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Gut

Written by: Giulia Enders
Narrated by: Katy Sobey
Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The key to living a happier, healthier life is inside us. Our gut is almost as important to us as our brain or our heart, yet we know very little about how it works.

In Gut, Giulia Enders shows that rather than the utilitarian and - let's be honest - somewhat embarrassing body part we imagine it to be, it is one of the most complex, important, and even miraculous parts of our anatomy. And scientists are only just discovering quite how much it has to offer; new research shows that gut bacteria can play a role in everything from obesity and allergies to Alzheimer's.

Beginning with the personal experience of illness that inspired her research and going on to explain everything from the basics of nutrient absorption to the latest science linking bowel bacteria with depression, Enders has written an entertaining, informative health handbook.

Gut definitely shows that we can all benefit from getting to know the wondrous world of our inner workings. In this charming book, young scientist Giulia Enders takes us on a fascinating tour of our insides. Her message is simple: if we treat our gut well, it will treat us well in return. But how do we do that? And why do we need to?

Find out in this surprising and surprisingly funny exploration of the least understood of our organs.

Giulia Enders is a two-time scholarship winner of the Heraeus Foundation and is doing research for her medical doctorate at the Institute for Microbiology in Frankfurt. In 2012 her presentation of Gut won her first prize at the Science Slam in Berlin and went viral on YouTube.

©2015 Giulia Enders (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Exceptional

I loved the audiobook of Gut so much that I bought a hard copy.

Anyone having recurring gut issues must listen to this book.

If you want to dig in deep how gut effects our overall health and longevity should give it a go.

Guilia Sanders has written the best book on gut ever.

Happy Listening 😁

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I can't stop praising the author !

This audiobook is a very useful one. It explains the miniature landscapes within our gut! How it influences our immune system and our behavior.It also gives insights on how to improve the gut microflora and explains everything you really need to know about your gut ! The narration made it even more interesting !

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Good bacterias do us good do not kill them

Not all bacterias are bad.
Avoid unwanted use of antibiotics.
Include prebiotics and probiotics in food.

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  • joshua
  • 06-12-18

Eye-opening

As a doctor and an IBS sufferer, so many things Julia talks about in this book makes perfect sense. I particularly enjoyed how she puts strands of medical and research knowledge together to give a complete picture of the workings of the gut. Often times, even as doctors, one may not think through all the interwoven parts of the digestive system and the interplay of our social lives and environment in the nagging symptoms most patients present. Definitely a recommended read.

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  • Mike
  • 28-07-15

Fascinating book

Well worth a listen - avoid meal times. I listened on my walk to and from work

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michal Jerabek
  • 03-09-19

Highly recommended

This book is amazing: amusing and at the same time full of information. I have enjoyed every bit of it. The narration is splendid.

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  • Fee
  • 07-08-19

An interesting book told by a wonderful voice

The book is packed with information, but it's easy to' digest' because of all the jokes Giula Enders makes and because Katy Sobey helps you to keep focused with her great, enthusiastic way of reading it.

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  • Illy
  • 19-06-16

Sweet and educational

I feel like this book has given a lot. It presents its information in a way that makes it easy to absorb. And the performance almost had me believe the author of the book read it :P

Anyways, I haven't taken any courses in medicine, but my roomy who is studying to become a doctor said she got a far few things out of the book as well :)

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-10-15

Mandatory for nervous gut types

Would you listen to Gut again? Why?

This book is choc full of interesting stories, actionable life changes and fascinating detail. Because it's so detailed, I tended to drift off a bit so will be back for another listen later.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Gut?

I remember her talking about the different kinds of bacteria and how antibiotics is like nuclear bomb for both good and bad bacteria.My big takeaway was to add yoghurt to my diet - just normal, plain yoghurt as the Yakult and other pro-biotic stuff is all marketing.

What does Katy Sobey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Katy sound like a scientist. She made it a pleasant to listen to book, but on the negative side, Giulia had too many cutesy, writer-ish analogues for the gut functions which just became a bit saccharine and, read by Katy, they came over sometimes as patronising. That's when I tended to drift (and why I need to read this again).

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It got a bit boring 2/3 way through - but that is why experts are experts, I suppose. A normal person just wouldn't have the enertia to take us through such a long journey.

Any additional comments?

I'm trying to lose weight (47yrs old) and this gave me a good heads up on a few things that might help. I'd recommend this book. I listened to it over several long bike rides and think walking might be a better way to "read" it. :)

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  • David J James
  • 13-03-16

I have to redress the balance

I have just completed my listening to this book, and am amazed by how much I learned. Not only is the alimentary canal looked at from a wide variety of perspectives but also a lot of general biology is covered and how the gut links in to the rest of the body. Some of the discoveries of recent science you can learn about in this book are really exciting and we can easily see how research into bacterial flora and enterotypes could improve medicine in the decades to follow.

