You are just 10% human. For every one of the cells that make up the vessel that you call your body, there are nine impostor cells hitching a ride. You are not just flesh and blood, muscle and bone, brain and skin, but also bacteria and fungi. Over your lifetime, you will carry the equivalent weight of five African elephants in microbes. You are not an individual but a colony.
Until recently, we had thought our microbes hardly mattered, but science is revealing a different story, one in which microbes run our bodies and becoming a healthy human is impossible without them.
In this riveting, shocking, and beautifully written book, biologist Alanna Collen draws on the latest scientific research to show how our personal colony of microbes influences our weight, our immune system, our mental health, and even our choice of partner. She argues that so many of our modern diseases—obesity, autism, mental illness, digestive disorders, allergies, autoimmunity afflictions, and even cancer—have their root in our failure to cherish our most fundamental and enduring relationship: that with our personal colony of microbes.
Cat Gould grew up in Sydney, Australia, and after extensive travel moved to the United States in 1990. She is a classically trained actress with a BFA from Southern Oregon University and has performed in many regional productions. Her passion for storytelling, communication, and language is matched well with her dexterity with characters and dialect. She can communicate in French, Spanish, and Italian, and is a voracious reader of fiction, philosophy, and psychology to deepen her understanding and ability to express the human condition.