Ositadinma Anaedu, Ph.D., is a former Nigerian diplomat who traversed the globe working on environmental/biodiversity issues, among others. With Your Microbiome (Bacteria) Is A Wonder of Nature, he turns his attention to health crises affecting people worldwide due to bad eating habits.
This book isn’t for casual readers. In 708 pages and 27 hefty chapters, Anaedu delivers detailed treatises focusing on gut health and gut bacteria. Without a healthy gut, he posits, you are more likely to suffer from numerous illnesses.
Entire chapters are dedicated to gut microbes and their impact on specific diseases –diabetes, prostate cancer, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, etc. – each meticulously supported by scientific studies. The author dedicates two chapters to viruses, including COVID-19, and also delves into which foods are bad for your gut (sugar, processed and fried foods, most dairy products, peanuts, soy, some fish and any meat that isn’t grass-fed) and which are good (fresh vegetables and fruits, grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, some grains, but not most).
Additionally, Anaedu describes how his workload and lack of attention to diet and exercise led him to gain weight and develop high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This wakeup call jump-started his research on microbiomes. He wraps up with a chapter on how healthy aging is related to a healthy gut.
Anaedu’s research is the book’s strength—and weakness. While edifying, the great level of detail offered is daunting. His penchant for tangents adds to the problem. When discussing high blood pressure, for example, he doesn’t just discuss how the microbiome relates to the disease, but veers into passages about alcohol’s effect on cancer and diabetes, the impact of stress in the workplace, and more. While often interesting, such digressions can make for disorganized and confusing reading.
Most people aren’t likely to read this volume cover to cover. Still, it’s easy to dive in and out of chapters pertaining to a reader’s interest, and there’s plenty of helpful information among the excess.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.