Must Read on Pocket

This is one of the most-saved, read, and shared stories on Pocket.

Recommendations from Pocket Users

Trey Causey

Shared August 30, 2016

Fascinating long read on the importance of gut microbes and fiber (which sounds less than fascinating, now that I type it out).

Tomáš Baránek

Shared August 7, 2016

Skvělý článek o naprosto (pro mikrobiom) likvidační západní stravě vzniklý ve spolupráci s vědci a autory knihy Sonnenburgovými. Knihu jsme vydali pod názvem Zdravá střeva:

Gautam John

Shared June 27, 2016

I find it fascinating how the debate has moved to a much more complex understanding of the human body as a system.

Burgers and fries have nearly killed our ancestral microbiome.

Jeshua Borges

Shared December 20, 2015

Scientists suspect our intestinal community of microbes, the human microbiota, calibrates our immune and metabolic function, and that its corruption or depletion can increase the risk of chronic diseases, ranging from asthma to obesity. One might think that if we coevolved with our microbes, they’d be more or less the same in healthy humans everywhere. But that’s not what the scientists observed.

Matteo Wyllyamz

Shared June 26, 2016

“It was the most different human microbiota composition we’d ever seen,” Sonnenburg told me. To his mind it carried a profound message: The Western microbiome, the community of microbes scientists thought of as “normal” and “healthy,” the one they used as a baseline against which to compare “diseased” microbiomes, might be considerably different than the community that prevailed during most of human evolution.

Amos Zeeberg

Shared May 22, 2016

Eat your fiber, or your gut microbes will start eating you.

Halim Madi

Shared January 3, 2017

So is the solution fecal transplant? 😮

You can eat all the fiber you want (unless your food is contaminated with feces) and you’ll never re-acquire microbes like H. pylori. The only way to restore such microbes may be to deliberately reintroduce them.

Shreeniwas Iyer

Shared May 31, 2016

Long read about microbes, but totally worthy read:

Jason van Niekerk

Shared May 7, 2016

Many who study the microbiome suspect that we are experiencing an extinction spasm within that parallels the extinction crisis gripping the planet. Numerous factors are implicated in these disappearances. Antibiotics, available after World War II, can work like napalm, indiscriminately flattening our internal ecosystems. Modern sanitary amenities, which began in the late 19th century, may limit sharing of disease- and health-promoting microbes alike. Today’s houses in today’s cities seal us away from many of the soil, plant, and animal microbes that rained down on us during our evolution, possibly limiting an important source of novelty.

But what the Sonnenburgs’ experiment suggests is that by failing to adequately nourish key microbes, the Western diet may also be starving them out of existence. They call this idea “starving the microbial self.” They suspect that these diet-driven extinctions may have fueled, at least in part, the recent rise of non-communicable diseases


Shared May 29, 2016

A whole world inside us

Saager Mhatre

Shared June 10, 2016

I wonder if that accounts for the traditional Sake brewing process?

the microbes of subsistence communities so far studied are geared toward fermenting fiber.

Saager Mhatre

Shared June 10, 2016

The problem with the fiber hypothesis, however, has always been twofold.

Rakesh Gupta

Shared March 11, 2017

How did the microbiome of our ancestors look before it was altered by sanitation, antibiotics, and junk food?
As it turns out, our microbiome needs a balanced diet to flourish too. But it may be too late. Could it be that we've jettisoned the best advantages of our own intestinal microbes by eating sanitized, homogenous junk food—like white bread and fries?

Ranjani Natarajan

Shared June 7, 2016

“If we wait to the point where we are beyond a shadow of a doubt, with double-blind studies translated to regulations, we’re going to be waiting decades,” Sonnenburg told me. “But right now, all the arrows are pointing in the same direction, toward fiber.”

Andrew Eisenberg

Shared November 16, 2015

Perhaps we are killing part of ourselves when we clean out all that bacteria in our gut.

Addie K. Martin

Shared August 27, 2016

Why more fiber is the answer to many of our gut-related problems...

Stephen Barber

Shared December 10, 2015

Article looking at the impact of our intestinal flora on health....and the rise of inflammatory diseases such as asthma etc

Aylin Ahmet

Shared July 23, 2016

Village diet all the way.

Filip Victor

Shared January 23, 2017

Great piece on biome complexity

Jesse Zearle

Shared November 13, 2015

Given this constant supply of microbiota-accessible carbohydrates, human microbiomes of the past, the Sonnenburgs argue, likely produced a river of these short-chain fatty acids. That probably changed some with the transition to agriculture, which made diets less diverse. But an even more drastic shift occurred quite recently, with the advent and widespread adoption of refined foods. As a result, westernized populations, the Sonnenburgs think, have lost healthful, fiber-fermenting microbes. And we suffer from a kind of fermentation byproduct deficiency.