I would like to redress the balance a little - not only of the good and bad bacteria in my own intestines but to express how surprised I am by the number of fellow reviewers critical of Katey Sobey's reading. I myself liked her voice and performance, if there are any mispronounced words I don't know which ones they were and would like to challenge that reviewer to state some examples and give time stamps. If there is any stiltedness then it is in the translation from the German which is on the whole good but you can really sense the underlying original coming through, especially in the bit about the threadworms, the term "arse-crawler" is not something you'll hear in English with anything like the frequency of Arschkriecher in German - and if anything you'd hear "licker" in English, but that wouldn't really apply to the threadworm and so what was the translator to do? Humour abounds - often a bit too anthropomorphic maybe for purists but it brings the subject to life. Katey's cut-glass accent sounds in terms of timbre quite like Giulia's reading of her own book in German although Katey's diction is superior in English to Giulia's in German in my own opinion. I look forward to more read by the same narrator. The idea that she spoiled the text is really far from my own view, but these things are subjective. You get a five minute preview, so use that and decide if you like the voice or not, rather than buy it blind (deaf??) and then moan.

I have some outstanding questions for Giulia from the book. These are the questions I had which have not been answered by the book although I was hoping to know the answers. Also included. If anyone knows and wants to answer in response I'll be happy.

1. I don't feel that enough attention was given to the gall bladder and also what the options are about gall bladder surgery and also what happens after a gall bladder removal. Given that this is the most frequent surgical procedure I can imagine a lot of people would like to hear insights about what to look out for in a world without the GB and how this affects everything else that was spoken about.

2. Fasting is a discipline practised by cultures all around the world and people make all manner of claims in favour of it, from spiritual claims to the 5:2 diet. It would have been good to have had some input about fasting. In particular joining back to my first question, can fasting cause gallstones and should a person continue to fast who has had his GB out?

And now a question which arose from the listening itself:

3. Toxoplasma gondii - what can we do to find out if we have this parasite and how to get rid of it, or is that simply impossible. If this is behind some people's mental health issues, then what can be done to help them?

That's not exhaustive but were my biggest questions unanswered.I am still going to give 5 stars because it is impossible to foresee every reader's queries and it would be churlish to mark down an informative and enjoyable book just because it still leaves some things unsaid.


150 people found this helpful

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  • Di
  • 20-09-15

Brilliant and so interesting!

I strongly recommend this book to everyone, even people who are only remotely interested in healthy lifestyle. This brilliant little book offers a glimpse into the hidden world inside us, with up to date scientific knowledge, but told in a simple and entertaining way! Giulia Enders I could not thank you enough for writing this book! I learned a lot! My personal favourite bacteria - L. Bacillus bulgaricus was also mentioned as one of the superstars.
The essence is that alongside better understanding of the processes in your digestive system, this book also gives you practical advice on easy to implement small changes, but with huge benefits for your health.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Colin Johnstone
  • 19-08-15

An education

Brilliant book full of a tonne of useful information which you can put into practise immediately to improve your health

13 people found this helpful

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  • Allissa
  • 11-12-15

Brilliant!!!

If anyone wants to understand their inner body, secrets to know how to fix things like- why we cannot lose weight, why night we be Depressed! , what the shape and color of our poop means, probiotics & antibiotics- Dr Enders has provided the BEST book possible!!! And Easiest format EVER.

LOVED LOVED LOVED HER INSIGHTS!

21 people found this helpful

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  • Jacky Pratt
  • 16-12-15

The book of the decade!

What made the experience of listening to Gut the most enjoyable?

Wonderful narration of a fascinating subject

Any additional comments?

I bought this as an audio book and loved it - really beautifully narrated and incredibly interesting. The only problem I had was that I wanted to remember much of the contents, so I now need to buy it again as a hard copy or Kindle version, so that I can refer to it often. The subject matter is fascinating and perhaps all people should be taught this at school, perhaps when about 15, so that they know how to look after their health better.

41 people found this helpful

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  • SirChutney
  • 20-04-19

The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Org

Gut takes an entertaining yet scientific look at an organ that is just as interesting and important as the brain – the gut. By tracking a piece of cake as it works its way through the digestive system, you’ll come to appreciate the gut for the sophisticated and impressive ecosystem that it is. This underrated human organ is increasingly linked to killer diseases – and optimum health.

The book also suggests that microbes are an important part of a healthy mind and body, and we can help them do their job by using probiotics, changing our diet and introducing more prebiotics. To make sure we maintain a healthy community of microbes in our gut, we must also be wary of antibiotics and be conscious of the effects they have on our microbiome and the food we eat.

Written by Giulia Enders (a German writer scientist) the book has sold more than two million copies in Germany and that was published in English, French (more than one million copies sold), Italian and other translations in 2015.

