The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated OrganBook - 2015
A cheeky up-close and personal guide to the secrets and science of our digestive system
For too long, the gut has been the body's most ignored and least appreciated organ, but it turns out that it's responsible for more than just dirty work: our gut is at the core of who we are. Gut: The Inside Story of our Body's Most Underrated Organ gives the alimentary canal its long-overdue moment in the spotlight. With quirky charm, rising science star Giulia Enders explains the gut's magic, answering questions like: Why does acid reflux happen? What's really up with gluten and lactose intolerance? How does the gut affect obesity and mood? Communication between the gut and the brain is one of the fastest-growing areas of medical research--on par with stem-cell research. Our gut reactions, we learn, are intimately connected with our physical and mental well-being. Aided with cheerful illustrations by Enders's sister Jill, this beguiling manifesto will make you finally listen to those butterflies in your stomach: they're trying to tell you something important.
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"So, whether it's extra virgin olive oil or cheap fat from french fries, it all goes straight into the heart -- there is no detoxing detour via the liver as there is for everything else we digest.... Just as bad fat can have a negative effect, good fat can work wonders. Those who are prepared to spend that little bit extra on cold-pressed (extra virgin) olive oil will be dunking their baguette in a soothing balm for their heart and blood vessels." (p. 53)
"The mouth is a place of superlatives. The most powerful muscles in our body are the jaw muscles; the body's most flexible striated (not smooth) muscle is the tongue. Working together they are not only incredible crunchers, they are also nimble manipulators. Another candidate for the record books is tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance produced by the human body. And it needs to be, since our jaws can exert a pressure of up to 180 pounds (80 kilos) on each of our molars -- or approximately the weight of a grown man! When we encounter something hard in our food, we pound it with almost the equivalent force of an entire football team jumping up and down on it before we swallow it." (p. 82)
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