© 2020

Why Gut Microbes Matter

Understanding Our Microbiome


Part of the Fascinating Life Sciences book series (FLS)

Table of contents

About this book


Given the at times confusing new information concerning the human microbiome released over the last few years, this book seeks to put the research field into perspective for non-specialists. Addressing a timely topic, it breaks down recent research developments in a way that everyone with a scientific background can understand.

The book discusses why microorganisms are vital to our lives and how our nutrition influences the interaction with our own gut bacteria. In turn, it goes into more detail on how microbial communities are organised and why they are able to survive in the unique environment of our intestines. Readers will also learn about how their personal microbial profile is as unique as their fingerprint, and how it can be affected by a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle.

Thanks to the open and easy-to-follow language used, the book offers an overview for all readers with a basic understanding of biology, and sheds new light on this fascinating and important part of our bodies.


Anaerobes Fibre Gut Microbiota Human Health Microbial Ecology Microbiome Nutrition Symbiosis

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Rowett Institute of Nutrition HealthUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

About the authors

Harry Flint obtained his BSc and PhD in Genetics from the University of Edinburgh and subsequently held lectureships at the Universities of Nottingham and the West Indies. Following a fellowship in molecular biology at Edinburgh, Harry joined the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen in 1985 with the goal of applying these approaches to the microbiology of the ruminant gut. More recently, his research has focused increasingly on the human intestinal microbiota and their role in health and disease, in particular the impact of dietary fibres on our gut microbial community and its metabolic products. Harry is now an Emeritus Professor at the University of Aberdeen and is the author of more than 250 scientific papers, reviews and book chapters. He is happily married and has three grown-up children.

Bibliographic information

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“The book is meant for those with a firm grasp of all fields of science, but the author acknowledges it can be used by non-specialists with basic knowledge of science. I see this being useful to researchers interested in the topic as well as nutrition professionals. The book meets the needs of its intended audience.” (Amy Hess Hess Fischl, Doody's Book Reviews, September 11, 2020)