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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. Please note this conversation took place on March 6th, and may not reflect changes related to the COVID-19 outbreak or other current events.

Dr. Steven Gundry (00:25):
Welcome to The Dr. Gundry Podcast. During this episode, I’m going to be speaking with the legendary Randy Jackson. Let’s hear the applause, everybody. Randy has toured with the iconic rock band, Journey, Don’t Stop Believing, produced some of the most successful records in music history, written bestselling books and starred as one of the original judges of the TV hit show, American Idol. In fact, we all know a very famous American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, who used my book, The Plant Paradox, to fix her autoimmune issue and lose weight.

Dr. Steven Gundry (01:04):
But back to my guest, Randy Jackson. After years of being overweight, Randy considers getting healthy to be one of his biggest accomplishments to date. And now he’s paying it forward by helping others do the same. So today, Randy and I are going to discuss his amazing journey to health. We’ll also show you how you can transform your health by making better choices every day. So Randy, welcome to the program. And I really commend you for taking charge of your health.

Randy Jackson (01:35):
Dr. Gundry, thank you so much, man. Listen, I’m a huge fan. I know Kelly’s a huge fan. I’ve been following you for a long time. I’m so happy to be doing your podcast. I’m a big fan.

Dr. Steven Gundry (01:46):
Well, thanks so much. Now like me, you struggled with your weight for years. Now why did you think was such an issue for you? Did it have anything to do with the way you were raised?

Randy Jackson (01:59):
I think it had to do a lot with the way I raised. I was in sports all my life until I graduated college. And I just wasn’t working out anymore. I had a very sedentary lifestyle. I grew up living a good eating life in Louisiana. Everything’s fried. Everything’s with ton of sugar, ton of butter. Everything is everything as they like to say, and when you have a sedentary lifestyle, it just pounds on you. Then that problem compounds because you get heavier and you don’t want to run. I used to always see people running on the street. And I would say to my friend, “Those are the skinny people. It’s easier for them to run. They don’t have to carry around this extra 150 pounds.” So it was a different thing for me. So I arrived at 358 and had to make some changes.

Dr. Steven Gundry (02:49):
Yeah. What was it like for you being on television every single week? And your weight issues were obviously obvious. What was that like?

Randy Jackson (03:02):
It was really tough because I had low energy. It was hard to move around, get around. I got tired often. And what really, really happened to me is I felt like I was sick, I had the flu, couldn’t quench my thirst. I felt very lethargic for a long time. I finally go to my doctor. And he said, “Look. Let’s run some tests.” I was there the next day, but that night, I was feeling terribly bad and I wound up in the emergency room. The doctor gave me one test and it came back that I’d developed type two diabetes, so blood sugar was over 500. I had to make some serious, serious changes.

Dr. Steven Gundry (03:40):
So was that the wake up call? Or did you know this was coming, but you just kind of said, “Ah, you know”?

Randy Jackson (03:50):
I knew something was coming. And as I always say, we as men and a lot of other people, especially men now, we hate going to the doctor. We procrastinate. We put it off. You know something’s going to happen from living this bad life, eating like a race horse and not working out, just driving yourself to all ends. You know something bad’s bound to happen, and it did for me.

Dr. Steven Gundry (04:16):
I’m glad you brought that up. I saw a patient yesterday, a new patient, who has all the markers, a young man, has all the markers for type two diabetes with high insulin levels and high blood sugar and high hemoglobin A1C. And I’m explaining this to him, and he says, “Well, how do I know that this a bad thing? How do I know that bad things are going to happen to me?” And I give him some of the statistics, and he says, “Well, yeah. But that’s probably not going to happen to me.” So I lean into him and I said, “So you just have to ask yourself, ‘Do I feel lucky?'” And luckily, Clint Eastwood came through for me, and it worked. And I think that’s a great point you bring up. I think most of us men basically say, “Hey, that’s not going to happen to me. I’m the lucky one.”

