Healthy Reading: Bugs, Bowels, and Behavior
Edited by Teri Arranga, Claire I. Viadro, MPH, PhD, Lauren Underwood, PhD, this book gives us a thorough understanding of the microbiome and the connection it has to our immune system function. The authors discuss how having a healthy gut flora balance facilitates detoxification, digestion, elimination, immunity, as well as metabolic effects. They also get into disease conditions associated with gut inflammation, and the connection between the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis.
More and more you hear a great deal about the gut-brain connection, and how our digestion impacts our brain health. These authors delve into the science behind how the gut and brain are connected, and the influence our gut microbiome has on behavior and brain health. This book is a must-read for parents or caregivers who are dealing with autism, ADHD, ADD, and food allergies.
Though written in a scholarly format— dry, and very direct, if the reader can move past this, the content is backed by some sound and significant, scientific research. The authors cite hundreds of current scientific studies, giving the book significant credibility.
We learn how lifestyle factors such as diet, antibiotic use, and other factors can lead to a leaky gut. These pathogenic invaders or foreign proteins that are not digested are able to pass through the gut, and contribute to inflammation, including brain inflammation. The authors cover how this delicate relationship between the gut and brain can easily be disrupted, and lead to chronic brain conditions such as autism and ADHD.
There is a chapter on gluten and immune dysregulation, as well as modern dairy and other dietary issues that can contribute to GI dysfunction associated with brain health. Finally, the book discusses the dire need for probiotics as well as dietary changes to help heal the gut and decrease inflammatory responses affecting brain health. In the summary of the book, the authors suggest,