Gut Feelings

Gut Feelings

The Microbiome and Our Health

By Alessio Fasano and Susie Flaherty

Why the microbiome—our rich inner ecosystem of microorganisms—may hold the keys to human health.





Why the microbiome—our rich inner ecosystem of microorganisms—may hold the keys to human health.

We are at the dawn of a new scientific revolution. Our understanding of how to treat and prevent diseases has been transformed by knowledge of the microbiome—the rich ecosystem of microorganisms in and on every human. These microbial hitchhikers may hold the keys to human health. In Gut Feelings, Alessio Fasano and Susie Flaherty show why we must go beyond the older, myopic view of microorganisms as our enemies to a broader understanding of the microbiome as a parallel civilization that we need to understand, respect, and engage with for the benefit of our own health.

Recent advances in understanding the microbiome and its role in human health dovetail with the development of personalized or “precision” medicine to create treatments and prevention programs targeted to the molecular imprint of an individual. Fasano and Flaherty explore the microbiome's part in such diseases as gut inflammatory disorders, obesity, neurological conditions, and cancer, and they explain new research in prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics, and psychobiotics. They also discuss the microbiome and immune function, including a possible role in COVID-19 treatment.

By simultaneously expanding our perspective to encompass large datasets and multiple factors in human health, and narrowing our focus to identify the individual communities in the human microbiome, we will enlarge—and perhaps reinvent—our understanding of how to combat disease and maintain health.


$27.95 T ISBN: 9780262044271 552 pp. | 5.375 in x 8 in 9 b&w illus.


$19.95 T ISBN: 9780262543835 552 pp. | 5.375 in x 8 in 9 b&w illus.


  • Gut Feelings: The Microbiome and Our Health by Alessio Fasano and Susie Flaherty reveals how understanding this alien inner world will make it possible to target medicines to an individual's needs at the molecular level.

    New Scientist

  • Gut Feelings is a detailed and scientifically rigorous survey... [Fasano and Flaherty] scrupulously assess the many studies on the microbiome and human health with an echoing drumbeat of conditional terms, cautioning the reader that research in rodents may not be replicable in humans,and that correlations found in human populations or individual patients ultimately may not prove causative. Such caveats distinguish this book from popular works on nutrition that make exaggerated claims about how manipulating the microbiome can treat a variety of illnesses. Gut Feelings, by contrast, gives readers a clearer sense of the current state of medical knowledge."

    Jerome Groopman

    The New York Review of Books


  • “The microbiome revolution proves the old adage that 'you are what you eat.' In Gut Feelings, Fasano and Flaherty provide a comprehensive and compelling portrait of the 'bugs' that shape us from early childhood through old age and their role in human health.”

    Mark Hyman

    New York Times best-selling author of Food Fix; Head of Strategy and Innovation at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine