Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast, the weekly podcast where Dr. G. gives you the tools you need to boost your health and live your healthiest life.
Dr. Gundry (00:13):
So welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Today, we’re answering some more of your burning questions. These podcasts are some of the most highly requested that I do. You sent in questions by email, from YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and today, I’ll be answering a lot of them.
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So here goes. This one’s from Wendy. “What are your thoughts on using the Plant Paradox Diet to address SIBO?” Now for those of you who don’t know what SIBO, is S-I-B-O, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. I think the Plant Paradox Diet is probably the best way to address SIBO. Of course I’m biased, but let me tell you why I think that. First of all, if you have SIBO, you have to understand that bacteria that are present in your small intestine, the ones in SIBO are not supposed to be there. Your small intestine absolutely has bacteria in it, but not what are called colonic bacteria, the bacteria that normally live in your colon. Now I talk a lot about this in the Plant Paradox, but what happens in SIBO is that normally you produce stomach acid to digest proteins that you swallow. And that stomach acid is gradually alkalinized, reduced by alkaline secretions from your liver and from your pancreas. But there’s still what’s called an acid gradient in your gut.
So, stomach acid, high acid down in your colon, there’s actually no acid. And interestingly enough, no oxygen. Now colonic bacteria as a general rule absolutely hate acid. And where that acid gradient stops as things move down your small intestine is right where your small intestine joins your large bowel, the cecum, and that’s where things change. Now, it’s kind of like brackish water. If you’ve ever lived near the coast, you know that fresh water can have some salt water mixed in it. And a whole different ecosystem is present there. Different fish, different plants. So the same thing happens, the acid from the stomach keeps colonic bacteria where they belong. But now in our modern society, we have a huge number of people who have been taking acid-reducing drugs, chewing Tums, Rolaids, taking Zantac, taking Nexium, taking Prilosec, taking Protonix because of heartburn.
The problem with that is it suppresses the acid production in your stomach. And what happens to a great number of people is that the colonic bacteria who have no business being in your small intestine now notice that the environment in your small intestine has completely changed. And so they swim upstream and colonize an area where they don’t belong. Now, the important thing to realize about that is, they have all sorts of interesting things to eat in your small bowel that they didn’t have to eat in your colon. And I think more importantly, the immune system of your small bowel, the lining of your small bowel is covered with your white blood cells, is unfamiliar with those bacteria, doesn’t know them. And so there is a ton of inflammation that happens in your small bowel that otherwise would never have happened. So what we have to do is reestablish the acid gradient.
Now you go, “Well, acid bothers me, because it gives me heartburn and I have to take these drugs to stop my heartburn.” Number one, quite frankly, your heartburn is coming from lectins. It’s actually well proven in animals. It certainly was the case in myself. I used to have horrible heartburn before I got major lectins out of my diet. Now it doesn’t exist in me. I used to chew Tums like candy all day. So the number one thing is, you’ve got to get acid reducers out of your diet. Now, if you need for a while to take calcium carbonate, Rolaids or Tums, that’s okay as a stop gap measure, but you’ll find very rapidly that you will reestablish your mucus barrier in your esophagus, and your heartburn will go away.
Number two, it’s useful to take a couple of supplements that will increase the acid in your stomach. The most famous of that is called Betaine. It’s also called TMG, trimethylglycine. They’re actually equivalent. Many people have heard of TMG because it lowers homocystine, but it actually does produce increased acid.
The third thing is, we’ve got to reestablish where the normal bacteria in your small bowel are. They’ll drive out the colonic bacteria. How do you do that? Number one, probiotics. My favorite probiotic is called BC30, because it’s the only known probiotic that’s a spore former that gets into your small bowel where it belongs without being destroyed. And it’s a great policeman of your small bowel. It actually tells the bad guys who aren’t supposed to be there to hit the road. Finally, you got to give the bugs what they like to eat. And that’s where resistance starches come in. Resistance starches, such as Radicchio, Chicories, Jerusalem artichoke, sometimes called sun chokes. Things like unripe bananas, plantains are full of resistant starches. You can even, if you have to take white rice, particularly white Basmati rice, cook it with about a tablespoon of coconut oil, then put it in the refrigerator and cool it down. And then you can reheat it. We’re going to get to that question in a little bit. That makes a resistance starch. This is what good bugs in your gut need. So that’s the treatment for SIBO.