Randy Jackson (05:22):
Also, doctor, it’s funny we’re talking about this because one of the reasons that being a celebrity I wanted to voice my whole health concerns and everything is because exactly that, you think it’s going to happen to somebody else. It’s never going to happen to somebody like me, because people have this notion that all the stars have everything all checked, all boxes are cool. We’re the most beautiful. You and I are very beautiful, Dr. Gundry. We have everything, and then we get this incurable disease. So if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. That’s part of the reason because people think that it doesn’t happen to the stars.

Dr. Steven Gundry (06:02):
Yeah. You’re so right. I take care of a lot of stars, and most of them, I never say a word about. But I’ll give you a quick-

Randy Jackson (06:16):
[inaudible 00:06:16] names here. Tell us some names on the podcast here.

Dr. Steven Gundry (06:18):
That’s right. No, I won’t mention names. But I will tell you a story that really goes along with this. So I see a star who’s a character actor. His character actor is a fairly pudgy individual. And for years, I’ve been seeing him now for six, seven years, and he has type two diabetes with high insulin levels. And he keeps telling me, “Look, my career depends on me being this kind of fat, lovable guy.” And I said, “But you don’t understand. Bad things are going to happen with this.” I said, “Your chance of getting cancer is so much higher than a normal person.” I see him twice a year, and every year, say the same thing.

Dr. Steven Gundry (07:07):
Last year, he calls me out of the blue. And he says, “I just got diagnosed with prostate cancer. What do you think about that?” And I said, “What do you mean, what do I think about it? I told you that this was going to get you, and here it is.” He says, “Yeah. You’re right. You’ve been telling me that. Now what do I do?” So you’re right, we assume that we’re going to be the lucky one. And thank you for speaking out that you can have the most talent in the world, you can be the greatest star in the world. You can be so good looking and have the best pair of glasses like you do.

Randy Jackson (07:47):
[inaudible 00:07:47].

Dr. Steven Gundry (07:47):
And it’s still going to happen if you don’t pay attention.

Randy Jackson (07:53):
Yeah, that’s the real truth about it. And by the way, I always say, “It could happen to anyone.” And there’s so many bad things that could come with type two diabetes. Listen, type two diabetes, I have that, but it’s not the only problem. You could develop a series of other problems, as you well know.

Dr. Steven Gundry (08:09):
You bet. That’s just kind of the tip of the iceberg. Okay. So back to you taking charge of your life. Now you decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery. And believe it or not, back in my older days, I used to do gastric bypass surgery. So that’s a big deal, it’s gotten certainly better in years. But what made you decide to take this leap and undergo the surgery?

Randy Jackson (08:36):
Because I needed something to really wake me up and almost shock me into the reality of what was ahead of me because I think you try the medications, you try the [inaudible 00:08:49]. You try whatever. So I said to my doctor, “What’s going to help?” He says, “What I’ve been telling you for 10 years, lose some weight. It’s going to be easier to manage your type two diabetes.” And I looked at alternatives. My mother-in-law had the procedure done some years before. She looked amazing. She turned her health around because when you’re lighter, you want to work out. You just can’t wait to jump up and run and do stuff. But when you’re heavy, you’re like, “Oh, God. I don’t have the energy. This is going to hurt my body.”

Randy Jackson (09:24):
So I had it done 17 years ago by one of the originators of the surgery, Dr. Fobi. And I haven’t looked back ever since. But what happened for me though was, once you get it and you drop a ton of weight, the real work really begins. How do I keep it off? How do I stay healthy? I’ve gone through this major, massive surgery to lose the weight. What am I going to do now? Half or more of the people put it back on. Some people put on half of it, a third of it back. I didn’t want that to happen to me.

Dr. Steven Gundry (10:06):
Yeah. You’re absolutely right. I take care of a lot of patients who have had bypass surgery, gastric bypass. And in fact, you’re right. Half the people actually regain all their weight. And most of them regain a significant amount of weight, and that’s how they end up in my office. So it is not … Some people, I’m sure, accused you, well, you took the easy way out. You had gastric bypass surgery. But you’re right, unless you change, even something as drastic as gastric bypass isn’t the cure all that people think it is.

