MindBody Fitness


Science has proven that the bacterial makeup in our microbiome profoundly affects our physiology. New findings are connecting the gut bacteria to the brain via the gut-brain axis.

As a result, probiotics and prebiotics that can influence our mental function have been termed psychobiotics. Probiotics are live microbes found in fermented foods like sauerkraut and kefir. Prebiotics are bacteria that feed probiotics.

Timothy Dinan, MD, PhD coined the term “psychobiotics.” He writes “These bacteria are capable of producing and delivering neuroactive substances… which act on the brain-gut axis. Evidence is emerging of benefits in alleviating symptoms of depression and in chronic fatigue syndrome.” He further explains – “Our gut microbes are an essential part of the unconscious system that regulates our behavior.”

Researchers are hopeful that perhaps someday psychobiotics can be used to alleviate anxiety and depression – even perhaps autism and dementia.

Simon Evans, PhD has been exploring other aspects of the “psycobiome” – his research has discovered dramatic microbiome imbalances in the feces of participants with bipolar disorder compared with a healthy control group.

He’s optimistic that medical professionals will eventually prescribe psychobiotics as a means to treat and manage mental health problems.

It All Begins In The Gut

Hippocrates said it 2000 years ago: ” All disease begins in the gut”

We all have heard and used the following expressions:

– I have a gut feeling.

– My gut tells me…

– That experience made me sick to my stomach.

Well it turns out that our gut in fact plays a huge role in our overall health. New research confirms that our gut biology, specifically the microbiome  (bacterial makeup) impacts and influences our neurological, hormonal, cardiovascular and metabolic functions. Furthermore,  the research indicates that these relationships and  pathways are bi-directional.

Modern medicine has yet to really address these relationships by continuing to treat symptoms – often with drugs, thereby ignoring the root causes. As such, our population is getting sicker and more compromised. Thankfully, functional or integrative medical practitioners are helping to address the root causes of so many diseases and, specifically, looking at how our microbial makeup is really impacted our health and longevity. In essence, by examining gut flora and gut health we can start to better understand and treat and prevent many of the inflammatory diseases that plague so many of us ( cancer, cardiovascular, degenerative neurological, metabolic, hormonal and immunological disease).

Our Microbial System:

– Is very complex.

– Your gut has been termed the “second brain.” It produces more neurotransmitter serotonin, which is known to have positive influences on your mood, than your brain does.

– Made up 100 trillion organisms ( found in sinuses, skin, gut, soft tissue, organs).

– In fact, we have more  bacterial organisms  than human cells in our body! 

– We have 100 x more microbial genes than human genes!

–  According the Dr, Mercola: “A probiotic-rich diet has been shown to influence the activity of hundreds of your genes to help them express in a positive, disease-fighting way. This makes your gut health a very powerful variable in epigenetics, a cutting-edge field of medicine that your lifestyle plays a significant role in your genetic expression”.

– The gut directly impacts our moods and cognitive function ( see below).


Helps us digest our food and synthesize nutrients and vitamins.

– Helps prevent disease by minimizing intestinal permeability and leaky gut. This reduces the chance that toxins and unwanted food particles get into the bloodstream and trigger an inflammatory response.

– Prevents harmful bacteria from entering the body.

– As mentioned above the microbiome impact our immune system by modulating inflammation, impacts metabolism ( obesity) by regulating insulin and leptin resistance. 

– The gut flora are now implicated in diseases such as Parkinson’s, Hashimoto’s disease, Alzheimer’s, MS, Fibromyalgia, as well as, ADHD, depression, anxiety disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

– Research has shown that diabetics differ from non-diabetics with regard to their gut flora density and diversity. Type 2 diabetes is linked to compositional changes in the gut microbiome.

– New research shows  a link between the microbiome and estrogen metabolism (whereby elevated estrogen impacts not only fertility but increased risk of breast cancer)

Gut-Brain Axis:

– The gut and brain share a bi-directional pathway. This has strong implications for diagnosing and treating mood and behavioral disorders, anxiety, depression, and managing stress.

– The gut flora ( bacterial composition ) impacts the HPA axis ( hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenals) which governs the stress response ( by modulating stress hormones such as cortisol ) which directly impact our immune system.

– Stress in turn affects the quality and quantity of healthful gut bacteria. Chronic stress clearly leads to long-term damage to the microbiome.
Rebuilding The Microbiome: 

Need to restore healthy gut bacteria.

