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Lots to Digest When Sorting Fact From Fiction on Subject

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Gut Health: Manipulated or Necessary for Your Best Health?: Digestive Products and the Hype Around Gut Health by Sophie Mace

What’s it About?

A book perfect for both those looking to take the first step on their healthy lifestyle journey and veterans looking to expand their knowledge base.

The consumer health and nutrition industry is a tricky space. On one hand there are plenty of professionals doing real research who are genuinely invested in the well-being of consumers. On the other, there are just as many, some professionals and some not, who are simply looking to cash in on current trends. This is the nature of the industry, one completely ruled by fads.


As of recently, diets have been all the rage. Whether its keto, paleo, vegan or otherwise, each diet rides off different trends and promises mind-blowing results. Are the proponents of these diets lying? Not necessarily. Are they as effective as promised? Also, not necessarily. If nothing else, the industry is murky, and often one will find that they will only get as much out of it as the research they put in. Thankfully, information is readily available for those ready to put in the effort, and author and former professional athlete Sophie Mace’s new book, Gut Health: Manipulated or Necessary for Your Best Health?, is a perfect example.


“Gut health” is a social media buzzword these days, with TikTok and Instagram influencers pushing products, juices, and bizarre diets to “heal” the gut, i.e., reduce bloating, improve digestion, and act as a “cure all” for many common gastrointestinal symptoms and conditions, such as IBS and IBD. Bone broth, apple cider vinegar, probiotic baking mixes, marshmallow root — With so many emerging and unverified natural and artificial remedies floating around the internet, it can be overwhelming to discern fact from fiction. 


At the same time, there’s so much new and exciting research around the role of the gut microbiome in overall physical and mental health and this book covers all of it. Mace lays out everything we need to know in a simple, logical structure, perfect for both those new to nutrition and those already versed in it.


After briefly describing the digestive system and what the “gut” actually is in a physiological sense, Mace touches on sugar — both the unyielding grip it has on our society and its effect on the gut, and how our gut in part is what controls sugar (and otherwise) cravings. She then goes on to illustrate the variety of effects that poor diets and other lifestyle habits have on the gut, and the profoundly negative consequences the body experiences as a result. Were you aware that an inflamed gut can cause the body’s defense mechanisms to target itself, and as extensively as raising the risk of mental disorders?


My favorite section touched on the effects of stress — something that everyone experiences.


“Now, research is telling us that stress can be one of the leading factors in inflammation. Why? Our bodies are designed to treat stress as an unwanted substance, or as something that needs to be fought against. Stress creates a fight or flight response in our bodies… if we’re perpetually stressed, our immune system behaves as if we’re under attack. This triggers low-grade inflammation in the body, which then leads to a whole host of diseases.”


After explaining how our guts really work and why a healthy gut is important, Mace busts some myths polluting some recent trends in the gut health space, discusses the trends and products that really are worth our attention, and finally helps us understand the simple lifestyle choices we can make that will have arguably the largest effects on out gut. Each and every point made throughout the book is also backed up by peer-reviewed studies and other verifiable sources, ensuring authenticity. Mace does an excellent job however of articulating these simply and effectively, avoiding burying the important information with academic jargon.


This book is perfect for those ready to begin making major changes to their lifestyles who just need a good place to start. However, even as an athlete and someone well-versed in nutrition and gut health myself, I still found this book full of new information and research that added to my repertoire. In an industry that is nothing if not full of conflicting and confusing information, Sophie Mace’s book is a beacon.



Sophie Mace is a former professional athlete with a keen interest in health, fitness, wellness, and mental health, and is the author of books:

Gut Health: Manipulated or Necessary for Your Best Health? Digestive Products and the Hype Around Gut Health

Healing The Gut: Beyond Digestive Products and How Meditation Is Key to a Healthy Gut

Better: The 6 Dimensions of Wellness to Feel and be Your Best Self

Mommy & Baby Gut Health: How Healthy and Diverse Gut Microbiota Can Boost Your Fertility and Strengthen Newborn Immunity

Her work explores nutritional health, gut health and healing, and how to achieve optimal health, fitness, and performance.

Sophie is passionate about holistic wellness and fitness. Maintaining each element of good health has been a huge part of her life since she was 11 years old. She has always understood the power of good nutrition and the importance of self-care in staying injury-free with a positive mindset. Her discipline as an athlete has seen her push through many failures, growing each time and constantly striving for ways to improve. The strategies she learned through her own personal journey for achieving optimal health and performance inform her work as a writer, and she’s passionate about spreading this knowledge further.

Sophie remains committed to her own health and still lives an active lifestyle. She also loves exploring new healthy recipes and finding exciting ways to bring good nutrition into her daily life. She is a big believer in the power of meditation and finds time each day to dedicate to the practice.

Gut Health: Manipulated or Necessary for Your Best Health?: Digestive Products and the Hype Around Gut Health by Sophie Mace

Publish Date: 9/15/2022

Author: Sophie Mace

Page Count: 180 pages

ISBN: 9798352773192

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