BeautifulForMe433 “@Dr.StevenGundry, is the Plant Paradox Diet good for helping control symptoms of complex PTSD, anxiety and depression?” That’s a great question. You heard a lot about anxiety and depression and the microbiome in the Plant Paradox. And what we now know is that there is a gut brain access, and that means that most of the things that happen to the brain in terms of our mood, in terms of anxiety, in terms of depression is actually not happening in the brain, but it’s information that’s coming up from the gut, both in terms of hormonal signals like serotonin for instance, but also the dopamine GABA system of excitatory stimuli and calming stimuli. And these also come up by a giant nerve called the vagus nerve. We used to think that the vagus nerve was how the brain communicated to our gut and all the other organs like the heart and lungs. We now know that for every nerve fiber coming from the brain down to the gut on the vagus nerve, there are nine nerve fibers going the other direction, in other words, from the gut to the brain.
And so what happens is, if you’ve got happy, friendly, good gut bugs, and you give them what they like to eat, they’re going to make, for lack of a better word, feel good anti-anxiety hormones that are going to travel to your brain and set the stage for recovery. Now, the second thing I think that’s very important is that your brain is primarily made of fat. So if you want to call your loved one a fat head, I will back you and you can show them this video. Half of the fat in your brain is a fat in fish oil called DHA. And that acts as a insulator in your brain. And there’s some pretty good human studies and certainly animal studies that the more DHA in your brain, the less anxiety and the less depression you have. In fact, in my patients who I treat with anxiety and depression and PTSD, one of the first things I do is try to get large amounts of DHA in them on a daily basis. How much? Approximately a thousand milligrams of DHA.
Now it’s easy to figure that out. You pick up a bottle of fish oil, you can take capsules, you can take cod liver oil liquid, look on the back. You’ll see DHA as an ingredient. You’ll see how many milligrams per capsule do the math. So if you see 250 milligrams of DHA per capsule, you need four of those. Also look at serving size, make sure it’s one capsule. So many of the more expensive fish oils or omega threes have two or three as the capsule size. So you can’t be fooled when you look down below. So, change what you eat. Get BC30 as a prebiotic into you as a good gut bug stimulator, and then feed your gut bugs what they want. And you’ll be amazed what happens. Also, as I pointed out in the Plant Paradox, lectins are a cause of anxiety and depression. We can inject lectins in rats, in their bellies. They will become so anxious they will hide in a corner, not come out and seek food, not interact, not explore their environments. This is a plant defense system against being eaten.
So the last thing you want to do is eat lectin-containing foods, and you’ll be amazed what happens. Okay. J-Gold-M, thoughts on Plant Paradox for treating diverticular disease? Okay, we get this question a lot. And first of all, you got to know what diverticula are. Diverticula are hernia in the wall of the large bowel, in the colon. So many of us have heard of hernias in our groins, inguinal hernias. Many of you have probably had a hernia repair. A hernia is just a defect in the fascia of our, around our muscles. And in the hernias that we think about, a piece of bowel wall goes through that hole in the fascia. And that is a hernia. So a hernia is anywhere there’s a weakness in a wall. In this case, diverticulitis is a weakness in the muscle of the colon, which is actually incredibly thin. We get these little pouches, these little out pouches. Now they’re just hernias.
Now there’s nothing horribly awful about diverticula, but diverticula happen when you’re straining to move things through your colon. Just like many people know that if you strain down or lift something heavy, that may be the first sign of a hernia, that you will literally pop things out. So think about this for a minute. If you have very hard stool, if you are constipated, if you are straining to have bowel movements, back stream of you straining, you’re literally popping little hernias in your colon. And the people that we usually see who have diverticulosis have very hard stools or have a history of constipation. Diverticulosis per se is remarkably common. Now, diverticulitis is when one of those little out pouches literally becomes infected, and it gets infected because just like a hernia in your groin can get strangulated, it can get trapped. You can trap a little piece of stool in one of these diverticula, and it gets infected.
