Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ

Greystone Books
20
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Our gut is almost as important to us as our brain and yet we know very little about how it works. Gut: The Inside Story is an entertaining, informative tour of the digestive system from the moment we raise a tasty morsel to our lips until the moment our body surrenders the remnants to the toilet bowl. No topic is too lowly for the author’s wonder and admiration, from the careful choreography of breaking wind to the precise internal communication required for a cleansing vomit. Along the way, the author provides practical advice such as the best ways to sit on the toilet to have a comfortable bowel movement, how clean your kitchen should be for optimum gut health, and how different laxatives work. She tells stories of gut bacteria that can lead to obesity, autoimmune diseases, or even suicide, and she discusses the benefits of dietary supplements such as probiotics. This book is a fascinating primer for anyone interested in how our ideas about the gut are changing in the light of cutting-edge scientific research. In the words of the author, “We live in an era in which we are just beginning to understand just how complex the connections are between us, our food, our pets and the microscopic world in, on, and around us. We are gradually decoding processes that we used to believe were part of our inescapable destiny.”
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About the author

Giulia Enders is a two-time scholarship winner of the Wilhelm und Else Heraeus Foundation, and is studying medicine at the Institute for Microbiology in Frankfurt. In 2012, her presentation of Darm mit Charme (Gut Charm) won her first prize at the Science Slam in Freiburg and went viral on YouTube.
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4.6
20 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Greystone Books
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Published on
May 24, 2015
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781771641500
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Language
English
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Genres
Health & Fitness / Healthy Living
Medical / Gastroenterology
Science / Life Sciences / Human Anatomy & Physiology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The microcirculation of the gastrointestinal tract is under the control of both myogenic and metabolic regulatory systems. The myogenic mechanism contributes to basal vascular tone and the regulation of transmural pressure, while the metabolic mechanism is responsible for maintaining an appropriate balance between O2 demand and O2 delivery. In the postprandial state, hydrolytic products of food digestion elicit a hyperemia, which serves to meet the increased O2 demand of nutrient assimilation. Metabolically linked factors (e.g., tissue pO2, adenosine) are primarily responsible for this functional hyperemia. The fenestrated capillaries of the gastrointestinal mucosa are relatively permeable to small hydrolytic products of food digestion (e.g., glucose), yet restrict the transcapillary movement of larger molecules (e.g., albumin). This allows for the absorption of hydrolytic products of food digestion without compromising the oncotic pressure gradient governing transcapillary fluid movement and edema formation. The gastrointestinal microcirculation is also an important component of the mucosal defense system whose function is to prevent (and rapidly repair) inadvertent epithelial injury by potentially noxious constituents of chyme. Two pathological conditions in which the gastrointestinal circulation plays an important role are ischemia/reperfusion and chronic portal hypertension. Ischemia/reperfusion results in mucosal edema and disruption of the epithelium due, in part, to an inflammatory response (e.g., increase in capillary permeability to macromolecules and neutrophil infiltration). Chronic portal hypertension results in an increase in gastrointestinal blood flow due to an imbalance in vasodilator and vasoconstrictor influences on the microcirculation. Table of Contents: Introduction / Anatomy / Regulation of Vascular Tone and Oxygenation / Extrinsic Vasoregulation: Neural and Humoral / Postprandial Hyperemia / Transcapillary Solute Exchange / Transcapillary Fluid Exchange / Interaction of Capillary and Interstitial Forces / Gastrointestinal Circulation and Mucosal Defense / Gastrointestinal Circulation and Mucosal Pathology I: Ischemia/Reperfusion / Gastrointestinal Circulation and Mucosal Pathology II: Chronic Portal Hypertension / Summary and Conclusions / References / Author Biography
Three distinct types of contractions perform colonic motility functions. Rhythmic phasic contractions (RPCs) cause slow net distal propulsion with extensive mixing/turning over. Infrequently occurring giant migrating contractions (GMCs) produce mass movements. Tonic contractions aid RPCs in their motor function. The spatiotemporal patterns of these contractions differ markedly. The amplitude and distance of propagation of a GMC are several-fold larger than those of an RPC. The enteric neurons and smooth muscle cells are the core regulators of all three types of contractions. The regulation of contractions by these mechanisms is modifiable by extrinsic factors: CNS, autonomic neurons, hormones, inflammatory mediators, and stress mediators. Only the GMCs produce descending inhibition, which accommodates the large bolus being propelled without increasing muscle tone. The strong compression of the colon wall generates afferent signals that are below nociceptive threshold in healthy subjects. However, these signals become nociceptive; if the amplitudes of GMCs increase, afferent nerves become hypersensitive, or descending inhibition is impaired. The GMCs also provide the force for rapid propulsion of feces and descending inhibition to relax the internal anal sphincter during defecation. The dysregulation of GMCs is a major factor in colonic motility disorders: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and diverticular disease (DD). Frequent mass movements by GMCs cause diarrhea in diarrhea predominant IBS, IBD, and DD, while a decrease in the frequency of GMCs causes constipation. The GMCs generate the afferent signals for intermittent short-lived episodes of abdominal cramping in these disorders. Epigenetic dysregulation due to adverse events in early life is one of the major factors in generating the symptoms of IBS in adulthood.

