A Silent Fire: The Story of Inflammation, Diet, and Disease

A Silent Fire: The Story of Inflammation, Diet, and Disease

by Shilpa Ravella
A Silent Fire: The Story of Inflammation, Diet, and Disease

A Silent Fire: The Story of Inflammation, Diet, and Disease

by Shilpa Ravella


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“Fascinating.…[Ravella’s writing] breathes life into biological functions.” —Grace Wade, New Scientist

A riveting investigation of inflammation—the hidden force at the heart of modern disease—and how we can prevent, treat, or even reverse it.

Inflammation is the body’s ancestral response to its greatest threats, the first line of defense it deploys against injury and foreign pathogens. But as the threats we face have evolved, new science is uncovering how inflammation may also turn against us, simmering underneath the surface of leading killers from heart disease and cancer to depression, aging, and mysterious autoimmune conditions.

In A Silent Fire, gastroenterologist Shilpa Ravella investigates hidden inflammation’s emerging role as a common root of modern disease—and how we can control it. We meet the visionary nineteenth-century pathologist who laid the foundation for our modern understanding of inflammation, the eccentric Russian zoologist who discovered one of the cells central to our immune system, and the dedicated researchers advancing the frontiers of medical and nutritional science today. With fascinating case studies, Ravella reveals how we can reform our relationships with food and our microbiomes to benefit our own health and the planet’s.

Synthesizing medical history, cutting-edge research, and innovative clinical practice, Ravella unveils inflammation as one potential basis for a unifying theory of disease. A paradigm-shifting understanding of one of the most mysterious, buzzed-about topics in medicine and nutrition, A Silent Fire shows us how to live not only long but well.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781324074328
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/02/2024
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 155,700
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Shilpa Ravella is a transplant gastroenterologist with expertise in nutrition and an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, New York magazine, Slate, Wall Street Journal, and Discover, among other publications.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Metamorphosis 11

Chapter 2 Horror Autotoxicus 34

Chapter 3 A Sense of Strangling 47

Chapter 4 Open Wounds 73

Chapter 5 Anatomical Intimacies 85

Chapter 6 Gray Matter 99

Chapter 7 Resolution 115

Chapter 8 Quiet Conversations 130

Chapter 9 Fat Wars 150

Chapter 10 Sweet, Salty, Deadly 168

Chapter 11 Feeding Germs 178

Chapter 12 Farm Country 191

Chapter 13 Mangiafoglia 204

Chapter 14 Shaping Sustenance 222

Chapter 15 Dirty Cures 240

Chapter 16 Easter Island 253

Chapter 17 Human Chimeras 263

Acknowledgments 285

Notes 287

Index 329

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