June 27, 2012

Gut Feelings! {Book Review}

A review of No Guts, No Glory by Dr. Steven Lamm and Sidney Stevens

“All disease begins in the gut.” ~ Hippocrates

What do food allergies, IBS, depression and ADD all have in common?
All of these seemingly unrelated symptoms relate to our gut health.

Every once in a while, a book comes along that I wish I could staple to my forehead and hand out copies to everyone I meet. The most recent one:  No Guts, No Glory by Dr. Steven Lamm and Sidney Stevens.

If the boom in auto-immune diseases, obesity and mental health issues in this country is any indication, our gut health is on the decline.

The gut is made up of the small and large intestine (or colon), stomach, liver, and pancreas.

Although Hippocrates was wise to the vital role the elegant system of our gut played, this is a newer discovery for modern science with scientists recently linking autism to a gut and brain connection and the NY Times reporting a need for good, dirty food in our diet.

Gut health is partially inherited from our mothers, and also has other factors that affect it as we grow up.
In No Guts No Glory, a three-part strategy is offered which consists of knowing what foods and lifestyle habits to replace with better choices, a detoxification of our guts (and let me tell you having done the master cleanse, coffee enemas, and other detoxes,  this is the most gentle approach to detoxifying I have ever seen offered) and finally restoring our guts to full function with enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics.

Our guts are responsible for nearly three-quarters of our immune response. It is intimately connected to all of our organs and even talks with our brain. Dr.Lamm breaks down why more people than not experience compromised gut health. He offers a do-it-yourself gut check to empower us to make changes before small symptoms turn into illness.

Dr.Lamm is actively leading the shift in our calorie-counting processed food paradigm, as he tells his patients, “You’re free to live and eat as you choose. But there will be a price to pay for choosing to ignore your gut health. It’s as simple as that.”

Early studies suggest that prebiotics and probiotics could have a preventative effect on type 1 diabetes.

When I spoke to Dr.Lamm, I asked him about gut health in connection with infertility. He said that studies haven’t even been done on infertility in relationship to the gut.

Since the woman’s egg is so sensitive, if she has a leaky gut it makes sense that it would affect the egg. Leaky gut is when there is a weak intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment and to filter nutrients and other substances, toxins. Incompletely digested proteins and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream.

Dr. Lamm discusses the role of good water, the disruption antibiotic use causes, the necessity of chewing our food well and even the importance of feeling hungry before we eat and not rushing to get up after a meal.

No Guts, No Glory does not offer an in-depth diet plan like the gut and psychology syndrome diet, rather it is well written with humor and simple language and is accessible to those with little nutrition and body knowledge.

Unlike many doctors who exclusively endorse brands of supplements, Dr. Lamm gives the reader the information they need to pick out a good probiotic, prebiotic and digestive enzymes for themselves (although he does mention a brand he likes).

The best way to create optimal health is to reduce stress on the gut. Thus our body can spend less energy digesting, filtering and trying to absorb macro and micronutrients and more time healing, repairing and protecting our elegantly designed gut.

The body is amazing.


Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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