has an interest in this subject matter but do not know where to start.
Profile Image for Ella.
119 reviews90 followers
May 25, 2018
I absolutely loved this! I learned so much about my own body it’s crazy!

I am pretty sure I have been raving about this book to my friends and family so much they could probably say they have read it as well haha

I had to share everything I learned since it feels so crucial we all are informed about what goes on inside us. All the bacteria, all the processes are fascinating and I ended up watching a lot of videos on YouTube about this (some were quite disgusting I have to admit 🙈)

Highly highly hiiiiighly recommend this to pretty much any human being out there (maybe even to cats haha as there is a chapter relevant to them as well)
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,843 reviews5,564 followers
September 29, 2016

DNF at 80%. I'm over the gut.

I really, really enjoy science books, especially anything having to do with medicine/the body. That make sense, of course, seeing as I have a degree in a medical field, but I really can't get enough of learning about the human body.

However, after listening to Mary Roach's Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, which I enjoyed very much, I thought I was ready for another round of intestinal delight. I was partly right.

What Mary Roach does is she breaks up a never-ending stream of facts into a story-line, of sorts. That wasn't really done here. While I found the information interesting in Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ, I missed the personal anecdotes and stories from "Gulp," which has very similar subject matter. Also, while the narrator of "Gut" was pretty good, she didn't hold a candle to the narrator of "Gulp."

I still liked learning about the alimentary canal and intestinal tract, and I still bored my family to death with random gut facts, but it got to be a little... drab for me.

Time for me to move on to another body part.
Profile Image for Tanja Berg.
1,833 reviews411 followers
June 23, 2015
Rating 3* out of 5. I'm not charmed. I found the writing childish with too many exclamation marks and didn't find things as funny as the author obviously did at times. I like the first 100 pages the best because of the numerous new things I learned, but the for the rest of the book I mostly just wished it would be over already. It's supposed to be fun and engaging and probably is to most people - to me it just fell a bit flat.
Profile Image for Rosie Nguyễn.
Author 6 books5,869 followers
September 8, 2018
Viết về những đề tài cực hóc búa bằng ngôn ngữ cực kỳ vui nhộn và hài hước.
Chừng nào mình viết được như vậy trời ơi!
Profile Image for jennyliest.
194 reviews290 followers
April 24, 2022
Ein sehr informatives Buch, locker & verständlich erzählt. Der Titel ist wirklich Programm. Lesenswert! 👍🏻
Profile Image for Caroline.
498 reviews557 followers
May 18, 2017
This book gives us a warm and friendly journey through the gut. Written in easy terms for the layman, and generously illustrated by the author's sister, this is a very accessible description of the journey of food through our bodies, and the critters it meets on the way down.

Giulia Enders is a doctoral student, and she wrote the book in response to a friend wanting to know more about the gut. To do this she did a lot of research, as is shown in the bibliography at the end. Regarding the bibliography, she notes that the books and papers cited cover issues not found in standard medical textbooks. To be honest, I found some of her ideas a little wacky, or to put it another way, she gives equal weighting to all the ideas she puts forward. I felt that someone with more experience in the field might have been a bit more discriminating, or created more of a hierarchy of solutions. Enders sort of throws open the doors and leaves us to pick and choose.

I may be so wrong in saying the above. Her book has had fantastic reviews from most of the major newspapers - and I certainly learnt a lot from it. Plus I enjoyed reading it - and given the subject matter that is quite an achievement.

One final whinge. There was no index. I think that was a real oversight.

I end with a sprinkling of notes - mostly taken directly from the book - purely for my own record.

Profile Image for K.J. Charles.
Author 57 books7,886 followers
November 3, 2021
Lots of useful and interesting info that I found got buried in the wacky non-stop-not-that-funny comedy style (it's translated but I assume this must be true to the original) plus children's book type illustrations that basically fail to convey anything except wackiness. Basically a book marketed to adults, with serious content about biology and physiology and research, but styled for 8-12s. I got irritated. Like bowels.
Profile Image for Warwick.
812 reviews14.5k followers
April 25, 2017
This is a jaunty, easily digestible précis of intestinal biology, an enterological cornucopia of facts and figures and buttock-clenching anecdotes. Expect a lot of often fascinating talk about poo and farting, rather like a Monty Python sketch without the punchlines, as well as layman's introductions to the latest research into probiotics, prebiotics, antibiotics, the human biome, and the mysterious relationship between your gut and your brain. I learned a lot. I also made several strategic alterations to my diet, so it clearly connected on that level.

