The Science Of Your Gut Microbiome: How Healing Your Gut Can Improve Your Physical and Mental Health - Transcripts

Dr. Mark Hyman: Coming up on this week's episode of the Doctor's Farmacy,

Dr. Steven Gundry: Depressed individuals have a depressive microbiome and you can constitute these particular abnormal species.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to the Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman, and this is a place for conversations that matter. And if you ever wondered how the microbiome plays a role in our health across all manner of diseases and health conditions, you're going to love this podcast because today I'm bringing you a fascinating conversation with one of the leading thinkers in health and wellness, Dr. Steven Gundry about one of my favorite topics, the gut microbiome. Steven Gundry is one of the world's top cardiothoracic surgeons and a pioneer nutrition. He hosts a top-rated health show called the Gundry Podcast as founder and the director of the International Heart and Lung Institute Center for Restorative Medicine, and founder of Gundry md Line of Wellness products and Supplements. After distinguished career as a professor and chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Loma Linda University, Dr. Gundry changed his focus to curing modern diseases via dietary changes.

Dr. Mark Hyman: He's the author of New York Times bestsellers like The Plant Paradox, the Plant Paradox Cookbook, the Plant Paradox, quick and Easy, the Longevity Paradox, and many more. He's had more than 300 articles published in peer review journals using diet and supplements to eliminate heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and multiple other diseases. He also just released his newest book, gut Check, unleash the Power of Your Microbiome to Reverse Disease and Transform your mental, physical and emotional health. Now, there has been an explosion, our understanding and research around the microbiome, and yet despite regulating so many of our bodily functions and being so critical to our overall long-term health, conventional medicine has just not integrated this knowledge into teaching or practice. Dr. Gundry and I begin our conversation by talking about how we each came to learn about the significance of the gut microbiome through our medical careers, and he shares then the keys to healthy microbiome.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And we go in depth on the role of something called polyphenol, which are newly discovered compounds that act on the gut in remarkable ways, these colorful plant compounds found in food and how they feed our gut bacteria. And we're just at the beginning when it comes to understanding every interaction and reaction that takes place in our gut microbiome. You've likely heard about prebiotics and probiotics, but now Dr. Gundry explains the importance of postbiotics as well as how they're made in the gut and how they influence our health. We dive deep into the latest understanding of how compounds like Uli and a and Rol regulate so many areas of our health. Dr. Gundry explores the relationship between the gut microbiome, depression and mood disorders, as well as how it relates to the effectiveness of immunotherapy drugs on cancer treatment. And finally, we talk about the prevalence of leaky gut and the top foods Dr. Gundry recommends to avoid in order to create a healthy gut microbiome. And now onto my conversation with Dr. Gundry. So Steven Gundry, how you doing, man? It's good to see you again.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Mark. Great to see you. I hear we're actually fairly near each other today, so welcome to the left coast. As we like to say out here,

Dr. Mark Hyman: The left coast, I don't dunno if I'm going to dive into that trap, I'm going to just stay off of that topic, but I'm excited to have this conversation with this team because you've been pioneering a lot of the work around thinking what causes such problems of inflammation in our society and how that's linked to so many diseases. You've written so many books about it, you've helped people really change their lives and their diets. And your new book is the book I actually wanted to write about 20 years ago, but I thought, no one's going to want to read about poop. So I didn't write it, but I wrote other books and I included it kind of sideways. But the microbiome and the gut is having its moment. It's sort of the wonder kid of science right now. There's billions of dollars of research pouring into this. Our understanding of the nuances and complexity of what's going on in our gut is so huge. And you really unpack this in your new book, which everybody should get a copy of. It's out now, it's called Gut Check. Unleash the Power of Your Microbiome to reverse disease and transform your mental, physical and emotional health. That's a tall order.

Dr. Steven Gundry: It is indeed. But I don't know how many people are going to be watching this versus listening in it, but I have a very large painting right behind me

Dr. Mark Hyman: Is that your quote, the Road to good health is paved with good intestines. That's good.

Dr. Steven Gundry: The amazing thing is Hippocrates, 2,500 years ago, the father of medicine basically said that all disease begins in the gut. And the longer I've been doing this, now 25 years, the guy was right. And you and I have spent the vast majority of our adult careers now figuring out how he knew this and applying this. And so gut check is my, I like to think it's my best book. Plant Paradox. Plant Paradox was a biggie, but I think this is kind of plant paradox 2.0.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I agree. I think this is one of your best books. I think it is such a deeply researched, well thought out book about how the gut plays a role in so much of what's going on with our chronic disease crisis in America. And I include mental health in that chronic disease crisis. And I think that as a functional medicine doctor, we didn't really quite know why or what, but we knew how. And so we would really be focused on taking care of the gut as the first principle in helping anybody with anything. So when people would come to see me as a functional medicine doctor 25, almost 30 years ago, I would start with the gut. No matter what was going on, I would make sure their gut was healthy. I would do a gut reboot. We had this thing called the five R program in functional medicine, we still do to remove the bad stuff, replace the things that are missing, maybe enzyme to inoculate with healthy bacteria, repair the gut lining by providing the right nutrients and polyphenols and so forth, replace prebiotics and restore, which basically means deal with stress and how that affects our gut as well.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So it's really been a methodology we've used for decades in functional medicine with profound effects. And I remember seeing when I first started doing this, I would follow this protocol. I learned it at these conferences and I was like, all right, I'm going to try this and see if it works, but I don't know if it's actually going to work. And she'll say, oh my god, my arthritis is gone. My depression is gone. My autoimmune disease are gone. Obviously my gut issues are gone. And I was like, my migraines are gone. I'm like, how does this work? I've been a student of this for now decades, and it's just incredible to see the emergence of this science now informing conventional medicine. But I would say this, and I think this is why your book is so important, even though the microbiome is receiving such great attention and there's much science going into understanding it and how to use it, the average practitioner or even the exceptional practitioner out there if they're trained in traditional medicine, is not paying attention to this at all.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, my daughter now is in medical school in Utah, and third year I said, Rachel, whatcha you learning about the microbiome? She's like, nothing. I'm like, wow. I think my daughter in medical school is not learning anything about this. And it's unfortunate because it's key to being able to help so many people with everything from heart disease to cancer, to diabetes, to Alzheimer's, to autoimmune disease, to allergies, to digestive problems, to depression, to anxiety to a DD, to, I mean, the list goes on and on. So can you talk about how you came to understand this and also how our gut microbiome is directly linked to our health longevity? What's going on?

Dr. Steven Gundry: Holy cow. Where do we start? Yeah, no, but let me continue on what you just said. I have the privilege of seeing third year family practice residents rotate through my clinic for a month at a time, and they're about to go into practice. This is their final year and just probably won't surprise you, but might surprise our listeners that not one of these individuals have ever heard of ordering a fasting insulin level.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Oh my God, I know. Don't get me started on that.

Dr. Steven Gundry: None of them have ever heard of a Homa ir, which is a way of looking at insulin resistance. And they go, well, what does that have to do with anything? I go, well, so you're right. I mean, one would've hoped you and I, we didn't know about this. We thought that the GI tract was a hollow tube and crud went in and some digestive enzymes happened, and whatever was left, we pooped out. And that was the end of the story. But the Human Microbiome Project, which really just completed in 2017, opened our eyes to this incredible tropical rainforest of a hundred trillion, just different bacteria that we just didn't even know we're there. And so what that's been able to do is, okay, now we know they're there.

