Recently read the book Gut by Giulia Enders. A wonderful book on an organ that we know so little about. Here’s a snippet on how the books starts.
If we could see more than meets the eye, we could watch as a clump of cells grows into a human being in a woman’s belly. We would suddenly see how we develop, roughly speaking, from three tubes.
The first tube runs right the way through us, with a knot in the middle. This is our cardiovascular system, and the central knot is what develops into our heart.
The second tube develops more or less parallel to the first along our back. Then it forms a bubble that migrates to the top end of our body, where it stays put. This tube is our nervous system, with the spinal cord, including the brain, at the top and myriad nerves branching out into every part of our body.
The third tube runs through us from end to end. This is our intestinal tube the gut. The intestinal tube provides many of the furnishings of our interior. It grows buds that bulge out farther and farther to the right and left. These buds will later develop into our lungs. A little bit lower down, the intestinal tube bulges again and our liver has begun to develop. It also forms our gall bladder and pancreas. But, most importantly, the tube itself begins to grow increasingly clever. It is involved in the complex construction of our mouth, creates our esophagus, with its ability to move like a break dancer, and develops a little stomach pouch so we can store food for a couple of hours. And, last but not least, the intestinal tube completes its masterpiece the eponymous intestine or gut.
The masterpieces of the other two tubes the heart and the brain are generally held in high regard. We see the heart as central to life since it pumps blood around the body. The brain is admired for its ability to create a dazzling array of new mental images and concepts every second. But the gut, in most people’s eyes, is good for little more than going to the toilet. Apart from that, people think, it just hangs around inside our bellies, letting off a little steam every now and then. People do not generally credit it with any particular abilities. It would be fair to say that we underestimate our gut. To put it more bluntly, we don’t just underestimate it, we are ashamed of it more guilt feeling than gut feeling
A fascinating read, lot of interesting information. Highly recommended!!