The Probiotics Revolution is a must-read for anyone interested in probiotics.
It is the book that I'd wished I'd had at my side when I started to explore the role of probiotics in health and our diet.
The Probiotics Revolution is written by Gary Huffnagle - a Professor of Internal Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology. This means that the research has been thorough and detailed. References are supplied so that you can check the source.
The style is easy to read so that even if you're new to probiotics you can follow along without having to reach for your dictionary every 2 seconds. Although the book is written by a scholar, it is full of anecdotes of a family man journeying to find answers to his own health problems and to ensure the good health of his children.
A lovely sense of family pervades this book.
When you read all the marketing hype about probiotics it is easy to forget that these good bacteria are found in our food. A hundred years we obtained all the probiotics that we needed from our diet. If you're in good health then you have no need of probiotic supplements.
Times have changed and sadly many of us eat a diet lacking in probiotics, but Huffnagle shows us very clearly how to increase the probiotic content of our foods.
The Probiotics Revolution is 412 pages long, with 16 chapters divided into 3 main sections.
The first part explains what probiotics are and how they interact with the multitude of other microbes inside us. The connection between our immune system and the microflora of our intestinal tract is clearly shown. I would have gladly paid my money simply to read Chapter 4 which is far and away the clearest description I have ever read of how the immune system works, where inflammation fits into this picture and the role of T cells.
And, of course, written by a man that teaches immunology so you know the facts are right.
Immunology is a vast and complex subject which Professor Huffnagle makes understandable. You'll have a whole new appreciation of what is happening within your body. I felt a kinship with these warrior cells that I had never felt before.
The second part covers specific diseases and health problems and which strain of probiotic bacteria helps with each. Huffnagle suffers from asthma and allergies and it was his quest to find answers for his own health problems that led to the writing of The Probiotics Revolution so these two are covered in great depth. For anyone with gastric problems such as IBS, Inflammatory Bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, ileal pouchitis, ulcers, BV, UTI, yeast infection or a dozen other illnesses you're going to find well researched, thought provoking answers here.
And if probiotics have not been proven to help - then Professor Huffnagle clearly says so. There is no hype, no B***S***. This is a professor of microbiology at a top US medical school giving his considered opinion.
Luckily for us, he writes in such an enjoyable and understandable fashion.
The third part of the book is my favorite section (not counting Chapter 4 which is a masterpiece!) - probiotics in food. Where you find them and how you can easily increase the number you eat without disappearing down a road of impossible to keep dietary restrictions and quackery. It is difficult to source good accurate information on this topic because nobody makes a dollar on it. Supplements are where the money is and that is what gets written about.
But exactly where probiotics can be found in real food is of vital importance for our health.
Huffnagle leads us through healthy eating as well as giving detailed information on prebiotics and metabiotics.
A couple, I suppose, if I'm being picky.
I would have liked a larger section on yeast infection. It's a subject that I'm vitally interested in and so many women are desperate for answers. I did feel that section was a little skimpy when so many women struggle with this one.
I would have liked even more recipes. Many of the ones from this book are "old favorites" now - I've got crumbs and food stains all through the recipe section! The first one that I made after buying this book was the Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes and it is still one of my favorites.
All the foods I love in one dish AND probiotics! How good is that!
Having said that, my response is nothing more than laziness. The recipe section shows you HOW to adapt recipes so that their probiotic content is increased. You'll come away with an understanding of how to do it which is far more helpful that being spoon fed countless recipes.
So overall, was I impressed with The Probiotics Revolution? You bet!
This is the best book on probiotics that I have read.
If you have money or book shelf room for only 1 book on probiotics, then The Probiotics Revolution: The Definitive Guide to Safe, Natural Health Solutions Using Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods and Supplements is the one.