Dr. Gundry's private practice: (760) 323-5553

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):
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Well, welcome to the Dr. Gundry podcast. Today, we’re going to talk about my new favorite subject, postbiotics. You’re not going to want to miss this one because most of you have probably never heard about postbiotics but they may be one of the most exciting things that you never heard of that affects your health every day, postbiotics. So, here we go. All right. So, most of us know about probiotics. Those are “the friendly bacteria” that inhabit our gut. And most of us know about probiotics because we’ve been told ad nauseum that we need to eat yogurt because it’s loaded with probiotics.
We need to take probiotic capsules and we need to look at how many billion counts of these probiotics are there. And maybe a hundred billion is more important than 4 billion. And may even need to look at the types of these probiotics. So, these are great. But what most of us don’t realize is the vast majority of probiotics never make it into your intestines. And the vast majority of probiotics that you swallow are not part of our normal gut flora but instead, they basically go on vacation in your gut for a few weeks and then they leave. They don’t become a part of your permanent flora.
So, if they aren’t that important, what next? Well, what’s next is prebiotics. So, prebiotics are the food that your gut buddies eat. That if you will, your probiotics need to eat and grow. I like to explain prebiotics to my patients who live in Palm Springs as let’s suppose I sell you some grass seed out in the desert and you come back a month later and say, “You sold me bad grass seed because it didn’t grow.” And I go, “Well, did you water it?” And they say, “Well, no, you didn’t tell me to.” And I go, “Well, did you give it any fertilizer? Did you give it any mulch?”
And they’d go, “Well, no, you didn’t tell me to. Well, I say, “Well, of course, it’s not going to grow because it has to have nourishment and it has to have water.” And yet we make the mistake thinking that our gut buddies don’t need water and nourishment to grow. And that’s in fact what prebiotics do. Prebiotics in general are fibers that we can’t digest. They’re indigestible by our enzyme systems. We can’t break them down. And so, they arrive as long chain sugar molecules that are gut buddies, primarily in our large intestine think is the best thing that since excuse the expression, slice bread, it’ll be lectin-free slice bread but slice bread, anyhow.
And this is what they want to eat. Now, that’s great. We now feed our gut buddies what they want eat. They multiply and they do all sorts of wonderful things. Well, for years, we knew that our gut buddies were incredibly useful for us. We knew that they liked prebiotic fiber to eat. We knew that the more prebiotic fiber we gave them, the more of them they would make. And quite frankly, the bigger our bowel movements would be. But what we didn’t know was that these guys were making compounds that are now called postbiotics. And these are actually why you want probiotics.
You want prebiotics to feed the probiotics because it’s the postbiotics that these guys make and manufacture that make all the difference in your health. And part of my new book, The Energy Paradox, is introducing everybody to postbiotics. One way to think about postbiotics is basically the bowel movements of the bacteria themselves, the bacterial farts, if you like. So, these are what comes out of the bacteria, fermenting the prebiotic fiber that you give them. And the entire science of postbiotics is dramatically new.
Let me take you back a number of years. As many of you know, I make it a point of attending and presenting talks at multiple probiotic, prebiotic seminars around the world, microbiome seminars. One of my favorites is the World Congress of Microbiota, which is put on usually every year in Paris. Obviously last year it was a virtual event. But one of the chairman of that program is a professor from Paris by the name of Marvin Edeas. And years ago, he and I were talking after one of my presentations. And he says, “You know that probiotics, the microbiome, actually talks to mitochondria, talks to the brain, talks to our DNA.”
And I said, “Well, yes, I accept that. But why haven’t we discovered the language that this communication is occurring?” I said, “Why can’t we find the text messages that this occurs?” And he said, “Well, we know it exists.” He says, “It’ll just be a matter of time before that language is deciphered.” And lucky for all of us, that language has been deciphered. In fact, a few years ago, it won the Nobel prize for medicine, with the discovery of how nitric oxide actually works.
We now know that there are hosts of what are called short chain fatty acids and postbiotic Gasso messengers or Gasso transmitters. That is the language in which the microbiome talks to our mitochondria, talks to our DNA, talks to our brain. And who would have guessed that simple compounds that we produce as gas every day by our microbiome are so essential to actually tell our mitochondria to make energy, how much energy to make, to tell our brain what kind of mood we ought to be in. And it’s all from this newly discovered language of postbiotics.
