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Health has never been as important as it is right now. There is a direct connection between your gut microbiome and the strength of your immune system. Our gut is where we are actually interacting with the things that we choose to put in our mouth and swallow down. Basically indicating that we trusted enough to include it. And our gut is where our body is basically interacting with it. It's our place of most vulnerability, and for that reason it becomes imperative that we take care and nurture a healthy gut microbiome or a superorganism.


We are carrying life within us and they're a part of the story. And yes, they are completely capable of altering the cravings that we have. And it's important because it also means that if you change the microbiome, you will change your cravings, you will change your taste buds. You can't separate the two. Your brain's best friend is your gut. If you have an unhealthy gut, it is going to affect your brain. And if you have a healthy gut, you have a brain that is being optimized.


That is Doctor Will Balcerowicz everybody. And this is the ritual podcast.


The Rich Roll podcast, what is going down, people? Welcome to the show where I think we can all agree that we are collectively dealing with a fair degree of stress at the moment, personal pandemic, economic, civic, political. It's a traumatic time. And I think with that comes a few side effects implications, both physical and emotional as well as psychological, which I think should serve as a reminder that it really is crucial that. We all take care of ourselves right now, our bodies, our immune systems, during this period of tumult, of upheaval, of uncertainty, and so much of how we do that, as we are increasingly coming to understand, begins in the gut to help guide us to a better understanding of what all of that means.


I have enlisted the good doctor, Will Bosworth's Dr. B, as he is affectionately known, is a lauded gastroenterologist and gut health guru whose life work is devoted to better comprehending the microbiome and the crucial role that it plays in all facets of health. Dr. B is a graduate of Georgetown's School of Medicine. He was a chief medical resident at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and chief gastroenterology fellow at the University of North Carolina Hospitals. He's authored more than 20 articles in the top American gastroenterology journals, and his New York Times best selling book, Fiber Fueled, is a must read primer on why gut health is so crucial and basically everything you need to know to optimize it.


This conversation is packed with not to be missed mind blowing health and nutrition epiphanies. It's all coming up in a couple few. But on the subject of treating your gut right, we are brought to you today by athletic grains. You guys all know how I feel about life hacks and shortcuts to success, which is that I don't believe in any of them. In fact, I can't stand that because personal transformation, true transformation isn't built on hacks. It's built on habits.


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Just go to public goods, dotcom slash rich roll or use the code rich roll at checkout. That's publ I see geodesic dot com forward slash ritual to receive fifteen dollars off your first order. OK Dr. B since the beginning of the pandemic, I've been lamenting the lack of mainstream attention to caring for our immune system.


Well, what does this have to do with gut health while it turns out everything, because 70 percent of that very system actually lives in our microbiome, not only are these two things immunity and gut health, not separate, they are inextricably linked. So today we're going to break it all down, the mechanisms of the microbiome, the latest research behind it, this epidemic of dis biases or lack of gut biome balance that we are experiencing and its relation to a litany of diseases.


We talk about the gut brain connection and the paramount need to increase biodiversity both in our bodies and in our ecosystems at large. And finally, why fiber is king in this time of excessive sterilisation and sequestration. Dr. B gives us some really great ways that we can continue to support our gut flora and optimize our immune system without putting ourselves and others at risk. Oh, finally, we also talk about fecal transplants. I mean, you know, come on, I can't have a gastroenterologist on the show and not talk about that.




In any event, Dr. B is the new mind making big waves on the plant based microbiome scene. He's passionate, he's empathetic, super smart. I really enjoyed talking to him. And I think you guys are going to get a lot out of this. One final note, I really did want to get well on the show in person. I was quite impacted by not only his book, but his several appearances on my friend Simon helped Plant Proof podcast, which all you guys should check out.


But alas, the pandemic prevented that. And this was recorded remotely and some time ago at the end of May, in fact. So apologies in advance for the audio quality. Final final note, if this conversation leaves you intrigued and I know it well, we'll just released a comprehensive seven week online course about gut health and reversing this biases. That goes quite a bit beyond what he was able to offer in the book. So I'll link that up in the show notes.


Or you can just hit him up on his website at the plant Fed Gupte dot com.


So here we go, Dr B and B. You look great. The only thing that would be better is if we were in the same room, but that's not possible. I was hoping I was holding out hope that we would make this happen in person, but I couldn't wait any longer. So nice to nice to see you through the computer screen.


It's great to see you, too. I wish I wish we were together in person. I look forward to someday, you know, hanging out. We'll do it.


We'll do it as soon. You know, as soon as this lifts, we'll get you out into the studio and we'll go for round two because there's no way that we can explore everything that I want to talk to you about today. We're only going to scratch the surface, but this is long overdue.


So super excited to see where you're going to take this. I have great confidence in you as a viewer.


Well, the first thing I want to say is that I spent the month of December in Australia and I spent quite a bit of time with our mutual friend Simon Hill. And every time I got together with him, he's like, you got to meet Dr. B, you got you got to be the best. And I know that you've been on his podcast, I think, five times at this point. Yeah. So I went back and listened to all of those episodes and wow, there's a lot of there's so much good information there.


So like I said, we're only going to scratch the surface today. And if people are left wanting more, which I know they will be, they can go and check out Simon's excellent podcast, Plant Proof, which is really that was that was kind of a launch point for you initially, correct?


Yeah, I had I had 10000 followers going into that podcast and doubled that in a month. And it went viral, I mean, that's still the most downloaded episode that he's ever had and saw two hundred fifty thousand downloads for him.


Yeah, that's great. So many things to talk about. I think an interesting launching off point for this would be to kind of contextualize your work with what's going on currently in this pandemic era that we're all navigating through.


And what I've been thinking about lately and I'm interested in your thoughts on is how we square this, you know, need to socially distance and sanitize our environments and kind of cloister ourselves from other human beings and restrict our exposure to a variety of environments with this paramount need to increase our biodiversity, not just with the foods that we're eating, but with the environments that we visit and the people that we interact with. Like these two things are at odds. The importance of biodiversity, maximizing that with this need to kind of over cleanse everything at the moment.


Yeah, I feel like health has never been as important as it is right now. There is a direct connection between your gut microbiome and the strength of your immune system. And for that reason, it becomes imperative that we take care and nurture a healthy gut microbiome. And the thing that sort of stands out to me, Rich, is, yes, like excessive cleanliness, sterilizing in our environment, not being allowed to socialize and connect with humans, like all of those things are there.


But to me, the most powerful influence is the stress. The stress, the stress is something that is affecting all of us, I mean, to we are living through a moment of collective stress. We're all forced to take this on. There's no avoiding it. And that actually has an impact on our gut microbiome. And it drives us to this place where we all sort of have different ways that we cope and deal with that stress. And for many, it's the turn to unhealthy habits, and that includes unhealthy food and in many cases, alcohol.


And we're compounding that stress and we're actually compounding the harm that it does to our gut microbiome, you know, many people when we think about gut health, we talk about food and like my book discusses food in great detail. The part of the book that I really wanted to elaborate on, and there just weren't enough pages for me to go, there is the effect of trauma. The most challenging patients that I see is a gastroenterologist are the people who have been victims of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological trauma, and it changes them and they don't realize the way that it affects their gut.


And typically, when they get to me, I'm the fifth or sixth doctor gastroenterologists that they've been to. They're looking for solutions related to their gut microbiome or to their or to their digestive issues. And what I discover after getting to know them and building that trust and that relationship, is that the the solution, the part is actually not through food. More so it's actually about healing that trauma that is eating at them on a subconscious level. And all of us are dealing with trauma right now.


And I feel like collectively this is affecting our gut microbiome and it's at the worst possible time, there's a direct line between gut health and our immune system, 70 percent of our immune system lives in our gut.


And when we have that that emotional trauma that's affecting our gut and then we also compound that by consuming alcohol or by eating junk food. We're putting ourselves into a vulnerable place where if we do if we do get the virus. We don't have our defense system built up to protect us, and that's the scary thing, because increasingly we're seeing studies, rich, that are making connections between the gut microbiome and severe manifestations of covid-19. I mean, we're you know, the doctors are all asking the questions, who are these people?


They get covid-19. And one of the first things that we discovered is it's the people who are that have diabetes and high blood pressure and coronary artery disease and are overweight.


And then when you think about all of those things that I just mentioned, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, being overweight, they're all connected back to the microbiome.


Yeah. This idea that 70 percent of your immune system resides in the gut is profound. And I want to dive into that a little bit more deeply. But let's talk for a couple of minutes about the importance of buttressing and maximizing, optimizing our immune systems. Right now, I mean, there's a lot of talk about social distancing and wearing masks and all the precautions that we're all embracing and undertaking to protect ourselves. But I think, in my opinion, not enough communication and conversation around how to buttress our immune system so that if and when we come in contact with the virus, we're in the best possible sort of situation in order to combat it and overcome it.


Yeah, I totally agree. I feel like we have fixated on ways to reduce transmission of the virus, which is a good thing. You know, you can you can affect the how contagious this virus is and change, but not with our with these sort of social physical distancing measures or wearing face shields, things of that variety. But that doesn't that doesn't help the person who contracted the virus. And a huge percentage of us ultimately will. Mm hmm.


And so I agree with you, I think that we need to to speak more broadly about this. And to me, the the key in this conversation is this connection between the gut microbiome and the immune system. You can't separate them. They're completely intertwined. I mean, I want people to understand that if we if you were to zoom in on a microscopic level, what you would see is this single layer of cells that we call it the epithelial layer that's so thin that the naked eye can't pick it up.


And this single layer of cells separates on one side, thirty eight trillion microbes, your gut, your gut microbiome, and on the other side, 70 percent of the immune system, and they're communicating with each other in constant conversation. And so as a result, when things affect the gut microbiome, the affect the immune system and vice versa. When I was when I was researching my book, I wanted to compile a list of the immune mediated disease states that are associated with alteration or damage to the gut microbiome.


So basically, we're talking about allergic issues. We're talking about autoimmune issues. We're talking about inflammatory bowel disease. And as I started to look for studies making this connection. I didn't find a study where the answer was no in terms of the connection between the immune system and the gut, it either had not been studied or the answer was yes, every single time that when you have these immune mediated disease states, allergic autoimmune type diseases. When they look at the microbiome, they always find that there's damage to the gut microbiome in the setting of these conditions.


And so I feel like this is really quite critically important, and I'm happy, by the way, to elaborate more on some of the science that makes these connections and shows us how important it is to optimize the immune system as opposed to just have a bigger, stronger immune system.


So when you say that 70 percent of our immune system resides in the gut, what what exactly does that mean?


I'm trying to imagine, you know, a locus of this or what it looks like. Like what do you mean specifically when you say that?