HUNGRY MICROBES: A healthy gut hosts a number of microenvironments. A fatty diet lacking in fiber causes some of our internal, ancestral microbes to devour a mucus lining, potentially leading to inflammatory bowel disease.
Photo by: Kristen Earle/Sonnenburg Lab
So why can’t we supplement our diet with short-chain fatty acids? When I visited Sonnenburg, he showed me one reason why: The ecosystem that produces the acids may be as important as the acids themselves. He brought up two cross-sectional images of fecal pellets still in mice intestines. Most microbiome analyses take a tally, from genetic markers, of what microbes are present and in what abundance. That’s equivalent to imagining what a forest looks like from a pile of wood chips, and gives little sense of how the forest was organized. By some ingenious tinkering, though, one of Sonnenburg’s post-docs had developed a way to freeze the ecosystem in place, and then photograph it.

Benjamin Kay

Shared February 7, 2016

"Years ago, impelled in part by their oldest daughter’s constipation problems, the Sonnenburg family revamped its diet. They threw out all processed food-stuffs, and began eating plenty of veggies and whole grains. They bought a dog. Justin Sonnenburg began hand-milling his own wheat berries for bread. He took up gardening. And when he compared his archived microbes from years ago with recent ones, he discovered that his microbial diversity had increased by half. “That’s a huge difference,” he told me, “as big as the difference between Americans and Amerindians.”"

L. X. and R.

Shared December 9, 2015

An apple per day...

Jonty Sinai

Shared December 27, 2015

Part 1: there's a new health revolution and it's called eating what your body wants? Sounds familiar, but our diets have been ignoring sound advice for years. Now science has caught up with what we already knew but just ignored.

Christian deTorres

Shared March 28, 2016

Folks from Burkina Faso can make good money selling their microbes.

Chad Robinson

Shared January 10, 2016

What a fascinating read!

Gabriel Szász

Shared March 26, 2016

Intestinal microbiome is an essential part of our bodies. It turned out that Western diet can destroy it in two weeks and thus we are actively derailing evolution of our own species.

Brian Edwards

Shared February 12, 2016

Ditch that burger

Aditya Sinha

Shared June 6, 2016

On the brink

Paul K Maguire

Shared August 15, 2016

a little dense, but informative #gut #microbiome

Jacqueline Dozier

Shared March 29, 2016

Eat more fiber.


Shared May 11, 2016

"...right now, all the arrows are pointing in the same direction, toward fiber.”

reaz toofany

Shared January 1, 2016

Nice insight on the evolution of our diet and its consequences

Brandon Dorr

Shared November 25, 2018

Microbiome so poorly understood and appreciated.
But fiber and what you eat decides what's in your gut.
Improvement in diet can allow for improvement
Pregnant woman eating processed western food lead to permanent loss of microbiome diversity across generations.

Brandon Dorr

Shared November 25, 2018

Wringing calories from wild, fibrous fare required a village—microbes specialized in distinct tasks, but each also dependent on its neighbors. The difficulty of the job encouraged cooperation between microbes. When you withheld fiber, though, you removed the need for that close-knit cooperation. The mutually beneficial arrangements began to fray.

Brandon Dorr

Shared November 25, 2018

Wringing calories from wild, fibrous fare required a village—microbes specialized in distinct tasks, but each also dependent on its neighbors. The difficulty of the job encouraged cooperation between microbes. When you withheld fiber, though, you removed the need for that close-knit cooperation. The mutually beneficial arrangements began to fray.

Andrew Schwartzmeyer

Shared November 27, 2018

Go vegan (and eat more fiber)!

Karl Angry

Shared September 4, 2016

Dlouhy clanek o tom, proc je dulezita vlaknina, jak si pomalu nicime schopnost jejiho traveni a proc je dobre svym detem poridit psa.

Angela S

Shared February 13, 2016

Really interesting and important piece on the human microbiome.

Adam gagne

Shared February 28, 2016


Bernat R

Shared March 21, 2016

Super important

kim zimmerman

Shared April 14, 2016


Ali Naqvi

Shared July 2, 2016

a fascinating long form, explaining how fibre affects our long term health.

Bhavin Prajapati

Shared August 1, 2016

We might call this the “family heirloom” problem. Some fraction of our microbes may be uniquely adapted to our particular genetic quirks—to our particular branch of the human family.

CatLike Felix

Shared September 30, 2016

OK, you can let the dogs lick your face

Those environments where a relatively prolific sharing of microbes still occurs—daycares, cowsheds, homes with lots of siblings, and homes with dogs—seem to protect against allergies, asthma, some auto-immune diseases, and certain cancers. These observations, often grouped under the rubric of the “hygiene hypothesis,” appear to highlight a phenomenon separate from diet: access to microbial wealth, and possibly to unique microbial heirlooms.

David Bautista

Shared October 4, 2017

Muy recomendado.

Warren Q

Shared March 23, 2016

The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health, the Sonnenburgs

Nose Art

Shared November 18, 2018

As in the natural world, the more an ecosystem tends towards homogenization the more fragile it becomes, so too it seems in the gut. Best piece of writing I've read on the microbiome

Tim Caves

Shared November 17, 2015

This is an interesting article about bacteria. X

Dan Martin

Shared December 27, 2015

Very interesting. Sheds light possible cause of increased asthma rates in modern societies .