“Standing room only” was reported from the microbiome presentations at the recent Digestive Disease Week 2017 (#DDW17)—not an unusual circumstance at academic and medical conferences all around the world. And it’s no surprise that scientists and health professionals are keen to increase their knowledge, since microbiome-related diagnostics and interventions may soon add valuable tools to the arsenal of modern medicine.

The intestinal microbiota is of particular interest to those seeking to understand how commensal microbes influence human health, and the past two years have seen the publication of several reference texts focusing on the gut microbiota. For scientists and health professionals, the GMFH editing team has put together this list of our book picks—all of them containing evidence-based information on the gut microbiota with a focus on clinical applications.


The Gut-Brain Axis: Dietary, Probiotic, and Prebiotic Interventions on the Microbiota

Edited by Niall Hyland and Catherine Stanton, 2016

Two researchers from the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) at University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland, Niall Hyland and Catherine Stanton, offer this 508-page volume on the potential of using gut microbiota manipulation therapeutically in various central nervous system disorders that have been linked with an altered gut microbiota. A meandering tour through various aspects of gut-brain communication and gut microbiota alteration through diet for the benefit of the brain, the book emphasizes all aspects of probiotic use—from strain identification to delivery strategies and therapeutic efficacy.


Understanding the Gut Microbiota

By Gerald W. Tannock, 2017

Tannock, an academic whose career has spanned more than 40 years, offers up this book as a “scholarly treatise of the microbiota of the human bowel”. This history-rich reference work discusses general ecological principles with respect to the gut microbiota, and identifies the importance of the relationship between food and intestinal bacterial populations in human health.


The Microbiota in Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology: Implications for Human Health, Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Dysbiosis

Edited by Martin Floch, Yehuda Ringel, and W. Allan Walker, 2016

In the 43 chapters of this gastroenterology reference textbook, this trio of physicians/researchers comprehensively explores the relationship of gut microbial ecology with human disease. In addition to an overview of the “normal” microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract, the book contains detailed chapters on common probiotic bacterial species, both their proposed mechanisms of action and their clinical efficacy.


Le microbiote intestinal: Un organe à part entière (only available in French)

De Philippe Marteau et Joël Doré, 2017

Written by two experienced French researchers and both members of the GMFH digital scientific board, this explanatory text is an overview of the gut microbiota’s involvement in the maintenance of health. Focusing on the frail balance of the gut ecosystem, the book delivers an understanding of microbiota-host symbiosis and, given the scientific studies to date, its implications for managing patient health.


La microbiota intestinal (only available in Spanish)          

De Carmen Pérez y Teresa Requena, 2017

Published by two Spanish biologists at CSIC (Spanish National Research Council), this book digs into the true role of the intestinal microbiota in general health. Focusing on microbial equilibrium within the intestine, the book presents an understanding of the link between gut microbiota and diseases such as obesity, intestinal inflammation, and some neurological disorders, as well as how to modulate the microbiota through diet and lifestyle.

For lighter reading on the gut microbiota you can also check out the GMFH News Watch book picks, selected for a general audience!