Well, what we're referring to are the G-8 lety, the Galt's, which are the gut associated lymphoid tissues. And this this comprises 70 percent of our immune system. And the thing that's interesting is this the the gut, our intestines, our colon. Which we refer to as our bowels. I mean, it's literally the deepest part of the human body is actually the place where we interact with the outside world the most.


Our skin is effectively a barrier, it's a wall to keep things out. Our gut is where we are actually interacting with the things that we choose to put in our mouth and swallow down, basically indicating that we trusted enough to include it and our gut is where our body is basically interacting with it. It's our place of most vulnerability. And as a result, it's no it's really no surprise that this is where the immune system sets up shop and performs the task of helping us to identify what is good, what is bad, what can we leave alone, what should we be attacking, you know, things of that variety.


And so the immune system isn't just carelessly floating around the body. You know, it's it's intentional. It's its intention has a purpose.


Right. This is the first line of defense, the place where the outside world interacts with the you know, with your body, its outward facing, which is, you know, sort of people don't really understand that or realize that, but is actually outside of ourselves. And this is the place where the body decides what comes in and what doesn't.


Yeah, this is this is the gatekeeper. And the immune system is a critical part of that of that process in terms of protecting us from potential threats. And at the same time, you know, basically standing down and allowing the stuff that's good for us to flow right through and come on in.


So essentially to to ignore got health or to not have a optimally functioning microbiome is to put yourself at peril in terms of your immune response to covid or anything.


I feel like this connection is critically important in the twenty first century period. I mean, look at the explosion of of immune mediated disease states. Look at celiac disease. Five hundred percent in the last 50 years. Look at inflammatory bowel disease that's absolutely exploding. And there's there's conditions, Rich, that when I was a kid literally didn't exist, that I'm diagnosing sometimes twice in the same day. That our immune mediated, you know, things like eosinophilic esophagitis.


And so independent of covid, right, I feel like recognizing this connection is really critically important because the problem is once you trip that wire, once you cross that line. You may find yourself with one of these conditions that I don't I don't believe that there's necessarily a cure, I think you can put yourself into remission. But once you have one of these conditions, I think that you have it, it's there.


Well, let's take a step back and define our terms a little bit.


I mean, the microbiome is not a new subject matter for this podcast, but I think it would be helpful to kind of talk a little bit about what we're talking about and also to get a little bit of your your background and what got you interested in this field.


So the microbiome, just to define some of these terms, you know, the microbiome is an expression that we used to refer to the collective DNA that is provided by these microbes that are part of us. Where were these big, strong humans? And we think of ourselves as these autonomous creatures that are the masters of our domain, when in fact we are covered from the top of our head to the tip of our toes with these invisible microbes. You know, I hold up my thumb.


I mean, to the west, there's a home. You can literally look at your thumb right now and there are as many microbes there as there are people in the UK.


So it's absurd how many of them there are. And I think you said in the book.


Thirty nine dollars trillion micro-organism trillion.


Yeah. Thirty nine trillion throughout the entire body. About thirty eight trillion of which are actually in your gut. That's where they're focused. And this number is so hard to understand or fathom. But to put into perspective you take our galaxy, the Milky Way and take literally every single star that exists in our galaxy.


And you would need one hundred of our Milky Way is one hundred of our galaxy to equal the number of microbes that are part of you right now, not just the rich role, but like the listeners at home.


Yeah. And you can't even wrap your head around that so that it's impossible. It's it's completely absurd. And, you know, they're not they're not just they're they're not innocent bystanders. They're not along for the ride. They're not, for the most part, bloodsucking leeches that just take from us. We have had a relationship with these microbes going back all the way to the beginning. There never was a sterile human, you know, the very first human going back millions of years.


They had a microbiome. And we rose and fell together. Coevolution, you know, if we survived, they survived, and so we actually, through the years, grew to trust them with certain things within our body. And as a result, we we basically asked them, like, hey, we need you to take care of digestion for us. Now we're incapable of keeping up with the different varieties of plants that exist across our entire planet. We need someone who can adapt quickly, more quickly than a human can.


So that's what they do. And we have them connected to our immune system, to our metabolism, I'm sure will be expanding on some of these ideas to our hormones, to to our mood, our brain, the way it functions and even to our genetic expression. So they're really critically important to human health. Some of the terms the original question was, let's define the vocabulary. So the microbiome is the collective pool. Really, we're referring to the genetic profile and the microbiota is the term that we use for the actual microbes.


And I probably during this podcast, I'm going to make the mistake of using these terms interchangeably, and I apologize for that.


How dare you? Yeah, it's quite common. So the microbiota are the microbes. And so those are those are sort of the key terms. And what are we talking about here? We're talking about mostly bacteria. Good, mostly good guys, to be honest with you. Some bad guys, E. coli, salmonella, shigella, we've all heard of the scary ones, but actually most of them are good and they're to help us. We also have yeast or fungi.


And they're in competition with them, with the bacteria, they're quite similar in terms of what they like to eat, their energy source. The Arkia are my personal favorite Arkia. Are these single cellular organisms? They're not bacteria, they're not fungi. And they have been on the planet for four billion years, which is fascinating to consider, because we've only had oxygen for two point five billion years and they need to fire their publicist and hire a new one, because it wasn't until your work that I even had heard that term before.


Yeah, we've all heard of viruses and fungi and bacteria, single celled organisms, et cetera. But I had never heard this word before. So elaborate a little bit more on what this is and why why is this your favorite?


Well, it's my favorite because they're so hardy and resilient. Know, I mean, they existed for one point five billion years on like a fire scorched earth that didn't have oxygen. And you'll find them at the bottom of the ocean inside of a rift vent like miles deep. You'll find them inside of a volcano and then you'll find them inside your colon. I mean, I personally think between those three choices, I guess I would choose the colon if I had two of those three residences.


But they are they are part of the balance as much as the bacteria and the fungi are. And they actually are very deeply involved in the production of methane gas, we call them with antigens. So now some people, you know, who suffer from gas and bloating will hear this and think, oh, gosh, that means I need to get rid of them. But actually, there are part of the healthy balance in terms of processing our food and don't necessarily just unilaterally produce gas.


They also protect us from heart disease. There are studies that suggest that if we destroy them, that their destruction would actually put us at even greater risk for precautionary artery disease, the number one killer.


So they are they are a critical piece of the harmony and balance that exists within this ecosystem. That is the gut, the gut microbiota. And, you know, just to sort of round things outridge. There's also viruses. Viruses are not alive, but they're actually part of the harmony and balance right now. The word virus is sort of almost triggering in a way. But there are viruses that don't mean us harm, and they help us to sort of keep things balanced within the microbe, the microbiome, and that's a healthy part of that.


And and then finally, some of us may have parasites or protozoa which exist, and they in some cases can be part of the healthy balance, too. So, you know, the point is that there is this complex diversity of potentially a thousand or more species. They live in harmony and balance. Some of them are good guys. Some of them are bad guys. What we want is we want the good guys to outweigh the bad guys. And, you know, when they're there, they all exist with a purpose in the same way that you would find in it in any other ecosystem throughout the world.


Go to the Amazon rainforest. There's things in the Amazon rainforest that I don't particularly like. But if we destroy them to the point that they're extinct, we would leave a hole in the ecosystem. Yeah.


What's interesting is how everything, you know, in the macro is is mirrored in the micro. We can look at the microbiome and the principles that apply in terms of trying to create a robust ecosystem, apply equally to the Amazonian rainforest. And it's interesting to understand that there's a kind of a beautiful orchestrated harmony and all of that that helps you to really get that. You know, we're not separated from nature. We're very much, you know, a part of it and can't be extricated from it in any way.


And I think, you know, what's interesting about the work that you do, I mean, just contextualizing it, there's been an explosion of interest in the microbiome and the number of studies that are coming out right now. I mean, I think you quoted like, you know, there's like thousands of them that are coming out all the time. But this is a relatively new field and you're dealing with so many variables and trying to wrap your head around the mechanisms that are at play here and how they apply to health and disease.


So, you know, what got you interested in this? And, you know, what does it look like for you in terms of staying on top of what is current versus because it seems like our knowledge base is progressing so rapidly here.


Yeah, this this is a this is incredibly difficult to study the specifics of the microbiome because it could change in twenty four hours. And the tests that we have currently are not perfect, but to answer your question for me, I didn't go into medicine thinking that I would be a poop doctor. I actually thought I was going to be a pediatrician, to be honest with you. Like, I love kids. To me, the idea of, like helping teenage kids to orient their life properly was really exciting.


So I actually thought I was going to be an adolescent psychiatrist. And I got into medical school and went to Georgetown, and I was in my third year, which is when you rotate through the hospital. And I did my pediatrics rotation and just unfortunately, you know, I mean, I love pediatricians and God bless them, but it just wasn't for me. You know, the parents, frankly, were driving me insane because they either were down your throat or they just didn't care about their kid, which was incredibly sad.


And I just couldn't deal with, like the the polar nature of that. So I what I loved about gastroenterology is that I. I am an internist first and I get to use my mind to break down and dissect complex problems, and I also get to use my hands on a routine basis of 50 percent of my time is done doing endoscopy. And so so that's what attracted me in the gut microbiome really wasn't on the radar. In twenty six when I graduated medical school, I went to Northwestern and things were going really well for me professionally.


I won the highest award in my residency program. I, I was the chief medical resident and yet I was miserable. I was 30 years old. I was 50 pounds overweight relative to what I weighed in high school, which was hard to swallow because I think of myself as an athlete. I was a great athlete in high school. I had high blood pressure at a time of anxiety, I was basically fueled by either like six coffees a day or or Red Bull.


I felt like I was 60. And I had low self-esteem, which is really weird to say, because to outsiders they would see what was happening in my life professionally. They would think, gosh, everything was going well for you. And I needed something to change, I was desperate to find a solution, and the problem is that my medical training, as wonderful as it was, you know, as as skilled as I became at acute care of the complex ill person who would roll into the ICU or the hospital.


I didn't really have a solution for my problem, overweight, having one or Gevo self-esteem, and I tried to outwork it. So, you know, typical guy.


I was like a good type. Yeah, I you know, I was like the typical guy.


I was like, I can eat whatever I want if I just work hard enough.


Right. And so I was hitting the gym six days a week and not exaggerating thirty to forty five minutes every time of heavy weights and then jump on the treadmill for five to 10 K or jump in the pool for one hundred laps and I could run a good five to ten k and I was getting stronger but I couldn't lose the gut. And so anyway I ended up meeting the person who's now my wife. And we would go on a date and she would like I would be sitting there ordering ribis and pork chops and stuff and.