– Address  and remove risk factors such as: unhealthy diet ( refined sugars and carbs, GMO’s artificial sweetners), get adequate and restorative sleep, exercise regularly ( but do not over train!) and incorporate some relaxation and meditation into your life to restore and re- balance your nervous system.

– Add fermented foods and pre- and probiotics. ( sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled cucumbers, beets, garlic, raw yogurt, kefir)

– Avoid antibiotics ( which destroy the healthful bacteria in the gut).

– Avoid ( or at least minimize ) NSAID’s, alcohol and birth control pills!


Dsyfunction in gut.

– Low HCL production ( stomach acid is crucial to gut health).

– SIBO ( small intestine bacterial overgrowth – usually seen in upper section of small intestine.).

– Fungal growth ( candida ), bacterial infections ( H Pylori)

– Autoimmune ( colitis, Crohn’s, Lupus,  rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis,  IBS, allergies, kidney and urinary problems and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).

Leaky Gut:

Also known as intestinal permeability. The gut lining gets compromised and foods and pathogens enter the bloodstream and then have a profound affect on the entire body.

Leaky gut can impact many areas of the body and the function of vital organs that can lead to illness and disease.

Joints ( rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia).

Headaches and migraines.

Adrenal Fatigue.

Sinus and mouth ( frequent colds and food sensitivities).

Brain function ( depression, ADHD, anxiety and cognitive impairment).

Skin ( acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis).

Thyroid ( Hashimotos, Graves, hypothyroidism).

Colon ( constipation and IBD, Crohn’s and Colitis).


Gluten: protein in wheat inflames gut and then gets into bloodstream travels through body triggering autoimmune response.

GMO’s: pesticides and herbicides destroy gut flora.

Processed sugars: feeds yeast which leads to yeast and candida overgrowth which in turn  eats the intestinal wall.

Conventional dairy: loaded with chemicals and antibiotics.

Food allergies.

Emotional stress.
Medications and antibiotics: destroy gut flora.

Pathogens and bacteria ( candida, mold and fungus).

Organ malfunction.

Emotional stress.

5 Steps to  Heal Leaky Gut

1. Know your gut type.

2. Remove inflammatory triggers.

3. Nourish gut lining w/ key nutrients.

4. Treat specific organs w/ supplements. 

5. Rebalance microbes and probiotics (microbiome).

Nourish Your Body:

Bone broth ( high in amino acids like proline, lysine and L- glutamine).

– Coconut oil ( anti microbial / great for candida).

– Fermented foods ( sauerkraut, cabbage and kimchi which are loaded with pre and probiotics).

– HCL benatine ( low HCL leads to SIBO and GERD).

– Goats milk kefir ( high in probiotics). 

– Blueberries ( resveretrol and flavonoids).

– Squash and pumpkin ( organic source great for spleen) 


– Probiotics: choose SBO ( soil based organisms), 50  billion IU, essential for gut health, helps build B12 and Vit K in body.

– Digestive enzymes: help to break down food and gluten. Take 2 caps w/ meals.

– Adaptogenic herbs: ginseng (spleen), licorice  root (stomach) and ashwagandha (adrenals/thyroid).

– L Glutamine: crucial amino acid protests gut lining and repairs small intestine.

Functional Testing:
Below are various tests that can be performed to accurately assess your gut health.

–  SIBO breath testing.

– Stool testing.

– Gluten sensitivity and intolerance ( transglutaminase  IgA and IgG antibodies testing)

– Cross reactive proteins.

– Cyrex Array 3, 4, 10 testing.

The Power of Your Microbiome

Our overall health and longevity is defined by so many factors. We are all shaped by a plethora of integrated functions and systems. As such it is very important to understand how our systems integrate and communicate. One of the most intriguing and critical aspects of our existence is our brain health. As I have written about in past blogs, there’s a fascinating area of research that is exploring the gut and brain connection. It turns out that our brain’s health is dictated not only by what goes on in the body as it relates to the brain, but perhaps even more significantly, what is happening in our gut. the activity and state of our gut, specifically,  in our intestines not only directly impacts our daily brain function, but also plays a huge role in determining our risk for developing future brain and neurological disease.

Your microbiome ( intestinal organisms and gut flora) not only influence immunity, detoxification, inflammation, neurotransmitter and vitamin production, nutrient absorption, utilization and breakdown of carbohydrates and fats which all play a role in chronic health problems like asthma, allergies, ADHD, cancer, type 2 diabetes, but we re now learning that they also impact our mood, energy, libido, perceptions, and clarity of thought. It is believed that imbalanced or dysfunctional gut flora may also be at the root of migraines, anxiety, depression and inability to concentrate.