Randy Jackson (10:48):
No. And it’s not easy. It’s a four, four and a half hour surgery. The recovery’s a long time. This is serious, major surgery. And how are you going to go through that and the recovery of that, and then put the weight back on? No, not me. It’s not going to happen. So I had to really change my lifestyle, completely change it. So that’s what led me to where I am now because I had to make a serious life change. So I say to people, “I had to actually divorce food and start over.”

Dr. Steven Gundry (11:20):
That’s a good way of looking. Okay. So what did you stop eating and start eating? Let’s talk about stopping. What did you stop?

Randy Jackson (11:29):
Stopped everything because after the gastric bypass surgery, you have to fast for a couple of weeks. You can have broths and whatever, whatever, so it gave me a chance to reset, also to test what I was allergic too because I got … Am I gluten intolerant? What’s going on, dairy, what is happening? So I also did that test, found out some things that didn’t really jibe with my system. And I just started rebuilding one at a time. And as I say, before this, I’d tried every diet. I was vegan for a long time. I was vegetarian for a long time. I was pescatarian. I ate mostly this high carb, high meat. I mean, I tried all the diets. I tried pregnant women’s urine. I tried you name it. I tried all of them.

Randy Jackson (12:25):
So I really had to really come up with my own thing that was going to work for me. And I said, “I’ve got to find something I can stick to.” So I had to find a food education. So I went to a nutritionist. I really studied hard to really understand the effects on food in the body.

Dr. Steven Gundry (12:48):
So were there mental blocks that you had to overcome as well?

Randy Jackson (12:52):
Yes because I’m used to eating fried food. Listen, in the South, in Louisiana, if it ain’t good tasting, it ain’t good for you. Somebody will a big belly, and they say, “Boy, you must be living good right now.” So I mean, for having a big belly, you’re living life to the highest. That’s why in Mardi Gras, they call it Fat Tuesday.

Dr. Steven Gundry (13:13):
That’s right. And so one of the things that we now know actually about gastric bypass, which is actually exciting, is that your gut microbiome actually changes almost immediately following gastric bypass surgery. And that’s actually one of the new exciting findings about that maybe this surgery isn’t just all about stapling your stomach smaller, or bypassing some of your intestines. Maybe at the root of it, it’s really changing your microbiome for the better.

Randy Jackson (13:48):
And part of the reason that I did it is a lot of people that have had type two diabetes and diabetes, it helped to almost reverse it where they wouldn’t have to be insulin dependent, and they could take oral medication. So it really changes everything, so I thought to myself, “I’m not going to do this and have to go back and redo it again,” because I know people that have had it done again because they put more of the weight back on.

Dr. Steven Gundry (14:16):
So any people … Give us kind of one trick that you learned kind of before and after. Obviously, you learned that probably the Louisiana diet is not exactly the best diet in the world.

Randy Jackson (14:35):
It tastes good, but it’s not good for you. It’s drowned in butter and sugar and salt, but it’s not good for you. I did learn that. But it tastes hell of good, I’ve got to tell you. I had to really divorce that and stop eating the way that I was eating when I was still down there. Of course, cut out all the sugar and most of the carbs. And really, one nutritionist said to me, which is something I still hold close to my heart, “You’ve got to find what’s going to work for you.” So there’s no one size fits all. Some people can be vegetarian and live a great life. Some people can be vegan and live a great live. I needed, I call myself a flexitarian. I eat a little morsel of whatever I like whenever I want to eat it. But I’m not confined to one certain food groups because the boredom will cause you to say, “I’m starving. I’m so starving I could eat a horse,” and you will try to.

Randy Jackson (15:35):
So the triggers that led me to where I was, I started hearing in my brain, and tried to retrain myself. And then someone turned me onto a couple years ago something called a leaky gut, with this guy named Dr. Gundry, this cool doctor.

