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Chances are, at some point in your life you’ve noticed the connection between your brain and your gut. If you’ve ever felt queasy as you walked into an uncomfortable situation or based a life decision based on a“gut feeling,” then you know that sometimes our bodies react faster than our minds. Most of us have also experienced the same phenomenon in reverse, where our mental state has affected our digestive system—like the butterflies in our stomach before an important meeting or a first date. But while the dialogue between the mind and the gut has been recognized for centuries, scientists today are just starting to understand how powerful that connection is.
In The Mind-Gut Connection, Dr. Emeran Mayer, executive director of the UCLA Oppenheimer Center for the Neurobiology of Stress, offers a cutting-edge view into this developing science, showing us the full impact of how the brain, gut, and microbiome—the community of microorganisms that live inside the digestive tract—communicate. As Dr. Mayer explains, when this communication channel is out of whack, major health problems can crop up, including food sensitivities and allergies, digestive disorders, obesity, depression, anxiety, and fatigue.The Mind-Gut Connection teaches us how, with a few simple changes to our diet and lifestyle, we can enjoy a happier mindset, enhanced immunity, a decreased risk of developing neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and even lose weight. With a simple, practical regimen drawn from the latest research, Dr. Mayer shows us that paying attention to the mind-gut balance is the key to unlocking vibrant health.
“I have known Emeran Mayer for years and have learned to pay attention to what he says and writes. The Mind-Gut Connection is a delight. Both scholarly and fun to read, I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about how the mind and gut communicate.” —Michael D. Gershon, MD, author of The Second Brain
“Microbiome research is revolutionizing our understanding of the human body and the brain. In The Mind-Gut Connection, Dr. Emeran Mayer provides authoritative insight into this rapidly expanding field. Synthesizing recent research with patient stories and personal anecdotes, he offers practical, evidence-based recommendations to keep the dialogue between the brain, the gut, and its microbes flowing smoothly.” —Rob Knight, PhD, author of Follow Your Gut and director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation, UC San Diego
“After a long period of neglect the enteric nervous system has been recognized as the ‘second brain’. Dr. Emeran Mayer, a true expert of this topic, has now written the best lay-public guide yet to this spectacular part of ourselves. Recommended reading.” —Antonio Demasio, author of Descartes’ Error, The Feeling of What Happens, and The Self Comes to Mind
“Drawing on his vast experience as a practicing gastroenterologist, Dr. Mayer writes about the connections that our brains have with our guts, especially with the microbes that make the gut their home. Describing a rapidly advancing realm of knowledge, this thoughtful guide provides practical advice to improve health.” —Martin J. Blaser, MD, author of Missing Microbes
“Microbiome research is revolutionizing our understanding of the human body and the brain. In The Mind-Gut Connection, Dr. Emeran Mayer provides authoritative insight into this rapidly expanding field. Synthesizing recent research with patient stories and personal anecdotes, he offers practical, evidence-based recommendations to keep the dialogue between the brain, the gut, and its microbes flowing smoothly.” —SELF online
“Dr. Emeran Mayer elucidates the intricate biochemical dialogue that occurs between the brain, digestive tract, and trillions of bacteria residing in the gut. He dubs this form of communication ‘microbe-speak’ and speculates on its implications for social behavior, decision making, emotional wellbeing, and maybe mental health.” —Booklist
“The Mind-Gut Connection is a revolutionary new holistic view of what keeps us healthy, ranging from the food choices we make to the ways we can train our mind, with the ultimate goal of attaining optimal health. ” —Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD, Clincal Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health, University of California School of Medicine (UCSF)
“The Mind-Gut Connection presents the incredibly humbling reality that our very perception and interpretation of the world around us is virtually dictated by the microbes living within us. This book redefines what it means to be healthy and eloquently provides the means to manifest that goal.” —David Perlmutter, MD, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Grain Brain and Brain Maker