We know the gut-brain pathway is bi-directional. The vagus nerve ( the longest of the crainal nerves) is in fact a connector of the intestinal nervous system (enteric nervous system) and our central nervous system ( brain and spinal cord). It extends from the brain stem down to the abdomen and also directs heart rate and digestive functions. It turns out, gut bacteria affect the function of the cells along the vagus nerve – releasing neurotransmitters that communicate with the brain. The gut is often referred to as the “second brain.”  In addition to regulating immune cells, muscle and hormonal functions, it also manufactures a whopping 80-90% of the “feel good” neurotransmitter, serotonin. This finding may lead to a new approach of dealing with and treating depression by addressing how dietary changes can impact gut health!

Two other chemicals manufactured in the gut –  GABA ( amino acid) has been shown to calm the nervous system after its been overexcited by stress and Glutamine ( a neurotransmitter) impacts cognition, learning, and memory. Glutamine appears plentiful in scans of healthy brains and, therefore, may play a critical role in dealing with neurological challenges such as anxiety, depression, and  Alzheimer’s.

In addition, it is believed that the problems associated with “leaky gut or intestinal permeability” – a loss of gut integrity where the protective junctions in the intestinal lining become compromised due to a variety of factors that include: food and environmental toxins, bacterial pathogens, certain medications, stress, and elevated blood sugar which may in fact lead to a “leaky brain.” Once the intestinal barrier is compromised, undigested food particles and toxins enter the bloodstream triggering an immune response which can then lead to systemic inflammation. These toxins and pathogens can travel across the brain barrier and enter the brain! Once the brain barrier is compromised various  harmful proteins, viruses and bacteria can do their damage.


We have all heard the adage: “ YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.” In light of the gut-brain connection, nothing seems more relevant then looking at what we can do regarding the food we eat and how this affects our microbiome. Research indicates that two mechanisms that really impact brain degeneration are chronic inflammation and action of free radicals ( byproducts of inflammation) are directly influenced by gut bacteria and thus gut health. So let’s look at how we can change the microbiome, thereby reducing inflammation and thus not only the the risk for developing neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, but alleviating moodiness, anxiety and depression, bolstering the immune system, and helping to manage and/or prevent metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes and obesity.

  1. Probiotic-rich foods:  Good digestive health begins with restoring the gut flora enhancing probiotics ( live bacteria and yeast). The two most important types are bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. They are best consumed in real food sources, but are also available in high quality supplements as well. These probiotic bacteria help with maintaining the integrity of the gut lining (critical in preventing leaky gut), regulating immunity, reducing inflammation and acting as natural antibiotics, antifungals and antivirals. Ex:  Live culture yogurt ( coconut or goat yogurt), kefir, kombucha tea, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles and fermented vegetables.
  2. Minimize carbs and add in healthy fats: Simply put, keeping your blood sugar in line and stable helps with balancing your gut bacteria. A diet high in sugar, low in fiber and healthy fats increases intestinal permeability, mitochondrial damage, a weakened immune system and elevated inflammation and thus the gut-brain-gut cycle. Studies now show that coronary artery disease is much less to do with saturated fat and more to do with inflammation. Additionally, studies show that the brain functions less optimally when cholesterol is low.  In fact, people with low cholesterol are actually at a higher risk for developing depression and dementia.
  3. Consume some organic dark chocolate, coffee and tea. All three contain flavonols ( a form of polyphenols)  exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, help with improved blood flow to the brain. Chocolate and coffee also are known to stimulate the Nrf2 gene pathway, helping the body to produce more antioxidants, and enhancing detoxification. Polyphenols found in black tea may be linked to promoting healthy gut microbial diversity. Green tea ( as well as tumeric) are Nrf2 activators has been shown to increase levels of bifidobacteria.
  4. Consume prebiotic-rich foods: Raw garlic, cooked and raw onions, leeks, Jerusalem artichokes and jicama. They all have anti-inflammatory properties, enhance mineral absorption and satiety ( producing less ghrelin hormone).
  5. Drink plenty of filtered water: Must avoid environmental toxins like chlorine which has been linked to disruption  of the gut microbiome and brain function.




