Professor Rodney Dietert suggests that the origin of asthma, autism, Alzheimer’s, allergies, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and even some kinds of depression may have a lot to do with the microbiome. He reads from his book, The Human Superorganism: How the Microbiome Is Revolutionizing the Pursuit of a Healthy Life. The Human Superorganism makes a sweeping, paradigm-shifting argument. It demolishes two fundamental beliefs that have blinkered all medical thinking until very recently: 1) Humans are better off as pure organisms free of foreign microbes; and 2) the human genome is the key to future medical advances. The microorganisms that we have sought to eliminate have been there for centuries supporting our ancestors. They comprise as much as 90 percent of the cells in and on our bodies—a staggering percentage! More than a thousand species of them live inside us, on our skin, and on our very eyelashes. Yet we have now significantly reduced their power and in doing so have sparked an epidemic of noncommunicable diseases—which now account for 63 percent of all human deaths. This book is not just about microbes; it is about a different way to view humans. The story that Dietert tells of where the new biology comes from, how it works, and the ways in which it affects your life is fascinating, authoritative, and revolutionary. Dietert identifies foods that best serve you, the superorganism; not new fad foods but ancient foods that have made sense for millennia. He explains protective measures against unsafe chemicals and drugs. He offers an empowering self-care guide and the blueprint for a revolution in public health. We are not what we have been taught. Each of us is a superorganism. The best path to a healthy life is through recognizing that profound truth.
BIO: Rodney Dietert
Rodney Dietert is Professor of Immunotoxicology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He received his PhD in immunogenetics from the University of Texas at Austin. Among his authored and edited academic books are Strategies for Protecting Your Child’s Immune System and Immunotoxicity, Immune Dysfunction, and Chronic Disease. Rodney previously directed Cornell’s Graduate Field of Immunology, the Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors, and the Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, and he has served as a Senior Fellow in the Cornell Center for the Environment. Recently, he appeared in the 2014 award-winning documentary Microbirth. In 2015 he received the James G. Wilson Publication Award from the Teratology Society for the best paper of the year on the microbiome.