So, the important thing about that is, yeah, you got to have a great microbiome probiotics but you got to feed the microbiome what they want to eat, which is prebiotics. They in turn will make postbiotics, which is actually why you need the other two. Okay. So, this is truly a language. And the breaking of this code, I describe in the energy paradox is really equivalent to the breaking of the enigma code in World War 2. The enigma code was the German code where all German troop movements, all German plane movements were directed by a code that was unbreakable.
We could listen in and hear the code but the code was so complex that years were spent trying to break the language of that code. And there’s even a famous movie about the enigma code. The point of all this is the language exists, we just didn’t know how to interpret the language. And that’s what’s so exciting about postbiotics. So, just to go really nerdy for a minute, most of you have read my books, know that mitochondria, which are the little energy producing organelles and most of ourselves are actually ancient engulfed bacteria.
About 2 billion years ago, bacteria were actually engulfed by another cell and in exchange for living inside that cell and getting nutrients from that cell, the bacteria produced energy, ATP. And in that exchange, it became really the precursor for all living life forms on earth that you carry out Excel. Now, why that’s so exciting and why the microbiome is so exciting in its communication with these engulfed bacteria is we inherit at our DNA to make mitochondria from our mothers. Our dad doesn’t give us any mitochondrial DNA.
And so, mitochondria, because they’re ancient bacteria actually grow and reproduce without the cell that they live in dividing. Because they have their own DNA. And the really cool thing is we get our initial microbiome from our mother by exiting her birth canal, her vagina. And she, as we joke, literally takes a crap on us and gives us our microbiome. So, our mother gives up the ancient bacteria in all our cells and mitochondria and she gives us our own microbiome. And as we’ve talked about many, many times, the microbiome is sisters to the mitochondria. And now we know that these sisters talk to each other via postbiotics.
So, if the girls down in the microbiome are happy, they’re well fed. They’re given what they need to eat, they in turn, pass this information on to our energy producing mitochondria, that things are great down below, make some energy, take care of this organism that’s taking care of them. And so, everything is actually in the end, interconnected to feeding our microbiome what they want. In turn, the microbiome then literally sends out text messages in the form of short chain fatty acids, like butyrate, like acetate and sends out gases, literal gases, like hydrogen gas, the gas in the Hindenburg by the way, like hydrogen sulfide, which is the rotten egg smell, like methane, like carbon dioxide and like nitric oxide.
And I can guarantee you that as time goes on, we’ll find other gases that the microbiome is also producing that has an effect. Let me give you one of the most startling examples that I use in the energy paradigm. The Japanese researchers looked at the microbiome of people with Parkinson’s. And for a number of years, we’ve known that the microbiome of Parkinson’s patients is very different than the microbiome of people who don’t have Parkinson’s. And there’s a lot of evidence that Parkinson’s begins in the gut, not in the brain.
But in these, with these researchers, they looked at what sort of gases the microbiome of the Parkinson’s patients were making versus normal. And they found that the Parkinson’s patients did not have a microbiome that was producing hydrogen gas. Whereas the normal people had a microbiome that was producing nitrogen gas… Hydrogen gas. Sorry. So, they got the clever idea. Well, what if we give the Parkinson’s patients hydrogen water. And you can make hydrogen water. It is literally molecular hydrogen dissolved in water. And they gave these patients hydrogen water to drink every day.
And lo and behold, their Parkinson’s symptoms got better. Why? Well, it turns out hydrogen is an essential component in how your mitochondria produce energy. Hydrogen contributes protons, which are essential to manufacturing, generating ATP. And so, part of what we now realize our microbiome was actually doing was giving substrates to mitochondria to produce energy. And if they didn’t provide those substrates, those mitochondria that affected the dopaminergic neurons die. And that’s why these people develop Parkinson’s disease.
Interestingly, when I was writing the longevity paradox, you may remember I got really fascinated with the naked mole rat. And naked mole rats just to bring you up to speed are the longest living rats by far. Most rats live about two years. Naked mole rats can live 20 to 30 years and yet they’re a rat. And they live colonies in the Sub-Sahara desert in Africa. And long story short, people try and figure out, “Well, how the heck does these guys live so much longer.” And one of the interesting things that became evident is that the naked mole rat produces a lot of hydrogen sulfide by eating underground tubers, eating underground roots, eating shrooms.