Dr. Steven Gundry (15:53):
And the rest is history.

Randy Jackson (15:55):
The rest is history. So I started applying that. I became a huge fan of this guy, Gundry.

Dr. Steven Gundry (16:01):
Oh, we’re going to have to have him on the podcast, absolutely.

Randy Jackson (16:04):
Yeah. He’s a smart guy.

Dr. Steven Gundry (16:08):
Well, thank you very much. Yeah, it is amazing. So much we now know of our brain’s behavior in seeking out certain foods is actually controlled by the microbes that live in our gut, and the idea that these little one cell creatures could hijack your brain to give them what they want to eat is so preposterous on the surface. But now with the microbiome project, we know that in fact, bad bugs can hijack your brain, this intelligent brain, to give them what they want.

Randy Jackson (16:51):
Send you messages, you don’t know where they came from.

Dr. Steven Gundry (16:54):
Yeah. That’s exactly right. You know they’re there. You’re not making it up that you want to eat four bowls of jambalaya and finish it off with two cheesecakes.

Randy Jackson (17:06):
Not one, but two cheesecakes.

Dr. Steven Gundry (17:08):
Two, yep.

Randy Jackson (17:09):
They don’t call it Fat Tuesday for nothing. Listen, I’m telling you.

Dr. Steven Gundry (17:13):
Yeah. It’s funny, I used to know Chef Paul Prudhomme quite well.

Randy Jackson (17:19):
Yes. What a great chef, what a great chef.

Dr. Steven Gundry (17:21):
A great chef. And I used to … I’ll tell you a quick story. I walked into K-Paul’s one night, and he was in the back. He had just gotten over gall bladder surgery. And he was so huge that his wound didn’t heal, and it actually was wide open. And he’s sitting in the back on his stool. And he says, “Hey, doc, come here. I’ve got to show you something,” so I saunter on over. And he pulls up his chef apron, and he says, “Look at this. It’s healing good.” There’s this wide open incision in front of his gall bladder.” I’m going, “Paul, how many times I’ve told you? This is not working for you.” And sadly, you’re right, he never overcame kind of the voices to keep feeding himself. So good for you for overcoming those voices.

Randy Jackson (18:16):
And let me say something, doctor, you know it is not easy. This is really difficult. It’s really hard to retrain your eating habits, the ways that you grew up, the things that you still love. You’re out at parties, you’re out at events, and I’m a very social person because I’m in a social business, so it’s all I do is entertainment, so all the time. So you have to really get a grip on where you’re going.

Dr. Steven Gundry (18:43):
I’m so glad you brought that up as well because I see a number of young people with prediabetes, type two diabetes, in their teenage years. And I’m taking care of a young Hispanic woman in the Palm Springs area. And I saw her a couple weeks again, and she’s been doing great. But I always find out, well, catch up on how they’re doing. And she said, “I made a really big decision over the Christmas holidays, and I want you to be proud of me.” I said, “What’d you do?” She said, “Well, my whole family goes back to Mexico to visit all the grandparents and the cousins.” And she said, “I didn’t go.” And I said, “Well, why not?” She said, “Because I knew that they would feed me the foods that have made me diabetic, and I wouldn’t be able to resist it because they’d be forcing it on me.” And she said, “It was just easier for me to stay home because I would’ve fallen right down that rabbit hole again.” For a young woman, she’s 15 years old, to kind of have that knowledge, that knowledge is power. And so-

Randy Jackson (19:58):
It’s amazing. That’s amazing.

Dr. Steven Gundry (20:00):
So you’re right. You’re constantly surrounded by these social pressures.

Randy Jackson (20:07):
Let’s just talk about that for a second too. Louisiana, when you go there, someone just said to me the other day, “I’m going to New Orleans for the first time. Everybody tells me forget my diet.” Okay. This is starting to be a bad thing, man. I get it. You’re going to France. Forget the diet. We’re going to Italy, the pasta, I get it. But don’t quite forget the diet. Maybe just have the morsels of the things you like, the small portions.