We're going to date and she would ask the waiter to do something that was even on the menu, just like make me a plant plate, have to have the chef put a bunch of plants on a plate for me. That's just like what the heck is going on over there? You know, I never been around someone like this before. And. But what I saw was that she could eat as much as she wanted without restriction. She was cleaning her plate, she was loving her food.


She was satisfied, very happy with the food. And she had no weight issue at all. Complete control. Shoot, amazing, and so for me. It just opened up my mind, like maybe there's something to that maybe this diet that I was raised on. And was OK when I was a teenager, maybe this is the problem. And so did that inspire you to start looking into diet and nutrition a little bit more deeply? I mean, where is it?


Where where did you turn?


I initially I feel like for me, I remember like, literally the day that this happened. Where I usually would go to I mean, I would literally a couple of times a week go to Hearties, I was in North Carolina now and I would go to Hearties. Trust me, I figured out whatever fast food joints were nearby, wherever I lived.


That's the one thing I was adaptable. I know it well. And Hearties had this theos five bucks. And it's like I mean, it's disgusting to imagine that you get like two thousand five hundred calories for five dollars, like double cheeseburger, chili cheese dog, an apple pie and a soda and fries for five bucks. So one day I was like, you know what, I'm just going to go home and. Make a smoothie and see what happens.


And I did that just bananas, greens, berries, I made it like it's like thirty five ounces and I felt amazing. I mean, like, energized me, I felt so like I didn't have the hangover where I have to lay on the couch for a couple of hours. I went to the gym an hour later, smashed an awesome workout, and that really motivated me, and so I started down this path of starting to make healthy substitutions.


You know, nutrition is nutrition is really just about leveling up. It's just about healthy substitutions. And so I went down this path and I and like, literally the fat started to melt off my body. And these issues, the anxiety started to lift, I started to feel so much better, my workouts were getting better, my recovery was better. I wasn't a sore. And so for me, I'm a man of science. I you know, I have such great respect for the scientific process.


And it wasn't enough to have this experience, I needed to see that there were actually studies to back it up. So that sent me in this direction where I started to look into it and I opened up PubMed, I thought there'd be like five or 10 studies. And I could not believe that there were literally thousands that I never heard about, and I just wasn't she wasn't part of your medical school curriculum at all.


We're so busy learning about thousands of medications and their side effects, we're so busy learning about these rare disorders that will never diagnosed in our entire career. That we lose sight of the practical information that the routine person needs coming through the door. And so, yeah, nutritional education is completely devoid in our traditional medical education. Mm hmm. And it just I just didn't have it. So when I opened up and saw these studies, I was shocked. And very quickly, I found the connection between nutrition and the gut microbiome, which was starting to really take off, and it was really affecting my field as a gastroenterologist.


And that finding, you know, I just started devouring these studies. And bringing them into the clinic, because I'm taking care of these people with irritable bowel Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and they are the real people and they want to know. Like, I can't eat without pain, what am I supposed to eat? I mean, it's a basic question. And most doctors don't have great answers to that basic question. And I needed to find something, so I spent basically nights and weekends studying and learning, educating myself and implementing this in my practice and was shocked by the results.


I mean, amazing transformations in my patients. And it got to the point where, you know, after years of seeing these people who like for me, what I discovered is that this is the root of the issue.


And if we don't affect if we don't address the root of the issue, what are we doing? Just covering it up. Mm hmm.


So taking on the the the root cause of these digestive issues, damage to the gut microbiome. Allowed me to buey. Alter the health of my patients and get them to a much better place, and so we got to the point where I was like in twenty sixteen, I just felt compelled to share the story and I started my Instagram account with zero expectations at all. You know, I have to tell you, like when my wife and I were dating, I mean, my wife and I've been talking about how surreal it is for me to be on your show, not because you're the dude.


Come on. I'm serious, man. Back in twenty fourteen. You know, when my wife and I were dating, we used to do earlier when we were dating, we would call it the best weekends ever and we would be like blasting all over the southeast, having fun, you know, going to Asheville or you know, going to the beach in Charleston or whatever. And we would be in the car together on the best weekends ever and we'd be listening to original podcasts.


And so it's really cool. Now, here we are six years later and like I started this Instagram in twenty sixteen with zero expectations. If I had five hundred followers, I would have been thrilled.


Yeah, but now you're in New York Times, best selling author even. That is really weird.


The book, it debuted at like number six, right? I think the book debuted at number six, launching a book in the pandemic in the pandemic too.


Not an easy thing. So I think it just listen, the book is amazing. We're going to get into the book and a little bit. But the book basically provides you with everything you need to know to begin this journey for yourself. And it's written in a way that is digestible for anybody. You don't have to be a scientist to understand, like you communicate in a very in a very practical way. But I think it's also an important book for practitioners as well.


And I'm sure you had that in mind when you were writing it.


And I think it it really is important because as we speak about preventative medicine, it's all about getting to the root cause of what is creating all of these chronic illnesses. I mean, when we talk about chronic lifestyle disease, people are thinking about heart disease, cancer, diabetes, et cetera. But, you know, just to the side of that, we also have all of these autoimmune disorders and all of these food allergies and basically all of this can be tracked back to the health of our microbiome.


And right now, that microbiome is under attack constantly from environmental toxins, from processed foods, from antibiotics. All of these things that we inundate ourselves with that erode our ability to maintain health and effectively combat disease. And so to just sort of diagnose and prescribe with the latest medication is to remain blind to this whole world that you're opening us up to about how to prevent us from getting into this situation to begin with. And it begins, you know, when you're a baby and, you know, having a vaginal birth and making sure that you're, you know, you're you're adequately breastfed and all of these things that contribute to creating this robust ecosystem that will ultimately thrive and maintain your health.




I agree with you 100 percent. And, you know, it's. It's fascinating to think about that connection and how it starts. You know, between us and these microbes early in life. Because when a child is born, this is the closest. I mean, they're not sterile, but this is the closest they will ever get. To being sterile and they are wide open. Recruiting new members to their microbiome. Come on in, I want you to be a part of it, and there's things that happened during this period of time from that point up to age two to three, where a child has a fully formed, adult sized gut microbiome, like my son is three and his microbiome is as big as Dad's.


And this is a really critical period of time, because this is also when the immune system is developing. And learning what is good and what is bad and when we disrupt the gut microbiome and its normal development, we also potentially disrupt our immune system. And we see this, you know, it's as you were alluding to, Rich, when you pass through the birth canal. That is mom basically donating her gut microbiome to this newborn child. Now, it's quite fascinating to think about that.


At thirty six weeks of pregnancy, late in pregnancy, see, mom, mom's vagina has a microbial. And it's very different than the gut microbiome. But at thirty six weeks of pregnancy, the vaginal microbiome starts to change to more closely resemble Mom's gut microbiome so that the child passes through the birth canal and receives that initial gift. And then that child is born and the perfect food is potentially administered. And by the way, let me say this, that I know we have a lot of parents who may hear this and get concerned that the child was born by C-section.


Both my kids were born by C-section, you are you can have a 100 percent perfectly healthy child that was born by C-section or that was bottle fed. So. So don't be upset if you when you hear this. But, you know, breast milk, human breast milk to me is like literally the perfect food. It has everything that we need to nourish a newborn child. And what's fascinating to me is that the human breast milk contains these things called human milk oligosaccharides hormones.


And these memos literally have zero nutritional value to the child, not they do they do nothing for the child. Because what humans are human rights is they are food for the developing gut microbiome. They are prebiotics and they actually help the right bacteria specifically befitted bacteria to grow. And this also helps with development of the new immune system. So when you disrupt this normal process. Birth by birth by vaginal delivery, breastfed, frankly, as long as possible.


When you disrupt this through caesarean section or through bottle feeding or through antibiotics early in life, you affect the developing microbiome. You also potentially develop the affects the developing immune system. And this is the reason why we see these children be more likely, not that they're all going to, but more likely to develop immune mediated diseases like Type one diabetes or like celiac disease or even metabolic diseases like childhood obesity. This is the reason why this occurs, is that this disruption of this normal development process can have downstream effects that can carry forward through childhood and even potentially into adulthood in terms of all of the protocols that we should all be undertaking to buttress our our microbiome.


You're not necessarily advising a very specific type of diet other than to say plant diversity is king like this is this is the vector of all vectors for you. Right? So it's not about, oh, it's vegan or I mean, it's a predominantly plant based or plant based diet. But the diversity of plants is really what's important in terms of making sure that you're doing everything you can in the interest of your microbiome.


Well, I think the critical piece to me so, you know, the book is called Fiber Fuels. And that's that's because I feel like fiber has been this ignored superfood.


Well, it also needs a new publicist. It does.


Really. You are you are that process. You are. Yes. You're hired. I'm the guy. So, yeah, no, I'm here to I'm here to fight on behalf of fiber and get it back on the map. And part of the conversation, because, you know, we've been ignoring it. And part of it is that we've been thinking about it as this orange drink that grandma stirs up so that she can boo, when in fact, it's incredible the connection between fiber and our gut microbiome.


No, fiber doesn't just go in the mouth and shoot out the other end. Soluble fiber is a specific sort of general category which feeds the microbiome. This is their preferred food. And when we when we give this to them, they consume it, they grow stronger, our microbes actually multiply, grows stronger. And then they turn around and they reward us, and the way that they reward us is by releasing short chain fatty acids. And these short chain fatty acids have healing effects throughout the entire body, so we've been emphasizing a little bit the immune system, shortening fatty acids optimize our immune system.


There are studies that we could talk about if you want to, connecting, shortening fatty acids from in terms of protection from respiratory viruses. They can have their effect in the lungs on the immune system. Shortening fatty acids, reverse leaky gut, which is I mean, despite this, that is the root cause of these digestive issues that I take care of on a daily basis, they directly prevent colon cancer. They lower our cholesterol, they prevent and reverse insulin resistance, which is type two diabetes.


They travel throughout the entire body having their healing effects. We think that they can actually reverse coronary artery disease. We think that they can actually repair the blood brain barrier for people that have brain fog. They actually travel into the brain through the blood brain barrier and they have their effect. They affect our mood, our memory. They affect that. I mean, believe it or not, we have studies that suggest that they prevent Alzheimer's disease. These are incredibly powerful.


And the way that you get them is through the consumption of fiber in your diet. And here's the problem. Ninety seven percent of Americans are not getting an adequate amount of fiber in their diet, and that's creating issues for us.


Everybody's worried about their protein intake, but they don't give a second thought to their fiber intake. 97 percent of people are fiber deficient. I mean, that's a shocking statistic, you know, and that's.


