The Gut Microbiome
Exploring the Connection between Microbes, Diet, and Health
Gut microbes aid in digestion, regulate human immune responses, and help determine our risk for developing chronic illness such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Altered gut microbiota may also play a role in neurological disorders like autism and Parkinson's disease.
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This accessibly written, comprehensive summary of research findings on the gut microbiome and its implications for health and disease—a topic of growing interest and concern—serves as an essential resource for teachers and students.
Most people know that the digestive tract contains billions of helpful gut bacteria, but how does the gut microbiome affect our health? What exactly do these bacteria do, and what are the negative effects when these microorganisms are harmed by what we eat and do? What impacts might they have on conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), obesity, and autism? This book provides an accessible, holistic introduction to the study of the human gut microbiome and its effects on digestion and disease—one of the newest and most rapidly expanding fields in medicine today.
The gut microbiome is known as "the forgotten organ" because it is not identified as part of the human body per se, yet it has an immense influence on many systems in the body. The Gut Microbiome: Exploring the Connection between Microbes, Diet, and Health explains what the microbiome is, the many functions it serves, how it can be either harmed or supported by our actions, and the role it may play in various diseases and in determining our overall health. The book examines the various potential causes of imbalance in the microbiome, such as diet and other lifestyle factors, and then identifies strategies for improving human health by protecting the gut microbiota. The science-based information is detailed but accessible to general readers or students without extensive background knowledge.
- Presents the most recent gut microbiome research in a way that is accessible to students interested in biological sciences and nutrition studies
- Includes engaging sidebars and case studies that serve to better illustrate the connections between gut microbiota, human physiology, and chronic disease
- Provides insight into the role of nutrition in shaping the gut microbiota and suggestions for improving human health