Dr. Steven Gundry (20:37):
Yeah. I think that’s a really important point. You can sample things and not lose control. But so many people, particularly early on in the process, often one or two days of heading the wrong direction just opens the floodgates. You actually can change the entire character of your gut microbiome in three days of bad eating. You can go from a great set of bugs to a bad set of bugs in three days. It’s that fast. And as you and I both know, once those bad bugs get in you, man, they hijack your brain.

Randy Jackson (21:19):
They’re having a party inside you.

Dr. Steven Gundry (21:22):
Yeah. And they’re breaking furniture and throwing things through the windows.

Randy Jackson (21:27):
The bug party, people, yeah.

Dr. Steven Gundry (21:30):
All right. So these are great tips. Through the years, have you figured out anything else about maintaining a normal weight?

Randy Jackson (21:41):
Well, I say the leaky gut, which led me to Unify Health Labs forming we’ve come up with because now I know, that’s something you’ve probably known all your life, that’s why you’re the great genius doctor, but everything starts in the gut. Everything, the gut is everything. So a healthy gut, probably healthy life.

Dr. Steven Gundry (22:07):
So tell us about this new venture, Unify Health Labs. What inspired you to start this brand?

Randy Jackson (22:15):
People would ask me all the time, “Dog, how are you keeping the weight off? What are you doing? What’s happening?” And I often say to them, “I’m doing this. I’m doing that.” And everybody goes, “Well, what are you taking?” I thought about that for while, a couple years. And I thought, “Maybe I should create something that takes the guesswork out of: What are you taking?” Because the average person’s house, Dr. Gundry, we should do this, you and I should make some house visits to people’s houses just randomly unannounced, and see the 40 bottles of vitamins sitting on top of their counter. You don’t know how much [inaudible 00:22:54] probiotic, you don’t know what to take.

Randy Jackson (22:57):
I don’t know if I should take 18 trillion of this. I mean, I just think I wanted to take the guesswork out so people are not really overdoing it because I believe there’s also things too much.

Dr. Steven Gundry (23:13):
Yeah. Well, okay, I’m going to take you up on that. So you and I, we need to do a TV show where you and I knock on doors and go into people’s houses, and go into their kitchens and open up the cabinets.

Randy Jackson (23:25):
I got [inaudible 00:23:27] for it too, The Doctor and The Dog.

Dr. Steven Gundry (23:29):
The Doctor and The Dog, oh, I love it. We would have such fun. All right. So get your connections going. I’ll do it with you. Okay?

Randy Jackson (23:41):
Let’s go, man. You’re on.

Dr. Steven Gundry (23:43):
So what’s next for you besides The Doctor and Dog?

Randy Jackson (23:49):
I’m just continuing working. I have a pretty big management practice. We’ve got a couple TV shows that are in development now. We’ve got products out. We’re doing our thing. We’re just having fun. Out there, if you’re wondering, Dr. Gundry and I are very young.

Dr. Steven Gundry (24:07):
Absolutely. People talk about antiaging. What people really should be focusing on is de-aging. And I for one not only believe it, I live it. And you just have to look at pictures of me from 10 years go. I look exactly or if not better than I did 10 years ago, so you can de-age.

Randy Jackson (24:36):
Let me ask you a question. How did you do that then?

Dr. Steven Gundry (24:36):
What do you mean? I tell my gut bugs to keep my humming on all eight cylinders. And again, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, 2500 years ago said, “All disease begins in the gut.” You talk about a smart guy, holy cow. And he was absolutely right. And as I talked about in The Longevity Paradox, aging begins and ends in the gut, and begins and ends in leaky gut. And if you don’t have a leaky gut, and you have great bacteria, and you practice things like time restricted feeding, like an exercise program using, I like high intensity interval training as part of my exercise program, you can actually stimulate stem cells to replace all of your important organs, including your brain and your heart.

