A Silent Fire

A Silent Fire

The Story of Inflammation, Diet and Disease


Hidden inflammation lies behind many modern diseases. Shilpa Ravella, an expert in nutrition and the gut, explains why our immune systems are turning against us and what we might do about it.

'Controlling inflammation is the key to good health and this beautifully written and researched book is the best way to understand it' TIM SPECTOR, #1 bestselling author of Food for Life

Inflammation is the body's response to injury and foreign microbes. But as our environments and diets have changed, low-level inflammation, simmering quietly and undetected, has been identified behind everything from heart disease and cancer to mysterious autoimmune conditions.

Shilpa Ravella is a doctor at the forefront of this field, specialising in gut transplants, nutrition and the microbiome. In A Silent Fire she interweaves the latest research with unusual case studies from her own practice and the history of immunology to explain what we know about this elusive phenomenon. She debunks common myths about 'anti-inflammatory' lifestyles and explains the simple principles by which we can reform our relationship with food and our microbiomes to benefit our health.

'As gripping as a mystery story and as useful as a self-help book' BEE WILSON, author of First Bite

'Compelling, thoughtful and rigorously researched' The Times


  • As gripping as a mystery story and as useful as a self-help book, A Silent Fire may change the way you eat as well as opening your eyes to the hidden connections between microbes and medicine, the food we eat and the air we breathe
    Bee Wilson, author of First Bite and The Way We Eat Now

About the author

Shilpa Ravella

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, Discover, and USA Today, among other publications, and she has appeared as an expert on ABC's Good Morning America and in print media outlets including Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Food and Wine, Glamour, and Women's Health. Her TED-Ed lesson, 'How the Food You Eat Affects Your Gut,' has garnered over five million views.
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