Dr. Mark Hyman: There's like a hundred thousand petabytes of data in our microbiome that's doing stuff all the time.

Dr. Steven Gundry: And I argued in one of my previous books that what I think we've done since they have so many more genes than we do, and that genetic information is constantly being modified by viral genomes being inserted and cross filtering of genes between bacteria that I propose that we've actually done most of our computing, we've loaded it into our cloud computer or our brown computer. And the more we see the influence that these guys have on everything that's going to happen to us, the more you realize what an amazing elegant design and what a brilliant idea to outsource most of our computing power to this tropical rainforest within us.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And this is not that new of idea, Dennis Burkett, which we learned about Burke's lymphoma in medical school. He was a British scientist, and he went to Africa on a missionary trip and he noticed all the villagers in the traditional travel populations had no chronic disease. They were really healthy. And as soon as their cousins essentially moved into the city, they would get all the western diseases. And for some reason, I don't know how he got this idea, but he decided to study their poop. And he basically found that the urban dwellers had stool weight of four ounces, and the hunter gatherers and tribal people had stool weights of two pounds. And I just came back from Africa and saw the elephant poop. It looks like a basketball, like one little piece of it. And then they have huge amounts of fiber. And I saw the HODs of population, which the one of the last hunter gather populations on the planet.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Now they have 20%, up to 20% of their diet is honey, which is all you think, oh, that's bad sugar. But the other thing they do is their hunter and gather. So they gather a lot of tubers, these roots and these root vegetables, or I don't if you can call 'em what, you can call them more like chewing on wood, but they basically dug one up and it dug up this wild yam, and they eat about 150 grams of fiber a day that mitigates any of the harm from the honey that they're getting. And they actually don't have these chronic Western diseases. So I think in our society, we've just done such a disservice. We saw the same thing in this study years ago about bikini basal like these kids who are eating western diets versus these traditional diets in Perkin South. And they had profoundly different microbiomes, profoundly different health outcomes, no allergies, no autoimmune disease, none of the stuff we see here.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So it's so intimately tied to our microbiome. And yet it's shocking to me that in traditional medicine, even though we sort of now acknowledge it, there's no roadmap to do anything about it. And that's why gut check is such a great roadmap because it provides people an understanding of what's going on, why it's a problem, and actually what to do about it. So I want to dive into this a little bit more with you. When your microbiome is messed up, it causes all sorts of things. It screws up your immune system, your hormones, your mental health. It shortens your life, it increases your risk of autoimmune disease, heart attacks, dementia, as well as arthritis, diabetes, cancer. What is gone wrong and what is the definition there, the hallmark of a healthy microbiome?

Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, one of the things we're supposed to have a huge number of different species of bacteria. And if you take the hanza for example, they have a phenomenal teaming tropical rainforest of different diverse species. And just like with any ecosystem, there's one species dependent on another species. I like to use the example of Yellowstone Park when they took out the evil, nasty, bad predator wolves. They're evil and nasty and we need to get rid of them. And whoops, look what

Dr. Mark Hyman: Happened. Yeah, the big bad wolf.

Dr. Steven Gundry: And so one of the things that's interesting to me is as I talk about you really have to have diversity. And you look at the Haas, they have a very diverse microbiome, and we know that the bad guys are actually useful, and you want a few of these bad guys and they bring stuff to the table that we couldn't even anticipate, just like a wolf is important in Yellowstone Park. So the Hanza have this really diverse microbiome. You look at people who they were compared to in England, their microbiome is just a kind of a tropical wasteland. There's no diversity. Now, what's happened to us? You've already mentioned the microbiome really wants to be fed prebiotic fiber. And back in the good old days, our great grandparents actually, even here in the United States, were doing a pretty good job of feeding the microbiome prebiotic fiber.

Dr. Steven Gundry: We now have stripped all the fiber out of all of our foods in convenience sake, if nothing else. And you've been a huge spokesperson against process and ultra processed foods. But I think people realize how bad these things are, but they're bad because we're literally starving the microbiome to death. And that's number one. Number two, one of the things that has been a revelation to me through the years, I've always been a big proponent of polyphenols. And these are the bright dark colors in fruits and vegetables. And you may remember number of years ago we thought that number one, we've known that polyphenols are not well absorbed in our gut. And when we did all these experiments with polyphenols and cell cultures, there seemed to be a tipping point where polyphenols seemed to be pretty good, but then you got too many of them and all of a sudden they were really bad. There was even some research out of David Sinclair's lab that too much resveratrol might harm heart function. And we got into this. Well, they cause hormesis. What's hormesis? Well, that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger. Well, now because of the human microbiome project, we realize, and I talk about this in gut check, that polyphenols are actually one of the favorite foods of the microbiome. And they eat the polyphenols and then they activate the polyphenols into an absorbable bioactive compound that then actually benefits us. And we miss the middleman, the

Dr. Mark Hyman: Middleman

Dr. Steven Gundry: In all of this. And that's exciting because the whole book is, man, there's a middleman that we didn't know they were there. And now we're beginning to figure out why they're there and why we've got to have them there if we want to function as a proper animal.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, I think this is really important. Two points that you brought up. One was the microbial diversity is really important, and this means the difference between sort of a complex Amazonian rainforest and a monocrop cornfield.

Dr. Steven Gundry: That's exactly right. That's

Dr. Mark Hyman: Exactly right. An Amazon rainforest is incredibly robust. There's so many redundant systems, there's so much complexity in complexity. There's health. So the more complex the ecosystem is, the more health. It's a monocrop cornfield, one bug or one disease, it's gone. And I think this is what's happening to us. We're seeing this dramatic decrease in microbial diversity, and we're going to talk about how to boost our microbial diversity. It is a bit tough to change our microbiome as we get older, but it's not impossible. And I think that this is a huge factor. This is sort of declining diversity. It's almost like it's like industrial agriculture for our gut versus regenerative farming. We want to know how to tend our inner garden and make it a complex, robust ecosystem. And I think it's just such an unappreciated thing. The other thing I want to drill down on is the polyphenols.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You kind of mentioned it, and I just want people to really get this because historically, even in functional medicine, we talked about prebiotics and probiotics and healthy foods and so forth and fiber. And somehow this polyphenol story just, I didn't quite get it, and I don't know if you know this Steven, but a number of years ago I got a root canal that went bad. I had taken out, I got guess what drug clindamycin. I ended up with C difficile colitis. I ended up that turning into full-blown colitis. My gut was inflamed from top to bottom. I was in bed for five months. I almost died. I lost 20 pounds. I had plenty bloody balance a day, and I did my own stool test. Now, I've probably seen more than any doctor alive, literally, they used to call me Dr. C, every poop at Canyon Ranch.

Dr. Mark Hyman: They made fun of me for how many stool tests I used to do, and I did my own. And it was probably the worst I'd ever seen. Literally just cow protected off the chart. No short chain fatty acids, no akkermansia, no healthy bacteria. It was a mess. And I was like, wow, this akkermansia thing. And I started to kind of research about it and I started to realize that we didn't have a probiotic then, and we do now, but we didn't have a probiotic then that you could take to replenish Akkermansia. The only thing that could make it grow was polyphenols. It loves pomegranate and cranberries and green tea. And so what I did to recover was actually create what I call my akkermansia shake. I literally took concentrated pomegranate concentrate, concentrated cranberry concentrate, matcha powder and a bunch of other polyphenols. And I would make this thing with prebiotics and probiotics and polyphenols and this cocktail, and it was incredibly effective.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And I was like, wow. And then I started using this with my patients and it was profoundly effective. So I think we're going to get more into the polyphenols in a little bit, but I want to have you dive into something that I think is a fairly new concept when it comes to addressing what is the result of our poor diet, lack of fiber, lack of polyphenols, lack of prebiotics, lack of probiotics, and this lower microbial diversity, which is this phenomena that happens called leaky gut. And you are a person who talks a lot about this. And one of the things you talked about, which I thought was novel in the book, was this whole idea of mitochondrial uncoupling and how it helps us maintain a healthy gut wall. So we laid in the good stuff, but not the bad stuff.

