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The Mind-Gut Connection: How the Astonishing Dialogue Taking Place in Our Bodies Impacts Health, Weight, and Mood

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,998 ratings  ·  323 reviews
Combining cutting-edge neuroscience with the latest discoveries on the human microbiome, a practical guide in the tradition of Wheat Belly and Grain Brain that conclusively demonstrates the inextricable, biological link between mind and body.

We have all experienced the connection between our mind and our gut—the decision we made because it “felt right”; the butterflies in
ebook, 256 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Harper Wave (first published October 20th 2015)
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Beth Lequeuvre
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
There were some interesting facts in here. Like did you know that your gut has its own nervous system made up of 50-100 million nerve cells, as many as are contained in your spinal cord? Or that 95% of the body's serotonin is stored in the gut?

Overall, I felt like the book was written at an easily digestible (see what I did there) level equivalent of a YA reader. There were anecdotal stories from the author's practice, references to studies involving rats, and a bunch of non-proven theories. Ev
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really appreciate it this book as a psychologist and as someone who has multiple digestive issues. This reading helped me to uncover potential reasons why my immune system sucks and what I can do to practically help myself. After trying some of the suggestions in this book I must say that I do feel a whole lot better, healthier and more functional. A great read for anyone who is interested in the mind or can't find relief with their digestive issues. ...more
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book could have been condensed to about a third of its size. Repetitive. Also, I felt the whole thing was a big "maybe" as it is clear more research needs to be done to confidently state claims made by this book. While the author does note this by using qualifying words like "may", "might", "perhaps", I walked away from this feeling as if I was told, "ehhhhh...we really aren't sure yet about all of this." ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
To get a firsthand impression of these gut sensations, try this experiment: take a day when you're not too distracted, and focus your attention from morning to night on all the sensations that your gut generates throughout the day. You may also want to add information about what you were doing at the time, how you were feeling, and what you were eating.

Early life programming affects us all. Our mothers, our families did the best they could to steer us through a complex world. All this leaves us
Camelia Rose
I've learned a few things from the book, such as how your gut microbes may influence your brain and vice versa, the role of vagus nerve, and how a "bad" gut microbiome may cause issues such as IBS, difficulty in weight control, etc... Yes, the food additives, and many practices in the modern industrial agriculture are harmful, but the author does not answer that how to feed the world's ever growing population without such practices.

I find it irritating that the author dwells on the importance of
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
There are better books on the microbiome. If/when I read one I’ll update this review. UPDATE: I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong is fantastic - start there.

This book felt meandering, with a lot of postulating about implications of small studies. What little actionable information you get in the last chapter is exactly what you’d expect. There’s no clear goal beyond general education and interesting theories.

Overall I don’t feel like I got any value out of this, with the exception of his computer vs
Debra Schoenberger
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medicine
"The little brain in your gut."

Having already read literature about this subject, I was eager to read Dr. Mayer's explanation of the relationship between our mind and our intestinal tract.

Dr. Mayer explains: "Your gut has capabilities that surpass all your other organs and even rival your brain. It has it's own nervous system, know in scientific literature as the enteric nervous system, or ENS, and often referred to in the media as the "second brain".

I also learned that the gut is the largest
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to know more about the interconnectedness of our body systems
This book delves into the concept of the microbiome in our bodies and how changes to it can affect our mind, body, and overall health.

I love that the author parrots Michael Pollan's dietary advice from his book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto: "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much." It's one of my favorite quotes by Mr. Pollan and advice I try to heed.

