Follow Your Gut – Rob Knight, Brendan Buhler

Follow Your Gut: How the Ecosystem in Your Gut Determines Your Health, Mood, and More was a book that caught my eye when I started to get interested in more health-related books. When I saw that it was also a TED book, I couldn’t help but read it. I thought I knew a little bit about microbes, but I realized that I knew nothing after reading this beautiful book. I don’t think anything else plays such an essential role in our lives but receives so little attention from us. Are we crazy?


Follow Your Gut: How the Ecosystem in Your Gut Determines Your Health, Mood, and More is a book focused on the microbiome, but it is effortless to read and understand. Don’t be fooled by the title. Did you know that ninety-nine per cent of our DNA is made up of microbes? So the more germs you are exposed to, the healthier you will be? (Of course, there are germs that you want to avoid, but that’s the case in general!)

Follow Your Gut - Rob Knight, Brendan Buhler

Follow Your Gut has the power to change everything from the food you eat to the way you care for your child. And, of course, as you see the connection between microbes and various diseases, you will want to keep some microbes in your body all the time, and you will not want to keep some of them within meters of you. You will also learn why mosquitoes prefer certain people. (Yes, it’s from germs too!) Overall, Follow Your Gut is a delightful and instructive book. Be sure to take a look. And while you’re here I think you might be interested in this book as well: Gut – Giulia Enders

Follow Your Gut - Rob Knight, Brendan Buhler

Follow Your Gut:How the Ecosystem in Your Gut Determines Your Health, Mood, and More

Follow Your Gut: Allergies, asthma, obesity, acne: these are just a few of the conditions that may be caused–and someday cured–by the microscopic life inside us. The key is to understand how this groundbreaking science influences your health, mood, and more.

In just the last few years, scientists have shown how the microscopic life within our bodies– particularly within our intestines–has an astonishing impact on our lives. Your health, mood, sleep patterns, eating preferences–even your likelihood of getting bitten by mosquitoes–can be traced in part to the tiny creatures that live on and inside of us.

In Follow Your Gut, pioneering scientist Rob Knight pairs with award-winning science journalist Brendan Buhler to explain–with good humor and easy-to-grasp examples–why these new findings matter to everyone. They lead a detailed tour of the previously unseen world inside our bodies, calling out the diseases and conditions believed to be most directly impacted by them.

With a practical eye toward deeper knowledge and better decisions, they also explore the known effects of antibiotics, probiotics, diet choice and even birth method on our children’s lifelong health. Ultimately, this pioneering book,Follow Your Gut, explains how to learn about your own microbiome and take steps toward understanding and improving your health, using the latest research as a guide.

Rob Knight

Rob Knight is the founding Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation and Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego. Before that, he was Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Computer Science in the BioFrontiers Institute of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an HHMI Early Career Scientist. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Microbiology. He was recently honored with the 2019 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for his microbiome research. He received the 2017 Massry Prize, often considered a predictor of the Nobel.

In 2015 he received the Vilceck Prize in Creative Promise for the Life Sciences. He is the author of “Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes” (Simon & Schuster, 2015), coauthor of “Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) and spoke at TED in 2014. His lab has produced many of the software tools and laboratory techniques that enabled high-throughput microbiome science, including the QIIME pipeline (cited over 17,000 times as of this writing) and UniFrac (cited over 7000 times including its web interface).

He is co-founder of the Earth Microbiome Project, the American Gut Project, and the company Biota, Inc., which uses DNA from microbes in the subsurface to guide oilfield decisions. His work has linked microbes to a range of health conditions including obesity and inflammatory bowel disease, has enhanced our understanding of microbes in environments ranging from the oceans to the tundra, and made high-throughput sequencing techniques accessible to thousands of researchers around the world.Follow Your Gut is one of his most popular books.

Brendan Buhler

From his website:

I write about galaxies, genetics, parasites, clean energy, the skull-strewn wilderness, people who keep leopards as pets and jumbo Elvis impersonators. Politics, too, but cockroaches and whimsy preferred. My work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, California and Sierra magazines. One of my stories was selected for the 2012 edition of “Best American Science and Nature Writing.” Through freakish and unhappy luck, I was the last person to interview Douglas Adams.

You can find that interview in the posthumously published book, “The Salmon of Doubt.” I also contributed a chapter to the book of “101 Places Not to See Before You Die.” It was about the annual porn convention in Vegas, an experience that will tarnish your very soul with the orange cheese dust of vileness.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

A Non-Fiction a Month

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.