This volume is a printed version of a work that appears in the Colloquium Digital Library of Life Sciences. Colloquium titles cover all of cell and molecular biology and biomedicine, including the neurosciences, from the advanced undergraduate and graduate level up to the post-graduate and practicing researcher level. They offer concise, original presentations of important research and development topics, published quickly, in digital and print formats. For more information, visit www.morganclaypool.com
Doctor of Natural Medicine and wellness authority Dr. Josh Axe delivers a groundbreaking, indispensable guide for understanding, diagnosing, and treating one of the most discussed yet little-understood health conditions: leaky gut syndrome.

Do you have a leaky gut? For 80% of the population the answer is “yes”—and most people don’t even realize it. Leaky gut syndrome is the root cause of a litany of ailments, including: chronic inflammation, allergies, autoimmune diseases, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, diabetes, and even arthritis.

To keep us in good health, our gut relies on maintaining a symbiotic relationship with trillions of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. When our digestive system is out of whack, serious health problems can manifest and our intestinal walls can develop microscopic holes, allowing undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxins to seep into the bloodstream. This condition is known as leaky gut syndrome.

In Eat Dirt, Dr. Josh Axe explains that what we regard as modern “improvements” to our food supply—including refrigeration, sanitation, and modified grains—have damaged our intestinal health. In fact, the same organisms in soil that allow plants and animals to flourish are the ones we need for gut health. In Eat Dirt, Dr. Axe explains that it’s essential to get a little “dirty” in our daily lives in order to support our gut bacteria and prevent leaky gut syndrome. Dr. Axe offers simple ways to get these needed microbes, from incorporating local honey and bee pollen into your diet to forgoing hand sanitizers and even ingesting a little probiotic-rich soil.

Because leaky gut manifests differently in every individual, Dr. Axe also identifies the five main “gut types” and offers customizable plans—including diet, supplement, and lifestyle recommendations—to dramatically improve gut health in just thirty days. With a simple diet plan, recipes, and practical advice, Eat Dirt will help readers restore gut health and eliminate leaky gut for good.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The revolutionary book coauthored by the Nobel Prize winner who discovered telomerase and telomeres' role in the aging process and the health psychologist who has done original research into how specific lifestyle and psychological habits can protect telomeres, slowing disease and improving life.

Have you wondered why some sixty-year-olds look and feel like forty-year-olds and why some forty-year-olds look and feel like sixty-year-olds? While many factors contribute to aging and illness, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn discovered a biological indicator called telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes telomeres, which protect our genetic heritage. Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel's research shows that the length and health of one's telomeres are a biological underpinning of the long-hypothesized mind-body connection. They and other scientists have found that changes we can make to our daily habits can protect our telomeres and increase our health spans (the number of years we remain healthy, active, and disease-free).

THE TELOMERE EFFECT reveals how Blackburn and Epel's findings, together with research from colleagues around the world, cumulatively show that sleep quality, exercise, aspects of diet, and even certain chemicals profoundly affect our telomeres, and that chronic stress, negative thoughts, strained relationships, and even the wrong neighborhoods can eat away at them.

Drawing from this scientific body of knowledge, they share lists of foods and suggest amounts and types of exercise that are healthy for our telomeres, mind tricks you can use to protect yourself from stress, and information about how to protect your children against developing shorter telomeres, from pregnancy through adolescence. And they describe how we can improve our health spans at the community level, with neighborhoods characterized by trust, green spaces, and safe streets.

THE TELOMERE EFFECT will make you reassess how you live your life on a day-to-day basis. It is the first book to explain how we age at a cellular level and how we can make simple changes to keep our chromosomes and cells healthy, allowing us to stay disease-free longer and live more vital and meaningful lives.
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