The Whole-Body Microbiome

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I love reading books about the body and food; these sorts of books make me think about what I eat and what effect that may have on my body.  In this book, I loved how organized each chapter is and how there are specific foci for each making it easy to read but also use as a reference point later if you wanted to do so.  The research is clear and concise and I enjoyed the connection between diet and aging and how that can affect us.  Overall, this book is very well-done and developed and is a great tool for individuals who are curious about their diet as well as what food can do for us and not do for us.  The recommendations detailed in this book seem like they have been well researched and tested, and I enjoy reading about diet recommendations that have a substantial background to back them up.
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This book provides a broad overview of research on the human microbiome and how it affects health and aging. It gets a bit technical at times, but is well organized, interesting, and easy to understand. I appreciated that the authors are clear about what we know, what we suspect, and what remains unknown. 

Each chapter discusses the microbiome of a different organ or system, summarizing results from current research, discussing areas where future research might be most helpful, and providing helpful suggestions for how to make use of this knowledge. Each chapter ends with a section of quick tips summarizing their recommended actions and a list of selected references. There is an index at the end, which I have not had a chance to review.

Many of the health recommendations are going to sound familiar, but I appreciated getting a new understanding of why these recommendations are so important. For example, after reading about the oral microbiome, I am feeling a lot more urgency to brush and floss my teeth more often and to pay attention to what is in my toothpaste.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about medical research. If you don’t think you would enjoy reading about studies conducted on germ-free mice or learning about how bacteria influence the levels of cytokines that affect inflammation and the immune response, then this may not be the book for you.

I was provided an unproofed ARC through NetGalley that I volunteered to review. Because I have not seen the final published version, I cannot comment on the final editing and formatting.
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"The Whole-Body Microbiome" is about what scientists have learned about mice microbiomes. Almost every study described in this book was a study done on mice rather than humans. This can give us an idea of what might work in humans, but mice aren't humans. The other studies tended to be population studies, so the cause and effect are not as certain.

Beyond suggesting some changes in diet and avoiding antibiotics unless really needed, there was not a lot of practical advice for right now. Mostly, they talked about areas of future study and things that may be available in the future. The overall format of the book was to focus on a part of the body (not just the gut), briefly describe what we know about the human microbiome in that area, and describe various common chronic conditions and diseases where changes in the microbiota might help (mostly based on findings from studies on mice).
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I was really interested in this book's topic but was unable to give it a proper read through because aggressive red watermarking obstructed the last two or so lines of every page.
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This was a very interesting and informative book about how to age better and healthier. The research was very extensive. I liked the fact that after each chapter the authors provided references for further reading, if you so desire. Also included are guided tips and suggestions to help maintain a healthier lifestyle. 
As someone living with a chronic illness, I have read many helpful books on the gut microbes. But this book has opened my eyes to the many other microbes in different parts of the body that affect  our health. The information was quite fascinating and helpful. I plan on recommending this book, not only to family and friends, but my health professionals as well.
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