10% Human: How your body's microbes hold the key to your health and happiness (Book Recommendation)

10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness by Alanna Collen

An awakening book that informs the critical role of healthy gut microbiota (the community of 10 to 100 trillion microorganisms in our bodies, primarily in our guts) to the health and well-being of our bodies.

Scientific - Research based - Encouraging voice.

This book is written from a scientific basis using references to case studies and experimental trials reflecting Alanna Collen’s credential as a biologist.

However, this shouldn't put you off as she writes in a very readable style.

She illuminates how our personal colony of microbes are fundamental to becoming a healthy human.

This book reveals from a basis of scientific explanation what we have known for a very long time – that the condition of our bodies are a reflection of the symbiotic relationship with the type of foods we consume.

In that we CAN change our microbes for the better, the knowledge which Collen shares in this book encourages and empowers us to restore our health by harnessing and developing healthy gut microbiota.

It is the key to reversing the elements of many disease such as metabolic syndrome, gut disorders and type 2 diabetes.

The following is an excerpt from 10% Human regarding the important role of probiotics and also prebiotics to a healthy gut microbiota. On page 258, Alanna Collen writes:

Two well-designed trials of Lactobacillus species have had encouraging results, benefiting both insulin sensitivity scores and body weight.

Ultimately though, whatever the species, and whatever the outcome, probiotics are a balm. A salve. They pass through us, but they don’t hang around for long. To reap the benefits, you must keep taking them. And even if you do take them daily, adding probiotics alone is like sending a foot soldier to war without a box of ammunition.

For a persistent effect, we need to provide an environment where beneficial microbes thrive, day after day, without needing outside intervention to replenish their numbers.

And so we come to prebiotics.

These are not live bacteria, but bacteria food, designed to enhance entire populations of the very healthiest strains. With names like fructo-oligosaccharides, inulin and galacto-oligosaccharides, they sound suspiciously like chemical additives listed on the back of a not particularly natural ready meal. But although they are chemicals, just like any food – from carrots (beta-carotene, glutamic acid and 2-butanone and many more) – they are not synthetic in origin.

They are found in plant foods – the non-digestible fibre we should be eating anyway.

The benefits of prebiotics, whether isolated or in their original delicious packaging (particularly onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus and bananas, to name a few), might be more wide-ranging than those of probiotics. They have been found to be effective in promoting recovery from food poisoning, in treating eczema, and possibly in preventing colon cancer, but research is still in the early stages.

Excitingly, prebiotics may also be a treatment for metabolic syndrome.

They are known to encourage bifidobacteria and Akkermansia muciniphila, which help to tighten up a leaky gut, reduce appetite, increase insulin sensitivity, and encourage weight loss.” [1]

"Eating plant foods that encourage a beneficial microbial balance will provide the basis for good health. Make a conscious choice to eat more plants." [2]

Reading this book will help forge an increased awareness of the underlying importance of microbiota to the health of our bodies and well-being as humans. This book engages us to eat more consciously.

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Link: http://alannacollen.com/

[1] Alanna Collen, 10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness (William Collins, 2015) p. 258

[2] Ibid p. 276