Dr. Steven Gundry (25:37):
And so we hear about stem cell therapy. These stem cells are extracted from people’s fat, so we have plenty of stem cells. We just have to turn them on, and that’s the secret. So again, you can actually activate stem cells by intermittent fasting or time restricted feeding. You can actually activate stem cells by taking vitamin D. Vitamin D is one of the best ways to activate stem cells there is. You can activate stem cells by high intensity interval training or HIT training, so those are just a few quick recommendations. And if you follow my rules in The Longevity Paradox, we say in our office that 150 is the new 100.

Randy Jackson (26:25):
Whoa. I love that.

Dr. Steven Gundry (26:27):
So let’s go. You and I will race to 150. What do you say?

Randy Jackson (26:32):
Let’s race to 150. Let’s go.

Dr. Steven Gundry (26:34):
All right.

Randy Jackson (26:35):
I’m at 30 now, so let’s go.

Dr. Steven Gundry (26:37):
Oh, okay. Very good. Well, I went to Tony Robbins 60th birthday party last weekend. And I challenged him that we’re going to race to 100. But because he is who he is and can do wonders, I’ve got a few years head start on him towards 100, so he has to catch me. We’ll see if we can do it. All right. So I’ve got to let you go. I know you’re busy. You’re going to work on The Doctor and The Dog program as soon as we get off the air.

Randy Jackson (27:09):
This is a big hit, I feel it, I feel it.

Dr. Steven Gundry (27:12):
So where can my listeners find out all about you and all the great things you’re doing? Where do you they find you?

Randy Jackson (27:20):
They can find me online at Randy_Jackson. They can also log into Unify Health Labs website.

Dr. Steven Gundry (27:30):

Randy Jackson (27:31):
That information. The Dog and The Doctor, The Doctor and The Dog.

Dr. Steven Gundry (27:36):
Either way, if you want top billing, that’s okay. But it’ll be a great show. Since you’re going to produce it, I’ll let you have top billing.

Randy Jackson (27:44):
I just want to wear a stethoscope as well.

Dr. Steven Gundry (27:48):
Oh, yeah. There you go.

Randy Jackson (27:49):
I’ll never use it. I just want to wear it.

Dr. Steven Gundry (27:52):
I’ll tell you what, you send me some glasses, I’ll send you a stethoscope. That’ll be a deal.

Randy Jackson (27:57):
It’s a deal. It’s a deal. It’s a deal.

Dr. Steven Gundry (28:01):
All right. Now before I let you go, we have an audience question that we always get asked. So Roy Ludwick on YouTube asked, “When and how do you take your many supplements during the day, especially when you’re doing intermittent fasting?” So actually, Randy, I’m going to turn that to you first. So any recommendations on when to take supplements?

Randy Jackson (28:27):
I usually do my intermittent fasting, I usually don’t eat past 8:00 at night. So I usually do intermittent fasting and I usually have breakfast around 10:30. So I have everything in the morning because if I don’t do it, I’ll forget it during the rest of the day.

Dr. Steven Gundry (28:41):
Yeah. It’s interesting. I take my supplements, I take some in the morning and some at night. I’ve just gotten into a habit of doing that. My wife would like to do it twice a day. But she almost always forgets the nighttime. And so I agree with you. What I tell my patients is whatever regimen you devise to get them into you is the regimen that will work. And my wife takes hers once a day like you do. I take mine twice a day. She’s even younger and healthier than I am. Yeah, so that was a great question. And Randy, that’s a great answer. So with that note, take your supplements, everybody. And we’ll see you next week. And stay tuned for The Dog and The Doctor.

Randy Jackson (29:34):

Dr. Steven Gundry (29:34):
Coming to a TV show near you.

Randy Jackson (29:38):
That’s right. Thank you so much, my man.

Dr. Steven Gundry (29:40):
Take care. 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.