Listen free for 30 days

10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness

Narrated by: Robyn Addison
Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (307 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

In this groundbreaking book, Alanna Collen explores the extraordinary world of the powerful microbes that make up 90 percent of the human body.

You are just 10 percent human. For every one of the cells that make your body, there are nine impostor cells. You are not just flesh and blood, muscle and bone, brain and skin, but bacteria and fungi. You are not an individual but a colony of microbes. Far from being passive, the trillions of microbes that live on and in you are intimately involved in running your body. Even aspects that you think of entirely as ‘you' turn out to be run by ‘them' - like your immune system.

In this riveting, shocking, and beautifully written book, Alanna Collen explores the modern epidemics of ‘Western' diseases - obesity, autism, mental health problems, gut disorders, allergies, autoimmunity, and even cancer - and argues that most have their roots in our failure to cherish our most fundamental and enduring relationship: that with our personal colony of microbes. Antibiotics, antibacterial cleaners, rapidly changing diets, and our obsession with hygiene alter the microbe community we carry. Unlike our human cells, though, we can change our microbes for the better.

10% Human provides a revelatory guide to the role of your body's microbes in health and happiness. This is popular science at its most relevant: life - and your body - will never seem the same again.

©2015 Alanna Collen (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

More from the same

What members say
Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    237
  • 4 Stars
    58
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    189
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    201
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Most interesting and informative book

One of the most informative books I've ever come across. I particularly liked the realistic scientific approach and avoidance of dogmatic statements found in many books relating to modern diseases and/or diet. Very easy to follow and grasp the concepts of this new field of science that exploration of microbiota has opened up. The very pleasant uk accent of the reader was just an additional cherry on top :-)

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

Alanna Collen provides a detailed, easy to understand, science based account of her subject. This is the second book I have read on the subject and far and away the best. It is packed with information and provides a balanced view assuming a reasonable intelligence on the part of her audience and thus resists the tedious and somewhat patronising padding and self glorification of tomes written by self styled health gurus. Fascinating and sufficiently thought provoking to encourage further personal research and a second listen. Particularly recommended to those planning a family, suffering any kind of chronic or long term condition or recently recovering from a serious infection. Or indeed anyone wishing to avoid the latter two!

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A good book that somewhat undermines itself.

First of all the praise. I find audiobooks difficult but this is one that I found easy to listen to. The writing was interesting and the narration was excellent. I hope the author and narrator publish more books in the future.

I have two main gripes. Firstly, the production is poor. The problem is the timings i.e. the pauses between sections. Sometimes the pause is non-existent, making one topic continuous with another. Its really jarring and confusing to find that the narrative has moved on to a different subject without any deliniation. If in doubt make the pauses too long rather than too short. Also, there's a few mispronounciations which I think is unfair of me to blame the narrator but I think should have been picked up and re-recorded prior to publication. Is there an equivalent to a proof-reader? A proof-listener perhaps.

My second gripe concerns the scientific accuracy of the book. Firstly, I'd like to make the obvious point that an audiobook cannot have references or footnotes, which might otherwise have addressed, elaborated on and clarified various points. I feel that a book like this needed them and might have been better to read than listen to. Mainly though, the author sometimes quotes scientific studies with the caveat that they might not be significant due to their small size but then goes on to attach significance to them by including them in the book. An example "...whether this discrepancy...is meaningful in just twelve volunteers remains to be seen...but its interesting to note". I don't agree. If the result cannot be replicated or if it is not statistically significant then it is not interesting to note. It is irrelevant to note. It's a waste of time to note. It is misleading to note.

Science books should stick to the scientific method, which to be fair, the author mainly does but I would have preferred it if the waters hadn't been muddied at all.

I still rate this four stars out of five. Despite its avoidable problems its still a well-narrated and interesting book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

10% Human : Great Book.