Well, and that's with the most standards. I mean, the expectation or the standard that we're holding is twenty five grams for women and thirty eight grams for men. Mm hmm. And the the average American is somewhere in the 15 to 18 gram range. And you see the problem exists, Rich, when we try to do academic studies, looking at fiber and the way that will set the study up is we'll say, OK, let's take the high fiber consumers in the United States and compare them to the low fiber consumers.


And next time you guys, if you ever read any of these studies, I'm in there, so I read these studies. If you ever read one of these studies, take a look at the high fiber consumers. Even the high fiber consumers are deficient in fiber.


Wow. Unlike the Hunza, which you talk about. Right? Unlike the HUSA. Yeah, the Hudson, which is this this tribe that lives in Tanzania, which is they're fascinating because they are modern hunters and gatherers. They don't farm, they don't have organized agriculture. They live off the land. The they eat whatever is available. Yes. They eat some meat. And so but they they mostly plants. And these HUDs are consuming one hundred grams of fiber per day.


And critical piece like Richard, let me ask you a question, I'm just curious so I know you eat a very healthy diet. If you had to estimate in a given week how many plants do you think you have in your diet? Give me a general idea.


Yeah, I mean, you know, it's probably I mean, it's going to be higher than most, but it can't be more than. I mean, 30, 40, OK? And I would challenge the people listening at home right now, like if you have to hit the pause button and take a minute and think about how many plants you actually have in your in your diet. OK, so most Americans are definitely less than 30. The majority are around 15 to 20.


And the HUSA are consuming six hundred varieties of plants in a given year, right, like six hundred six hundred because they live off the land.


There are literally three hundred thousand edible plants on the planet. The problem is that we've narrowed it down to the point where seventy five percent of our diet is from. Three of them, you know, and we're ignoring this diversity. You know, we've put pressure, unfortunately, on our farmers.


Where the farmer has no choice but to opt for high yield breeds of crops.


And so we are we are narrowing down the bio diversity within our diet, through our food systems, and so with the Hudson, do they I mean, I presume that they have lower incidences of all of these chronic ailments as a result of this biodiverse, you know, plant forward diet.


They have their challenges. They don't they don't live in the United States with the health care system. They don't have access to a guy like me. Right. But when we actually look at their microbiome. What we look at is the diversity of species. OK, so biodiversity is a really important word these days and the biodiversity within your gut microbiome is a measure of health. The more species that you have. The more that your gut microbiome is resistant to sort of disturbances, it has all the different players that are available, you know, they're not all the same.


They have different roles. So when you have that diversity, you have all the pieces that you need. No matter what you throw at your gut, it's ready to step up and do the job. And so we want that biodiversity. And when we studied the HUSA and we compare their biodiversity within their gut microbiome to that of a person that's, say, in the UK. We see that they have 30 percent more diversity than a person in the U.K., and I hate to break it to all the Americans who are listening right now.


But we're even worse, they have 40 percent more biodiversity than we do and the connection that's really important for people to understand. And frankly, if there's only one thing that you take away from this podcast, listening to us have this conversation today, this is what I want you guys to hear. OK, the way that it works is this fiber is not just fiber. There are millions, if not billions of types of fiber in nature, it's so incredibly complicated from a chemistry perspective that we're not even capable of creating an estimate to how many types of fiber there are.


But every single plant has its own unique types of fiber, multiple different types within that plant. Every single plant is going to have prebiotic fiber that feeds the microbial. This is their preferred food, these prebiotic fibers, and the key is that they are picky eaters. They don't they're like us, you know, you have different food preferences than I do, even though I'm sure that many people would label us as having the same diet. You eat differently than I do.


We have our own preferences and they do to date. They have specific food preferences in terms of the different types of fiber. To put into perspective, take a black bean.


You give these microbes a black bean and there are certain specific species that are going to multiply and thrive and they're going to be stronger and be more prepared to help you because you just fed up there are energized. But the opposite is true. You take a black being away, you say I'm going black being free. Those same microbes that were thriving because you were feeding them are starving, right, and they're not getting what they need. And so, you know, Rich.


This this looking at the Hudson and comparing it to Americans and seeing 40 percent more diversity within their microbiome. That's interesting. That's OK. That's that's cool. But to me, I want to write a book based upon an idea, and that is not enough for me just to say with confidence that the most important thing for our gut microbiome is the diversity of plant species. I need something more. And where you find it is the American Gut Project.


The American Gut Project is the largest study to date. To take our diet and lifestyle and connect it to the biodiversity within our gut microbiome, it is actually an international study, even though it's called the American Gut Project, they have they have people who are participating from over 40 countries from around the around the world. And there is no study more positioned to answer this question, what is the number one predictor of a healthy gut microbiome? And when they analyzed this?


It was clear cut, the number one predictor of a healthy gut microbiome is the diversity of plants within your diet. And so when we set off this question, you said, well, you're not necessarily ascribing to a specific diet. Well, here's why. So I'm vegan, your vegan. OK, but in this study. Diversity of plants was more powerful than being vegan, because if you are vegan and you eat the same 10 or 15 foods every single day.


You are not feeding your microbiome. And there are ulterior there are alternative diets that you could do where if you really focus on diversity of plants within your diet, you're going to feed your microbiome and do a better job. So to me, it's not about the label that we apply. It's about understanding the concept. Which is that it's critically important to our to the health of our gut microbiome that we incorporate as many different varieties as possible in the American Gut project, the line that they drew in the sand was 30 different plants per week.


That doesn't mean, by the way, that there's a magic difference between 30 and twenty nine or that thirty five isn't better than 30. The point is, we want as much diversity as possible. And that's the critical piece.


Yeah, that's super interesting. And also so different from the way that we're kind of wired like as humans we want to know. All right. Tell me what food is the best and I'll eat that. Or, you know, just give me the list of the five things that I need and I'll focus on that. Whereas you're saying, look, you got to broaden the aperture here and you've got to be trying lots of different things and, you know, explore.


And it's not about like you need to eat these three things. It's about basically eating as many different things as possible and getting out of your comfort zone a little bit. And I think what you're saying essentially is that the more that you're in in the practice of doing that, it's almost like an insurance policy that you're taking out for your gut health. You're seeding your gut with the biota that that will then ultimately be able to grow and thrive the more that you're feeding it, those types of plants.


Yeah, no, I totally agree. And just to kind of just to kind of pick up where where you left off. Every single plant has its own unique types of fiber. That's what I've been talking about for the last few minutes. But there's so much more. Every single plant has vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, like I don't know how much your listeners have heard, I'm sure they have about phytochemicals. These are the unique chemicals that you will find in plant foods exclusive to plant foods.


That's what phyto means. There's at least a thousand of them. Very few of them have. We actually studied an example of one is resveratrol. So you hear about resveratrol. It's resveratrol is capable of actually changing the microbiome by itself. David Sinclair in lifespan talks about resveratrol and its benefits for healthy aging. And this is just one example of one phytochemical that you'll find in these plants. And the other thing, by the way, that's kind of interesting.


Most people don't realize this. The plants have a microbiome of their own. Every single plant. So, yeah, you don't really think about that. No, you don't really think about that. But they're not sterile every single life on this planet. Either has a microbiome or is a part of the microbiome, and depending on how you choose to zoom out, you could almost make the argument that us humans are part of a larger microbial in a way.


Right. Which is planetary health and the way that all functions. But these plants have their own microbiome. If you take an apple, for example, because we have a study that shows this. The apple has a microbiome that is there from the sea, from literally the sea. Through the flower and all the way through to the fruit, and that microbiome is dynamically evolving and changing and helping this to actually this transformational process to occur.


And the apple has literally over a thousand species of microbes more than us humans do, and potentially one hundred million microbes, when you eat an apple, you're getting the fiber, you're getting the phytochemicals, of which there are many. You're getting the vitamins and the minerals and you're even getting the microbiome. But the apple continues. Wow. And so each plant has a story like that. Each plant has something positive that it wants to bring to your health.


Every single one wants to bring something to your health. And if we overemphasize the superfoods, we could I could eat kale all day and I'll have vitamin K dripping out of my eyeballs, OK? Way more than my body needs. But I'll make myself deficient in other things because I'll be overemphasizing certain things and I'll be missing out on the other opportunities. I personally would rather take 10 mediocre plants. And put that in my diet, then one superfood, hmm?


I mean, I honestly think that the diversity because you play off of the strengths of all of them, and when you have that, you get all of the amino acids, you get all the different types of fiber to feed your microbiome. You get all of the different phytochemicals. You just can't get it done with one plant. There's no perfect plan, right?


Diversification. It's always important like we need to do with our with our finances. Right.


It's it's like. It's like your retirement. Yeah, exactly. Shifting gears a little bit here.


Let's talk about the relationship between the microbiome and inflammation, which is sort of, you know, at the root of so many of these illnesses that we're seeing.


Absolutely. So many people don't realize the connection between inflammation and this, which is the word that we use to to describe damage to the gut microbiome. So let me let me zoom out for a moment and do some new definitions. OK, so you guys, you biosystems, you Bias's you refers to balance and harmony within the microbiome. Mm hmm. This is what we see in the Hudson. This is a broad, diverse microbiome, all of the different species.


Yes, there are good guys and bad guys. But guess what? The good guys outweigh the bad guys so much that the bad guys can't do anything.


They're incapable of really hurting you. All right, that is you biases and when we deviate from that place and we lose that harmony and balance, we are moving into something where there's a loss of species, potentially gaps or holes in the microbiome. But we don't have the species to fill for us because we're missing them. And the bad guys become more prominent to the point that they could potentially cause harm. When this happens, we call this this Biosystems spouses and spouses is more than just a change to the microbes.


It starts to affect the epithelial layer that we were talking about before when we were describing the immune system. And the microbes, that single layer of cells and these cells are held together by things that are like Stockwell's. We call them tight junctions. And if you break down those tight junctions, they pop open and now you've got a hole that allows things to leak into the body. That are not supposed to be there. The scientists will call it increased intestinal permeability, other people will call it leaky gut.


I get it. We're talking about the same thing. We're talking about this Bias's. All right, and when this occurs, what's leaking from the gut into the body is a specific thing called bacterial endotoxin. Bacterial endotoxin also called reliable polysaccharide. Actually activates the immune system. And this is information. In one word, bacterial and the toxin is inflammation, that is the word, and it can be on a number of different levels, you could have smoldering low-grade inflammation.


And that's the type of information that leads us to developing cancer. Or heart disease or Alzheimer's, OK? That, again, is driven by bacterial endotoxin. And we can also have a surge or a spike of bacteria and a toxin all at once, and that is sepsis. Sepsis is where you have over activation of the immune system, where the immune system actually becomes your enemy in the setting of an overwhelming infection. And this is particularly relevant when we discuss covid-19.