Leaky Gut

Leaky Gut Syndrome is getting a lot of attention these days and for good reason. It affects so many individuals and has a profound affect on our overall health. Most issues associated with leaky gut syndrome occur in the small intestine, but in fact, all of the organs of the digestive system are involved and impacted. One of the most important functions of the gut is to create a barrier to prevent foreign and toxic substances from entering the body. When the intestinal barrier weakens and becomes permeable ( leaky gut syndrome) large proteins can escape and enter the bloodstream. These proteins which should not exist outside the gut, forces the body to create an immune response to destroy them. This process of destruction plays a major role in the development of autoimmune disease like type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and Hashimoto’s. The breach of the intestinal barrier by food toxins like gluten and BPA causes an immune response that also affects other organs and tissue ( pancreas, liver, kidneys and brain).

The Food Allergy Connection: As mentioned above. with leaky gut, larger than normal molecules of food pass into the bloodstream. If a particle of undigested corn, for example, leaks through, your body may treat this like an  foreign invader and attack it. Researchers say at this point , corn receives a physiological tag instructing your immune system it is an intruder. And so a food allergy is born!

The Autoimmune Connection: According to Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD: “every autoimmune disease has three components –  a genetic predisposition, an environmental trigger and a leaky gut.” The presence of undigested food particles and other toxic substances can be instrumental in pushing your immune system into hyper drive and turning the body against itself. This is by definition the “classic onset of  an autoimmune disorder.”

Breaking Down The Anatomy of Leaky Gut:

1. Mouth: Chewing your food thoroughly is essential, and not doing so sets you up for digestive problems. Breaking your food down to a liquid state makes the stomach’s job much easier. This also triggers salivary action which mixes in digestive enzymes that help with breaking down proteins, fats and carbs.

2. Stomach: The stomach uses enzymes and acids to digest food and prepare it to enter the small intestine. If digestion is incomplete, food particles, as mentioned earlier, enter the small intestine. If the gut lining is irritated ( permeable) the particles enter the bloodstream, setting you up for inflammation and food sensitivities. Poor digestion can impact the assimilation of nutrients and set the stage for bacterial  and yeast overgrowth (SIBO).

3. Lymphoid Tissue: Lymphoid  tissues called Peyer’s patches , which line the small intestine, act as  your first defense against any pathogens trying to permeate the gut lining. As such, they play a crucial role in the immune system. The average person eats about 5 pounds of food daily – a great deal of work that needs to be done effectively by our digestive and immune systems. It has to sort out and extract good nutrients and filter and neutralize the bad and harmful food borne chemicals and bacteria.

4. Small intestine: The small intestine is a 25 foot long ” conveyor belt”. In a healthy digestive system –  only tiny, digested molecules of proteins, fats and carbs are absorbed through the intestine walls into the bloodstream. With leaky gut, the filtering system is damaged and large molecules get into the bloodstream, and are attacked by the immune system!!

5. Large Intestine: The large intestine continues the digestive process. The colon then extracts water from the “slurry” ( which all started in the stomach) for use elsewhere in the body. A solid stool of waste the forms and is sent to the rectum. In the absence of adequate water and fiber some of the slow moving waste can reenter the system, which triggers a plethora of inflammatory issues throughout the body.

5. The Gut Lining: The lining ( mucosa) has some remarkable features: It is one-cell thick and has a total surface area of a tennis court!! As one can imagine keeping and maintaining the integrity of the lining is a monumental job – considering the ongoing abuse it takes to fight off irritation and inflammation caused by food intolerances, processed sugars and foods, stress, toxins, infections, etc.

Bottom Line: Chronic inflammation of the gut lining leads to leaky gut syndrome.

Microbiome Medicine 

Microbiome Medicine Summit

Get sun

Drink clean water

Eat real food


Get quality sleep

Eat Clean 15

Dirty Dozen ( need to be organic )

Dairy / meat needs to be organic grass fed
Key Supplements:
Vit D3, K2

Magnesium citrate

B complex

Full spectrum probiotic ( OrthoBiotics )


Aloe Vera juice
Key Foods:
Sauerkraut and pickles


Celery cucumber carrots




Green leafy vegetables

Apple cider vinegar ( diluted )



Dark chocolate

Almond / cashew butter

Almond milk

Rice pasta

White rice / coconut oil

Hummus / veggies


Green smoothies with collagen protein and flax seeds

Greek yogurt / flax/ berries
Improving your bio terrain:
1. Environment of your body

2. The way you eat and live

3. Your bacteria and thus your immune system needs a good environment to thrive.
Must do the following:

⁃ nutrient dense foods

⁃ Digestive capabilities ( HCL and digestive enzymes )

⁃ Stress management

Probiotics ( Sauerkraut ) ferment to produce lactic acid ( a natural antibiotic ) which is toxic to pathogenic bacteria
Get rid of:

⁃ Hand sanitizer !!!