Now, the treatment for that is antibiotics, sorry, that’s the treatment. Sometimes surgically, we have to come in and take that part of the colon out. My father had to have that years ago. But, diverticulosis per se, we don’t want to increase the number of diverticula. So what we want to do is have big, giant, bulky stools that move through very quickly. And the secret to that is soluble fiber, not insoluble fiber. And that of course is what the Plant Paradox is based on. The more soluble fiber you eat, the more resistant starches you eat, the more your bacteria eat these foods and the more bacteria grow. So these big, giant, bulky poops are what you want to keep diverticulosis under control.
Now there’s this wonderful myth that you can’t have nuts, and you can’t have small seeds when you have diverticulosis. And that may be one of the biggest myths out there. In fact, nuts are one of the best ways to promote soluble fiber and growth of friendly bacteria. So I actually prescribe nuts to my patients with diverticulosis, particularly walnuts and pistachios. And you ought to have about a half a cup a day. More if you want. Now, be careful, too many nuts, you’ll start gaining weight. And in fact they use nuts to help people gain weight who need to gain weight. But don’t fall into this trap that you have to have a low fiber diet for diverticulosis. It’s exactly the opposite. You want big bulky stools that move through quickly.
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AdrianaCH3212018. “Is carrot soup made with onions and carrots salt and pepper and ground ginger safe? I’m so lost here. Also, what are seasonal fruits in Montreal in winter? Like none.” Let me ask that question right away. Correct. There are no seasonal fruits in Montreal in winter. Nobody ate fruit in Montreal in the winter. It did not exist. I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and Milwaukee. There was no fruit in the winter. There were no 747s bringing blueberries to Costco in February from Chile. You were not designed to eat fruit in the winter. Believe it or not, your ape cousins do not eat fruit in the winter because there is no fruit. We know that our foraging tribesman like the Hunza do not eat fruit in the winter, because there is no fruit. There is not a need for 365 days of fruit. Get over it. You’ve been brainwashed into thinking you need fruit 365 days a year.
Okay. “Oh, I just saw this awesome box of clementines. Can I eat it?” No. If you want to have a special splurge, let’s say it’s a holiday. Let’s say it’s Valentine’s Day, and you want a clementine, go ahead. But the idea is there is a season for everything. And I got news for you. There’s no season for fruit in Montreal. Back to carrot soup. So, when I see people with diabetes or insulin resistance or pre-diabetes, or with cancer, one of the things I want to get away from them as much as possible are carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates, easily digestible carbohydrates. A raw carrot is actually pretty safe, because it’s actually quite slowly digested. But the process of cooking is going to make those complex sugar molecules far more digestible quicker. So it’s going to become sugar quickly.
For instance, beets. In Italy, there are many restaurants that serve raw beats that are very thinly sliced that have a little sprinkling of goat cheese, some parsley, and then pour olive oil on them. And that’s a great meal. A raw beat is a very nice complex resistant starch, but when you cook that beat, it changes it to a much more available starch. So, back to your carrot soup, the onions and carrots salt and pepper and ground ginger sounds delicious, but here’s the deal. If you’re going to have that soup, I want you to think of that soup as a medium to get olive oil into your mouth. And if you, or if I were to serve that soup in Italy, that waiter would bring the bottle of olive oil and he would pour, oh five, six table spoons of olive oil into that soup. And I would mix it around. And so I’d basically have a carrot and olive oil soup. Now I have a heavy olive oil flavored soup that’s actually going to be good for me. And it’s going to blunt the effect of those now fairly easy to digest carbohydrates.
So, you can have your soup and eat it too if you keep saying that the only purpose of food is to get olive oil into your mouth. And I know, I know cold winters, and you want something warm and comforting, but let’s make it warm and comforting with a bunch of olive oil in it. And enjoy your Montreal winter. It’s a beautiful town. Anita Mahara. “Hello. Dr. G. Been on the Plant Paradox diet for four months! Amazing results! Wanting to know if Achi is lectin-free.” Okay. It was stump the stars on this one. I had to look it up. You’re probably from Jamaica, or perhaps from Africa. And for those of you like I, who did not know what Achi was, it’s a cousin of a lychee nut. And the reason I didn’t know it because the FDA does not allow Achi, which is a fruit very much like a lychee nut, or Achi fruit pulp to be imported into the United States. Because quite frankly, there’s a high danger of toxic poisoning.