Dr. Steven Gundry: So I spent

Dr. Mark Hyman: The, what the heck is it? What the heck is it?

Dr. Steven Gundry: First of all, I wish it wasn't called mitochondrial uncoupling. I did not invent that term. It's a scientific term. And I spent two books, my two previous books trying to explain it. And maybe I'm not as good an explainer as I should be, but when people hear the word uncoupling, they think of Gwyneth Balrow getting separating from her previous spouse. So uncoupling, there's a DR brand In the year 2000 wrote a very, very simple paper called Uncoupling to Survive. And anyone who hasn't read it, it's a really easy read and all you got to do type in to Google uncoupling to survive, and it'll pop right up. So normally mitochondria, as you and I know, make a TP by taking energy, taking glucose and carbon atoms and oxygen and put 'em through the electron transport chain, which I call the mito club in the book making energy. Making a TP is really hard work and is very damaging. And as you and I know, damage to mitochondria is one of the underlying processes of long-term bad health. So we have a built-in system that it's so damaging to make a TP, that there are pop-off valves within our mitochondria, very much like a pop-off valve in a pressure cooker.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Okay, can I stop you there? I dunno if everybody knows a mitochondria. They're basically these energy powerhouse in the cells. They take the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat and they burn it like an engine, they combust it and out comes energy in the form of a TP water that you pee out, carbon dioxide that you breathe out, and all these waste products called free radicals. So that's what you're talking about. So now, just so people have a context about what that is, I think you can kind of go into it now.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Making energy is really damaging. And so we actually have all these built-in pop-off valves. Now the word coupling comes from you're trying to couple protons with oxygen to make a tp. You're trying to couple them together. Now, uncoupling says, okay, let the oxygen come in. But let a bunch of these protons not participate in making energy, uncouple them from oxidative phosphorylation. Let them let them loose. So mitochondrial coupling was discovered way back in 1978 when the electron transport chain was fully developed. So it turns out at baseline, you and I sitting here right now, 30% of all the calories that enter into our mitochondria never get made into a TP. They are 30%, 30% while we're sitting here, they are wasted and they are uncoupled. Now you go, well, wait a minute. That's really stupid. Hunter gatherers are starving all the time. We were starving all the time.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Why in the world would we waste 30% of all of our potential power? Well, it's because two things we're warm-blooded animals, and it turns out that uncoupling generates heat. And we know all about, hopefully a lot of people know about brown fat. And brown fat is brown because it's so full of mitochondria that it literally looks brown. But brown fat is what we generate heat with. And that's because the mitochondria in brown fat are profoundly uncoupled. So they make more heat, more energy, they make less energy, but more heat. Now, that's part two of the weirdness. So Dr. Bran said, well, the weird thing is if you're starving to death, the last thing you want to die is your mitochondria because your mitochondria responsible for making energy. And if you don't have your mitochondria, that's it, Eric Garner. So he proposed, and it's been since proven that the more danger you're in, the more signals that you are in trouble, you are starving or things are bad, the more you ought to uncouple your mitochondria to protect them from damage. And now part two of that is with uncoupling your mitochondria, you send a signal to make more mitochondria to handle the workload.

Dr. Steven Gundry: And I use the example in the book, let's suppose we've got a pulling a dog sled. Let's call the dog the mitochondria, and the dog will pull the sled. You won't get very far, you won't go very fast, but it'll work. On the other hand, if you added five more dogs to the dog sled and now have a six dog sled, you'll go a lot faster. You'll go a lot farther. Each dog will have to do a six of the work, and they won't tire as fast, but you have to feed them more. You have feed six dogs. And when you look at it that way, you understand how mitochondrial uncoupling is actually an incredibly beneficial thing to happen for an organism. And one of the wildest things is what he showed and others now have shown is the people who live the longest have the most uncoupled mitochondria. So to me, I want to sit around and teach people how to uncouple their mitochondria.

Dr. Mark Hyman: How do you do that?

Dr. Steven Gundry: I'm glad you asked.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I'm on the edge of my seat.

Dr. Steven Gundry: So let's get back to polyphenols. How come there's all these pretty colors in the fall? All the beautiful oranges and reds and dark purples, those are the polyphenols that were in the leaves of the plants that we didn't see because of the green chlorophyll. Well, what the heck are polyphenols doing in the plants? Well, it turns out that sunlight is really damaging to plant mitochondria. Their equivalent is our chloroplast. And so photons from sunlight are as damaging to plant mitochondria as oxygen is to us. So plants make polyphenols. Are you ready? Drumbeat to uncouple their mitochondria to protect them from the harmful sunlight and other environmental stressors. Okay, so that's what polyphenols do for plant mitochondria. Now, when we eat them, our bacteria, we now realize love polyphenols. They then make polyphenols available for absorption to us. And those polyphenols just happened to uncouple our mitochondria. So 20 years ago, we knew that all these polyphenol, bright colored diets were really good. We had no idea. No idea why they were so good. Now we know.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Interesting. So in a way, I'm just thinking the paradox of the uncoupling, because if you're saying uncoupled mitochondria produces more heat but less energy. They also induce mitochondrial biogenesis making more mitochondria, which is a good thing. But it also seems like don't we want to create more energy too? So isn't it a kind of a paradox that we both need uncoupled and coupled mitochondria to want to produce heat, want to produce energy.

Dr. Steven Gundry: It makes absolutely no sense that if you're starving to death, you would waste more energy. And what he showed was that the more you protect your mitochondria from damage, by having it work a little bit less and then stimulating more mitochondria production to carry the load.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's like the six dogs.

Dr. Steven Gundry: It's six dogs. Exactly. And you mentioned now that we've learned about ULI A, which we can get into,

Dr. Mark Hyman: We're going to get into that. I want to get into that. Yeah.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Okay. So we now know that here's some compounds that are made from polyphenol metabolism by gut bacteria that lo and behold make more mitochondria and like what a cool design.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, I mean to me, honestly, Steven, I just marvel at this and I sort of came up with this term years ago as I began to understand the relationship between plants and humans. And actually I took a quick course at Cornell. It was called plants and Humans, and it was all about the interaction of plants and humans over the year, not necessarily from a microbiome perspective, but how we use them. Everything from psychedelics to building things, to eating whatever. And this concept I came up with was called symbiotic phyto adaptation, meaning we basically have co-evolved with plants to use their molecules to regulate our biology in ways that are optimizing our health. And it's not because the plants care or give a crap about what's happening to us, although maybe they do because we're all in this symbiotic relationship. But as long as, well, they

Dr. Steven Gundry: Want to use us to distribute their seeds, fruit seeds. Yeah,

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right. Fair enough, fair enough. So it was funny in Africa, basically you could tell where the elephants went because they'd be eating palm trees in one area and they would poop them out all over. So there's like palm forests from the elephants that were spreading their seeds. But back to the polyphenols. The polyphenols, there are, like you said, their plants defense mechanisms, they're their own defense mechanisms. So in a sense, they're their immune system, and sometimes they are a little bit toxic to us, like you mentioned. So it's really about understanding how do we use them properly and create this concept of hormesis, which can be good, and particularly in longevity and other things. But what you're talking about here is that the microbiome interacts so intimately with not just fiber and probiotic foods or fermented foods, but with these polyphenol classes of foods, which we really haven't understood until recently. And I think why don't you sort of explain the difference, and then we can get into some of the specific polyphenols and what they do in the microbiome between polyphenols and antioxidants. What's the difference? And you talk about gut buddies that are the missing link, the good buddies that are missing link to process these polyphenols.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, it's interesting. For years, I used to, believe it or not, there's an international meeting on polyphenols every year and the organizer and believe

Dr. Mark Hyman: I'm meeting on everything every year. Oh, well of course.

