GUT: THE SECRET POWER OF A LITTLE-KNOWN ORGAN :: a fascinating look at the gut - and poo!

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Giulia Enders is a twenty-something microbiologist and she has written a blockbuster bestseller book about the gut and poo. It's pretty fascinating - I heard her interview with Natasha Mitchell on Radio National Life Matters today and loved it.

One part that I found super interesting was that the gut has its own nervous system. It's a system that's big, vibrant and active enough to rival the brain!

The direct connection between the gut and mood, state-of-mind, health, mental health and behaviour is a bit mind-blowing. Giulia told how researchers took two populations of mice with particular behaviours - one set of timid mice and another set of very gregarious mice - and cleared them of stomach bacteria. Then they replaced them with each other's stomach bacteria. Their behaviours changed accordingly! That really is food for thought.

And the poo part of the interview was robust and fun, 'a celebration of pooing!' according to Natasha. If you enjoy the podcast and would like to talk about this kind of thing with the young ones in your life, you might like to click over to these posts:

COLLECTIONS :: scatological-ly amusing books (they're about poo!)

COLLECTIONS :: more on the poo books, getting a handle on how bodies work and how society works.

Because ... "The universality of poo is endlessly fascinating to kids of all ages. It’s unifying, humbling and humanizing. There’s a certain ‘reality’ to books about poo – it’s one of our baser functions after all. And I have found that there’s not much point in trying to pretend it’s not downright funny!" - KF

The book looks great, a copy is on its way to me!