Gut by Giulia Enders - Review
Gut : The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ
Its author, a German microbiology student, talks to Simon Usborne about the beauty of intestines and the 'masterly performance' that is defecation. A new book about the gut that has sold more than a million copies in Germany would make ideal loo reading, had it not included a chapter about the problem of sitting down to defecate. We did not evolve to linger on porcelain thrones, you see, and in those countries where squatting remains normal, colons and their owners are demonstrably happier. She calls the mechanism "an extra insurance policy, in addition to our old friends, the sphincters" you have two sphincters — keep reading and cites studies showing that squatters, with their unkinked guts, are less susceptible to haemorrhoids and constipation. I meet Enders, a year-old student at the Institute for Microbiology in Frankfurt, inside an underground public lavatory in central London.
Our gut is almost as important to us as our brain or our heart, yet we know very little about how it works. 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.