A cutting-edge new book that reveals how foreign microbes might actually be good for us, contrary to past belief. The microorganisms that we have sought to eliminate have been supporting our ancestors for centuries. They comprise 90 percent of the cells in our bodies and yet we have significantly reduced their power, sparking an epidemic of new diseases, or superbugs. The Human Superorganism presents pioneering research and offers a blueprint for a revolution in public health, by going against what we always thought was true: that foreign microbes are bad for us.
"Eyeopening... Fascinating... may presage a paradigm shift in medicine.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Teeming with information and big ideas... Outstanding.” —Booklist (starred review) The origin of asthma, autism, Alzheimer's, allergies, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and even some kinds of depression is now clear. Award-winning researcher on the microbiome, professor Rodney Dietert presents a new paradigm in human biology that has emerged in the midst of the ongoing global epidemic of noncommunicable diseases. The Human Superorganism makes a sweeping, paradigm-shifting argument. It demolishes two fundamental beliefs that have blinkered all medical thinking until very recently: 1) Humans are better off as pure organisms free of foreign microbes; and 2) the human genome is the key to future medical advances. The microorganisms that we have sought to eliminate have been there for centuries supporting our ancestors. They comprise as much as 90 percent of the cells in and on our bodies—a staggering percentage! More than a thousand species of them live inside us, on our skin, and on our very eyelashes. Yet we have now significantly reduced their power and in doing so have sparked an epidemic of noncommunicable diseases—which now account for 63 percent of all human deaths. Ultimately, this book is not just about microbes; it is about a different way to view humans. The story that Dietert tells of where the new biology comes from, how it works, and the ways in which it affects your life is fascinating, authoritative, and revolutionary. Dietert identifies foods that best serve you, the superorganism; not new fad foods but ancient foods that have made sense for millennia. He explains protective measures against unsafe chemicals and drugs. He offers an empowering self-care guide and the blueprint for a revolution in public health. We are not what we have been taught. Each of us is a superorganism. The best path to a healthy life is through recognizing that profound truth. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Julian R Marchesi
Release Date: 2014-05-14
Thousands of different microbial species colonize the human body, and are essential for our survival. This book presents a review of the current understanding of human microbiomes, the functions that they bring to the host, how we can model them, their role in health and disease and the methods used to explore them. Current research into areas such as the long-term effect of antibiotics makes this a subject of considerable interest. This title is essential reading for researchers and students of microbiology.
You are just 10% human. For every one of the cells that make up the vessel that you call your body, there are nine impostor cells hitching a ride. You are not just flesh and blood, muscle and bone, brain and skin, but also bacteria and fungi. Over your lifetime, you will carry the equivalent weight of five African elephants in microbes. You are not an individual but a colony. Until recently, we had thought our microbes hardly mattered, but science is revealing a different story, one in which microbes run our bodies and becoming a healthy human is impossible without them. In this riveting, shocking, and beautifully written book, biologist Alanna Collen draws on the latest scientific research to show how our personal colony of microbes influences our weight, our immune system, our mental health, and even our choice of partner. She argues that so many of our modern diseases—obesity, autism, mental illness, digestive disorders, allergies, autoimmunity afflictions, and even cancer—have their root in our failure to cherish our most fundamental and enduring relationship: that with our personal colony of microbes. Many of the questions about modern diseases left unanswered by the Human Genome Project are illuminated by this new science. And the good news is that unlike our human cells, we can change our microbes for the better. Collen's book is a revelatory and indispensable guide. It is science writing at its most relevant: life—and your body—will never seem the same again.