Because we all know that the people who are the sickest with covid-19, what ultimately is threatening their life is respiratory failure. They developed something called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome A.D.s. And A.D.s is not the virus. A.D.s is the response of the immune system to the virus. A overactive immune system. Overreacts to the virus, basically goes nuclear, basically starts unloading all its guns at once. The point that it basically breaks down the lining of the lungs and both lungs fill up with fluid, and that is not you are incapable of sustaining life unless you're on a respirator in that setting.


And so so sepsis, you know, where a person is critically ill with an overwhelming infection may get AIDS. They drop their blood pressure, their heart rate goes up. They're not even conscious. They're totally confused. The pale. This is actually driven by excessive amounts of bacteria and a toxin, excessive inflammation. So and it could be that full spectrum.


Wow. I mean, that's that's amazing to hear that. And so in order to avoid that, you know, one of the one of the one of the things that we can do that you haven't already mentioned to make sure that we have that gut lining intact and we're not, you know, basically creating that kind of inflammation.


So, you know, to me, there's my book focuses a lot on diet because diet is ultimately the most powerful driver. Of the balance within our gut microbes. And we've talked already about diversity of plans, so we don't need to go there again, but just keep in mind how important this is, where ninety seven percent of us are not even getting the minimum daily amount of fiber nor eating a diversity of plants. So that's a great opportunity. But you don't want to sabotage your own health.


And so we need to also take a look at what are the things that are holding us back or causing harm to the microbiome. And this is where I start thinking about if we're going to talk on the dietary side of things. Look at the average American's diet. Ten percent plants. 60 percent processed food. 30 percent animal products, meat, dairy and eggs. To go a little bit deeper on those things, processed food. OK, so basically when we refined grains, we stripped the fiber.


Not a good idea, we're throwing out the healthiest part, we're keeping the least healthy part when we build these processed foods that are capable of sitting on the store shelves in a box for literally a year and not changing. They are completely lifeless, they have no microbiome, and we have pumped them up with chemicals. The Food and Drug Administration has approved 10000 additives that are in our food supply right now, I'm not trying to be a fear monger, like I sincerely don't have any intention of buying that.


But I think that the issue is this, when you allow in a very short period of time ten thousand new things into the food supply that weren't a part of our great grandparents life. And the level of expectation for study is. It does not require human testing. That's at least 80 percent of them. And the 20 percent that do have human testing, it's, oh, you're still alive after a week old. Yeah. All right.


So but but but Rich, what happens when you eat that food for 30 years or 50 years? Right. And these foods, you know, people need to understand that there is a there is a cycle to our food. There is a life cycle to our food. Where nature naturally will take it back, I mean, look at a piece of meat or look at a vegetable and at some point it's going to decompose. And that process of decomposition is done by microbes.


You had your chance, now it's past the point of being human food and the Earth is taking you back. This is going to become soil for us in the future. Right, particularly the organic matter that you get from the plants. This is compost. We will we will create human substances.


And so how do we disrupt that process, that natural process? Get rid of the bacteria, get rid of the microbes, prevent them from being a part of it. Where do you how is it possible to have cold cuts that sit in the refrigerator for a year unchanged, can you take a couple slices off every once in a while?


Mm hmm. You are you are keeping away the bacteria that would rot the meat. And that's how it stays that way. And so what do you think happens when you drop those those food additives and those chemicals that are designed to retard microbes? What do you think happens when you drop it into thirty eight trillion living inside your column? Right. It's impossible to believe that that's good for us. And then moving on to so beyond processed foods, moving on to animal products, you know, when the United States we eat two hundred and twenty pounds of meat per person per year.


It's the English speaking countries that are eating the most meat. I mean, China is up and coming, Brazil is up and coming, but we are setting we are setting the highest mark in the United States and Australia in the UK. And there are people who are telling us that we should double and triple down on this idea. Mm hmm. And. It's unnatural, you know, the Hunza are not eating 220 pounds of meat, they're eating 100 grams of fiber per day because they're not that efficient as hunters.




So let's get into that a little bit. We have the paleo diet, the keto diet. Now we're seeing the Carnivore diet, the low carb enthusiasts, all of this are very animal product, heavy animal products forward. And you'll hear from proponents of these dietary protocols that they are reducing their inflammation, that they are overcoming their food allergies. It's a very restrictive protocol. But, you know, on the kind of front lines of the nutrition wars on Twitter and et cetera, there does seem to be, you know, a war for the hearts and minds of people as to which way is eating best.


And it would appear that these diets are are are in many ways winning that war because people like to hear that they can eat these foods that they like. So what does the science say about these protocols and what does the impact of these types of diets have on our gut microbiome?


I think that's where I would start, to be honest with you, is to look at the impact that these diets have in our gut microbiome, because that's what I'm here to talk about and that's my area of expertise. But I also want to share some of the layers of evidence that exists going beyond the gut, because to me, you can't prove anything with just one study. You know, as a scientist, what I want to know is I want to know the full, complete information and then I want to see what the general like, where are things pointing for us?


And I want to see all the layers. If all the layers are pointing in one direction and we have we have scientific power. And so when it comes to the gut microbiome, one of my favorite studies right there with the American Gut Project is a study from twenty fourteen that frankly, for me was a was a game changer in my quest to change my diet. Up to this point, I was just kind of leveling up, making some small changes.


But when I saw this study, it really made me say. You know, I just don't think there's any role for animal products at all when it comes to the gut microbiome. So let me tell you about the study. It's the authors where once David, who's at Duke, and Peter Turnbow, who's at University of California, San Francisco, it was published in Nature of the top medical journal in the world. And effectively what they did is they took a group of people and let me say this like they're not a part.


This was not done as part of the diet. Wars are these are extremely high level microbiome researchers.


Who were trying to prove in humans what we have seen in animals. For years, but had never to this point proven that this was possible in a human being. OK, so now we accept some of these things is as true, but this was 20, 14. They took a group of people, they put them on five days of a completely plant based diet. And then those same people would cycle over to five days of a completely animal based diet or vice versa.


Some people started on the animal based diet first. But they wanted to see what's the effect on the microbiome, so they measured the microbiome every single day. What they saw in both cases was that in less than twenty four hours, you can actually change your gut microbiome. It dietary changes that you've made, like what you had for lunch today. Is already changing your gut microbiome, and the reason why is because it is evolving so quickly in a way that's hard for us to fathom.


Every 20 minutes, there is a new generation of microbes. In one day, in one day, you have at least 50 new generations of microbes that have evolved. That's like in one day they're doing human evolution. That would take us all the way back to the pyramids. Yeah. Wow. And so they're changing dynamically very quickly. And so what they saw was when people were on five days of a completely plant based diet. Your gut adapts to what you are eating.


And when you're on a plant based diet, you generate microbes that are really good at breaking down fiber. And as a result, you have what are categorically described as antiinflammatory microbes that are capable of producing these short chain fatty acids that I was heralding earlier in our conversation. OK, so basically you eat the fiber, you get more microbes and they want to reward you with shortening fatty acids. So you get more of those.


The alternative with the animal based diet. To me, when I saw this in twenty fourteen, I found it disturbing what I was reading. In literally five days, you are seeing, number one, the disappearance and reduction of those microbes that are antiinflammatory. You are seeing, no surprise, the loss of short chain fatty acids if you don't eat fiber, which animal products have zero fiber? If you don't consume fiber, you don't get the benefit of these short chain fatty acids.


And instead, we saw different types of bacteria emerge. Bacteria that we would describe in science as being Bible Felic, what this means is they like bile bile from your liver. Bile from your liver comes in response to fat. It's meant to help you to digest and absorb fat in your diet. While actually changes the microbiome. When we consume a high animal fat diet, this pile starts to change the microbiome and what we see are the emergence of these bacteria that thrive in that environment, less of the antiinflammatory and these ones we describe as inflammatory.


So, for example, one specific bacteria that we saw emerging during this five day period is something called Biophilia Bloodsworth. The. And Biophilia was worth thia is known to produce hydrogen sulfide. Which has been strongly connected, this particular bacteria, to the to the development of inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, and we also saw more microbes that are really good at taking the bile. And transforming it into what we call secondary biosolids, so like, look, we all produce bile, it's a part of who we are.


But what we don't want is having microbes that are going to take that bile and actually use it against us. And turn it into the secondary bile salts, which are carcinogens. They have been strongly connected to the development of colon cancer, the number two cause of cancer death in the United States, and it's no surprise that colon cancer, you know, just kind of looking at some of the broader evidence, colon cancer is connected to red meat consumption into processed meat consumption.


So we see these changes, but perhaps the most alarming change was in just five days, they actually saw antibiotic resistance within the gut microbes on this animal based diet. And you say, gosh, what's the deal there?


Is that because the the animal products are are antibiotic laden themselves?


Exactly 80 percent of the antibiotics in the United States are not administered to humans. Tons and tons and tons of antibiotics are being administered to the livestock as a part of animal agriculture, and what this is showing is that it's becoming a breeding grounds for antibiotic resistance. If this covid-19 thing is scary to you, let me tell you what's way scarier than covid-19 a world where antibiotics don't work. Because that would be taking us back to nineteen hundred before we had penicillin and in nineteen hundred the top five causes of death.


Heart disease wasn't in the top five, the top five causes of death were infections, and this is why people were living only on average to be about 50 years old. Yeah, that's that's a scary thing.


But I think we're we're inevitably headed in that direction if we don't course correct with the extent to which people are eating, you know, animals that are so antibiotic laden. It's it seems like a natural byproduct that we would develop resistance to that.


We're creating a system. We're creating a system that where it is like the definition of short term gain. And a long term loss because the animals receive the antibiotic, not because they're sick, they receive it because the studies show that they will gain 15 percent more weight. Which, by the way, scientifically speaking, that's because you're destroying their microbiome when you destroy a person's microbiome, they gain weight. So but you know, the point from my perspective is even if you go, oh, OK, well, we're going to we'll go antibiotic free, then we'll stop this practice of giving 80 percent, about 80 percent of our antibiotics to the cattle and we'll go antibiotic free.


It does not change, Rich, even if you go grass fed. Free range, it does not change the biology. Of these high saturated fat, the high saturated fat content that you get from the animal products, that causes a disturbance and alteration of the gut microbiome. Which causes this Bias's. Where does TMO come into play with that TMO, which, by the way, was not studied in the 2014 study that I mentioned because it wasn't really on our radar at that time.


Oh, just to define for your listeners, in case they haven't heard about this tornado is produced by microbes in our gut, our microbes will produce Tormé when they come into contact with carnitine, carnitine that you find in red meat or also in energy drinks. Or COLENE, which you will find, and high fat dairy eggs and meat and also some plants.