Sticking to 'real' and 'whole' ingredients may not have dramatically changed my waistline, but it has made me feel better about the foo
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book could have been really great, and I was very excited about it, as it is written by a doctor with extensive experience in studying bacteria and the body. Unfortunately, he veers into the territory of the unknown too often, ending most sections and chapters with statements such as "well we don't know this yet and haven't confirmed it yet, but there's good reason to believe this should work." In a book written by a medical physician with research experience, I am looking for firm science ...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The most up to date medical ideas about "gut feelings." They are very real and much more important than we had realized, according to this author from UCLA and the many studies from Stanford, Oxford, and elsewhere that he cites. A first-rate if detailed book: you might want to be sure you known your cytokines from your serotonin before you tackle it. But you will learn what those butterflies in your stomach are really telling you. ...more
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Disappointing. I'm interested in this subject but when I got to the passage implying that the 15 year old who gave birth over a banana leaf in the middle of the jungle was somehow a superior parent in all ways the skimming began for me. There is some good info but it may just be that subjects like this are evolving too quickly to be really useful in book form.
Apr 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Emeran Mayer: Hey, did you know the microorganisms living in your digestive system are super important for your health?
Me: Think I've vaguely heard that, yes. How, exactly?
EM: Well, first of all they help the digestive process if they're healthy and varied, and hinder it when they're not.
Me: Makes sense.
EM: But also! They synthetize hormones and protein and stuff, and those travel up to the brain and give it signals.
Me: Oh, like, telling you when you're hungry, or when you've eaten something ter
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The English language is peppered with references to how the gut influences us - "Gut feelings" "Butterfiles" are just some examples of this. I also find other cultures such as the Japanese say they "Think with their gut". So there are cultural foundations for linking out guts to our emotions and actions. Yet up until now I've heard/read very little about the connection between the brain and the stomach.

I came across this interesting book by Dr. Emeran Mayer in the Public Library - in the audiob
Emeran Mayer left Bavaria and a family desert business to go to Southern California to become a gastroenterologist. He draws upon his own experiences and that of his patients, plus various scientific studies to explain how our guts work. He does as well as Mary Roach does in Gulp in explaining how food is digested, filling in details on how the byproducts of digestion seem to affect our brains (to the best of current knowledge). Unfortunately, he is still caught in the low fat is healthy mind se ...more
Susan Oleksiw
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medicine-science
This is an easily accessible text on the growing information on the functioning of the digestive system and its close connection with the brain, on how the brain and gut interact and influence our emotions and physical health. Written to be accessible to the general reader, I found the text overall to be less compelling than other books on this topic. Nevertheless, the author introduces a topic that should be familiar to all concerned about physical and mental health.
Beth Haynes
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting book and fascinating topic. I'm glad I read it but I didn't gain as much information as I thought I wold - or that justified the length of the book - but I have been reading a lot on this subject lately so much of it was not new. There was also a lot of speculation - which is a reflection of the state of our knowledge, but if you don't read this book critically you could come away with the impression that we know more than we actually do.

We are just at the cusp of our understanding o
Laura Martínez
It took me a long time to read this book, but finally, I can move on. However, I would like to first write a review. I do not normally write reviews in English but I thought I could not keep my mouth shut regarding the content of The Mind-Gut Connection, from Emeran Mayer.

The author and, therefore, his book, seem untrustworthy to me. Mayer seems not to be a person in the search for answers, in the search for the truth, but rather a person with already established beliefs who is using some studie
T.E. Elliott
I didn't finish this completely, just skimmed and focused on the main points. It is pretty technical and full of a lot of info. The info was interesting and I thought his conclusions made sense, but I didn't see a lot in the way of actually helping fix the issues. Maybe I just missed them! Worth a try if this subject interests you. ...more
Completely fascinating!
Jeff Ammons
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great review of the latest in gut and gut biome research and how it connects to our wider nervous system and brain.

My only complain is that his recommendations are outdated in terms of nutritional research. His phobia of animal fats does not seem to be well based and most of his examples of foods with bad effects are actually processed foods with large amounts of carbohydrates, which I would agree with him as being poor choices for gut health.

He has some interesting speculation about gut intuiti
James Harris
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the science based approach to how what we eat influences our psychology, performance and overall well being. A unique look at how nutrition and brain health are interdependent. Why do we get butterflies in our stomach when nervous or a knot when we are stressed? Is having a gut feeling tied to our nutrition/digestion? How is depression, anxiety or nervousness tied to nutrition?

This book is a “heavy” read and gets deep in the weeds with technical language of microbiology , anatomy and hum
Ken  Van Allen
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a good popularization of an emerging topic: the complex and fascinating relationship between us and the trillions of microorganisms that live in and on us. The unique perspective offered by this piece is that the microbes in our bodies are constantly communicating with our bodies and brains through interfaces in our gut that are highly adapted to the purpose, and that science is learning from this exchange of electrochemical signals that even minority species of microbes can play a pivot ...more
So-Cal Reader
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read. While there is a fair amount of technical information , it is an easy book to read.