The author, Giulia Enders, is still studying for her PhD, and the book came about after a TED-style talk she gave at a Science Slam event went viral in 2012; if you understand German, you can watch it here (she's so young!). She writes about her subject with a smile on her face, fending off embarrassment with a no-nonsense, almost mumsy joviality, leavened with a few judicious euphemisms. It's all rendered into perfect colloquial English thanks to David Shaw's translation, which, at least in this edition, is refreshingly British in idiom. I'm not sure how it compares to Mary Roach's Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, which I haven't read, but if you're interested in what you eat, how your body works, or just want to binge on some high-fibre factoids, Gut is a solid pop-science choice.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
863 reviews1,091 followers
November 24, 2016
3.5 stars.

In the year or so I have had a fascination with my own gut, after my doctor surmised that my stomach problems were because I have IBS. Since then I have read countless articles and watched countless videos on the subject, in an attempt to help me manage my gut and its problems better. So naturally, when Gut by Giulia Enders was released, I had to get it and read up on the subject from a more scientific point of view.

This book was a truly fascinating read, and I learned a lot of things that I didn't know before. Unfortunately, I didn't have the foresight to keep a notebook and pen beside me while reading, because I would have liked to have had a list next to me that I could go back through again in more detail. However, some of the things I learned were why antibiotics are only a good thing in the most extreme cases, why not all creatures can vomit and why it's a good thing we can, how babies born naturally as opposed to with a caesarean section are better protected with bacteria in their early months, and how it's not actually probiotics that will do our guts the best but prebiotics.

There were definitely sections of this book that interested me more than others, such as sections on allergies and intolerances, vomiting (despite my fear of the subject), and how the brain and the gut are a lot more linked than we might have previously thought. However, particularly with the latter section, I would have loved to have seen a bit more information as I felt they were way too short in comparison to other sections. I also wish there had been more of a focus on issues such as IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease - although all three were mentioned, I was hoping for a bit more information on what causes them, and what can be done to manage their symptoms.

I enjoyed Enders writing style for the most part - she manages to balance some of the more fact-heavy sections with light-hearted humour which was nice (particularly for someone who is relatively new to popular science). However, there were times where I found the constant jokes less funny - she uses a lot of metaphors throughout the book to illustrate her point, but they did seem at times more for comedic value than to help further clarify her points, and a lot of them I could have really done without. I did however like the pictures that accompanied the text, drawn by her graphic designer sister Jill Enders, and they were actually very helpful at seeing certain elements of Enders text more clearly - for example, in how our food travels through our body.

Overall this was a fun and very entertaining read, and I did learn a lot from it. Although there were things I would have changed and gone into more depth about, this is probably a really great starting point for science n00bs like me, who want to know more about our own body and its role in our everyday lives.
Profile Image for Elena Mayr.
119 reviews305 followers
January 1, 2022
MUST READ | 5/5 ⭐️

Extrem informativ & wertvoll.
Absolute Empfehlung!
Wir wissen viel zu wenig über den Darm, der ein wahnsinnig krasses Organ ist.
Profile Image for Uroš Đurković.
565 reviews128 followers
February 23, 2023
Da ljudi makar nešto vole onoliko koliko Džulija Enders voli gastroenterologiju, ovaj svet bi procvetao! Sve što ste želeli da saznate o digestivnom traktu, a niste imali koga da pitate, nalazi se ovde. A uz mnogo zanimljivosti, kao i korisnih i pouzdanih medicinskih preporuka, nalazi se i neobična lekcija lepote jer, što se više približimo svojim unutrašnjim organima, oni postaju vredniji i uzbudljiviji. Unutrašnja lepota ovde bi sasvim komotno mogla proći kao konkretizovana metafora.

Što se sveprisutnog autorkinog pošalnog tona tiče, on može nekim snebivljicima i namćorima biti iritantan, ali meni je prijao i mislim da je svrsishodan. Jer kako drukčije? Pisati smrtno ozbiljnu naučnopopularnu knjigu o crevima može izazvati sasvim suprotan efekat od željenog. A o tome kako ništa nije naivno, svedoči i solidan spisak naučnih referenci, uz pomoću kojih se tvrdnje u knjizi mogu proveriti.

Ono što me iznova inspiriše i što je glavni razlog zašto sam čitalac ove knjige jeste svet mikrobiote. Zaboravlja se kako ljudi nisu samo oni koji žive u staništu, nego i oni koji su stanište po sebi. I ne samo to: u ljudskom telu brojniji su mikroorganizmi od ljudskih ćelija! A mnogi bi se zapanjili da znaju da je za nas više od 95% bakterija potpuno bezazleno (234), kao i da je za zdrav organizam neophodan i susret sa škodljivim bakterijama, da bi telo bilo 'u pripravnosti'. Sve je u ravnoteži. Na neki način, više smo ono što nismo, odnosno, predstavljamo uvek mnoštvo, drukčije ne bismo ni mogli opstati. Autorka mnoge stranice posvećuje ovom pitanju, ali i onome što bi nekome odmah palo na um kad je varenje u pitanju: kako funkcioniše jetra, šta je (zapravo) holesterol, kako se hrana kreće kroz organizam, zašto (ne) piti antibiotike...