Dr. Steven Gundry: And I used to present every year and one year in Lisbon, the head of this is a professor from France by the name of Marvin ez. He got up to start the meeting. He says, anybody here who thinks that polyphenols are antioxidants, you can leave the room. Because yeah, he said, because you are so far behind the research that I don't have time to catch you up.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's pretty arrogant, but okay. Yeah.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Okay. Well, it turns out the guy was right. Polyphenols are not antioxidants. They aren't. And one of the things I think I've talked about in this book and others, there's actually only two antioxidants in our mitochondria. One really surprises people, and that is melatonin. The second antioxidant is glutathione. And a lot of people, okay, great, I get it. But those are the only two antioxidants within our mitochondria.

Dr. Mark Hyman: What about the catalase and superoxide dis mutase and glutathione peroxidase? Yeah, but

Dr. Steven Gundry: Those are enzymes. Those aren't antioxidants,

Dr. Mark Hyman: But they produce antioxidants, right? Yes.

Dr. Steven Gundry: But the only two, they're active in mitochondria

Dr. Mark Hyman: Glutathione and

Dr. Steven Gundry: Melatonin. Melatonin.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Interesting.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Wow.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So keep going about the difference between antioxidants and polyphenols then.

Dr. Steven Gundry: So we're going, okay, well wait a minute. We know that polyphenols are really good for us, blah, blah, blah. And if they're not antioxidants, what are they? Well, they're essentially signaling compounds. And the book goes into, there is such an amazing communication system at multiple levels between the gut microbiome and us, our genome, our cellular working mitochondria specifically. And I think one of the most amazing things in terms of the design is a lot of people we think are convinced that mitochondria are ancient engulfed bacteria that about 2 billion years ago, a non eukaryotic cell, and I won't bother you, ate a bacteria. And the bacteria said, Hey, wait a minute, instead of you eating me, I'll tell you, why don't I make a TP for you? And in exchange, you give me something to eat. Protect me from the environment. And for every molecule of glucose, I'll make 32 molecules of attp. And this cell goes, oh, wait a minute. That's a pretty good deal because with fermentation for every molecule of glucose, I only get two molecules of attp. So you mean I can get eight times as much a TP if I allow you to do the work for me? And the guy says, yeah. So we think that, so ancient bacteria are R mitochondria. They actually have their own DNA and they can divide without the cell dividing. They actually have a cellular membrane that looks exactly like a bacterial cell wall.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, it looks like a little bacteria

Dr. Steven Gundry: Actually. It does look like a little bacteria. Now I argue, and others have argued that those are the mitochondria are sisters of our bacteria. Now, why? It turns out all of our mitochondria we inherit from our mother men, sorry guys. We don't give any mitochondria. It's all maternal. We're just drones. So those mitochondria, we get all of our initial microbiome from our mother, not from our father. And so there is a really cool theory, which I like, is that the maternal microbiome communicates with the maternal mitochondria. And there is a language that these share. And with every passing year we get to understand that language better. And part of that language is gaso transmitters. And it sounds crazy, but the farts that you make are actually important talking points between the microbiome and among other things, the mitochondria. We also know

Dr. Mark Hyman: That, wait, wait, I'm confused. How does your microbiome and mitochondria produce farts?

Dr. Steven Gundry: No, the farts are actually there to talk to the mitochondria, Andrea. So lemme give you a great example.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I dunno about, this is good. Okay, we got to go into this because I never heard this before. Oh,

Dr. Steven Gundry: You're going to love this. You're going to love this.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Alright. So there are gases that are made from fermentation of prebiotic fiber and those gases, for instance, one of the most common gases is hydrogen gas. The smallest molecule there is hydrogen gas is easily diffusible through the wall of the gut. And hydrogen gas turns out may be incredibly important in mitochondrial function. Let me give you just one teasing example. This work came out of Japan. Japanese look at early onset Parkinson's disease patients. Then they looked at their gut microbiome compared to normal. And the gut microbiome in these Parkinson's patients did not produce hydrogen gas. They went and the regular group did and they went, huh, that's interesting. I wonder what would happen if we give these people hydrogen water, hydrogen gas dissolved in water, which is easy to do. Lo and behold, their Parkinson's system symptoms improve.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Interesting. Because Parkinson's is a mitochondrial disease.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Exactly. And so there you go. Son of a gun, you mean hydrogen and gas that I'm making as a process of fermentation is actually a signaling molecule that tells my mitochondria things to do. I spend a lot of time talking about hydrogen sulfide, the so-called sewer gas or rotten egg smell. And hydrogen sulfide is incredibly important in terms of vascular health. If nothing else, we used to think that hydrogen sulfide was toxic. That's because we didn't know where it became toxic and where it actually had benefit. Same with carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is actually a really cool regulatory gas that we make. Same with carbon dioxide. And we can go on and on methane, we make methane gas, which is actually a gaso transmitter.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Gaso transmitter. That's a whole nother term. You come on, all this stuff I never heard before. This is pretty good. Gaso transmitter, that's what they're called.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Or if you want, you can call 'em gas oes.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So what is the mechanism methane? How does it work as a neurotransmitter then?

Dr. Steven Gundry: So methane actually, literally, so these are all, I used to call them text messages, and

Dr. Mark Hyman: You're the best, Steven, I love you. Make these things that's so funny. And it's simple to understand. It's great. So

Dr. Steven Gundry: Keep going. They literally are text messages about what we want things to do. The cellular system. I mean, just not to change the subject recently. In fact, just this week, and actually it's a great point. You and I probably have been told or taught that lignans in flax seeds and flaxseed oil are really good for you and have some really kind of cool anti-cancer properties.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, right. Particularly in women. Yeah,

Dr. Steven Gundry: Particularly in women. And we've known that this is true and there's some cool studies and we go, okay, yeah, you need lignans. Well, a paper just came out that lignans are eaten by the microbiome and the microbiome get ready for this. Make micro, RNA micro RNA is the communication system that cells tell things to do, the work to do. The micro RNA is absorbed through the gut and the micro RNA literally stops cancer cells from doing their thing. It turns them off. And this just came out this week and it's like son

