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The Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer (summary & review)

Dive into the profound Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer. Explore the hidden dialogue shaping mood, choices, and health. Summary & review here.

The Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer (Summary & Review)

Combining cutting-edge neuroscience with the latest discoveries on the human microbiome, a practical guide in the tradition of Wheat Belly and Grain Brain conclusively demonstrates the inextricable, biological link between mind and body.

We have all experienced the connection between our mind and our gut—the decision we made because it “felt right”; the butterflies in our stomach before a big meeting; the anxious stomach rumbling when we’re stressed out. 

The Mind-Gut Connection shows how to keep the brain-gut communication clear and balanced to:

  • heal the gut by focusing on a plant-based diet
  • balance the microbiome by consuming fermented foods and probiotics, fasting, and cutting out sugar and processed foods
  • promote weight loss by detoxifying and creating healthy digestion and maximum nutrient absorption
  • boost immunity and prevent the onset of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
  • generate a happier mindset and reduce fatigue, moodiness, anxiety, and depression
  • prevent and heal GI disorders such as leaky gut syndrome, food sensitivities and allergies, and IBS, as well as digestive discomforts such as heartburn and bloating
  • and much more.

About the Author - Emeran A. Mayer

Emeran A. Mayer, MD, (, has studied mind-brain body interactions for the last 40 years, with a particular emphasis on bidirectional communication between the brain, the gut, and its microbiome. 

He is the executive director of the Oppenheimer Center for Stress and Resilience ( and the Co-director of the Digestive Diseases Research Center at the University of California at Los Angeles. 

Mayer also has a longstanding interest in ancient healing traditions and has been involved as a camera assistant in documentary film productions about the Yanomami people in the Orinoco region of Venezuela, the Asmat people in Irian Jaya, and most recently was Associate Producer of the award-winning documentary "In Search of Balance". 

He is the Producer and co-director of the upcoming documentary film "Interconnected Planet".

He has appeared on National Public Radio (NPR), on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), and in the documentary "In Search of Balance."

The Mind-Gut Connection Summary

The Second Brain How gut-brain interactions affect our mood, decision-making, and overall health. A very interesting proposition. The research on intestinal flora is currently popular research. 

I also conducted research on the relationship between intestinal flora and traditional Chinese medicine enema in the treatment of chronic kidney disease during my postgraduate studies. 

Although I have some understanding of the change and stability of the flora structure, the shock, and novelty brought to me by this book are beyond my imagination.

The author is a very professional scientific researcher and also a great storyteller. He combines this boring research with our lives, uses the language of storytelling, and brings readers into the book with questions one by one. 

"If you put all the gut microbes together to make up an organ, it would weigh 2 to 6 pounds, which is comparable to a 2.6-pound brain. Based on this comparison, some have called the gut microbiome a 'forgotten organ'." organ", which is connected to the brain by a nerve (the vagus nerve) that also forms a gut-brain axis.  

When did it start to form? Was it stable in adulthood? What shocked me was that individual microbes were first acquired from the mother's vagina and stabilized at the age of 3, which means that the health of each of us can be determined as early as the sperm and eggs, as early as 3 years before life.  

"The Mind-Gut Connection". Another feeling in reading is that human beings are really a miraculous species. "Before infants eat any solid food, the gut microbiota is already prepared for solid food." 

"Oligosaccharides in human milk are the only ones that are strictly Chemicals evolved to target nourishment of infant microbiota".  

This book also tells a lot about the relationship between gut microbes and nature, microbes and emotions (stress), and dietary intake. It's amazing to see these conclusions.

This book explains phenomena that we know but don't know why from the structure of flora. We eat high-fat and high sugar into the intestinal tract, stimulate microorganisms to release information and cause inflammation from nerve conduction to the brain. 

This inflammation may not manifest at the time, but what about in the future? As he grows older, the intestinal microbes gradually decrease, and Parkinson's syndrome is also seen in the elderly after the age of 60 This may be a new cognition.

This book explains many phenomena from the perspective of the huge intestinal microorganisms that we are not familiar with, and also reveals another level of "people are different", 

and also reminds readers of the dangers of the high-fat and high-sugar diet structure in North America and the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, using interesting questions, explaining boring scientific research in popular language, and then connecting with our life, providing guidance for a healthy life, this is the charm of this book.

