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The Mind-Gut Connection

How the Hidden Conversation Within Our Bodies Impacts Our Mood, Our Choices, and Our Overall Health
Written by: Emeran Mayer MD
Narrated by: Traber Burns
Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Combining cutting-edge neuroscience with the latest discoveries on the human microbiome, a practical guide in the tradition of Wheat Belly and Grain Brain that conclusively demonstrates the inextricable biological link between mind and body.

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 Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, 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 describes:

  • Why consuming a predominantly plant-based diet is key for gut and brain health
  • The importance of early childhood in gut-brain development and what parents can do to help their children thrive
  • The role of excessive stress and anxiety in GI ailments and cognitive disorders
  • How to "listen to your gut" and pay attention to the signals your body is sending you
  • And much more

©2016 Emeran Mayer, MD (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Kia
  • 2018-10-03

Very disappointing

Narration was horrible. Words we’re mispronounced and reading sounded very mechanical and boring. Content was disappointing. Only the final chapter provided some recommendations on how to improve gut health - almost as an afterthought. Dove too deeply into research and overlooked the “what to do about it” that is so crucial. I also didn’t agree with some of the nutritional advice - no doctor with sound nutritional education would ever recommend dairy products. Don’t buy this book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian B.
  • 2016-08-15

Misleading

Although The Mind-Gut Connection is thorough and informative, Emeran Mayer's dated stance (and skewing) on the topics of animal fat and sugar intake are rather depressing. He cites the umbrella term 'fat' for multiple studies without any exact specification, while opting to use the term 'refined sugar' in order to draw a distinction between manmade and naturally occurring sugar. Not once does he delve into the topics of damaged fat, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, or unsaturated fat, even when drawing conclusions about the certain 'fad diets' in question. The way he leans more toward sugar-gorging as opposed to eating meat leads me to question some of his other beliefs and credibility.

Although this is par for the course, I honestly expected more from a seemingly progressive book written by an accomplished medical doctor. Luckily, there will always be the Mark Hyman's of the world fighting the good fight.

45 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • M.D. Austin
  • 2017-03-21

Old Stuff. Strictly Remedial. Not for Me.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book is for people who want an introduction to a soft version of older, accessible *case studies* on gut diseases by its physician author, and soft science on things related.

If it's the very first thing you've ever read about gut health, it could be a good starting place. But it doesn't make any substantial, worthwhile recommendations on how to improve gut health. And it's tone is overall *especially* negative and overly dramatic.

So I skipped through many of its chapters to find something I'd feel was worthwhile for me. Didn't find anything.

What didn’t you like about Traber Burns’s performance?

If you enjoy listening to someone who sounds like your father reading a telephone book, this is the book for you.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian Corbin
  • 2017-12-10

Thought I was getting cutting edge info but...

The book started out fantastic with info about the gut microbiome. The further I got, however, the fix for our problems turned out to be a vegan/vegetarian propaganda piece. I don't know how someone with such new info on the microbiome can still rely so heavily on the "fat is causing heart disease" dogma. It had so much promise but was a complete dud by the end. Disappointing.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Walter
  • 2016-07-16

Very repetitive, very repetitive

Would you try another book from Emeran Mayer MD and/or Traber Burns?

Probably not

What was most disappointing about Emeran Mayer MD’s story?

Most of the book is already known or speculative. Save your money, since you are what you eat period.

Any additional comments?

There are a few interesting things that we already know, and they are repeated each chapter to the tune of an infomercial.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • hippychikn
  • 2017-10-15

Good book, not great narration

The book had a lot of good information and was interesting. Unfortunately, I was so distracted by the weirdly halting narration that I found it difficult to listen to. Every few seconds there would be a pause, as though words were being put in unnecessary quotes. The narrator also sounded utterly disinterested in the subject matter, even though the book is meant to be read from the point of view of the author, who is obviously excited by his research. Good info, unfortunate narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Ellis
  • 2017-12-06

Interesting Read

Somewhat boring unless you are a medical professional. Informative but dry. Couldn't wait for it to be over.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • chaspeer
  • 2016-09-03

Authoritative review of exciting new field that affects all of us

Highly recommended authoritative summary, opinion and outlook of brain-gut-microbiome science, still in its infancy but not so immature not to provide guidance founded on science, by a world expert in academic neuro-gastroenterology that ends on very practical, actionable advice, in line with the helpful highly readable approach throughout the book.
I appreciate the clear distinctions between current knowledge from human data that definitely applies to most of us versus the non-human data and the non-data-derived expert advice that probably applies. This is appropriate and in contrast to other popular health/wellness books and advice that far too often present mere deductions, speculations or worst, ideologically motivated or profit-oriented wishful thinking as science, misleading and ultimately disappointing the innocent and fellow ideologues.
For the future, one wishes for regular revisions to the book as research advances to confirms and refutes today's impressions and fine-tune advice for healthier, better living. @DrChristianSpee

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-01

Some things too generalized

Some things were very detailed, but some too generalized. Anytime high fat diet was discussed it was associated with processed foods and sugar. Very unfair and not helpful to those in a keto-like diet with lots of fat including both animal fat and non-animal. Also l, like me, all the animal fat is grass fed, organic etc. and that is world's away from the generalized mention of meat and animal fat focused on in the book which was processed, fast food, etc. In that regard it offered no help to me... Also, praise for some things that had no evidence were clearly author preference, like Mediterranean diet. Sure, olive oil from 800 year old trees is great for you, like those studied, but we don't live in the Mediterranean and the olive oil of the shelves or other obvious differences, can't be spouted as good for you because it seems to replicate Mediterranean eating.

When the author discussed hunter gatherers that still exist today, he pointed out some that reinforced his low animal based diet, but conveniently left out others like the Maasai and Samburu tribes that live primarily meat, milk and animal blood. Or the Inuit who eat fish, meat and whale fat.

Too many authors pick and choose examples to support their preference, for some books it's appropriate but for this book he should have kept it to evident based science and remember, even it was in support of his preferences, that correlation does not equal causation.

Put all that aside, most the information is fascinating and opens the door to a new and fully perspective on health and wellbeing.

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  • Vanessa burnham
  • 2019-05-22

One of the most helpful reads

This book is packed with digestible information (pun intended). It really opens one’s eyes to gut and total health and how our body functions with regard to what we eat and how we think about health. I listened AND bought the book so I could take notes and highlight along the way.

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  • Jessica
  • 2019-02-20

Narration

The lack of perceived interest in the subject by the narrator comes across very monotone and dry. I am having a very hard time finishing it. I listen while I’m driving and this particular book makes me sleepy.