Dr. Mark Hyman: Of a gut. No, no. Actually something I've heard about for years, the microRNA from plants, it's getting absorbed and modulating our biology. And we've seen this many conditions that it's pretty interesting. So it's not just vitamins and minerals, polyphenols. Now we've got even the genetic material produced from bacteria is being absorbed and modulating our biology. So we are literally, I don't know, maybe we're just walking little transport systems for the microbiome. I don't know if humans are really in charge here.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Oh, I completely agree with you. And the point of gut check is, look, if you take care of your microbiome, they'll take care of you because you are their home and they have a vested interest in you. And if you keep trying to starve them to death, if you keep trying to poison them like we do with our antibiotics and glyphosate, then it's no wonder that we're in the shape we're in.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Well, I want to dive into this maybe a little abstract for people, but I want to make it really practical because I think there's some really fasting research around some of these polyphenols called Eli tannins that are in foods called pomegranates we can eat or walnuts, walnuts, berries, raspberries. And you have this great term called gut buddies. Literally these gut buddies that are good guys living in there. The problem is we don't have that many friends anymore. We don't have any good buddies left or maybe very few good buddies left in our gut microbiome. So when you don't have these, it can have serious health consequences. And you talk about this particular symbiotic relation between some of the foods we eat, our microbiome and compounds, they produce something we call postbiotics. I just had a podcast with Uma and I do, and she was talking about psychobiotics, not crazy bacteria, but bacteria that act like psychiatric drugs to modulate mood, which I thought was great.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But this whole concept of prebiotics and probiotics, people understand fibers, prebiotics and probiotics are like taking lactobacillus. But then there's these postbiotics, which are things that are made by your bacteria from eating certain foods that are molecules that then you absorb and regulate your biology in ways that have profound impacts on your health. So one of those metabolites is called ULI a. And I've talked a little bit on the podcast, but this is such a great story. It illustrates it well, and there's so much research around it. So it's one of the most researched factors around this whole post biotic phenomena. So can you explain the data around this phenomena of ULI A on supercentenarians and their microbiome versus people who don't have this microbiome that actually can metabolize these phytochemicals. And so basically you can eat pomegranate all day long, but you're not going to make ULI a right? Like 20% of the general population is able to do this. That means 80% of us, but in the supercentenarians a lot more have this microbiome that actually makes uase. So can you explain this whole interaction between our alleged tannin content in our diet and the bacteria that are regulating it and this metabolite that it creates your lothan A and what that does and how it relates to our health in general, our mitochondria and mitochondrial uncoupling that you talked about?

Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, maybe it's a bad, I mean

Dr. Mark Hyman: That was a lot, but it's really important. And I think it's such a beautiful story because it illustrates this phenomena so clearly for people and why it's important to take care of your gut buddies and invite more good gut buddies in there.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, I hate to use the expression, but it takes a village. And what we're learning and what I want people to understand from gut check is we used to think, okay, you need prebiotic fiber and your gut buddies will take prebiotic fiber and they'll make postbiotics, by the way, gastro transmitters or postbiotics. And that's a good thing. But what we now know is you may have to have four or five guys each doing one job, almost like an assembly line. And if the first guy doesn't make the next product, the second guy can't make what he needs and it may need four or five different bacteria to get the end product. So let's take for example, ULI egg. We know that the precursor is in pomegranates, in walnuts, in raspberries, but that you're right, only about 14 to 20% of individuals, you could give them all of these precursors.

Dr. Steven Gundry: They will never make uli. And so you then look at super old people and at least 50% of them make uro litany. It could be as high as 70%. So we now understand that there are multiple guys that are involved in making this compound. And if you don't have those multiple guys, you could eat all the pomegranates in the world, but you'll never come up with this compound. So what's so cool about this compound is, and this is work out of Switzerland, I've had the folks from M Nutrition, yeah, Emmett on my podcast several times, so impressed with what they've done. So this stuff actually makes Mitophagy mitsis it actually, and I off camera with them, I'm pretty convinced it's because of mitochondrial and coupling. And they have a recent paper that shows it has some really cool anti-cancer properties as well. And I'll argue it's because of mitochondrial coupling, but it's fascinating that these super old people have this set of gut bacteria that are able to accomplish this job, this job.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Another, I think really beautiful study that came out of Stanford with the husband and wife team, the sonenberg about the importance of understanding that it's more than just say prebiotics as a part of this. They gave individuals prebiotic fiber and they looked at their gut microbiome diversity, and they looked at their markers of inflammation, which was hs, crp c-reactive protein. They took a second group and gave them the same prebiotic fiber, but they also gave them fermented foods. It was primarily yogurts and vinegars. And lo and behold, the group that only got the prebiotic fiber had no change in gut diversity and no change in inflammatory markers. It was the group that got the fermented foods plus the fiber that had a change in the gut microbiome diversity and lowered their inflammation. And again, it's this conversation, it's this communication that makes the difference.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Was it because of the fermented foods that had bacteria in them and the probiotics in them? Was that the reason or was it because of the polyphenols in

Dr. Steven Gundry: Those? It's even better than that. I've got a whole chapter in gut check that dead men tell no tails, but dead bacteria do. And it turns out that there's folks don't eat your yogurt to have active yogurt cultures. Most of those probiotics will be killed by your stomach acid, but it's the dead bacteria cell wall, and it's the postbiotics that are made during fermentation. That is what you are actually looking for. And we now know that these compounds carry messages that are read by other bacteria. And one of the things that was interesting in Akkermansia research is that dead akkermansia have much the same effect as life. Really? It's live. Yeah, really. That's a lie. And it's like, what? Well, I have three male dogs and they're,

Dr. Mark Hyman: I'm not going to ask why, but

Dr. Steven Gundry: They're rescues, but that's okay. They're out sniffing and everything and they're putting urine underneath anything they can. And you go, what the dog on? What are they smelling? I don't smell anything. Well, they're getting messages. The other dogs have left for them, and we now know that bacteria leave messages that other bacteria read, and it's those messages that are necessary to tell the other bacteria what to do with that prebiotic fiber.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, interesting. Really interesting.

Dr. Steven Gundry: It takes a village. It

Dr. Mark Hyman: Takes a village. I want to dig into more of this real FNA story because I think when I looked at the research on this, this is really well done research published in peer-reviewed journals. It's not like, oh, I heard about some supplement and I'm just taking this. When they did the work system in jama, open Network and Cell Reports and neurotherapeutics, the data is really impressive. And basically what it does is kind of shocking to me. When you think about, you take this basic food, you have bacteria in your gut, it makes this molecule called your alternate A, it gets absorbed in your bloodstream and then goes to work in your body. And they found that it increases without exercise. This is crazy. Without exercise increases muscle endurance, muscle strength increases your fitness level measured by VO two max, which is like what you usually have to do, wind sprints to fix it increases a TP production, it reduces c-reactive protein improves metabolic profile, meaning your insulin resistance, it reduces muscle loss, it stimulates mitophagy cleaning up the old mitochondria, improves mitochondrial gene expression.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It inhibits something called mTOR, which we've talked a lot on the podcast, which is important for longevity. It basically cause autophagy or cleaning up your cells, it upregulates cert one, which we'll talk about in a minute, which is a really important set of transcription factors that is involved in longevity and insulin resistance and DNA repair. So basically helps all the things with aging, it even improves your immunity by improving stem cell regeneration for T-cells, T cells, and it has anti-tumor activity. So I'm like, whoa, wait a minute. You were talking about eating a pomegranate, having some bug in your gut and having all these downstream effects. And just to be clear, everybody we're talking about one food and one compound. We're talking about not all of the other things that are going on in your gut with trillions and trillions, like probably 40 trillion bacteria in your gut and two to 3 million bacterial genes doing all kinds of stuff.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's a hundred times as much genetic material as we have. And what genes do is produce proteins. So that means they're producing all these molecules. And I was sort of on a panel with Stan Hazing at Cleveland Clinic, and he was like, yeah, I said, Stan, how much of the metabolome comes from our microbiome? Meaning how much of the things that we can measure in our blood, not when we get on a regular lab test, but when you do these scientific studies comes from the microbiome. He says, probably a third to a half. And I'm like, what? A third to a half? So we literally are kind of in this constant dance with our gut, and this is why your book is so critical, this gut checkbook, it helps us to really understand on a granular level the science of why. So we go like, oh yeah, okay, I get take probiotics, whatever, take prebiotics, whatever. But you actually give us the science of why. So that's the uro lithium story. Let's talk about resveratrol and cert one, which is this really important transcription factors that are in the mitochondria that actually were first discovered by Lenny goer at MIT and David Sinclair. And the whole resveratrol story, what people don't realize, you had to drink about 750 bottles of wine to get the amount of resveratrol they did in this study. Yeah. You talk about how

Dr. Steven Gundry: Work, work, work, work.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I dunno, I could drink that much wine and you'd die.