And so when these microbes in our gut come into contact with those things, carnitine and coli. They can potentially produce Tormé, which gets transformed into Tormé. Oh, by the river and TMO is I mean honestly very disturbing. It has been connected to the development of coronary artery disease or number one killer. To stroke a top 10 killer to chronic kidney disease, a top 10 killer. OK, and so TMO, what's fascinating about it? Is that you can actually train your microbiome and make it incapable?


Of producing it. But the way that you do that is the elimination of animal products. They had a study where they looked at a vegan and this vegan in the name of science. Agreed to eat steak. And when they fed a stake to this vegan. There was no time out. They were incapable of producing it when they fed that same stake to someone who is an omnivore. They spiked the tamale bubbles 600 percent. Now, here's the issue, your God in all cases, whether it's for better or for worse.


Your gut is adaptable and it will change. And so if you take a group of vegan's. And you start giving them carnitine and COLENE, whether it be in supplement form or they start consuming animal products and they'll start producing in about four weeks, they'll start producing Tommo. So the gut will adapt and start to produce it, and this is. When we think about. When we think about the long term risks. Of a animal product, meat, heavy diet.


The TMO is a biomarker illustrating for us the connection between these foods. And some of our top killers, heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, and it's no coincidence that you will find the same foods in population based studies to also be connected to the same outcomes. And this to me, which is why. So let me let me say this. When I hear people give anecdotes that they healed their autoimmune disease on one of these diets, I don't doubt you.


I don't doubt you, I don't think I don't think you're making this up OK. I want to see more studies, but here's what I think about that. There are 10000 food additives in our processed foods. Those processed foods for most Americans are more than 50 percent of their caloric intake when you eliminate those processed foods. You potentially may heal your immune system. That that by itself is a step in the right direction. But the problem is that are you going to pay the price when you consume one of these diets over 10, 20, 30, 40 years?


I'm concerned that with the loss of diversity within the diet. You are causing harm to your microbiome, and that may come very early in the process. But in the long run, I don't view these diets as promoting longevity or promoting health span. You're not going to live longer because you eat a 100 percent meat diet. That's the issue. I'm worried about the risks of heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease as you age, and it may shorten your life expectancy, which, by the way, is what we see in population based studies when they study a low carb diet.


It's a shortened life expectancy.


There is a version of that argument that gets thrown at plant based people that goes along the lines of the reason you feel better on a plant based diet or a vegan diet is by dint of removing the processed foods. And you will see a spike in benefits in the short run. But it's ultimately nutrient deficient. And to perpetuate this way of eating over time, you will see diminishing results and potentially harm yourself in the process.


Right. How do you respond? You know, I'm sure you've seen that argument. Well, of course.


But it's it's an argument that's being made when people are shooting from the hip and not actually looking scientifically at what they're saying. Because when you when they have studied all of these different diets and all the different varieties that exist out there. A vegan plant based diet. I mean, like, you know, I want to separate out that you could be vegan and eat a junk food vegan diet and that's not a very healthy Dosher. So but a plant, a one hundred percent, hopefully plant based diet when they did an analysis of this, that was the most nutritionally complete diet.


And the deep deficiency that exists is really B 12, which is so easy to supplement, and you would argue that omnivores should be supplementing because when they've studied omnivores, about 40 percent of them are either deficient or borderline deficient and B, 12, so they should be taking the supplements. And it's so easy to supplement between. Yeah.


Let's talk a little bit about the gut brain access, because this is fascinating stuff. And I think it relates back to one thing we touched on at the beginning of this conversation, which is anxiety, the anxiety and the stress that's accompanying a lot of people right now. And what goes hand in hand with that is, you know, depression, our emotional state. And you've done some fascinating work and you talk about it in your book, this relationship between the gut microbiome and our emotional well-being.


You can't separate the two. You can't separate the two, you were your brain's best friend. Is your gut. And it's really fascinating to think about because we, you know, in the hierarchy of organs, we kind of think of the brain as being at the top. And I mean, it is it's critical, it's a critical part of being a human. But brain health. Goes through gut health, you know, if you have an unhealthy gut, it is going to affect your brain.


And if you have a healthy gut, you have a brain that is being optimized. So here's how this works. This is a two way street in terms of communication. They are talking to each other right now. I mean, they're literally your brain and your gut are like two teenage girls on the phone for six hours straight. Like, how do you talk to one person for six hours on the phone?


I have a 16 year old daughter, so I know. Well how that relate.


Yeah, exactly. So anyway, they're talking to each other. They're talking to each other literally right now. Your brain has the ability to talk to your gut through your vagus nerve, which is the information superhighway between the two. Through through hormones that are released from the pituitary gland and even through your your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. So your brain has the ability to affect your gut, you know, this is part of the reason why we sort of let off the conversation, talking a little bit about stress.


And when the brain releases CRF. CRF has the ability to alter the balance of the gut microbes and induce spouses stress by itself can induce the spouses out. On the flip side, the gut has a number of ways that it will communicate to the brain what's happening downstairs and alter brain function. It can talk again through the vagus nerve. The gut also produces neurotransmitters, literally, the gut produces over 30 neurotransmitters, which is fascinating because when I was in medical school, I realized there were 30 neurotransmitters.


I thought the right 12, 90 percent of serotonin. So serotonin is the happy hormone. Serotonin affects our mood, our focus, our energy levels, our memory. If I want to alter a person's serotonin balance, I can give them things like Zoloft, which is sertraline. And that is a serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It will boost serotonin, right, and that's how I treat depression or anxiety. But 90 percent of serotonin is produced in the gut, 90 percent, that's not I give Zoloft only.


It's only affecting 10 percent of the serotonin in the brain in the rest of it is affecting your gut. And, you know, there are precursors to serotonin and precursors to dopamine and other neurotransmitters produced in the gut that are capable of crossing the blood brain barrier and altering our mood. This is the reason why we have studies that show that you can alter anxiety and depression with diet alone and that a plant based diet is beneficial in many cases. And so so it's fascinating to consider these connections, but one of the other things that people need to hear about is that 14 fatty acids like butyrate, acetate impropriety, which come from the consumption of fiber.


Also have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier and be effectively ways that the gut is able to communicate to the brain and alter brain function. So there's all of these different ways that the that they're in constant communication and affecting each other and dynamically occurring literally right now as we're sitting and talking to each other. Yeah.


You also talk in the book about the impact of the gut microbiome on cravings. Right. The signaling to your brain, actually, like we all think like, oh, I'm craving this, my body must need it or something like that.


But it's it's it's quite literally your gut flora saying these are the kind of foods we need to stay alive, because this is what this is what's going on down here right now. And we need to keep this going. So you need to eat these foods. And I think that's absolutely fascinating. And it goes to that point of us being much more my sort of microorganism than human superorganism.


We're superorganism, we are we are a human body that is like we are carrying life within us. And they're a part of the story, and, yes, they are completely capable of altering the cravings that we have, and it's important because it also means that if you change the microbiome. You will change your cravings, you will change your taste buds. So to me, the idea, you know, part of what people don't believe that people have a hard time believing that, but that's 100 percent true.


It's not true. So, you know, for me, when I was thinking about changing my diet, what stood in the way is I my favorite foods I was going to have to give up. No, I wasn't eating these foods, like just aimlessly, I mean, I was eating what I enjoyed. And so that's what scared me and what was fascinating was that as I made the change, the taste buds, although they lag a little bit behind because you need to change your microbiome.


Mm hmm. They came along for the ride and I knew that something had changed for me because I think it's kind of like this. You go on vacation, right? You're away from your home for like seven days or 14 days. And you come back and there's that one meal that you can't wait to have, you're like, I'm going to that place as soon as I went. And for me, back in the day, it was always Jersey Mike's mom don't get upset, you know, and.


I realized that things had changed when I started coming back from trips and being like, I cannot wait to go to my salad joint and also get a computer. I can't wait. Right.


So we're like, what the hell happened to me there? Well, how dare you?


One of the things that that I hear a lot, and I'm sure you do as well, are people that are saying, I get it like I want to go plant based. I've tried it. It didn't work for me. I got super gassy. I had all these digestive digestion issues. It just it doesn't work for me. I understand it works for you. Good luck. But, you know, I'm going back to my Kitto or Paleo or whatever it is.


So can you speak to the issue of gassy ness that people experience the relationship to the microbiome and this idea that, you know, eating a plant diverse diet might work for some people, but not others. Sure. Trying to do a little myth busting here. Yeah, totally.


Well, I think this is actually one of the I mean, it's potentially the most important chapter in my book, which is Chapter five, How to Find Your Plant Passion with a sensitive gut. Because the people that come into my practice on a daily basis that I take care of for a living, these are people who are suffering with food sensitivities. When you have a damaged God, you often will have food sensitivities. It's not a coincidence that, like when you're sensitive to the food that you eat, it's not just a coincidence.


It's it's indicative of the spouses is indicative of damage to the gut microbiome. And the specific categories of foods that people struggle with are fiber. And Ford Maps. Ford Maps are the fermentable parts of our food that can be transformed into gas. Now, if you literally just heard that. And stop right there, you would go, whoa, those things sound horrible. Why do we why would we ever want that? On maps are incredibly healthy, actually, they're prebiotic, they feed and nourish the healthy bacteria inside of us.


And when you think about fiber and body maps, what are the foods that are the most rich in fiber and fat maps? It's the exact foods that are creating sensitivities for people. Beans are huge on fiber. Contain galactic ends, which are flood maps and contain resistant starches, which are also prebiotic, but can be disrupted for some people. Whole grains, again, extremely rich in fiber, also contain fruit Tannen's. Fruit stands are a format that can be disruptive.


So what we've been hearing for the last 20 years is that, oh, if you're sensitive to that. You are incapable of eating that food and also, by the way, that is information, that's what we've been told. That is information right there. First of all, it's not information. There's no there's no evidence to suggest that what it is, is it's sloppy digestion. It's sloppy digestion because you have a damaged gut microbiome. I want people to understand the way that this works on a cellular level.


If we were to zoom in on what is happening with your microbes are digesting your food. Here's what you find. There is this fiber which is biochemically complex. And these microbes, a team of them multiple different types, go to work on this fiber and they break it down and deconstruct it. And to do that, they use enzymes called Glik aside, hydrolysis. Now, Glik aside, hydrolysis, we big, strong humans. We don't have.


We only have 17 of them, if we didn't have a microbiome, we would be completely incapable of processing fiber, completely incapable. But we do have a microbiome. We've always had a microbiome. And our microbiome, when they study this, may have sixty thousand varieties of these enzymes. Sixty thousand. A single cellular organism that you and I can't even see with the naked eye may have hundreds of these enzymes.