And the hydrogen sulfide gas can actually be used by mitochondria to produce energy particularly if oxygen levels are low, which they are deep in these tunnels. So, I got the crazy idea that humans are very long lived as an animal. And I wonder if one of the reasons we’re so long lived is that we have a lot of hydrogen gas. So, I decided to look at the literature, to look at the amount of hydrogen sulfide gas in naked mole rats in their blood and the amount of hydrogen sulfide in our blood. And lo and behold, humans and naked mole rats have the lowest hydrogen sulfide gas levels in blood of most any other animal.
And I was crestfallen and went, “Oh man, so much for that theory.” And then of course, I slapped myself on the head and said, “Well, of course we have extremely low levels because our mitochondria are using that gas as an energy substrate just like the naked mole rat is.” And in fact, very good evidence shows that there is a sweet spot… What I call the Goldilocks Rule, where hydrogen sulfide production by our microbiome or postbiotic gas is incredibly important for keeping your mitochondria healthy and active.
If that wasn’t enough, there is a short chain fatty acid called butyrate. Now, butyrate, believe it or not, butter is named after butyric acid, butyrate. And there is a little bit of butyrate and butter. Not very much, not as much as my good buddy, Dave Asprey, would want you to believe but there is a little bit of butyrate in butter. But butyrate is produced by fermentation of fiber. And butyrate, number one is the preferred energy source of all the colons cells. And about 10% of butyrate is not used by colon cells and enters our circulation, where butyrate actually has been shown to affect weight loss, has actually been shown to affect energy levels and it’s even been shown to affect mood.
So, the more butyrate you produce by eating fiberous foods, by eating prebiotic fiber, the better everything thing happens. Quite frankly, you can get so much more butyrate by eating all things like asparagus, things like jicama, things like Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, having some inulin sprinkled on whatever you’re planning to eat that’s sweet. You will make the butyrate rather than eating a stick of butter to get a little tiny bit of butyrate. The other thing that’s exciting about butyrate and all of these gas transmitters is that they actually tell your immune system to not get so excited, to basically stand down and relax.
And there’s a very fascinating short chain fatty acid that… Not well known, that actually now tells the immune system to not go cause auto-immune disease, to not attack your own cells. And these short chain fatty acids are only produced by our microbiome when you eat prebiotic fiber or resistant starches. Now, we’ve talked about resistant starches over and over again but let’s just mention them one more time.
If you’ve tried the keto diet or if you’re just keto curious, there’s one thing you need to know. You don’t have to suffer from the so-called keto flu. And the secret is something you might’ve been told to cut back on salt. And the reason is super simple. When you cut out packaged and processed food, you cut out your main source of sodium. Plus, when you’re cutting down on carbs, you also lower your insulin levels, sending signals to your kidneys to get rid of more sodium and potassium.
The good news is that replenishing your body with electrolytes is incredibly easy with LMNT. It’s a tasty electrolyte drink with everything you need and nothing you don’t. This means a science-backed electrolyte ratio with no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients or any other junk. That’s why LMNT is my go-to electrolyte drink and my wife, Penny, loves it too. And trusted, my many of the world’s leading health experts and athletes, including team USA, weightlifting, dozens of professional sports teams across the NFL, in HL and NBA and Navy SEAL teams.
And right now, you can get a free LMNT sample pack. Just go to drinklmnt.com/gundry and use promo code Gundry to get your free LMNT sample pack. You only cover the cost of shipping, which is five bucks for US customers. That way, you can try LMNT risk-free. They offer a no questions asked refund policy. And if you don’t love it for any reason, you don’t even have to send it back. Again, that’s drinklmnt.com/gundry and use promo code Gundry for your free sample pack. Improving yourself starts with shifting your patterns and building healthier habits. That means making time to fit yourself in every day, managing your stress and focusing on your sleep.
So, you feel more energized and refreshed. Fitbit Sense is the advanced health watch that gives you tools to do just that. It’s the world’s first smartwatch with an EDA sensor that can actually indicate your body’s response to stress. Fitbit premium members get a detailed breakdown of their stress management score, which is really cool because it shows how your heart activity and sleep are affected by stress. And whenever you need to take a breather, you can do guided mindfulness sessions to help calm your body and mind.
