Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes by Rob Knight

What I’m Reading

by Joan Haynes, NMD

This little TED book, written for a non-medical audience, is an engaging explanation of the ground-breaking science in the last few years about the microscopic life within our bodies.  It’s a quick read to help us understand how these tiny creatures play a role in nearly all aspects of our health.

Rob Knight is the Director of the Microbiome Initiative at the University of California, San Diego and the co-founder of the American Gut Project and the Earth Microbiome Project.  He wrote the book with science journalist Brendan Buhler to explain why these new findings matter to everyone.  You can also watch Knight’s TED talk at

As you may have heard before, there are 10 times more microbe cells in our body than human cells.  The average adult is carrying about three pounds of microbes – roughly the weight of your brain.  Knight explains how different sets of species inhabit different parts of the body, where they play specialized roles.

Knight also explains how new technology makes identifying the microbes easier.  Here is a sample copy of the stool test we’ve been running in the clinic with great results:  GI-MAP DNA Stool Analysis.  For just a few hundred dollars, we get a report looking for pathogenic microorganisms (bacterial, viral, and fungal/yeast) as well as the healthy population of bacteria.  Also included are useful gut function measures that look for inflammation, immunity, leaky gut and more.