Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut (2024)

Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut Review

Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut

From the Hey Who Knew We’d Be Talking So Much About Poop Today Dept. comes Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut, a slab of quasi-documentary Netflix content that roots around in our intestines and emerges with some compelling science about our relationship with food. Or, more accurately, it roots around in the intestines of four people with various health issues that could be managed with a greater understanding of the microbiomes within their bodies. It also features a serious doctor using the word “butthole” more than once, so not only are we being informed, but our inner eight-year-old might also be entertained.


The Gist: If there’s a “celebrity gut doctor,” it’s probably Giulia Enders. She’s the face of this documentary, a German scientist who’s extensively studied and written about the gut, and also is the aforementioned user of the word “butthole,” which sounds a little extra funny because of her accent. The use of that word helps establish the tone of The Secrets of Your Gut, which is not immune to the inherent and undeniable comedy of bathroom humor. In fact, one of the variety of gut scientists who turn up in this movie coins the phrase “repoopulate” while discussing a very new gut-bacteria treatment called a “fecal microbiome transplant.” Still, dung puns and the like aren’t necessarily incongruent to the seriousness of the film’s primary subjects, four people wrestling with some familiar and relatable gut-related health issues (and one that’s not at all relatable, but nevertheless fascinating from an objective perspective).

And so we have Maya, a Michelin-starred pastry chef who’s struggled with anorexia and feels lousy if she eats anything besides vegetables and supplements – which means she can’t even eat her own delicious concoctions, like this crazy cake-tower thing covered with macaroons. Daniell is a psychology student whose lousy dietary choices now find her dealing with a host of digestive issues; now, she can only eat about 15 different foods that don’t cause her pain. Kimmie’s situation will sound familiar to many – she’s been labeled morbidly obese, and can’t lose weight despite trying a variety of diets, exercise regimes and medications. And then there’s the guy you’ve probably heard of, Kobayashi, the world-renowned competitive eater who’s wolfed down inhuman amounts of hot dogs and pizza slices, etc., and now, perhaps not to anyone’s surprise, no longer experiences feelings of hunger, and worries that his particularly narrow-niched career has damaged his body.

Some answers, per Enders and the other experts in this doc, might be found in the microbiome, the community of bacteria that lives inside the human body. Kind of like fingerprints, each of our microbiomes is distinct. Also to no one’s surprise, microbiomes of individuals living in industrialized society lack the diversity of bacteria we need to be healthy which is caused by processed food consumption. So doctors had Maya send them Daniell’s fecal samples so their microbiomes could be analyzed along with Kimmie and matched up with foods they will help develop a wider variety have gut bacteria therefore feel better Kobayashi too

What Other Movies Will It Remind You Of?: The Secrets of Your Gut is like one of those not-quite-documentaries are piling up on Netflix — Live to 100, The Mind: Explained, or Get Smart With Money.

Performance Worth Watching: Most notably, Kobayashi shows no shame in horking down dozens upon dozens of hot dogs in front of thousands of people, and therefore apparently has no problem with a documentary crew following him into the bathroom to collect a dookie sample with a tiny little spoon. (Note: the film spares us the graphic details of this scene.)

Sex and Skin: All this talk about what comes out of butts, and not a single shot of a butt.

Our Take: The Secrets of Your Gut doesn’t reek too badly of pseudoscience, which is always the concern with stuff like this. But while it doesn’t get bogged down in scientific study minutiae, nor does it give us simple, easy answers to complex questions. Sometimes it feels like something your sixth-grade science teacher would thread into the projector so he can dip out and smoke a cig lots of infotainment-style tidbits here, kitschy stop-motion animation (which recalls, I kid you not, the Trolls movies) allows director Anjali Nayar to sub in googly-eyed puppets for real poop logs so that nobody gets too disgusted here.

One key takeaway comes during a sequence that shows how each subject’s body chemistry reacts differently to eating an apple: There may not be one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to gut health. It all depends on our individual microbiomes which can be ANAL-eyezed (please pronounce that uh-NAL-eyes-ed for maximum poo-pun fun) for its deficiencies; i.e., Kimmie lacks certain bacteria that make her feel full, so now she knows which foods will help her diversify her microbiome and develop a diet that works for her.

So each of the four subjects has a different potential solution to their problems. One fascinating revelation: Our guts have a “second brain” that communicates feelings of hunger or satiation to the one in our skull, leading scientists to suspect the gut may be linked to many health issues. Get this Daniell decides to try a fecal microbiome transplant, which entails I’m not making this up basically consuming another person’s poop. Don’t worry, it’s not as gross as it sounds; we see her boyfriend remove one of his dookies from the fridge and drop it into a blender so that it can be injected into caplets for easy supplementation. He suffers from depression, and when she takes those pills, she suffers from depression. She tried the same with her brother’s leavings and got his same acne outbreaks. This is some truly shitty science!

Oh, and here’s one thing I’ve got to tell you. The scientists have a piece of advice for every person on this planet eat more vegetables. It’s good for your stomach. You know what my dad always said to me? “Fonzie says eat your veggies.” And you should always listen to The Fonz.

Watch Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut For Free On Gomovies.

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