A beautifully written book with a plot and a mystery waiting to be revealed. Yes I know it's a factual biological book but never the less this was a delightful listen which I found difficult to turn off.
It's so good to have English references rather than the American approach so many of these types of books are from the USA. This made it easier for me to hang on to the sometimes quite technical vocabulary.
I would definitely recommend 10%Human to anyone thinking of becoming pregnant as well as someone with a chronic condition or a lay person like me who is interested in long term good health.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book is a wake up call

A joy to listen to throughout. It's a game changer for me and I'm very glad I read it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Kills 99% of known germ misunderstandings

(OK maybe 70%...) Microbes have been cast as our tiny invisible foes since their discovery. The targeting of specific diseases by medicine has been of great benefit to humans but the 'war on germs' generally has been folly based on ignorance and fear - not to mention commerce (E.g. sanitary and pharma). At last there is some gradual appreciation of the scientific fact that we are organisms, not individuals. We have evolved like all animals as modular biological survival machines - and microbes are us too.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the most important books ever!

If you could sum up 10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness in three words, what would they be?

Just read it, you will not regret!

Any additional comments?

This book has changed the way I view myself, humans beings, medicine, food, disease, mental illness... pretty much everything! An incredibly well reasoned and researched body of work. Hope it is read far and wide.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WOW & THANKS Everyone should know this information

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I recommend this book to every human who wants to understand and improve the short and long term health of themselves and their family.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The author for her sheer hard work and ruthlessness in uncovering all of the aspects that came together to paint the picture of the importance of our intestinal microbial friends and foes.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Each example of how altering the microbial population of a human gut changed physical and mental disease states in humans back to normal health and function.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I'm a student of health and nutrition and consider myself to be very thorough. Alanna Collen has showed me that I am a novice in that respect. Her dedication and burning desire to uncover as much as we currently know about how our gut micro-biota plays a role in our health answered all of the questions, as best as science currently can, that have been formulating in my head for the last few years. I'm exhilarated that this book is available and so thankful to the author. I am incredibly inspired to offer this information to anyone else prepared to listen. And yes I laughed a few times in this book, mostly at the absurdity of current common thinking towards diet, medication and health in general. Boy have we got some things wrong up to now!

Any additional comments?

I wish that the author continues to apply her skills in the research and writings in the area of the microbial species symbiotic relationship with other animals including us humans! Yours sincerely, Timmy Adamson, Belfast NI

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Life changing

my perspective on life is changed and I now have an appreciation of how complex and evolved our bodies are to depend on its microbes and that they must be at least protected if not cultured

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

What would have made 10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness better?

If the author had a larger grasp of her subject - she handles her material from a very partisan perspective of mainstream health-care and is somewhat disparaging of functional approaches without actually naming it; this unfortunately lends an uncomfortable bias to her book.

What was most disappointing about Alanna Collen’s story?

Her disparaging tone of anything about which she is insufficiently knowledgeable or cannot or has not been tested by mainstream healthcare.

What didn’t you like about Robyn Addison’s performance?

Her tone of delivery matches the tone of the book; "I know best and am negative about anything I disagree or am miss-informed about".

What character would you cut from 10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness?

This question is not applicable - I just would not recommend the book - there is value in some of what she has written but you can get this value in other, better books or from the internet.

Any additional comments?

Research the topic yourself and then read this and make up your own mind - but for a first introduction to the material I recommend looking elsewhere.

9 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Eduardo Bessa
  • Eduardo Bessa
  • 31-01-18

thought provoking

I surely will give a go at the informed choices regarding diet, medication and lifestyle this book suggests.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for SL
  • SL
  • 10-05-15

Outstanding and worthy of the highest praise !!

I've read dozens of very fine books regarding health and how our food choices affect us, but this book ranks at the very top in terms of the extraordinary depth it offers and the absolutely wonderful performance by the narrator. As I was reading it, I was unable to keep from telling all my closest friends that they should procure a copy, in particular those friends with young children or health issues such a IBS.
This book deserves a wide audience and hopefully it will get the recognition it deserves to make that happen autonomously.
Compliments to the author for her fine work.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ELIZABETH
  • ELIZABETH
  • 30-07-15

To a hammer everything looks like a nail

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The writer is obsessed with the microbes in the human gut, which are apparently responsible for everything from autism to acne. Gets a little wearying at times.

Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

Concepts well described if occasionally a little twee (or maybe that was just the reader - see below).

How did the narrator detract from the book?

100%. Amongst the many mispronunciations, she seems to believe that the word 'aitch' starts with the letter 'h', The accent grates from go to woe.

Do you think 10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Maybe needs a book by someone who can provide counter-arguments.

Any additional comments?

Probably better read than listened to.