Dr. Steven Gundry: You'd die.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But basically it has been shown to help with cardiovascular disease, but also maybe impacting the brain and metabolism maybe even more than the heart. So how can this resveratrol compound that comes from grapes now? And by the way, I don't think we can get it from red wine. I think that's going to cause problems just, and you talk about it in your book, I'm like, don't drink so much. So we can get into the gold story there, but I think the key is phytochemical. So talk about how resveratrol can be used to help or treat and prevent neurogenerative metabolic diseases and how it relates to the gut microbiome.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, again, I think resveratrol is a very poorly absorbed compound. And again, we've known that for years. And David Sinclair is a friend and we've through the years, talked about his love of resveratrol and mine, and he loves pharmacologic doses of it. But what's really cool about resveratrol is that it's a signaling molecule, and it literally activates one, and it's a to come full circle of uncoupling mitochondria as well. But literally it tells it repairs DNA breaks, it actually fosters the production of short chain fatty acids like butyrate. And the more we look at the downstream effects of resveratrol activated by the microbiome, we're beginning to see, okay, well why is it that the French paradox works and the middle guy that allows resveratrol to work is the microbiome making it an absorbable compound? And that's what none of us knew until really the microbiome project got finished.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Amazing. It's quite amazing. I mean, I think the other thing that I want to dive into, because I mean we could talk for hours, and unfortunately we both have work to do. That's right. We have other jobs, patients and all that. But I think the other issue sort of the microbiome and the brain and mood, and you talk about major depression is a big issue, and depression is the biggest cause of disability in this country, and how the microbiome of people who are depressed is different. And in 2022, there was a study of microbiomes of over a thousand people with depression, and they found changes in about 13 bacteria. And these bacteria are known to produce various neurotransmitters. So can you kind of unpack that for us and just give us a little taste of the mood, brain, gut microbiome connection?

Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, I guess, I suppose we should have known this, but again, now that we're being able to look at individual bacteria and the compounds that they produce, you're right. Brand new studies in the last year or so have shown that depressed individuals have a depressive microbiome, and you can constitute these particular abnormal species. What's really interesting is, let me step back. One, we've known that glyphosate, which is a lovely weeded killer, was actually patented as an antibiotic. And one of the recent findings about glyphosate is that glyphosate targets the tryptophan pathway bacteria in our gut. Now, why should that be interesting is because tryptophan makes five HDP makes serotonin, which, and GABA for that matter. And so glyphosate is really good at knocking out all the feel-good bacterias specifically in our gut. And isn't it interesting that this epidemic of depression and anxiety correlates pretty doggone good with the advent of glyphosate? And now we know you can say, oh, well glyphosate's bad for you, but wait a minute, glyphosate is after the bacteria that are essential for our mood. Yeah,

Dr. Mark Hyman: I think that's so key, Steven. Yeah.

Dr. Steven Gundry: It's like, what have we done?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, yeah, it's true. It's the unintentional side effects that happen from things we think we're trying to do good. Oh, weed killer, great herbicide, we need it, blah, blah, blah. But people say, oh, glyphosate cancer, this and that. Maybe, okay, there's been some lawsuits that have been successful around non-Hodgkin's lymph inflamm, and I guess if you douse yourself in it, but what's really striking me about glyphosate and really small amounts, it wipes out your microbiome. It doesn't take a lot. It's not like you have to drink Roundup in order to actually mess yourself up. It literally is in small amounts. And that has led to maybe an increasing epidemic of low microbial diversity that we're seeing and an increase of all these chronic diseases, including psychiatric disorders, which could be really from this sort of altered microbiome in part from glyphosate. I mean, there's a million other reasons, obviously, xenobiotics and other toxins and other things that are really, really important. I think the thing I want to dive into a little bit more is cancer, because people don't think about cancer and your microbiome. But there was Charles Ang, who was the head of the Genomics Research Center at Cleveland Clinic. When I got there, she was so happy to see me. She said, what took you so long to get here? And I'm like, well, I dunno.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I didn't really want to go to Cleveland Clinic, but they dragged me over there, and she just told me about all her research on the microbiome and breast cancer. I was fascinating. And they were really, this is some Russian lab trying to do some research. This is like Cleveland Clinic, and they're digging into this Stan Hazen digging into the microbiome and heart disease. So can you talk about how the microbiome determines not only a risk of cancer, but also how we respond to certain immunotherapy drugs that are now basically some of the best drugs we have against cancer. But if your microbiome's not right, the drugs don't work.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Right? Yeah. A number of years ago now, there was a paper that I'm sure you're aware of that looked at the tongue scrapings of people with pancreatic cancer and the oral microbiome, and there was a very strong correlation between the oral microbiome and predicting pancreatic cancer. And people go, wow, this is great. Now we'll have a diagnostic test and we'll just scrape people's tongues and we'll know who's at risk for pancreatic cancer cancer. And then people went, wait a minute, what does that have to do with cancer? Well, now of course, and now of course we go, wow, there is, I talk about in the book, there is a colon cancer microbiome, there's an ovarian cancer microbiome, there's a breast cancer microbiome, there's a pancreatic cancer microbiome, there's a lung cancer microbiome that is distinct to those cancers. And the question is, did they cause the cancer? Are they facilitating the cancer? And that answer is not there yet. But like you mentioned, we know that certain patients are going to respond better to chemotherapy if we actually do targeted antibiotics to change the microbiome. And other people aren't going to this whole personalized medicine. But we're now going, holy cow, why didn't we realize that there is this microbial component to cancer? Again, I'm not saying cause and effect, but they're there and we certainly owe it to ourselves to figure out, well, okay, what part are they playing in

Dr. Mark Hyman: This? Yeah, this story is definitely being unpacked. We're not quite there yet, but our friend Will Lee talked about his mother who had stage four uterine cancer and did her microbiome test and found low akkermansia or no, and he then did some research and showed that, geez, people did not respond to these checkpoint inhibitors in immunotherapy, which are great advancing in cancer if they didn't have akkermansia. It's like, wait a minute. How come this powerful drug doesn't even work if you don't have this one little lowly bacteria? But it literally, we are just uncovering how powerful these microbes are in regulating so many aspects of our health or response to therapies. And I think he was able to give her these polyphenols that we talked about and boost her akkermansia, and she got the immunotherapy again and was cured of stage four cancer. It worked. Yeah. So think about that, A probiotic or polyphenols curing stage four cancer in conjunction with a drug that wasn't working before. That's kind of radical shit.

