Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Follow Your Gut: How the Ecosystem in Your Gut Determines Your Health, Mood, and More” as Want to Read:
Follow Your Gut: How the Ecosystem in Your Gut Determines Your Health, Mood, and More
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,080 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Allergies, asthma, obesity, stomachaches, acne: these are just a few of the conditions that may be caused—and cured—by the microscopic life inside us. Understand how to use groundbreaking science to improve your health, mood, and more.

In just the last few years, scientists have shown how the microscopic ecosystem within our bodies—particularly within our intestines—has an
...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Simon & Schuster/ TED (first published November 4th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,080 ratings  ·  142 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Follow Your Gut: How the Ecosystem in Your Gut Determines Your Health, Mood, and More
Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut
A very informative bite-size science book that only needs a day to finish, really.
Having studied about microorganisms at school but after a journey with this book, you may never feel the sane about them. They cause disease, both infectious and non-infectious, determine your mood, involve in allergies, keep you healthy, control whether you are likely to be fat or slim, and being your fingerprint. Microbiome is your ID; another personal biological data apart from personal genome.
Very well written
...more
Amine
Jul 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, science
Nice short book that gives an overview on development in a new sub-field of microbiology that has risen recently and keeps doing so.

The implications made by discoveries in the study of our microbiome are huge. We know the importance of DNA in shaping who we are and determining our health, we also know the importance of the brain through neuroscience, but new discoveries indicate a significant part of who we are, what we do, and how we feel is influenced by the bacteria living inside us.

This boo
...more
Mike
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Short, easy-to-read (some might say "lightweight", with justification) book about the microbiome: the bacteria that live on your skin, in your mouth, and (most notably) in your gut. They make up about 10% of your body weight, 90% of your cells, and 99% of your (total) DNA.

What I like about this book, and what sets it apart from other short, lightweight books about science topics, is that it's really about the science. And by that, I mean the process of science, the process of understanding and k
...more
Indra
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are short on time and want to know more about the human microbiome, this is it. Fascinating read. But this book made me worry how slow and inefficient our current diagnostics are at the moment. If only we had all the technological capabilities.
Ha Thu
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Very interesting facts about what human body is compound of. The microbes that we carry everyday might be our new fingerprint that defines us as individual in the planet. It affects our health, our mood, even our behavior. I find it amusing, come to think of it from buddhism teaching, that our human body is indeed a universe just the same as the universe we are living in, we may be the "microbes" in our host planet, behave just like them, affecting the surrounding environments and influenced by ...more
Brittany Jerlinga
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great little primer! Not quite appropriate for middle school aged kids, (I was hoping to include it in my class library) but a fantastic introduction to the topic for adults-- it only took about an hour to read. Well worth the price.
Payel Kundu
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up after seeing Rob Knight speak at a neuroscience conference. To me he struck just the right note of humor, intellectual rigor, and that magical ability great scientists sometimes develop to know the question you are about to ask and answer it for you. This is a really engaging and thoughtful book, it’s also a quick read due to its brevity and explanatory language. I love science books that sit in this rare realm of: a topic I find intrinsically really interesting, but know n ...more
Edith
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very educational short TED-talk-based short book on the influence of microbes on human health. Readily understandable. What a lot has been going on in the world of microbial research, and how exciting the prospects are! Microbes, as it turns out, influence the human body profoundly--each of us carries about 3 pounds of the things around with us, and we have more microbe genetic data inside us than human. Utterly fascinating, but brief, update on what's going on inside you.
Jennifer
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent quick primer on one of the most exciting areas of discovery in science today: the human microbiome. I can't seem to get enough of this subject - the more I read, the more fascinated I become. The influence of the trillions of microbes living within us on our physical health, mental health, and even possibly our thought processes is nothing short of astonishing.

I encourage anyone looking for a solid introduction into the human microbiome to read this book.
Monica
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english, ebook
Very interesting, if not entirely new. Short, entertaining and accurate (as much as it can be...)
Ellie Robinson
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some great information and a study I'm involved in is in the book, so that is cool.
Annie
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting stuff. Now I understand why mosquitoes seem to prefer me :( My microbiome is responsible.
A microbe, or “microscopic organism,” is a living thing that is too small to be seen with the naked eye.
Only 10% of the cells in our body are human! For every one of our cells, there are 10 microbial cells living on or inside our body. If we measure by DNA, we have 20K human genes but we carry 2M-20M microbial genes!
The human DNA is 99.99% identical to the another human, but you might only share
...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A report on the most recent developments concerning the microbes in and on your body. There are more of them than you might thing. This is one of a series of short (fewer than 100 pages) TED books. I've found the ones I've read filled with amazing information.

The author is taking part in a crowd-sourced medical study of people's microbiome which is different for every person. For a donation of $99 to the Human Biomes Project and a few swabs from here and there on your body you can discover some
...more
Aimee
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook. Excellent. Discusses some very interesting subjects such as how gut biome can determines weight causing overweight for one person and normal weight even when both people have the same diet, how import our gut biome is adversely affected by overly clean and sterile environment, how important the gut biome is to mental and physical health, etc.

He also discusses how people have been healed very debilitating digestive diseases from FMT (fecal matter transplants...ew...). Also, the importa
...more
Serena
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
In compliance with FTC guidelines, I have won this book through the Goodreads Giveaways in April and after several complaints to Simon & Schuster and Goodreads I have finally received the book.

