Did you think that the intestines in the belly were only useful for digestion? Not true! The digestive system plays a key role in a number of functions: immunity, mood, resistance to stress and disease… Follow two nano-explorers named Harry and Judy as they discover the hidden world of our guts!

Journey to the heart of our belly

This comic is the result of a meeting between a great scientist and a talented cartoonist.

  • Harry SOKOL is Professor of Gastroenterology at the Sorbonne and head of an INSERM* research team working on the role of the microbiota in intestinal diseases. He is internationally renowned in the field of IBD**.
  •  Judy is a cartoonist and comic book author.

The two of them have taken on the role of two nano-explorers who set off on a nano-trip to discover the secret universe inside our bodies, and more specifically our digestive tract.

A mix of science, humour and superb drawings, this book is a light-hearted introduction to the world of microbiota.

Using diagrams, simplified examples, metaphors and scientific experiments, specialist Harry explains to Judy everything there is to know about how it works:

The comic is divided into 5 chapters:

  • The digestive tract,
  • The intestinal microbiota in detail,
  • The origins of most diseases,
  • Ways of looking after your microbiota daily,
  • A glossary explaining the scientific vocabulary.

A comic dedicated to the intestinal microbiota, but not only!

This book is a compendium of information about the intestinal microbiota. It combines:

  • Nutrition,
  • Diseases,
  • History,
  • Genetics,
  • Medicine.

Thanks to Harry, you will learn what your microbiota’s preferred diet is, and its influence.

He will review its multiple functions: metabolic, barrier and immune.

He will explain that Western lifestyles have evolved too rapidly for the intestinal microbiota to adapt. This is thought to be one of the factors behind many diseases such as obesity, IBD, type 2 diabetes, etc.

This scientist will also be highlighting phage therapy : a therapy using phages or bacteriophages that specifically target certain bacteria. Phage therapy was used in the 1920s, then abandoned with the advent of antibiotics. It is now re-emerging as a treatment for bacterial infections, because it is gentler than antibiotic therapy.

Find out all about:

Our view

This comic is packed with anecdotes that make for captivating reading! For example, did you know that the intestinal microbiota diversity is equivalent to the diversity of oceans or forests? Or did you know that the microbiota of Olympic champions is different from that of weekend warriors?

As well as providing a wealth of knowledge, this book encourages us to think about the link between our actions, our health and the environment.

We recommend this entertaining comic to learn a little more about our belly and its microbiota, the place where the well-being and health of our whole body is decided. Everything is explained with humour and intelligence!

Suitable for the general public (aged 12 and over) and all types of scientific culture, we recommend that you have a scientific bent to get the most out of this journey.


PS: there is a blooper at the end of the book.



*INSERM: Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research)

**IBD : Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Harry Sokol, Judy. The extraordinary powers of the belly. Deboeck supérieur, 2022.