Dr. Steven Gundry: And you brought up one other thing, which is actually a good segue you brought up. And so xenobiotics are all these environmental toxins, these endocrine disruptors, plastics,

Dr. Mark Hyman: Petrochemical products like bpa, a PCBs, pfas, everything, all the

Dr. Steven Gundry: Phthalates, phthalates,

Dr. Mark Hyman: All the crap,

Dr. Steven Gundry: All this awful stuff. When you, and write about this in the book, when you look at these super old people's microbiomes 95 and above, and they're thriving, they have a microbiome that eats xenobiotics. Oh, wow. Yeah. And you go, well, son of a gun. And people go, well, wait a minute. I said, look, you can engineer bacteria that eat oil spills for goodness sakes. They just want, they're just looking for carbon atoms.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's right. That's right.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah. And one of the hallmarks of these guys, besides the fact that they make uro litan a, is that their microbiome eats. And it's like, well, of course,

Dr. Mark Hyman: Now do we know which microbes do that? Where can I buy some? Yeah,

Dr. Steven Gundry: Where can,

Dr. Mark Hyman: Or what do I need to eat to grow them? Do we know?

Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, see, that's what's really kind of fun about all of this.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I never heard this before. And the reason I say it's important is because doing it best, we still can't eliminate our exposure to these compounds. They're everywhere and they're in us. And so if we can take some kind of probiotic to offset the harm from the xenobiotics, I want that.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah. Well, again, thank God for this human microbiome project, we would've had no idea. And now we can start looking at these guys. I'll give you an example. There's a, why are the French and Italian so skinny? Well, there is a particular bug in raw cheeses that is capable of inducing basically GLP one. It's a GLP one agonist. Interesting. And it's only present in raw cheeses. If you pasteurize the milk, the bug is dead and it doesn't work. And so you go son of a gun. How did these guys know this? So it gets better every

Dr. Mark Hyman: Year. Oh my God. Well, I have to tell you a story. Then I went to Sardinia researching my book Young Forever, and there were two different things that were cheeses. They were pretty raunchy, but one of the ways they make cheese there is they basically don't have ants. So they take the ancient methods where they would take a baby goat or sheep that was breastfeeding, and then after it had a bunch of the milk, it would kill the baby sheep goat, which is awful. But anyway, that's what they did. And then they would take the stomach of it and they would grow this kind of cheesy stuff in there, and it would become cheese in the stomach. And then they would use that as starter for their cheeses. But you could literally eat the cheese from the stomach. And I went to this big festival there, and I kind of partook.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It was very strong is all I can say. And then the other thing was this guy Olinto, who I wrote about my new cookbook who I went to his house and he really grew all his own food. He had his own pigs and chickens and rabbits and fruit trees, and it was quite amazing. And he made me kind of a nose to tail meal. And at the end, he brought out this thing, this big cheese wheel thing with a cheese lid on it, like a big wheel with a cutout in the top. And he telling me the story, how basically this is an aphrodisiac and that his grandmother gave it to his grandfather. And he said it's so strong that she could still have sex with him two weeks after he died. Now this cheese was so weird. It was full of worms. Now it was illegal, right? It's illegal. You can't do that. But he did it anyway. And so it was this ancient thing that he used to do was cheese with worms. So I had a little of the cheese with worms too. All right. So I won't tell you the end of the story, but anyway, you're going to make it up for yourself. Well,

Dr. Steven Gundry: You didn't die. Thank goodness. I didn't

Dr. Mark Hyman: Die. I didn't die. Now, the other thing I want to talk about is mental health. Going down the mental health thing a little bit more. I recall a patient I had who had the most severe OCD. Now we had a question from the X. We asked some questions to ask, and one was talking about OCD and how OCD is caused by ammonia producing bacteria that caused brain malfunction, and what's the protocol and what's the success in treating it? And I had this patient, she seemed like a normal person, but she had the craziest OCD. She wouldn't clean up her house for years. She wouldn't move up anything off the floor. It was like a nightmare in her house, and she couldn't control it. And so we did some tests and turns of my normal workup, and she had a bunch of inflammatory stuff going on.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I did a stool test and I also did an organic acid test. And organic acids are a way of also looking at metabolites of the microbiome that come out in your urine. They not only come in your blood, but then they get excreted in your urine. And I found she had off the chart levels of something called D-H-P-P-A, which is a phyl derivative, but it's a psychoactive metabolite from bugs in the gut. I'm like, well, okay, well, I'm just going to treat her gut. Let's see what happens. So I basically gave her flaggy to kill this compound that comes from producing clostridial bacteria that produced this D-H-P-P-A. And it was like a miracle. It was like literally OCD went away overnight. And I was like, whoa, this is crazy. And that's what those kinds of patients were the ones that got me to write my book, the UltraMind solution, almost 15 years ago, because I call myself the accident psychiatrist. So what's your experience with this kind of stuff, with treating the gut microbiome, clearing out the bad stuff, populating with good bugs, prebiotics, polyphenols? What kind of things have you seen and what's your protocol?

Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, that's so exciting is exactly what you're saying. I see a lot of people with depression or anxiety, just use that as an example. And they've been on antidepressants for a couple billion years, one or two of them. And one of the things I point out in the book is that we're now beginning to, that at least SSRI antidepressants actually change the microbiome to a more favorable microbiome that actually, so the effect is probably not this drug on serotonin reuptake, but it's, it's actually changing the microbiome, but you don't need the drug to change the microbiome. So you get rid of glyphosate containing foods, and I get such grief, please, folks don't eat oats. Please stay away from oat milk. All of our oats are contaminated with glyphosate, even the organic varieties. I have nothing against oats per se, but it's just a carrier for glyphosate. And if you want to wipe out your happy bacteria, go have some oat milk, knock your socks off. Just don't do it.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So oat milk is the go-to thing we should be having then, right? If you

Dr. Steven Gundry: Want to be miserable,

Dr. Mark Hyman: What do you call it? Oat? Oat juice or nut juice or something? Yeah, oat juice. How do you milk an oat?

Dr. Steven Gundry: And the

Dr. Mark Hyman: Other thing, I can milk a goat, but I don't know how to milk an oat.

Dr. Steven Gundry: For instance, the love hormone oxytocin that women secrete when they see the sight of their child or with the onset of breastfeeding, oxytocin, the love hormone. We now know there are bacteria in our gut that make oxytocin. So El Ruter is an oxytocin producing bacteria, and you can actually take El Ruter as a supplement, and it'll also grow hair, by the way, and improve your skin. But the side effect that nobody was looking at was son of a gun. This bacteria makes the love hormone and me, I'd like to have lots of love.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That sounds good. That sounds good. So Steven, your book is just chock full of this. We've just been dancing around having fun, talking about some of the things you talk about in your book, and there's so much more in there. Gut check, unleash the power of your microbiome to reverse disease and transform your mental, physical, and emotional health. But before we close, I want to have you talk about some of the practical applications. What is your gut check program in a nutshell? It's in the book, people can look at it, but what are the take homes for people here? We've talked about polyphenols, pre probiotics, we talked about fiber, we talked about the harm of xenobiotics and glyphosate and cleaning up your diet. What should we be doing from the Dr. Gundry perspective to check our gut? And what I say is sort of tend to our inner garden.

