Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: Eat Dirt by Dr. Josh Axe

Title: Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May be the Root Cause of your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure it
Author: Dr. Josh Axe
Year Published: 2016

Genre: Adult non-fiction
Pages: 288 (plus resources, notes, and index)
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2016 Google Reading map)USA

FTC Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for review

Summary (from the back of the book):
 Dirt is not the enemy. In recent decades, modern "improvements" to our lifestyle and food supply have come with a cost: our health. From pesticides in our soil to the refrigeration and pasteurization of our food to an over reliance on antibiotics and a preoccupation with sanitizing everything in sight, our desire to be clean is actually putting us at risk for a host of chronic illnesses.

That's because as we've shifted our focus to living a germ-free life, our bodies--specifically, our digestive systems--have taken a hit. Starved of actual nutrition, fed toxic levels of processed foods, and overtaxed by chemicals, stress, and excessive antimicrobial use, we've developed microscopic tears in our intestinal walls, leading to the widespread inflammation and weakened immunity that characterize a condition known as "leaky gut syndrome."

In Eat Dirt, Dr. Josh Axe explains the hidden causes and widespread effects of leaky gut syndrome, a condition that is thought to be ground zero for many of the country's most confounding health crises--including allergies, asthma, food sensitivities, diabetes, digestive diseases, arthritis, thyroid conditions, and even frustratingly difficult-to-treat conditions such as chronic fatigue and autism.

Dr. Axe explains that 70 percent of our immune system is located in the gut--when it's under attack, our health suffers. In leaky gut syndrome, a number of factors--including insufficient exposure to "dirt"--leads to the breakdown of the intestinal wall, allowing food, bacteria, and toxins to seep into the bloodstream.

Review: In the past six months, my family has been talking about antibiotics, over-sanitizing, and dirt so this book came at the perfect moment.

  • I wasn't as interested in the "leaky gut" part because we don't really have those symptoms in my house. Well, we have allergies, but not the others.
  • Leaky gut is the concept that our intestines thin and tear, allowing toxins, food, etc out into our bloodstream and bodies. According to the author, this leads to numerous different maladies ranging from MS to allergies, from digestive issues to chronic fatigue. 
  • The part that I found most interesting is the "eat dirt" portion. It's not that we should literally eat dirt, per se, but that we shouldn't inoculate ourselves against all bacteria the way we do by taking so many antibiotics, using antibacterial soaps, wipes, and lotions, and eating so much processed food. I totally agree with that. We try to buy as much as possible from farmer's markets, rinse our food just a little with water, etc. The author points out that we avoid dirt so much that we've gotten away from the good bacteria, which is causing a lot of medical problems for Americans.

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