I learned a great deal about the brain gut connection and the amazing role that microbes in the gut in facilitating and controlling information exchange between the brain and the gut.

The author also gives information on how bacteria first get into the gut of infants, how different foods influence the number and type of bacteria, and some information on to maintain a healthy balance of bacte
Laura Luzzi
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway, health
I have been doctoring for 3 years and I have a lot of gut problems. In fact, I am scheduled for an endoscopy. Some medical books are so hard to understand, but this book was easy to read and made perfect sense to me. I related to many of the patients in this book. The findings are fascinating and I hope to use what I learned in my own life and live a healthier life.
Apr 09, 2021 rated it it was ok
I found this book interesting, but honestly not alllllll that informative. For being a research based book with lots of studies mentioned, there were no footnotes or direct sourcing. I tried to look up one of the studies for myself (using the bibliography) and wasn’t able to find anything on the study.
There were some interesting facts, but a lot of the book was pretty repetitive and I thought could have used a hefty edit. I liked a lot of the stories about patients the author had interacted wit
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction-read
This is the second book I've read this year about our microbiota. It's fascinating & just kind of creepy all at the same time. Mayer says we shouldn't think of our bodies as machines, but consider them as ecosystems for the rich microbial world that colonizes our body. It just makes me squeamish to think what percent of our makeup is "nonhuman".

Some really fascinating ideas in this book, like how our gut feelings & gut reactions are a real thing, and how the microbes in our guts communicate & in
Michelle Coleman
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed listening to this book - it was full of interesting facts and theories that have encouraged me to learn more about the importance of the gut to overall health and what a lifestyle may look like that supports that.

A comment more than a critique for other readers to consider is that the book is laid out in a style more akin to a scientific journal than a novel. It is filled with case studies that the author then explores and explains the potential physiology in a bit more detail. This m
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: expecting mothers, GPs, health physicians, pharmacists
A very scientific approach to understanding the impact of our gut microbiome on our health.

Who should read this book?
General health physicians (GPs), pharmacists and other health practitioners. People interested into a deeper scientific look into gut health, expecting mothers. Not Academically-minded people might struggle with especially the first third of the book.

What did I gain from this book?
Lacking specific advice, the book however gave me a deeper understanding of how the gut works and wh
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Insightful and eye opening. Full of really interesting data about the brilliance of the body machine and the surprising connections between our brain and the guy!!!Great discussion of the relationships between mental illness ( depression, anxiety, etc.) and digestive heath. Really loved the discussion of the significant role of childhood /in vitro trauma in shaping our brains, behaviors, mental and physical health. I walked away much better informed. But,alas, even for an amateur science geek, i ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, bests, foodie, read-2020
Giving this one five stars not because it's changed my life or magically healed all my eating habits, but because Mayer gives a thorough & approachable explanation of the big picture connections of physical health. Food, gut, brain, mood... no separation. As he explains that our gut microbiome is established early in life, & probably impossible to change, I was a little daunted & wished he did give more step by step instructions on What To Do. However, thinking over the book as a whole, he offer ...more
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Emeran Mayer was born in a small town in Bavaria where his family ran a Confectionary business since 1873. After an agonizing decision against taking over the family business, he finished Medical School at the Ludwig Maximilian’s University in Munich, completed his residency training at the Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, Canada before moving to Los Angeles.

There he worked under the late

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“Many of the gut signals reaching the brain will not only generate gut sensations, such as the fullness after a nice meal, nausea and discomfort, and feelings of well-being, but will also trigger responses of the brain that it sends back to the gut, generating distinct gut reactions. And the brain doesn’t forget about these feelings, either. Gut feelings are stored in vast databases in the brain, which can later be accessed when making decisions.” 1 likes
“Inside the cells of neglected rat pups, enzymes attached chemical tags called methyl groups to their DNA. This mode of inheritance is called epigenetic, since the tags sit on the DNA, and the prefix epi-, from ancient Greek, means “upon.” It differs from the conventional, genetic mode of heredity because the tagged gene still carries the same information, and makes the same protein. But when it’s tagged, it has a hard time doing so.” 0 likes
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