My highlights:
The gut is a unique and impressive organ – nothing to be ashamed of!

Our digestive system has a nervous system of its very own, allowing our digestive system to independently perform all of its functions. The work it does takes place without the involvement of our conscious mind, which makes the gut a very unique human organ. Another incredible fact about our gut is the mind-boggling amount of bacteria living inside of it. Our entire digestive system contains up to 100 billion bacteria. This accounts for 99 percent of all microorganisms in our entire body!

From the esophagus, our food enters the gut and the small intestine. As new food continues to be swallowed during a meal, your stomach expands to accommodate. It’s so flexible that it’s nearly impossible to eat more than it can handle.Interestingly, emotions can have the opposite effect on the stomach. Stress and anxiety can cause your stomach to contract and you’ll find yourself losing your appetite.
The real digestion takes place in the small intestine.

Contrary to popular belief, when you hear your gut growling, it isn’t telling you it’s hungry; it’s actually your small intestine cleaning up.

The ileocecal junction allows the body to absorb any remaining fluids, including B12 vitamins and gastric acid.Like the stomach, this area can also be affected by stress and anxiety. This can result in the unpleasant experience of diarrhea.

At a minimum, the entire digestive process takes ten hours. But it’s possible for digestion to take up to 100 hours, from the first bite until the end of the process.
The origin of allergies and lactose intolerance are assumed to reside in the gut.

There’s an interesting theory about the role your gut plays in the allergies you experience. Lactose intolerance falls into a similar category. Anyone with lactose intolerance knows what happens next: flatulence, gas pains and diarrhea. Unfortunately, as we get older, 75 percent of the population will experience a genetic change that will shut off the production of the enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose.

Surprise, surprise: the gut can influence our brain!

As we follow the paths of communication between the brain and gut through the central nervous system, the question arises: Does our gut also influence our emotions?Science has been looking into that very question. And experiments conducted on mice indicate that the probable answer is yes.

Depressed mice that were given bacteria to support digestion quickly became active, showed fewer signs of stress and performed better in learning and memory tests.

It all supports the theory that a healthy gut leads to a healthy mind.

The gut contains a rich and vital world of microbes.

As well as having its own nervous system, the gut also accounts for 80 percent of our immune system. It seems that microbes in the gut can influence our consciousness.

There are as many as 100 trillion microorganisms in our digestive tract, a community called the gut flora. And they may have an intimate relationship with our brain.

Is it possible that microbes in our gut tell our brain what kind of food we’re craving?It might sound a little out there. How exactly do microbes in the gut send messages all the way to the brain – a place that is protected from all but the tiniest of particles?The answer? Amino acids. Bacteria produce amino acids like tyrosine and tryptophan, which can pass through the brain’s protective layers. Once inside, these substances get transformed into biochemicals like dopamine and serotonin, which make us happy and drowsy. You can think of it as a reward system for giving your body certain nutrients.

Instead of feeling disgusted by microbes, we should learn to integrate them into our lives

We now know that probiotic bacteria can produce fatty acids that protect your stomach and help the immune system.These benefits have been found to extend to what we call prebiotics as well. These are fibrous foods that manage to go undigested through the small intestine and produce healthy bacteria in the large intestine. It is recommended to eat 30 grams of prebiotics a day, though people on average often consume only half that much.

There are more microbial cells than human cells in your body and they’re essential to your health.

About 85 percent of the microbes on your hand are different to anyone else’s, giving you what is known as a “microbial fingerprint. The influence of microbes extends to determining how much you weigh and how anxious you are.

Microbiome-gut-brain axis. Bacteroides fragilis, it not only reversed some symptoms but also repaired cognitive and gut problems.

Gamma-Aminobutyric acid, which is a neurotransmitter used in sleep supplements that can calm the brain, but can also lead to depression.

A truly important factor in how much you weigh are the microbes in your gut.In fact, scientists have proven that microbes can determine the weight of a mouse.

The microbes in your gut can even influence your anxiety levels and how your brain functions.

Probiotics and prebiotics are two ways to improve your microbiome.

Take probiotics (a type of live bacteria) and prebiotics (non-digestible carbohydrates, mainly fibre) to feed the good bacteria in our guts.

Probiotics are supplements that encourage the repopulation of a healthy microbiome. Think of it like putting high-quality grass seed on a distressed lawn.

Most prebiotics consist of dietary fibers such as inulin, or nutrients such as lactulose or galacto-oligosaccharides, all of which are beneficial to bacteria.

Prebiotics, which are basically foods that microbes love to eat.

Probiotics contain strains of bacteria or live microorganisms that are often described as “good bacteria” or “helpful bacteria.”

The overuse of antibiotics can be harmful to our health and result in dangerous antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are indiscriminate. When we use them to kill disease-causing bacteria, they also kill a lot of beneficial bacteria and severely damage our microbiota.