Author: Raphael Kellman
Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books
Release Date: 2014-07-01
Genre: Health & Fitness
Cutting-edge science has shown that the microbiome is the secret to healthy weight loss and to feeling healthy, energized, optimistic, and at the top of your game. The microbiome is a whole inner world that lives within your intestines—trillions of tiny microbes that help you extract the nutrients from your food, balance your mood, and sharpen your clarity and focus. These beneficial bacteria make up a separate ecology within the body and have an enormous influence on your metabolism, your hormones, your cravings—even your genes. The microbiome's health is intimately involved with yours: when it flourishes, you flourish. When it craves sugar, so do you. When it operates at peak efficiency, so does your metabolism. And when your microbiome is out of balance, you might find yourself gaining weight or unable to lose weight, no matter how much you exercise or how carefully you eat. To achieve your ideal weight, you need the help of your microbiome. Now, drawing from nearly two decades of experience as a specialist in functional medicine and intestinal health, Raphael Kellman, MD, has developed the first diet based upon on these scientific breakthroughs. The Microbiome Diet offers an effective three-phase plan to heal your gut, reset your metabolism, and achieve dramatic, sustainable weight loss. The Microbiome Diet will help you... Reset your metabolism Free yourself from food cravings and uncontrollable appetite Incorporate prebiotics, probiotics, and healing foods into every meal Lose weight—and keep it off—with a nonrestrictive life plan With delicious recipes, convenient meal plans, and helpful information on Microbiome Superfoods and Supersupplements—including prebiotics and probiotics—The Microbiome Diet gives you the tools to achieve your healthy weight, boost your mood, regain your mental focus, and be in your best shape for life.
Author: Rob Knight
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-04-07
Genre: Health & Fitness
Allergies, asthma, obesity, acne: these are just a few of the conditions that may be caused—and someday cured—by the microscopic life inside us. The key is to understand how this groundbreaking science influences your health, mood, and more. In just the last few years, scientists have shown how the microscopic life within our bodies— particularly within our intestines—has an astonishing impact on our lives. Your health, mood, sleep patterns, eating preferences—even your likelihood of getting bitten by mosquitoes—can be traced in part to the tiny creatures that live on and inside of us. In Follow Your Gut, pioneering scientist Rob Knight pairs with award-winning science journalist Brendan Buhler to explain—with good humor and easy-to-grasp examples—why these new findings matter to everyone. They lead a detailed tour of the previously unseen world inside our bodies, calling out the diseases and conditions believed to be most directly impacted by them. With a practical eye toward deeper knowledge and better decisions, they also explore the known effects of antibiotics, probiotics, diet choice and even birth method on our children’s lifelong health. Ultimately, this pioneering book explains how to learn about your own microbiome and take steps toward understanding and improving your health, using the latest research as a guide.
Author: Jack Gilbert
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2017-06-06
Genre: Health & Fitness
From two of the world’s top scientists and one of the world’s top science writers (all parents), Dirt Is Good is a q&a-based guide to everything you need to know about kids & germs. “Is it OK for my child to eat dirt?” That’s just one of the many questions authors Jack Gilbert and Rob Knight are bombarded with every week from parents all over the world. They've heard everything from “My two-year-old gets constant ear infections. Should I give her antibiotics? Or probiotics?” to “I heard that my son’s asthma was caused by a lack of microbial exposure. Is this true, and if so what can I do about it now?” Google these questions, and you’ll be overwhelmed with answers. The internet is rife with speculation and misinformation about the risks and benefits of what most parents think of as simply germs, but which scientists now call the microbiome: the combined activity of all the tiny organisms inside our bodies and the surrounding environment that have an enormous impact on our health and well-being. Who better to turn to for answers than Drs. Gilbert and Knight, two of the top scientists leading the investigation into the microbiome—an investigation that is producing fascinating discoveries and bringing answers to parents who want to do the best for their young children. Dirt Is Good is a comprehensive, authoritative, accessible guide you've been searching for.
Author: Rebecca E. Hirsch
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books
Release Date: 2016-08-01
Genre: Young Adult Nonfiction
Trillions and trillions of microbial cells live on and inside your body. A small number of these microbes are unhealthy germs. But most belong on your body and perform essential jobs. Microbes help digest your food, protect you from dangerous germs, and help your body fight disease. Using techniques such as DNA sequencing, scientists are uncovering the many secrets of the human microbiome. Scientists are learning how the foods we eat and the medicines we take, such as microbe-killing antibiotics, can affect the bugs in our bodies. They are learning more and more about this system that keeps us healthy and how we can protect it in return.
