Gut: The Inside Story Of Our Body’s Most Under-rated Organ by Giulia Enders

This book was translated by David Shaw from the original German. It was a very kind gift from Lady Patricia

This book was bought for me, as a gift. Under my own impulse, I would have left it on the bookshop shelf after looking with mild amusement at the rather good doodle style illustrations that do an excellent job of explaining the science. Giulia Enders’ sister, Jill Enders, is the one to thank for these. However, the book ended up on my bookshelf.

Six months later, in search of something a bit different and reasonably light to read, I picked it up.

I consider myself more interested in the brain, how I think and feel and how I can change all this to make me a happier, more content, likeable human being. I prefer to think of things in terms of psychology than biology. Probably due to an unnecessary grudge against my school biology teachers. Giulia Enders however introduces the gut in a manner that would have been acceptable to both me and my biology teacher when I was fifteen. Apparently, my stomach is really much higher in my body than I imagined. And my small intestine really does agree that a siesta – or at least a bit of relaxation – is a good idea after lunch. Enders also points out what I feel I should have recognized as the obvious: we feel not solely with the brain in some mystical fashion, but because it keeps us alive.

Anyone who suffers from anxiety or depression should remember that an unhappy gut can be the cause of an unhappy mind. Sometimes, the gut has a perfect right to be unhappy, if it is dealing with an undetected food intolerance, for example. We should not always blame depression on the brain or on our life circumstances – there is much more to us than that.

Giulia Enders, Gut

There was also a chapter on the cause of various intolerances and some fascinating (and sometimes icky) detail on all the living creatures – bacteria, yeasts, fungi, worms – that you may or not want to be living in your body.

It’s a super easy to read book. The bit on bacteria goes on a while, and you might lose focus at this point, but the pictures and the sometimes unexpected but clear explanations of how we work make it worth reading and easy to digest.