The Mind-Gut Connection

Oct 1, 2017 by

 

Title: The Mind-Gut Connection: How the Hidden Conversation Within Our Bodies Impacts our Mood, Our Choices, and Our Overall Health
Authors: Emeran Mayer
Year: 2016

Quick Summary:
A medical doctor with years of experience researching the human gut writes about the connections between the mind and the gut and how they impact our health.  The many different signals that the brain and the gut use to communicate, and the ways that this is impacted by the bacteria that live in our gut, are all described.

Highlights:
I was quite hopeful for the release of this book, as it was written by a medical doctor with a depth of experience in treating people with GI conditions and researching the inner workings of the GI tract.  And Dr. Mayer does not disappoint when it comes to providing the reader with an overview of the most recent research on the topic.  In fact, this book is packed with references to original studies on certain topics, and shout outs to current research being conducted along those lines.

Lowlights:
Unfortunately, this book does not deliver anything close to evidence.  In almost every section of every chapter, Dr. Mayer makes statements including “so it might be reasonable to believe that this could lead to that”, or “and so I wouldn’t be surprised if we discover that this is the case”.  For a thought piece on the future of his research, these musings are perfectly fine.  But in the context of a book written for the layperson that is trying to manage their health, these comments are borderline dangerous.

Final Word:
Most of the book ends up providing nothing more than speculation of how a discovery made in rats may someday be applied to humans, or about how he is hopeful that we will confirm his belief on a certain topic in the next 10 years. These are ponderings that should be made during a conversation between colleagues, not placed in a book that is advertised as a doctor’s guide on how to manage your GI health.

Although I was incredibly hopeful when I first opened this book, I cannot recommend it to anyone that is trying to learn more about their GI health and how to manage it.

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