In fact, in Haiti, in 2001, there were 61 cases of Achi poisoning, 36 of whom died. It contains an incredible toxin that is present when the fruit is picked unripe. And unless you know what you’re dealing with, it’s dangerous. Now having said that, I’m not quite sure I even worry about whether there’s a lectin in something that’s that toxic. Now if you live in a native country, for instance, like Jamaica, that know how to harvest it, as you know, salt cod and Achi is one of the national dishes, but you better make sure that the cook knows what they’re doing, but please don’t have it in the United States. And if you found it in the United States, it came in here illegally. So it’s doubly suspicious that it’s available.
Ted B. Writes in, “Hi Doc. Plant Paradox has helped reduce inflammation that affected nerves in my back. Thank you. What are your thoughts on natural sugar found in home garden grown oranges? Some sources say natural sugars are anti-inflammatory, contrary to regular sugar. Thanks, Ted B.” Sugar is sugar is sugar. Now, the natural sugar and fruit is fructose. And you probably saw in the Plant Paradox that fructose is a natural toxin. It is so toxic that about 70% of the fructose that we eat in fruit is taken immediately to the liver. It’s not allowed into our bloodstream, where it is detoxified by our liver into triglycerides, which is a fat, and into uric acid. Uric acid causes gout. It also causes kidney damage. Now the other 30% of fructose goes directly to the kidney, where it’s a renal toxin.
So the idea that a natural sugar is somehow better for you just doesn’t hold water. It’s like saying arsenic is all natural, which it is. And so we ought to have it. Quite frankly, opium is all natural. That doesn’t mean it’s good for you. There’s now evidence that fructose is lethal to mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles in our body. That’s why I really ask you to eat fruit in season and limit it. We used fruit, like all other great apes to gain weight for the winter when there wasn’t much food. We converted the toxic fructose into triglycerides, which we stored as fat. So, we want to move with the seasons. There’s only a time and a place to eat fructose, natural sugar in fruit, and that’s in the summer, but please limit the amount. It’s not a health food.
Fernando Olivera. “I might be the only one on earth, but I love chayotes. Are they acceptable in your diet?” Yes, they absolutely are with the proviso that they are a seasonal fruit. They actually, particularly if you don’t let them ripen all the way, they have a lot of soluble fiber. And that’s I think one of the reasons that people don’t particularly like them, I actually love them. My wife hates them. So I hear what you’re saying. She does not understand how anyone could tolerate that taste. But they are a great source of soluble fiber. Don’t let them get too ripe. It’s just like a pear. A crispy pear actually is an excellent, very high soluble fiber fruit. And if you’re going to have a fruit in the winter, a crispy pear, like a D’Anjou pear, with a salad, mixed in a salad is a great way to get resistant starches into your diet. And as you’ll see, actually in the Longevity Paradox, that pears are a great source of this compound called spermadine. And I’m going to be talking a lot about that in the next few months.
Josh Mandell. Is mung bean in the same lectin field camp as other beans, despite being ancient? Mung bean flower pastas sold in health foods stores like Whole Foods.” Yeah, and whole wheat pasta is sold in health food stores like Whole Foods. And it’s just as bad for you. So mung beans have the same lectins that other beans have. It appears that mung beans, when they’re sprouted, and have reached a fairly long stage, their lectin content does decrease. So if you want to eat mature sprouted mung beans, they’re probably safe, but I test people against mung beans and quite frankly, a large number of people who are lectin intolerant do react to mung beans. There’s far better sources of pasta than among beans. And just because they’re ancient doesn’t make them any better. And by the way, farro, that ancient wheat is still wheat.
Heather Dubrow (35:10):
Hey everyone, this is Heather Dubrow. And do I have some exciting news for you? We are launching a variety of new episodes that are going to have amazing special guests. Some of my close friends, and so much more. It’s going to be really fun. And we’re going to get to hear from fans, new friends, and get an inside look of my world. We’re really excited for you to listen and join in for Heather Dubrow’s world on Podcast One. Episodes drop on Thursdays and Fridays, tune in on Spotify, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Dr. Gundry (35:42):
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All right, so we’re going to wrap those questions up. So, I’ll see you back on the next podcast. This is Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.
Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Before you go, I just wanted to remind that you can find the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you want to watch each episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast, you could always find me on YouTube at youtube.com/dr.Gundry, because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.