Right now, you get a six month trial, a premium when you buy Fitbit Sense. Visit fitbit.com and check It out. “I miss snacks I asked Dr. G. Are there any safe snack foods I can have on the plant paradox program?” I hear this question all the time from patients and followers when they start out on my lectin-free program. And I get it, snacks are hard to give up. And there aren’t many that are made with 100% of my plant paradox yes ingredients. That’s why I was happy to discover appraising foods, keto bread and crackers.
Yes. The bread has a tiny amount of corn starch as a binder but overall, their products are a safe snack food to be enjoyed in moderation. You can rest easy as appraising foods, crackers and breads are made with gut-friendly ingredients, such as flax seeds, apple cider vinegar, blanched almond flour, psyllium husk and MCT oil. My wife and I love to slice the keto cube bread, very thin, toasted and then slather them with my polyphenol olive oil for an occasional happy hour appetizer with a glass of red wine and uprisings crackers are wonderful to serve with a tomato free guacamole for a party.
To try them out for yourself, go to uprisingfood.com/gundry and buy the sampler bundle. It’s only 48 bucks and you get six products to try. That’s uprisingfood.com/gundry. And the first 1000 people to use my code Gundry at purchase will get free standard shipping. Hurry while supplies last. All starches are sugar molecules strung together in long chains. And it takes a while for our enzymes to break the bonds of the sugar molecules to absorb them as glucose. Resistant starches means it takes a whole lot longer and a whole lot more work for our enzyme systems to break these bonds.
And so, more of these sugar molecules make it past you absorbing them down to our lower gut where they become food for our probiotics, for our gut microbiome. So, resistant starches are also incredibly useful to get your fiber load that feeds bacteria. Okay. That’s how we get postbiotics. Now, one of the tricks that I keep bringing up that’s really important. You can take really any starch and make it more resistant to digestion by cooking it then cooling it and then reheating it again. In fact, interestingly enough, the most resistant starch that you can make and as far as I know is a purple sweet potato, which is cooked then cooled and reheated about 30% of all the starch in that purple sweet potato will become a resistant starch.
Now what’s so interesting about that is of course this purple sweet potato or the blue sweet potato is actually 85% of the ancient Okinawan diet. And Okinawans, they were one of the longest lived people in the world. And 85% of their diet was a purple sweet potato. The other thing that’s interesting about rice, first of all, if you have to have rice, please make it white basmati rice from India, which has far more resistant starch than any of the other rice types. Cook it preferably in a pressure cooker. Cool it and then reheat it. And you will make that rice far more resistant.
And I think that may explain why rice, which is a staple for 4 billion people in the world. Traditionally, rice is cooked at the beginning of the week or over a weekend and then it is cooled and then doled out on a daily basis rather than cooking it every day. And I think these tricks now making starches more resistant are one of the reasons why these long lived cultures exist. Okay. What are the benefits? Well, the benefits are in fact remarkable in everything. I’ve just talked about.
The more resistant starches people get in their diet, the more prebiotic fiber they get in their diet, the more their gut buddies make postbiotics, the better they feel, the more their weight normalizes, their auto immune diseases go away. There’s every reason in the world to get and make more postbiotics. And as I always say, I want you to step on the gas and just remember, there are some cultures where farting at the dinner table is a sign of respect to the chef. So, let’s embrace our inner gas. It’s not as bad as you think.
Okay. We’ve got a bunch of postbiotic questions that you guys have sent in. So, now it’s time for the audience questions. At level seven, awesome. For those of us allergic to onions, garlic and other alums, what other options do you recommend? Well, first of all, there are people who clearly have food sensitivities to the alum family like onions and garlic. One of the things I do first with all of these patients… And I do have patients like you, is ask you to try it with a pressure cooker. Most people, once we ask them to pressure cook their garlic or their onions no longer have a problem.
But this is only one family that contains prebiotic fiber. So, please, load up on the chicory family of vegetables like chicory, like Jerusalem artichokes, like artichokes for instance, like radicchio, like Belgian endive. All of these have tones of prebiotic fiber that you and your gut buddies will love. Also, just remember, any of the tuberous vegetables like jicama is another easy way to get prebiotic fiber in. But that’s a great question. At mother of stories, how do you know if you’re on track with your gut buddies postbiotics? You just go by how you feel?