So when the fiber goes down the track, it's untouched by the small intestine because we lack these enzymes and then it gets to the colon where all the microbes live. And they go to work using their tools, which are these enzymes, to break down and deconstruct the fiber and ultimately to release the short chain fatty acids, if you're missing the microbes that you need to process and digest that food, you're going to struggle. And that's what we see in the person who has this biases.


Where there's a loss of diversity, there's less species. When you lose those species, you may not be they may not be represented in a way necessary at that moment. Process and digest your food. But here's the key. The guy is trainable. The guy adapts. That's the key, the guy adapts and whatever choice you make. The gut will change, you know, we talked about the study from five days of plant based versus five days of animal based in less than 24 hours, the gut had changed.


So I want people to think about the gut like it's a muscle. All right, a muscle can be strengthened. You do that through exercise, it doesn't just randomly happen, it happens because you specifically go to work with that muscle. And you work it to a certain point and then you stop and then it becomes stronger, and next week you come back and you can do even more. But when you're training a muscle, if you go to the gym and you haven't been working out and you and you grab three hundred pounds.


You hurt yourself. The person who has not been consuming beans and like you says, what the hell? And grabs the four being chili. Hey, like YOLO, we're going for it, right? They're going to hurt because they haven't been consuming beans and their gut is not adapted to eating that way. For the person who. Consumes these foods and struggles with food sensitivity. If you reduce the amount of those individual foods, if you moderated them.


And got it to a level that your gut was actually capable of doing. That's where you want to be, because that's when you're exercising your gut. And it will become adapted and better the more that you feed your gut with these foods and over time you will get those enzymes because your gut will adapt to what you're doing and become capable of everything that you want. But the key, which is this, if you if you take those foods away.


If you say I'm going to categorically restrict these foods, so like hypothetically, beans and grains, beans and grains of. OK, all of those microbes that were thriving on beans. They are growing weaker by the day. All of those microbes that were thriving on whole grains. They're grown weaker by the day. You are not strengthening your gut by removing foods, you're making it weaker. And I see these people in my clinic every day that they eliminate food.


And if they're lucky, they get a couple of weeks for they feel better. And then it's back to the same problem, and it's a vicious cycle where they actually get worse and worse with time. So with that person that comes into your clinic to extend the gym analogy, you give them a light workout by incorporating small amounts of these important foods and then increasing the dosage of them over time. So you're seeding the microbiome with the plants that are the probiotics that are going to lead to the gut flora.


That's going to ultimately improve the health and the quality of the microbiome and make it capable of digesting these foods at a certain point.


One hundred percent. But I would I would just tweak the way that I frame it, rich, to say this. A person who has a normal, healthy gut, OK, they can go to the gym and exercise the person that I see who has this meiosis and they and they're suffering with these digestive issues. This is not going to the gym. This is going to rehab. This is me with an injured shoulder. And I'm not going to the gym to see if I can lift 20 pounds overhead.


I'm going to the physical therapist to see if I can literally lift my arm. And I have to go through a process when you're rehabbing an injury, you have to go through the process and you recognize that it's going to hurt. It's not necessarily going to be fun, but you are restoring function to your body, right, because your body is healthier when you restore that function.




So if somebody is experiencing that gas, like, just keep keep going, basically you're going to get to a point where your body is going to acclimate to this keep going.


But what you want to do is you want to make adjustments, you want to tweak how you're doing it. You may need to moderate if you identify what food is causing trouble and many people are good at this, they'll say, oh, it's it's garlic, garlic and onions or oats, whole grains or it's beans. If you identify the food, you can moderate the fiber and find enough content and reduce it down slightly so that you're not putting such a burden on your gut all at once.


And that's and just take your time, go low and go slow. It's like the Beastie Boys song Slow and well, that is the tempo. Yeah.


Does that also apply to food allergies? I would think that that might be a different situation.


Food allergies is activation of the immune system. And so it's a different concept. But actually there there there is an approach which I wouldn't want people to read a book can do by themselves at home. But there is an approach with food allergies where conceptually you can do the same thing, but even on a smaller level, where you reintroduce these foods gradually over time and you can you can actually accommodate the immune system so that it stops activating.


Let's bust a few more myths. Talk to me about talk to me about lecterns.


A lot of people out there are terrified of lecterns.


OK, well, first of all, I would encourage you if you're terrified of lecterns to go to PubMed and search the word lectern. And what you're going to find is that probably more than 50 percent of the studies are celebrating and heralding the benefits of lecterns for the prevention of cancer. Lecterns are often anti cancer molecules. I don't know, Rich, how you write a book if you're being balanced. I don't know how you write a book. And forget to mention this important fact that lecterns can actually protect us from cancer, which is the number two cause of death in America, know borderline infringing on number one.


But when it comes to lecterns, I want people to understand that where people worried the most are, it seems to be in legumes and beans, OK, if you don't cook your beans like you eat a dry bean. It's got a lot of lecterns and you can actually hurt yourself. There was a incident that occurred in Japan. It's one of the few, one of the few publications that showed in humans that lecterns truly can have adverse effects.


There was an incident in Japan where they told people to grind up dry beans and then eat that powder and a whole bunch of people got sick because the left and right, it was like health day or something like that.


Yeah. So and they also there is another incident on Health Day in a hospital, of all places, back in the 80s where they served a bean dish that was not properly cooked and people got sick like that. Sickness was like they had a bug for twenty four hours than they were back to normal. There's no studies saying that people are dying of affecting consumption. There's no human studies. You know, people I want people to understand the hierarchy of evidence.


Any time that we do a test tube study. Or an animal model study, we should always look to verify those results in real humans. I find it interesting when you put in a test tube, some weird concentration of lecterns. And then mix it with human cells and you go, oh, my gosh, look what happens in this test tube. All right, I find that interesting. But what happens when a real person needs beans? Show me what happens when a real person is beans and what happens.


They live longer with less heart disease and with less cancer. The longest lived populations on the planet in the five blue zones are the heaviest consumers of left and rich foods, legumes and whole grains. The elections are not something that we should live in fear of. I'll be honest, I feel like we deserve better than to be propping up or creating these these dietary monsters, you know, to to basically be demonizing our food to the point that we are actually giving people eating disorders.


Like I've actually seen this in my clinic, people with full blown eating disorders because they get so scared of certain food and they end up on the super restrictive diet. And then and then they end up with a disordered eating powder. We deserve better than this. I think that the solution is to stop running away from these food monsters that are artificially created. And instead, we need to start running towards the food that actually nourishes and heals our body and promotes a longer life with vitality.


Yeah, there is a there is a quite a bit of fear mongering out there. And what's interesting about the work that you do is that it's not about reducing certain things. You're talking about what you're building it like what you're it's very addictive. Like this whole diversification of your diet is about building new things into your diet as opposed to focusing on what we're removing.


I feel like it's easily applicable, but conceptually extremely sound like from my perspective, 50 years from now, this is still going to be the best way to eat, to consume a broad variety of plants, to be as predominantly plant based as possible. You know, I wrote the book Rich to meet people where they are. So, you know, when you say, well, you're not rigidly adhering to any particular diet. I want people to be 90 to one hundred percent plant based.


That's what we find in the blue zones. That's what I think from a nutritional perspective, is the highest quality diet. And I do think that when people get to be 90 percent plant based, they're going to feel so good, they're going to want to keep going. But I also think that there is an argument that goes beyond nutrition. And talks about the health of our planet. And talks about, you know, the compassion for these animals.


And I think that those should be a part of the conversation, even if they are not directly human nutrition. I think the covid-19 has taught us that when we abuse this planet. We may abuse these animals. I kind of feel like it's going to fight back. It's beautifully put and that just speaks to the interrelationship of everything. You can't talk about the microbiome without referencing the microbiome. The health of our gut is related to the health of the planet and vice versa.


The soil health connects to human health. You know, the health of our soil, which is the source of our nutrients, is critically important to human populations moving forward. I have children and I am scared of what this planet looks like one hundred years from now when you consider what it looks like today compared to 19, 20. And the reality is that we need to just look at population. Right now, we have seven billion people. In 2050, we will have 10 billion people.


Consider that in nineteen hundred, there were only two billion people. Consider that an eighteen hundred, there was only one billion people we have we're going to have ten times the population in two hundred and fifty years. And that's putting a strain on the environment on our planet, a strain on these animals. Biodiversity is the word. It's critical to our health, it's critical to planetary health, and it needs to be upheld. Hmmm, I would say that that's a great place to end it, but I'm not going to let you I know you've got to go in a few minutes here, but I'm not going to let you go until we talk about fecal transplants, which is like my favorite subject.


Oh, man. How much time we got. I had I know we could keep it brief because you have to actually go, like, perform a procedure. Right.


And a few minutes here, I am still a practicing doctor. Yes.


I had our mutual friend Robin Shut-Down on the podcast a while back, but she she regaled me with with fantasies of the future in which there will be salons that people will go into and get their very bespoke fecal transplants to buttress our our our microbiome. And I think the science here is is truly phenomenal.


You talk a lot about it in the book and we'll close with the book. But the idea that the adaptability of the microbiome is so dynamic that you could insert the biota, the fecal biota of another human being into a different human being and see tremendous changes in that person's health and wellbeing as a result.


It's true. It really is related to restoring harmony and balance. Moving away from despises and back to you, biocides. And having the genetic profile that we need, which is potentially missing. And that's because ninety nine point five percent of our genetics come from our microbiome. We are in terms of our genetic code, only zero point five percent human, which you and I are ninety nine point nine percent, the same in terms of our human genetics that close.


And I'm not saying that our microbiome makes you look at the way that you do. That's your human genetics. But our our microbiome may be radically different and it's certainly not the same. Each one of us has a completely unique gut microbiome. Fecal transplant really came to become a necessity because of an epidemic infection called Clostridium difficile. We now call it stabilities difficile C. diff. This became an epidemic infection when I was in medical school in the early 2000s, you would see this occasionally typically was elderly, elderly women who were on clindamycin a specific antibiotic, and they were in the hospital and they would get this infection you would treat with antibiotics and it would go away.


In less than 10 years, it got to the point where thirty thousand people were dying per year. That's a ridiculous amount of people. And we had antibiotic resistance around 2010 to the point that we would have people perpetually on antibiotics, they were just constantly on them. We didn't have a solution. And in our most desperate of times, most dire of need. We turn to the gnarliest in places Pupi. And this actually became the healing grace of this is.