Since the dawn of the human race, germs have been making us sick. Whether the ailment is a cold, the flu, diabetes, obesity or certain cancers, the likely cause is germs. Our ancient enemies have four families - bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa - and many names: Ebola, E. coli, salmonella, norovirus, gonorrhea. . . Human beings are engaged in a "war on germs," in which we develop ever-more sophisticated weapons and defensive strategies. But it is a war we can never win. Our best plan for staying as healthy is to choose our battles carefully, and try to co-exist with germs as best we can. The Germ Code is a wise, witty and wonderfully readable guide to our relationship with these infinitesimal but infinitely powerful creatures. Microbiologist Jason Tetro takes us outside the lab and shows the enormous influence of germs upon humanity's past, present and future. He unlocks the mysteries of "the germ code" to reveal how these organisms have exploited our every activity and colonized every corner of the earth. From his own research and personal experience, Tetro relates how the most recent flu pandemic happened, how others may have been averted and how more may come about if we aren't careful. He also explains that not every germ is our foe, and offers advice on harnessing the power of good germs to stay healthy and make our planet a better place. The Germ Code is a fascinating journey through an unseen world, an essential manual to living in harmony with germs and a life-enhancing (as well as life-saving!) good read.
Author: Jason Tetro
Publisher: DEStech Publications, Inc
Release Date: 2016-03-15
Critical reference explains strategies of microbiome research in humansSummarizes the microbiome's effects on immunity, metabolism, genetics and psychologyEvaluates medical and nutritional therapies for modifying the microbiomeFor healthcare researchers, nutritionists, microbiologists, and medical professionals Written by a team of leading scientists, this book offers a concise technical reference covering human microbiome research and its ramifications for medicine and nutrition. The initial chapters furnish a scientific explanation of the microbiome in general and its ecology. The book then provides a detailed investigation of microbial populations as these pertain to physiology, metabolism and immunology. The final portions are devoted to exploration of the microbiome's effects on chronic and autoimmune diseases and include assessments of clinical therapies and nutritional interventions designed to alter the microbiome to mitigate chronic health conditions.
Author: Rodney R. Dietert
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2012-06-05
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of deaths worldwide and according to the World Economics Council and the Harvard School of Public Health, the cost of chronic diseases is expected to reach a staggering 48% of global gross domestic product by the year 2030. The urgency of the issue was demonstrated in 2011 when for only the second time in its existence, the U.N. General Assembly brought a health issue to the floor for consideration: chronic diseases. To date, most considerations of the issue have approached the topic from the vantage point that chronic diseases are a myriad of largely unconnected diseases and conditions arising in diverse tissues, organs and physiological systems. This book, Immunotoxicity, Immune Dysfuction, and Chronic Disease, deviates from that prior model. It considers the interconnectivity of chronic diseases with both environmental insult of the immune system and subsequent immune dysfunction and inflammatory dysregulation as the underlying basis for many, if not most, chronic diseases. This change in the perception of environment-immune linkages to chronic disease is significant and has immediate implications both for the prevention of disease as well as for the development of more effective therapeutic approaches. Rather than considering environmental factors and types of reported immune alterations (e.g., depressed humoral immunity) as is common in books involving immunotoxicity, the present book approaches the environment-immune-disease triad from the standpoint of the disease. Each chapter emphasizes one or more specific immune dysfunction-based chronic disease(s) or condition(s) (e.g., asthma, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, lupus) and describes: 1) the suggested environmental risk factors, 2) the underlying immune dysfunction(s) associated with the disease and 3) the overall health consequences of the disease. This book is an early entry for a new Toxicology book series for Springer titled: Molecular and Integrative Toxicology (MaIT). The series will feature detailed research information, but in the context of a more integrative or holistic framework. As part of this framework, the chapters will contain a section on ”Key Points” as well as “Recommendations” where appropriate. The goal is to cover the most timely, state-of-the-art issues in toxicology as well as to ensure that the information is maximally accessible for research scientists, teachers, physicians and students. We are particularly grateful to the numerous chapter authors for providing comprehensive and expert disease-oriented contributions. We are also appreciative of their willingness to consider their material not as disparate pieces of what has become a major health crisis, but rather as key pieces in a network of apparently interconnected health challenges.