Dr. Steven Gundry: So here's one of the shockers. It's in the last chapter before the recipes. About 80% of my practice now is autoimmune patients who, anyhow, a hundred percent of my autoimmune patients have antibodies to wheat, germ gluten, all the various components of gluten and non-gluten proteins, a hundred percent. If you look at my patients with diabetes, a hundred percent have antibodies to wheat germ gluten and gluten. If you look at my patients with coronary artery disease, a hundred percent of them have IgG antibodies to the various components of wheat rye. Do you

Dr. Mark Hyman: Use the Cyrex test or what do you

Dr. Steven Gundry: No, I actually use vibrant wellness, but that doesn't surprise me anymore. But the place to start is get rid of most grains. Sorghum and millet are the exception as a great place. Why do I say that? Number one, if you follow these people, and all of these people have leaky gut, by the way, and we haven't even got into that. All of these people have leaky gut. If you do the

Dr. Mark Hyman: Gut, does anybody not have leaky gut?

Dr. Steven Gundry: That actually is a great question. And I have met one person in my life who walked into my office that didn't have leaky gut.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's not whether we have it or not. It's how leaky is it?

Dr. Steven Gundry: That's exactly right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So I think anybody eating gluten, and this is according to Dr. Alessio Fasano, world expert from Harvard. He's like, look, anybody in gluten has a little bit of leaky gut. Now most of us can manage it and deal with it and fine, but if you really have a serious issue with inflammation in your body, a chronic disease, gut issues, it's like gluten, gluten, gluten, gluten, sugar, boom out, and then that's kicked a lot of problems for people.

Dr. Steven Gundry: It really does. And I've published this. If you get this stuff out of your system, you'll lose all antibodies to gluten, to wheat, germ gluten, and within nine months to a year, they will be gone. And now I have people who are gluten-free for 10 years who still have very strong anti-gluten antibodies, and those will disappear once you get the other problems out of the way. One of the things I preach is, look, I can give you supplements to repair your leaky gut, and they're very effective and I make them and other people make them. But if you keep swallowing razor blades every day, then you're just going to tear the thing open. So it's kind of one too. You got to really stop swallowing razor blades. And part of the program is, okay, here's where the razor blades are, and I give some people some new surprises about where the razor blades might be. Interestingly enough, almonds are way up there in the razor blade factor. Really, this was tipped off to me years ago. I had so many people with rheumatoid arthritis that almonds were a trigger for them. And when I started researching it, there's lectins in the peel of almonds, and that probably explains why, particularly in Portugal and Spain, mothers teach their daughters to soak almonds to remove the peel. Now

Dr. Mark Hyman: Blanch them, you blanch almonds blanc them. Does that remove the problem of almonds?

Dr. Steven Gundry: It does for most people, but my real troublemakers, when we test them against blanched almond flour, they still react to it. And so just in general, get rid of almonds. The other thing that surprises a lot of people, particularly with ms, there's a whole class of lectins that I've never written about because I don't want to sound any crazier than I already think I'm, there's a class of lectins that are called aquaporins.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Wait, did you just say, I don't want to sound crazier than I already am. I love that. That is such a good line. I might use that.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Alright. Yeah, you're welcome to it. So's a class, they're called Aquaporins, and I won't, with the instance of time, there's an aquaporin in spinach and there's occur in us in the wall of our gut, in our blood-brain barrier and in our myelin sheath. And if you develop antibodies to the aquaporins in certain plants, you can have an autoimmune attack against your own aquaporins. And surprisingly, there's an aquaporin in spinach, and women in my practice who have MS are big spinach eaters and to almost a person, they react to the aquaporin and spinach. And when we take the spinach away from them, and I have nothing against spinach folks, their issues rapidly resolved.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah,

Dr. Steven Gundry: No, it's good for

Dr. Mark Hyman: The goose isn't good for the gander though sometimes, right?

Dr. Steven Gundry: That's exactly right. That's exactly right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We evolved eating all kinds of stuff, and I think we were very resilient and robust and able to eat all kinds of foods. But what happened is that we messed up our microbiome in our guts so much that we become intolerant. So I always say that's exactly right. I always, it's not what you're sensitive to or allergic to, it's why are you so sensitive and allergic? And I've seen really amazing things when you really repair the gut, often people be able to tolerate things. Years ago I had chronic fatigue syndrome from mercury poisoning and mercury interrupts enzymes everywhere in your body and particularly in the gut. And I had diarrhea and maldigestion and I had SIBO and sifo and I couldn't eat anything. And literally all I could eat was Turkey and broccoli basically. And I was so miserable. And I would get rashes and sores on my tongue and autoimmune stuff and brain fog and my stomach would explode and blow up.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I had someone blow up a tire in some of my intestines. And literally after learning about functional medicine, this was decades ago, I was able to heal myself, heal my gut, and now I'm kind of good. I mean, I really don't have any gut issues and I really have a highly functioning gut. Even this was even after repairing it again after another couple of decades, I got mold poisoning and c diff. And the point is, you can fix it. So it's not just about always avoiding the thing you're sensitive to, it's about fixing the reason why you're so sensitive in the first place. And then if there are razor blades like modern gluten, I would agree that should probably not much reading that.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, and that's the exciting thing. The reason 80% of my practice is now autoimmune disease is you can, 94% of people resolve their autoimmune issue on GutCheck, which is not bad.

Dr. Mark Hyman: My stepfather used to say to me, what happened to the other 3%?

Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, and that's why I keep seeing patients six days a week. I want to know, okay, why is it, and it's funny, I get to learn something new every

Dr. Mark Hyman: Day when I see patients. Well, Steven, that's so great. It's so great what you're doing and you keep learning and you keep growing and keep getting younger, I hope. And hopefully we'll both be at this game for a long time. And it's refreshing you Were ahead of cardiovascular surgery at Loma Linda. You are not some lowly family doctor like me. And basically you kind of have shifted into this because it's just what makes sense. It's where the science is going. You're following the science and not staying with stuff you learned in medical school. And I just really acknowledge that it's rare, it's unusual. You're a good guy. And keep up the good work. And I can't wait to do this again with you in person sometime soon and we can talk more about poop. Alright? Yeah.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Who would imagine, all we'd talk about is poop from now on.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Oh wow. Damn. And damn, I should have read that book like 15 years ago. But I was like, no one's going to want to read about poop, but now it's the thing. So anyway, I'm glad you wrote it and everybody should check it out. Go wherever you get your books and check it out. And check out Steven's work. I'll go to dr You can listen to his podcast. What's your podcast called?

Dr. Steven Gundry: The Dr. Gundry

Dr. Mark Hyman: Podcast. Who knew what an original name. Anyway, but I thank you so much again.

Dr. Steven Gundry: Great to see you.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Thanks for listening today. If you love this podcast, please share it with your friends and family. Leave a comment on your own best practices on how you upgrade your health and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And follow me on all social media channels at Dr. Mark Hyman and we'll see you next time on The Doctor's Pharmacy.

Dr. Mark Hyman: This podcast is separate from my clinical practice at the Ultra Wellness Center, my work at Cleveland Clinic and Function Health, where I'm an Chief medical officer. This podcast represents my opinions and my guest opinions. Neither myself nor the podcast endorses the views or statements of my guests. This podcast is for educational purposes only. It's not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you're looking for helping in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. Now, if you're looking for a functional medicine practitioner, you can visit and search their find a practitioner database. It's important that you have someone in your corner who is trained, who is a licensed healthcare practitioner, and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health.