Administering loads of antibiotics to livestock has dire consequences for us. Harmful antibiotic residues get carried into our food and water, and the microbes inhabiting farm animals develop antibiotic-resistant microbes.

The majority of antibiotics in the United States aren’t produced for humans, but for farm animals.

Conclusion
The key message in this book is that our gut is an incredibly fascinating organ, comparable to the brain in terms of complexity and importance. Our large intestine harbors a rich world of microorganisms that serve our well-being. When we make conscious food choices, we can influence these microorganisms. It is a fun, informative read; recommended for anyone who wants to optimise their health.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Clare
  • 14-02-16

Fantastic!

This book is amazing, although I am going to have to buy a paper version so I can go back, highlight, bookmark etc as there is so much useful info to take in.

The first part is a general overview of the gut from mouth to butt describing its clever function. The next part highlights very recent and ground breaking research, linking gut bacteria (or lack of) and depression, removal of tonsils and curing of psoriasis, and many other fascinating things. Unfortunately they are all too new for your GP to be recommending yet.

Highly recommended for everyone. Although this is medical/factual, it is extremely well written (and translated) and easy to read and understand if you have no medical background.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Bernice
  • 22-06-16

Do not Poo Poo - This is Guttingly Good!

Brilliant! This book was so, so interesting. I listened to most of it in one go. It was like a thriller. This is more than a book about guts. It was enthralling. I learned about the relation between the gut and depression, arthritic conditions, and realised how little I knew about the digestive system.

The narration is so, so good. I do not think that I would have read this book, as frankly there were some long and technical terms, but the narrator never stumbles and delivers the humour in this book without missing a beat. Believe it or not the book was really funny.

Loved it!

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  • kim fletcher
  • 30-06-15

Fascinating!

Thanks for such a great insight to this often ignored or avoided part of our body! Will read this again, as there's lots of information to absorb.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Mr
  • 12-02-16

Fascinating, and potentially life changing.

This is one of the only books I have enthusiastically recommended to other people in real life. the information is presented in a fantastic manner, well written in an engaging style that helps you to really understand the subject without bombarding you with academic over-verbosity. It is quite frankly life changing information that I strongly encourage all to read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alison Cane
  • 12-05-16

Great book, interesting read

An excellent narration and interesting book, I was fascinated from start to finish. It is well worth a listen.

12 people found this helpful

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  • dolly
  • 19-03-16

So easy to understand a very complicated subjects

Well done to Giulia!! She is so talented doctor who can explain complicated yet important subjects (and very new area of research) to a lay person like me who is facing difficulties maintaining good health (despite trying so many different ways) to understand how my gut works in such a fun and engaging language. Plus, how much I have to appreciate microbiome, eco-system in my body. There is so much valuable information that usually aren't discussed in the public education which can indicate the state of our health like bad breath, poops, winds...ect. Thanks to her now I'm even more intrigued about the subject and want to learn more. Thank you Giulia!!

16 people found this helpful

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  • Toby
  • 29-09-16

Good introduction, lacks depth

Good introduction to the microbiome and gut-brain, but lacks depth. I spent the first 2/3rds of the book thinking the author was covering off requisite information before delving into the topic, but it never went any deeper. If you did biology in school or have done any anatomy/physiology study this book will just be a light revision, other than for the short section on the gut brain and depression, which was great.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Ms Michelle Rogers
  • 16-05-17

Who knew poop was so much fun???

Must absolutely read book! Loved it! New exciting frontiers to explore. Didn't realise gut health could be so linked to mental health!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 06-03-16

Thought provoking

I would you struggled to maintain my concentration had I not been entertained by the at times very witty delivery of the topic. The narrators performance also added to this. She didn't miss a single beat reading of all of those technical terms. Highly recommend to any young adult, soon to be parent or others or anyone interested in their health.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Dr Laura M Cooney
  • 21-01-18

Gut by Guilin Enders

Good overview for the general public, though somewhat patronising, but not sufficiently academic for health professionals.

3 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 29-12-16

Essential health information for life.

Better information than most doctors or the pharmaceutical industry could ever give you. Well written and narrated. Natural medicine and organic health is the future of wellbeing. I highly recommend this book.

7 people found this helpful

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  • judy
  • 20-04-16

Very informative

This book is very informative and is presented in a fun and light hearted way. There is a lot of information in it and it is easy to listen to more than once as each time you pick up something you may have missed the first time

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kalanihannah
  • 14-03-16

The Best Read

This is possibly one of my favourite books ever. insightful. Helpful. Inspiring. Very entertaining. Just get it!

7 people found this helpful

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  • fje
  • 07-01-17

very informative, wry sense of humour

it was stolid going at times, but largely very interesting. The narrator is cheerful and clear.

2 people found this helpful