Every human body carries a secret cargo: a huge population of microorganisms living in the mouth, on the skin, in the gut. They help digest our food. They make essential vitamins. They break down toxins and metabolise drugs. They exert an invisible influence on our hormones, our immune systems, perhaps even our brains. This is the human microbiome – a living, shifting system of previously unimagined importance and complexity. In this first book-length account of this new realm of human biology, award-winning science writer Jon Turney explores the microbiome in detail, charting its birth and development, investigating how it works, and assessing its many implications for our health, including its potential to shed new light on conditions such as bowel diseases, cancer, allergies and asthma. He considers the potential impacts of our modern disinfectant and antibiotic obsessions, and ponders a future of designer microbiomes and mood-altering probiotics. This book will make you think again about your relationship with your body, your habits – even your sense of who and what you are – as it reveals what it means to be a 21st century superorganism.
Author: Luigi Nibali
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2016-08-05
Microbiota-associated pathology can be a direct result of changes in general bacterial composition, such as might be found in periodontitis and bacterial vaginosis, and/or as the result of colonization and/or overgrowth of so called keystone species. The disruption in the composition of the normal human microbiota, or dysbiosis, plays an integral role in human health and human disease. The Human Microbiota and Human Chronic Disease: Dysbioses as a Cause of Human Pathology discusses the role of the microbiota in maintaining human health. The text introduces the reader to the biology of microbial dysbiosis and its potential role in both bacterial disease and in idiopathic chronic disease states. Divided into five sections, the text delineates the concept of the human bacterial microbiota with particular attention being paid to the microbiotae of the gut, oral cavity and skin. A key methodology for exploring the microbiota, metagenomics, is also described. The book then shows the reader the cellular, molecular and genetic complexities of the bacterial microbiota, its myriad connections with the host and how these can maintain tissue homeostasis. Chapters then consider the role of dysbioses in human disease states, dealing with two of the commonest bacterial diseases of humanity – periodontitis and bacterial vaginosis. The composition of some, if not all microbiotas can be controlled by the diet and this is also dealt with in this section. The discussion moves on to the major ‘idiopathic’ diseases afflicting humans, and the potential role that dysbiosis could play in their induction and chronicity. The book then concludes with the therapeutic potential of manipulating the microbiota, introducing the concepts of probiotics, prebiotics and the administration of healthy human faeces (faecal microbiota transplantation), and then hypothesizes as to the future of medical treatment viewed from a microbiota-centric position. Provides an introduction to dysbiosis, or a disruption in the composition of the normal human microbiota Explains how microbiota-associated pathology and other chronic diseases can result from changes in general bacterial composition Explores the relationship humans have with their microbiota, and its significance in human health and disease Covers host genetic variants and their role in the composition of human microbial biofilms, integral to the relationship between human health and human disease Authored and edited by leaders in the field, The Human Microbiota and Human Chronic Disease will be an invaluable resource for clinicians, pathologists, immunologists, cell and molecular biologists, biochemists, and system biologists studying cellular and molecular bases of human diseases.
A revolutionary examination of why we age, what it means for our health, and how we just might be able to fight it. In Cracking the Aging Code, theoretical biologist Josh Mitteldorf and award-winning writer and ecological philosopher Dorion Sagan reveal that evolution and aging are even more complex and breathtaking than we originally thought. Using meticulous multidisciplinary science, as well as reviewing the history of our understanding about evolution, this book makes the case that aging is not something that “just happens,” nor is it the result of wear and tear or a genetic inevitability. Rather, aging has a fascinating evolutionary purpose: to stabilize populations and ecosystems, which are ever-threatened by cyclic swings that can lead to extinction. When a population grows too fast it can put itself at risk of a wholesale wipeout. Aging has evolved to help us adjust our growth in a sustainable fashion as well as prevent an ecological crisis from starvation, predation, pollution, or infection. This dynamic new understanding of aging is provocative, entertaining, and pioneering, and will challenge the way we understand aging, death, and just what makes us human.