U moru zanimljivosti, izdvajam samo nekoliko:

Snovi su uvek bez mirisa. (224)
Pljuvačka je filtrirana krv. Takođe, u pljuvački se nalazi i opiorfin, sredstvo protiv bolova jače i od morfijuma, otkriveno tek 2006. godine. (30)
Toksoplazmoza može da utiče na nastanak šizofrenije! (225)
Što je u nekoj zemlji viši higijenski standard, tamo je više alergija i autoimunih bolesti. (234)
Čim ascidija pronađe zgodno mesto gde može da se nastani, ona se prikači na tu površinu i izjeda svoj mozak. (130)
Đumbir blokira receptore u centru za povraćanje. (111)
Salmonela potiče iz crevne flore kornjača i gušteta. (204)
Profile Image for Milena.
149 reviews59 followers
April 6, 2020
Gastroenterologija je moja neočekivana ljubav - od samog početka studija (a i do dana današnjeg), ne volim kad ljudi priđu na žurkama sa „A da, ti beše studiraš medicinu, pa šta bi da specijaliziraš?“ (ma otkud znam, kad ni pritisak nisam umela da izmerim kako valja) pa procedim „Gastroenterologiju“ i to je to, kraj razgovora, nema razneženih pogleda i pohvalnih komentara kao da sam rekla recimo ginekologiju, pedijatriju, kardiologiju... nego se raziđemo kud koji mili moji, a ja mogu da nastavim da pijem sok i očijukam sa nekim mišićavim nepoznanikom koji me avaj, uopšte ne registruje.

Par godina kasnije, ispada da je to oblast koja me je potpuno očarala i emocionalno privezala za sebe (u bližoj okolini imam slučajeva raka kolona, pankreasa, čira na želucu, iritabilnog kolona na izvol’te). A i korisno je, diskusije o digestivnom traktu samo tako rasteraju narod po redovima koji su nam sadašnja svakodnevica, kao juče pred sladoledarnicom u gradu, sorry kids.

Autorka knjige i njena sestra (koja je ilustrator) nam nude jedno izuzetno interesantno putovanje, od usta do anusa, začinjeno pomalo smotanim štreberskim humorom koji najvolijem. Nije potrebno nikakvo predznanje o materiji, naučni termini su odlicno pojednostavljeni i objašnjeni tako da će neki delovi biti zanimljivi i klincima. Poslednja trećina knjige se bavi mikrobiotom koji je all the rage poslednjih godina, i koji je jedna od tema o kojima moja baba najviše voli da diskutuje sa mnom, pa onda objašnjava mom ocu kako njen višak kilograma dolazi od toga što nema dobre bakterije u debelom crevu, nego loše, a mačku o rep to što u kolače bez kojih ne može da zamisli dan idu (po dokazanoj sremačkoj recepturi) bar kilo putera i desetak jaja. Da se vidi da domaćica nije štedela.

Stoga, iskrena preporuka za ovu knjigu ako vas zanima tema (a sigurno vas zanima, samo se krijete da nije tako!)
Profile Image for cypt.
497 reviews635 followers
July 12, 2018
Ir aš įšokau į besidominčiųjų šūdais traukinį! Buvo labai malonus skaitymas, tarsi susitaikymas su savo šūdais. Paprastai sakai tai perkeltine prasme, kaip visokias vidines, dvasines negeroves, o čia - tiesiogine. Ne tai kad buvau su jais susipykusi (kaip įmanydama stengiuosi nesipykti), bet tikrai nežinojau nei kaip jie gaminasi, nei kiek juose bakterijų, ką ten - išvis nežinojau, kas jie yra, tik kad buvęs maistas.

Knygoj pilna visko - ne tik šūdų, bet ir aprašymų apie virškinimo procesą, apskritai gyvenimą (mitybą, alergijas, net kates). Dabar daug geriau suprantu Miglės meilę bakterijoms. O svarbiausia - ji, knyga, kelia tokį stiprų, beveik religinį susižavėjimą - kaip viskas tobulai tame kūne (ir visam pasauly, visoj gyvybėj) sustyguota. Tokį jausmą, atsimenu, patyriau prieš bilekiek metų parodoj "Žmogus", kai "Panoramoje" buvo atvežti išskrosti, išpreparuoti ir kt žmonės bei organai. Atsimenu, žiniasklaidoj buvo pilna visokių persergėjimų apie tai, kokia ta paroda bedieviška ir šventvagiška, o aš vaikščiojau ir negalėjau patikėt - ji, priešingai, buvo visiškai pro-religinė. Kai matai visą žmogaus kraujotaką - natūralaus dydžio, iki smulkiausių, vos matomų dalelyčių, arba nervus, arba visa kita - užplūsta kažkoks susižavėjimas: KAIP įmanoma, kad viskas būtų taip tobulai sudėta. Panašiai ir Enders knygoje.