Twenty first century health care on the highest level is to use poop as medicine. And what we saw is this rip roaring, nasty infection that rich I have had people I've seen people die from this infection. I've I also had people have their colon removed as a result of this infection. This nasty infection, if you take a healthy person's microbiome. And you basically administer it, you know, I mean, painlessly during a colonoscopy, like they don't even realize you're doing it.


You give them a new microbiome. Within two days, the infection is gone from almost one hundred percent of the time, I mean, on an amazing level and really all you're doing, Rich, is it goes back to an earlier point. The good guys suppress the bad guys. So when you restore a healthy balance and you get more good guys in the game, they will suppress the rip roaring, nasty infection. The C. difficile is nasty as it sounds.


Just get more good guys in there and they can suppress it. The future of fecal transplant is exciting. We have studies ongoing to look at fecal transplant for everything from acute issues all the way up to chronic issues, including autoimmune issues. The if you want me to venture a prediction for your rich, here's what I think is going to happen. I think that we're going to discover that fecal transplant is really good for dealing with acute issues. So when I say acute, like this infection C.


diff, that's an acute issue. That's not something that's going to chronically affect you. And so if you can disrupt the disturbance in the microbiome by restoring a healthy balance, you could resolve the acute issue. That's why it's so, so effective in that particular setting. The challenge is the person who has a chronic issue, can you fix their chronic issue by changing their microbiome? Could you take a person with Ms.


Change their microbiome with a fecal transplant and move on and get rid of the disease. And I don't mean to throw a wet towel on the idea. But I don't think that this by itself is going to be adequate. Here's why. We have a study, Rich, that I mentioned in chapter one of the book looking at young men with insulin resistance. And they gave them a fecal transplant. And what they saw, which was amazing because they changed nothing else, and these young men made the same food.


When they gave them the fecal transplant. They're peripheral in insulin sensitivity, improved, so basically you fixed the insulin resistance issue, but the problem is that over the course of about four weeks, this benefit dwindled.


Yeah, it's like water. It's like watering a plant one time. Yeah. And so the issue is, if you don't change their diet, you give them these, you give them these brand new microbes, you know, and you restore balance and a healthy microbiome would then they continue to live the same way. They continue to basically have a lifestyle that disrupts the microbiome. They're going to they're going to go back to what they were before. And so it takes about four weeks for that to happen.


So now, if you could do a Pekoe transplant. New idea, if you could do a fecal transplant. And pair that with dietary intervention, where you change their diet, you change their lifestyle, you give them the tools to uphold this new healthy gut microbiome. Now, that is an idea that may have some legs, but it still requires the dietary intervention, which gets back to what my book is all about, fiber fields, which is that you can change your gut microbiome, you can transform it with diet and lifestyle.


And so I think that this is exciting. But you can start doing that today without getting the transplant right.


And the way that you start doing it today is with the goals. Right. So just rifle through these and I'm going to let you go. I promise. All right.


So the articles, it's like this earlier in the episode, you said, look, you know, we've been taught that we need these super foods. And I stepped in. I said, oh, no, no, no, no, we didn't. We need ten different plans instead of that one superfood.


OK. Here's the way I want you guys to think about this. Plant based diversity is the king. That is the core philosophy. But you're not going to eat every single plant the same amount every single day. OK, so at the end of the day, what I want is if the plants are our friends, which they are, they're trying to help us be healthy. If the plants are our friends, I want you to have as many friends as possible.


But why not make the superfoods your best friends, right? So, like in real life, if I could have Rich Roland, Simon Hill is my best friends, I would do that. That's exactly what I would do. And that's what you need to do with your diet. Make the super foods your best friends. So if Coles is my acronym to help you keep track of the mean things that you should have in your diet, if not every day, at least a couple of times a week.


F fruit and fermented. G Greens. And whole grains. Oh, omega three supersedes so flaks, you have put all three of them in your smoothie, boom, done a aromatics really I'm talking about the flavor foods, garlic, onions, shallots.


El, legumes, like I said, whole grains and legumes, I actually buy those as foundational foods for the microbiome. And finally, yes. I I couldn't control myself on as I had so many I wanted to add, so here's what I did. I got three. I'm going to save the best for last. Shrooms. OK, technically not plants, but we're making them honorary plants for this conversation. They do benefit the microbiome. Seaweed. Really, it's veg, it's an untapped into resource, you want to add diversity to die, I'm not talking about making whole meals out of seaweed.


I'm talking about a little snack. And it's got unique types of fiber and unique nutrients, which, by the way, you know, when people criticize the vegan diet, you can find many of the nutrients that people bring up into vegetables. And then finally, my favorite out of all of them, this is my favorite, is self-serving. It's the nerd in me to dimension of phytochemical. I can't help it. I had to do it.


Yeah, it's I would do two hours on that alone.


And if you want to, I'll come in and we'll talk about it. But basically, self serving is a phytochemical that you will find in cruciferous veg like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, et cetera. And it is the most powerful cancer crusher that I've come across. It basically impairs cancer through seven different mechanisms. There are literally over one hundred studies of silver. And so what's cool about silver fame is, yes, you will find it in these cruciferous vegetables.


But there's one place there's one place where you will find it above the rest, which are broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprouts contain up to one hundred times more self-serving, and you will find in adults mature broccoli. So today for lunch, I had a miso Super Bowl. And I threw a whole bunch of broccoli sprouts in there, and they're delicious and they have this sulfur profane which is nourishing my body and helping to protect me from the number two cause of cancer death.


Number two, cause of death, which is cancer.


So if you tuned out for this entire podcast and you just need one takeaway from this whole thing, it's broccoli sprouts.


They're magic. Thank you so much. I know you got to go. I'm going to let you go. Really appreciate the work that you're doing. You're breaking new ground here and you're helping a lot of people with a lot of difficult problems that they're having, have tons of friends that have got health issues, everything from, you know, like you got to ulcerative colitis. And I could ask you a million more questions. I got a ton of notes here.


We didn't get the you know, we got to maybe five percent of all the things that I wanted to talk to you about. So please come and visit me when the pandemic lifts enough so that we can responsibly be in the same room together. In the meantime, everybody pick up fiber fuel. Thank you for sending me a copy. You wrote a nice thing here. Appreciate that.


You know, support your local booksellers if you can online and or you can get it on on Amazon. I'll put a link up in the shadows to the book. Congrats on making the New York Times bestseller list. It's it's well earned and well-deserved. And I think that this is all very much just the beginning for you. So I'm excited to see where you take all of this advocacy.


In the meantime, you can learn more about Dr. B at the Gut Health M.D. on Instagram. That's the main place. Right.


Anywhere else you want people to go places, Instagram? Well, I have a bunch of great resources at my website, which is the plant that got dot com. And, you know, for example, I feel like we're living in this confusing time in terms of knowing, you know, you hear me say that lecterns are totally fine and then you hear a different doctor say lecterns are destroying our health. Right. So and people are kind of sick of this.


And so I wanted to provide a solution. So I created a research guide. And it's meant to give people the basic tools that they need to understand the fundamentals of clinical research and how to find truth within the noise.


Because the truth is the truth is out there.


The truth exists with all my training, 16 years of training, master's of clinical investigation, I know how to to sift through this stuff and find the truth. But I want you guys to have basic tools to know what to do. So I created this research guide, which also includes all the references from my book, Completely Free for download on my website. I also have a covid-19 guide. I have an active email list that people seem to enjoy.


And the last thing I just want to mention real quick, I hope you don't mind, is that I'm super excited about this book. I'm super excited about the response. You know, to me, if you say to me, will you got a choice? You can be The New York Times best seller and help No one. Or you can have a shit ton of people and not be a New York Times best seller, I'll hand you The New York Times right now.


Mm hmm. All right. I'll give it to you right now. And so I'm really excited about the messages that I'm getting from people who are feeling the benefits from this book. I want you guys to reach out to me. I also want you to know that I'm creating additional resources. I have a course that I'm launching this summer. A beta tested it twice with amazing results, with amazing results in groups of people. And it's a seven week course basically to take an even deeper dive into the ideas that you find in my book so that we can really unpack this stuff and effectively what it is, which is I wish like when people read this book, I hope they feel that they're hanging out with me and we're just having a great conversation.


And in building the course, what I'm constructing is the seven week conversation that I wish I could have with every single one of my patients, I want to teach you everything that you need to know to transform your health. And that's what it's about.


And that's great, man. We should also point out that the book has it. In addition to being this incredible primer, you have a twenty eight day program here, too, that you take that you take people through the second half of the book, essentially twenty eight day plan.


It's got a basically 80 recipes. It's got I mean, in one of the things I'm most proud of with this, by the way, with the plan is it is designed to meet you where you are. OK, so the reason why I didn't write this book to be, hey, you need to be vegan. And if you're not, it's a bad choice to resign. Right that way is because I want to meet you where you are. I want to get a trajectory in your diet and your lifestyle that is going to transform your health.


I want to point you in the right direction and then let's get the ball rolling and let's do it together. And so every single person who's doing this 20 day plan is going to have their own experience. No two people will do it the same. And I celebrate that. And I want people to use the plan as a tool to get the compass pointing in the right direction, but also to be comfortable making the adaptations necessary to make it your own.


And I really think it's going to get people to a better place when they do it.


Hmm. Great man. All right. Well, to be continued. Be continued, my friend. Thank you so much, man.


Really appreciate it. Good luck with everything, man. And look forward to finally meeting you in person at some point, 110 percent. Look forward to it. All right. Cool piece. Good stuff, right? I mean, talking about the microbiome is almost like science fiction, like science fiction, becoming science in real time. It's amazing stuff. Hope you guys enjoyed that. Dr. B is a total jam if his words and his wisdom hit home.


I highly recommend picking up his New York Times best selling book, Fiber Fueled, and check out his brand new seven week comprehensive online course linked up in the bio. I'm not an affiliate. I have no financial entanglement here, just sharing good stuff and also let will know how this one landed for you by tracking him down on Instagram or Twitter at the Gut Health M.D.. If you'd like to support the work we do here on the show, subscribe rate and comment on it on Apple podcast, on Spotify and on YouTube, share the show or your favorite episodes with friends or on social media and you can support us on patriotic rich role.


Dotcom forward slash donate. I want to thank my team for working hard to put on today's show. Jason Camilo for audio engineering production show notes and interstitial music. Blake Curtis for videoing and editing the visual version of today's show. Jessica Miranda for Graphics, Georgia Waili for Copywriting, DKA for Advertising Relationships and Theme Music by Tyler Pietje, Chopper Pilot and Harry Mathis. Appreciate you guys. I love you. I don't take your attention for granted. I will see you back here next week with another amazing show.


Until then, be well. Treat yourselves right. Stay safe, but increase the biodiversity of your microbiome. More fiber, more fiber, peace plants.