That being said, the book is excellent and well written with solid information given in a humorous manner that guarantees it will be retained.

My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
...more
Glen Templeton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James
Nov 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Listened to on CD. Very interesting work on how the the microbes in, on and around your body affect your health. In the ensuing years, it will be interesting to see the scientific breakthroughs on how tiny microbes contribute to our health, wellness and disease.
Andy
Apr 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Pretty interesting information and a quick introduction to microbiomes. Fairly easy to understand, I am interested to read more about this subject.
Rana
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Fascinating subject, but didn't learn anything new. I really want to do the American gut project!
Thomas Basso
Jul 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
This was a book full of anecdotal crap (literally) instead of genuine science. Save yourself a good 3-4 hours and skip this one.
Maria Paiz
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great little book for people unrelated to the medical field to start learning about the human microbiome: the world of microbes that live on and in our bodies that affects everything from our health to our mood. The book is based on a TED-talk by Rob Knight, who is also the founder of the American Gut Project. I found many facts in this book interesting, especially the idea that certain bacteria may affect conditions such as autism, obesity, depression, IBS, colon cancer, arthritis, di ...more
Martha Meyer
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
You've heard a lot about the human microbiome -- it is a hot topic! But, most of the articles assume a certain amount of knowledge. What is all this about microbes and their effect on us? Where's the instruction manual?

In 2014, Rob Knight, a professor of pediatrics and computer science and engineering, gave a TED talk about human microbiota . He was uniquely suited to give this TED talk; he is the Director of the Microbiome Initiative at UC Davis and the co-founder of both the American Gut Proje
...more
Ardhi Listyar
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
Recommended for laypeople out there who're interested in taking a better look at microbes within and on our body. So, the reason why this gets 4 stars from me is that there is no explicit correlation between one of the drawings on the cover and the content of the book. Based on the cover I assume that there was going to be a study or an explanation of how our microbiota affects our sleep quality or something like that. But there wasn't. Perhaps the sleep illustration on the cover is just a way o ...more
John Wood
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Based on a TED talk, this book gives a concise overview of the recent research on the microbiota in our body especially those in our gut. Many research studies of the effects of probiotics and prebiotics are cited. The book states that much more research is needed and offers no real strategies for using this knowledge. The American Gut Project, a study of the microbes of the gut, using samples submitted by interested individuals, was started by the author, Rob Knight. For a fee, anyone can submi ...more
Colton Pendley
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very short, but informing read. A great book about how our bodies are entire ecosystems for a diverse group of microbes and how they affect our health, and other aspects of our life. My favorite chapter discusses antibiotics, and how people are more worried about vaccines than they are the misuse of antibiotics which proves to be much more problem-some. Would recommend to anyone interested in science.
Francesca
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it now and follow the inspiration!

A funny, extended TED talk style book that's appropriate for YA and above.

Author is very good at /writing in the skepticism/ and showing that science has humility--to admit what it does know, doesn't know and will probably change given the data.

I admire the openeness he has about events in his life and paints them very well without being...gross as they could be.

Well worth the read, as exciting as CRISPR yet is underrated.
Andrew Ervin
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I found the book to be surprisingly interesting. I enjoyed his work on the microbiology and the impact it makes on your body. The microbiology could impact your weight, mood, and your resistance to bacteria infections . The topic sounds like it is relatively new and it would be fascinating to hear about the end results in a couple of years.
Desiree
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a good introduction into the world of cells. My daughter and I participated in a study and this book was sent to us. I find the study and mapping of microbes to be fascinating since the discovery is fairly new.
Wan Shoo
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun and precise! Anything basic you want to know about the ecosystem in your body that could affect your health. Those who are parents-to-be should read this book. Sometimes complicated things is best explained in a simple way, the author did well!!
Nick Burnett
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Layman’s guide that everyone should be familiar with

Structured read with a healthy snapshot of where we are at with the gut. Amen to being honest about how we’ve only just scratched the surface but how exciting it will be in x years once we’ve learnt much more.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from an Uncertain Science
  • Why We Work
  • The Mathematics of Love: Patterns, Proofs, and the Search for the Ultimate Equation
  • Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes
  • When Strangers Meet: How People You Don't Know Can Transform You
  • How We'll Live on Mars
  • Judge This
  • The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings
  • The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere
  • Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations
  • The Boiling River: Adventure and Discovery in the Amazon
  • 10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness
  • Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life
  • The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat
  • In Praise of Wasting Time
  • The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health
  • A Planet of Viruses
  • Who Are You, Really?: The Surprising Puzzle of Personality (TED Books)
See similar books…

News & Interviews

It’s October, which means it’s the perfect time to scare yourself with a truly unsettling book. But if you’re a casual reader of dread and...
213 likes · 66 comments
“Mycobacterium vaccae, a soil bacterium, has reduced anxiety. Intriguingly, in a social stress situation (essentially, smaller mice are put in a cage with a much larger, dominant mouse, which beats them up), M. vaccae treatment makes the mice much more resilient against the effects of stress, possibly providing a model for treating stress disorders in humans.22” 0 likes
“But farmers noticed as far back as the 1950s that livestock on low doses of antibiotics gained weight a lot more rapidly, even at doses lower than the therapeutic dose. Livestock in the United States is commonly treated with low doses of antibiotics solely to increase the size, and thus the value, of the animals.” 0 likes
More quotes…