Tai skaičiau ir kaip tas Blake'o tigras vis dūsaudavau:
Profile Image for Sherif Metwaly.
467 reviews3,344 followers
December 6, 2021
كَوْني طبيبًا أفقدني الكثير من ا��استمتاع بمحتوى الكتاب نظرًا لاعتماده بالأساس على الجانب الطبي الفسيولوجي والتشريحي للأمعاء والتي درسها أي طبيب في سنواته الأولى، يشفع له محاولات كاتبته الناجحة في مزج خفة الظل والسلاسة بين السطور لتجعل المحتوى أقل جفافًا من الكتب الطبية.
تجربة لطيفة أنصح بها
Profile Image for Nigel.
803 reviews90 followers
March 31, 2017
I find it quite hard to know just what to say about this book. It is one of the most interesting books I've read in quite some time. It is also one of the most improbable page turners I've read. The illustrations are wonderful and quirky.

It's a book about what happens in the passage between the mouth and the backside. At times maybe it is not for the faint-hearted. You will learn quite a lot about your poo! However you will also learn a lot about your gut bacteria and their impact - frequently surprising - on your life.

It is actually quite a scientific book. The book talks about the bad guys - Helicobacter for example. And then the next section talks about a bacteria that can be beneficial to you - Helicobacter... Some section really did make me go "wow". As an example the section on Toxoplasmata - a genuinely quite nasty inhabitant of the guts of cats but sometimes they stray.

I'd be surprised if most people who read this don't start questioning aspects of their (or their families) lifestyles. Allergies and intolerances are far more prevalent now - does this book possibly explain some aspects of that? Why if we kill off all the bacteria we possibly can by cleaning everything are we still experiencing similar rates of infections?

Entertaining, thought provoking, accessible and well written - I'd be happy to recommend this one to anyone with any interest in the subject. It might even change the way you sit on the loo :-)
Profile Image for Amrita Srikanth.
31 reviews54 followers
May 6, 2018
What I learnt from this book:
- Why farting is good for you
- A depressed mind could be linked to a shitty (pun intended) gut
- 50 Grades of Poo - the good, the bad, and everything in between
- Why I should continue ending my meals with good old yoghurt
- The next time I feel like a small, useless speck in the universe, I must remember that I have a universe inside of me
...And a whole lot of other shit!
Very interesting, very entertaining, and the little drawings throughout the book are an added bonus. Made me want to go back to Biology class and show this book to my teacher - "THIS is how you should have taught me the subject!", I would have said. In my mind. Because I don't want to hurt her feelings.
Profile Image for فادي أحمد.
507 reviews835 followers
February 5, 2019
جميل جداً هذا الكتاب.. مكتوب بطريقة علمية مبسطة ولطيفة ومسلية
الكاتبة مشروع دكتورة في الجهاز الهضمي وهي من مواليد 1990 :) في برلين.
جمال الكتاب يأتي من التالي:
1- بساطة المعلومات وسرعة وصولها للمتلقي
2- أهمية الكلام المكتوب صحياً وعلمياً
3- الطرا��ة في السرد+الرسوم الكاريكاتورية لشرح الأفكار
حقاً هو رحلة في داخل أجسامنا التي لا نعرف عنها الكثير.
كيف تتم عملية الهضم؟ ما هو خط سير اللقمة من طاولة الطعام حتى وصولها إلى المعي الغليظ؟
هل ما نأكله له تأثير على نفسيتنا؟ بشرتنا؟ دماغنا؟
لمَ بعض الأشخاص يتأثرون بنوع معين من الطعام وبعض الناس لا؟
ماهي أفضل طريقة لمعالجة آلام المعدة؟ الإمساك؟ الإسهال؟ التقيؤ؟
هل كل البكتريا مضرّة؟ ماهي أهمية المضادات الحيوية؟
وأجوبة كثيرة ممتعة ومسلية.
أنصح به جداً واستفدت من المعلومات التي فيه
Profile Image for Lois Bujold.
Author 161 books37.6k followers
February 15, 2016

Neat little owner's manual for your digestive system, straightforward, humorous, and jargon-free. Complex ideas are presented as simply as possible, to reach as broad an audience as possible. It also included a lot of information I hadn't known, either because it was new, or because I hadn't been paying attention.


Ta, L.
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