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. While the dialogue between the gut and the brain has been recognized by ancient healing traditions, including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, Western medicine has failed to appreciate the complexity of how the brain, gut, and more recently, the microbiome—the microorganisms that live inside us—communicate with one another. In The Mind-Gut Connection, Dr. Emeran Mayer, executive director of the UCLA Center for Neurobiology of Stress, offers a revolutionary look at this developing science, teaching us how to harness the power of the mind-gut connection to take charge of our health.
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
- 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 discomfort such as heartburn and bloating
“The Mind-Gut Connection presents the incredibly humbling reality that our very perception and interpretation of the world around us is virtually dictated by the microbes living within us. This book redefines what it means to be healthy and eloquently provides the means to manifest that goal.” (David Perlmutter, MD, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Grain Brain and Brain Maker)
“Drawing on his vast experience as a practicing gastroenterologist, Dr. Mayer writes about the connections that our brains have with our guts, especially with the microbes that make the gut their home. Describing a rapidly advancing realm of knowledge, this thoughtful guide provides practical advice to improve health.” (Martin J. Blaser, MD, author of Missing Microbes)
“Dr. Emeran Mayer elucidates the intricate biochemical dialogue that occurs between the brain, digestive tract, and trillions of bacteria residing in the gut. He dubs this form of communication ‘microbe-speak’ and speculates on its implications for social behavior, decision making, emotional wellbeing, and maybe mental health.” (Booklist)
“After a long period of neglect the enteric nervous system has been recognized as the ‘second brain’. Dr. Emeran Mayer, a true expert of this topic, has now written the best lay-public guide yet to this spectacular part of ourselves. Recommended reading.” (Antonio Demasio, author of Descartes’ Error, The Feeling of What Happens, and The Self Comes to Mind)
From the Back Cover
Chances are, at some point in your life you’ve noticed the connection between your brain and your gut. If you’ve ever felt queasy as you walked into an uncomfortable situation or based a life decision based on a “gut feeling,” then you know that sometimes our bodies react faster than our minds. Most of us have also experienced the same phenomenon in reverse, where our mental state has affected our digestive system—like the butterflies in our stomach before an important meeting or a first date. But while the dialogue between the mind and the gut has been recognized by ancient healing traditions for centuries, scientists today are just starting to understand how powerful and far-reaching that connection is.
In The Mind-Gut Connection, Dr. Emeran Mayer offers a cutting-edge view into this developing science, showing us the full impact of how the brain, gut, and microbiome—the community of microorganisms that lives inside the digestive tract—communicate. When this communication system is out of balance, major health problems can crop up, including digestive disorders, obesity, depression, anxiety, food sensitivities, allergies, and fatigue.
With a few simple changes to our diet and lifestyle, we can enjoy a happier mind-set, enhanced immunity, a decreased risk of developing neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and even lose weight. With a simple, practical regimen drawn from forty years of clinical practice and the latest research, Dr. Mayer shows us that paying attention to the mind-gut balance is the key to unlocking vibrant health.
About the Author
Emeran Mayer, MD, has studied brain-body interactions for the last forty years. He is the executive director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and the codirector of the Digestive Diseases Research Center at the University of California at Los Angeles. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health for the past twenty-five years, and he is considered a pioneer and world leader in the area of brain-gut microbiome interactions.