As creepy as it may sound, we’re all made up largely of bugs. Amazingly, nearly 40 trillion microbes call the human body home. In fact, there are ten times more microbial cells in your body right now than there are human cells. But, far from harming us, these little critters do a wide array of important tasks to keep us healthy. However, a lot of people aren’t taking proper care of this critical system and they’re suffering as a result.
In this show I speak with experts who teach us how to get back on the right track. We learn which foods to feed our friendly gut bugs, and which ones help the unfriendly ones to thrive – something we want to avoid. I also dive into the often-overlooked subject of digestive problems in children. And talk biotech with a billionaire entrepreneur who plans to make illness elective by targeting the microbiome. We’ll find out how what you put in your mouth affects your body.
Dr. Michael Murray is a Naturopathic Doctor and a worldwide authority on natural medicine and gut health. In our discussion, Dr. Murray and I break down the term microbiome and what that really means. We also talk about the differences in the approach of a traditional gastroenterologist, like myself, and a naturopathic doctor, like Dr. Murray. He tells me, “We have to educate people that there are safe and effective natural approaches that actually enhance the health of their microbiome, and as a result enhance their overall health.”
Dr. Murray and I discuss some terms you’ve probably heard before. Terms like Crohn’s disease, leaky gut, ulcerative colitis, and talk about what the differences are. We get into prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes, as well as changes you can make to your diet to aid your gut health. If you’re having problems with bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or general abdominal discomfort, you’re going to want to see this show.
My friend Naveen Jain is a disruptor in the field of biotech, his work has made him one of the foremost experts on the subject and even won him the Albert Einstein Technology Medal. His latest undertaking uses space-age technology to fundamentally change the gut game. Naveen tells me about the home kit, called Viome, that he’s developed so people can understand exactly what is going on inside their body. “Now for the first time, not only we can see what’s inside your gut, but we know what they’re actually doing,” Naveen says, “and based on that, we can tell you exactly what food you should be eating, and what you should be minimizing.”
Naveen explains that there is no such thing as a universally healthy diet. In other words, food affects different people in different ways. So, food that is healthy for one person may not be healthy for someone else. Additionally, Naveen says, our own bodies are always changing, so foods you can eat today may cause problems a few months down the line. With the Viome test kit, it’s possible to keep on top of the messages your gut is sending to you and adjust your diet accordingly.
A board-certified Holistic Pediatrician and a Pediatric Functional Medicine Expert, Dr. Elisa Song joins me to talk about the importance of gut-health in children. A mom of two kids, 6 and 8 years old, she’s the creator of the online blog, Healthy Kids Happy Kids. Dr. Song says she’s concerned about what she’s seeing in her office, “What most people don’t realize is now over 50% of kids have some sort of a chronic diagnosis.” We talk about the root cause of this increase in pediatric health issues and Dr. Song tells me it absolutely begins in their gut. Not only that, but she says she believes it can actually begin in utero, before a baby is even born. “It starts with mama’s gut, but it’s so important for kids to have a healthy gut microbiome in those early stages in life,” Dr. Song explains that it’s much more difficult to change a child’s gut health after the age of three.
Dr. Song and I discuss how that gut imbalance can be the root of a host of childhood issues including ADHD, autism, asthma, eczema and more. She explains how gut dysbiosis, or abnormal bugs in the gut, and leaky gut can contribute to these chronic problems. So how can you tell if your child is having gut issues? Dr. Song says it’s all in the poop and shares the important foods your child needs to consume in order to have what she calls, “good poop.