The Mind-Gut Connection Review

In recent years, medical researchers have discovered that the brain and the gut communicate. Trillions of gut microbes communicate with the brain through the release of metabolites and neurotransmitters. 

Whether the gut microbiota is balanced and diverse affects our health. Physical health, brain health, behavior, and cognition.

Brain diseases could be treated if the function of gut microorganisms is understood. According to research, healthy individuals have a distinct gut microbiome than depressed ones do.

Transplanting the gut microbiota of patients with depression into mice will also show depressive behavior; the chemical substance produced by gut microbes, GABA And melatonin, 

both affect the brain's tendency to depression; the gut flora of autistic patients is transplanted into mice, and the mice also have abnormal behaviors. 

Therefore, the dysfunction of the "brain-gut-microbe axis" is an important reason for the occurrence of some mental diseases.

The diversity of intestinal flora affects the quality of life, but the modern lifestyle breaks our internal ecological balance, leaving us in a sub-healthy state and vulnerable to diseases. 

A high-fat and high-sugar diet, food additives (artificial sweeteners and emulsifiers), preservatives, and antibiotics disrupt the balance of our flora, and gut-brain communication, 

and put the body in a state of chronic low-grade inflammation, which in turn increases cardiovascular disease and the risk of conditions such as diabetes, depression, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. 

Your body enters a condition of inflammation after only one meal of junk food, and as a result, your body gets progressively weaker.

What kind of diet is the most friendly to the gut flora?

First of all, you can refer to the Mediterranean diet, which is mainly plant-based, including a small amount of lean meat and some seafood. 

The traditional Mediterranean diet contains at least 5 servings of vegetables, 1-2 servings of beans, 3 servings of fruits, 3-5 servings of grains, 5 servings of vegetable fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds), seafood 2-4 times a week, red Meat (pork, beef, lamb, venison, rabbit) no more than once a week.

Second, avoid large-scale industrial production and refined junk food, and carefully check whether there are additives in the ingredient list; try to eat organic food, 

because the meat and seafood raised in factories on a large scale are fed antibiotics for a long time, which will destroy the human flora Diversity, drug-resistant bacteria in animals may also enter the human body to cause infection. 

Since the middle of the last century, some human flora has been rapidly extinct due to the overuse of antibiotics, and the types of gut microbes of North American residents are only one-tenth of those of Amazonian jungle natives.

Third, eat naturally fermented foods that contain probiotics, including kimchi, kombucha, and miso. 

If you often have digestive problems or emotional problems, it is best to consume some fermented foods every day. 

Although everyone's intestinal flora structure has been formed at the age of 2.5, the intake of probiotics in adulthood will not become a permanent part of the flora, but regular intake of probiotics can help maintain the diversity of intestinal flora, and normalize flora metabolites.

The adage that you are what you eat is true. In traditional medicine around the world (including Sumerian, Greek, Egyptian, and East Asian traditional medicine), the gut is at the core of treating various diseases, 

and this hypothesis has been verified by modern medicine. We must pay attention to how we eat, these small habits will affect our quality of life.

When I was in school, my classmates often teased me, "Live like an old cadre! Why don't you touch sugary drinks, fried foods, and sweets? How boring!" The reason is simple. 

On the one hand, these foods do not have natural foods The taste is good and the nutrition is good. On the other hand, I regret my life and finally come to this world. 

The energy of the human spirit determines how much of the world we can explore and release. No matter how much talent, these energies will also be passed on to others.

Reading Note

an interesting read, the author clearly over-emphasizes the importance of gut microbiome, but still, it's relevant to appreciate how ppl in the field are thinking.

Modern medicine has discovered a subversive phenomenon of life, the brain communicates with the intestinal tract and intestinal flora.

There is also a nervous system in the intestinal tract, also known as the second brain.

My diet is really not good. The main reason is that I want to gain weight but my appetite and digestive function cannot keep up.

So I cut corners and ate some things that should be eaten (various plants and fermented foods, etc.).

A pound a day is too much again. Drink too much coffee every day. Calories are excessively dependent on animal fat because the volume is small and the calories are large.

Change it up. Cut animal fats and start tons and tons of olive oil and peanut butter every day.

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