I just want to know how to gauge my progress on how my insides are doing. Another great question. Now, in my clinics, we have the ability to look and measure through blood house which unfortunately insurance doesn’t pay for you. One of these days I hope they will. But we’re able to look at the degree of leaky gut that you have. We’re able to look at the sensitivity of your immune system to various components of food. And years ago when I first started this, I was fairly naive that I thought we could see a leaky gut maybe in a couple of weeks.
And quite frankly, if you have an auto-immune disease, it may take you or me to get your leaky gut completely sealed in six months, nine months, maybe a year. Some of my patients have taken over a year to seal their leaky gut. But I can tell you almost immediately within a month or two, we see dramatic changes in the levels of the markers of auto-immune disease. And the good news is, insurance companies will pay for the measurement of markers for autoimmune disease. And so, we can see these changes in your inflammation markers.
One of the things that many people notice right away and we read one of these on our last podcast, within often weeks, people’s pain goes away, their heartburn goes away, their sleep patterns change. And that’s actually all a really good way of gauging your progress in how the lining of your gut is doing, how many postbiotics you’re producing and what they’re telling your immune system to just relax and stand out, another great question. At Byron GP, Byron YGP, just started reading your energy paradox.
I know everyone is different but is there a bare minimum of fiber grams that we should meet. Particularly concerned for my teenagers, curious for myself. Thank you. An excellent question. Ancient hunter gatherers and even modern hunter gatherers may get up to 150 grams of fiber in their diet a day, which is a whole lot of fiber. And the idea that fiber was important was actually discovered by an English surgeon, Mr. Dennis Burkitt in the mid 1900s. When he was on a mission trip to Africa, he was a colon surgeon and he went down there to operate on haemorrhoids and colon cancer.
And unfortunately, he couldn’t find any haemorrhoids or colon cancer they’ll operate on. And he said, well, that’s odd. And we’ve got plenty of hemorrhoids in colon cancer in England. What’s going on? And he became fascinated with the amount of tubers that the African tribesmen were eating. And he started following them around into the bush. And he noticed that their bowel movements were gigantic. They’re almost like termite mounds. He became obsessed with the size of bowel movements.
And one of my good friends, Dr. Terry Walls has on her back shelves dolls of giant poops. And as you know, she thinks that a sign of great health is you should look into your toilet bowl and see a giant coiled snake looking back up at you. And I actually wrote about that and the plant paradox. The point is the more fiber, the better. But there’s easy ways particularly to get your teenagers to get fiber into their diet. First of all, you can sneak it into the things you make. You can grind up flaxseeds, really easy way to get prebiotic fiber.
You can grind up psyllium powder and mix it in a smoothie. They’ll never know it’s there. You can make and grind up some of these high fiber containing vegetables like radicchio, like Belgian endive and mix it in one of the muffins you’re going to make for them. You can hide it in all sorts of places. So, you don’t have to say you kids are going to have to eat three purple sweet potatoes this week or you’re not leaving the house, although it’s not bad idea. But there’s a lot of easy ways to do it. Okay. That’s all we’ve got time for today.

Kimberly Snyder (36:57):
Welcome to the Feel Good podcast with Kimberly Snyder. My goal is to help you develop a holistic lifestyle based on our four cornerstone philosophy, food, body, emotional wellbeing and spiritual growth. This holistic approach will help you feel good, which I define as being connected to your most authentic highest self.
And this is the place from which your energy, confidence, creativity, true power and true beauty will start to explode. Every week we provide you with interviews from top experts in their field or a solo cast from yours truly to support you in living your most beautiful, healthy and joyful life. I’m your host, Kimberly Snyder, founder of Soluna, New York Times bestselling author and holistic wellness, nutrition and meditation teacher. Let’s get started.

Speaker 4 (37:51):
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Dr. Gundry (38:14):
I just want to let you know, I really enjoy hearing from you. Thank you for these questions. I love getting them. Please review us, give the questions to me in the reviews section in the iTunes and I’ll answer it here on the show, just like I did today. So, thanks a lot for tuning in on postbiotics, the most important gas you never heard of up until today. And go make some postbiotics and let me know how it’s going because I’m Dr. Gundry. And I’m always looking out for you. See you next week.
Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Before you go, I just wanted to remind you 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 can always find me on YouTube at youtube.com/drgundry because I’m Dr. Gundry and I’m always looking out for you.