⁃ Conventional lotions, soaps, toothpaste
Use essential oils:
⁃ kill pathogenic cells / bacteria

⁃ nourishes healthy microbiome

⁃ Frankensense, peppermint, clove , orange, cinnamon , eucalyptus, lemon , citrus oils

⁃ oils help with breathing / blood flow

⁃ Eucalyptus, lemon, citrus
Sleep aid

⁃ lavender
Skin lotion

⁃ Coconut oil or butter w/ oils

⁃ Avoid parabens

⁃ non detergent based

⁃ Avoid SLS ( sodium lauryl sulfate ) kills mouth microbiome

⁃ Avoid Triclosan ( toxic pesticide )

⁃ Avoid Hydrated Silica ( whitener that damages tooth enamel )
Sodium Fluoride

⁃ hormone disrupter

⁃ Destroys microbiome

⁃ Inactivates enzymes

⁃ Disrupts immune function and causes genetic mutations.
Skin reacts to toxins and pathogens much like the gut

You get dysbiosis and leaky epidermal problems where the toxins / chemicals penetrate the skin and create an pro-inflammatory response. The response can vary from a small topical reaction to a more complex inflammatory reaction that triggers allergies etc.
Chemical and toxic lotions, sprays, anti bacterial soaps

etc are very similar to the effect that antibiotics, food toxins have on the gut.
Epidermal barrier very similar to the intestinal barrier. Interestingly so is the brain !
New research on topical probiotics ( organic kefir ) in treating the skin dysbiosis to heal psoriasis, eczema , acne
Need to treat dysbiosis from the inside -out and outside-in
Your microbes talk to your immune system – they protect the epidermal area from UV radiation.
Microbiome protect the fatty acids in skin ( ceramides)
Antibiotic use especially in utero or with children shuts down the microbiome that is vital to strong immune protection so as to avoid auto immune disease
Testing – to determine microbiome footprint
⁃ LPS ( lipopolysaccarides)- small amount is good

⁃ Organic Acids ( metabolites of overgrowth bacteria )

⁃ D- arabinitol ( alcohol produced from candida )

⁃ D- lactate ( high levels indicate carbohydrate malabsorption ). Want to treat dysbiosis first before introducing probiotics

U biome

American Gut Project

Diagnostic Solutions Labs ( stool)

Doctors Data

What stimulates leaky gut?

⁃ dysbiosis–


⁃ antibiotics

⁃ Glyphosate

⁃ Gluten

⁃ Chemical and metal toxins through diet and skin exposure ( lotions, sprays and skin care products that break down dermal microbiome

⁃ Stress and cortisol

⁃ Helps reduce inflammation

⁃ Helps with insulin resistance

⁃ Reduces C reactive protein

⁃ Tumor neurosis factor

⁃ Helps with brain inflammation
Need to treat brain and gut together because they are connected
Food is the best medicine

Pre and probiotic foods !

⁃ VIT D ( optimal blood test = 80-100 nanograms/ ml)

⁃ Low Vit D correlated to Alzheimer’s , Parkinson’s, MS and autism
⁃ Alpha lipoic acid

⁃ Omega 3’s ( 800-1000mg DHA)

⁃ VIT B12

⁃ HCL / digestive enzymes

⁃ LPS — lipopolysaccarides blood test ( measure antibodies against LPS: IgG,IgA and IgM indicative of leaky gut !!

⁃ Also look at Zonulin and Occludin ( proteins that modulate gut wall integrity )
Mitochondria and microbiome are the keys to good health !!

⁃ heart of all disease and dysfunction

⁃ Need to treat root cause not symptoms

⁃ Need to use functional / integrative medicine to attack the problems

⁃ Need to deal with microbiome imbalances, gut wall integrity

⁃ Avoid antibiotics in drugs and foods

⁃ Clean eating

⁃ No gluten

⁃ No GMO’s

⁃ No glyphosate
Gut Healing

⁃ Lactobacillus planterum – activates the NRf2 pathway ( regulates the expression of antioxidant proteins in fighting inflammation and reducing oxidative stress)

⁃ Lactobacillus brevis

⁃ Bifidobacterium longum

⁃ Bifidobacterium lactis
These bacteria can alter gene expression !!
⁃ Aerobic exercise – changes microbiome

⁃ It is epigenetic ( changes gene expression )

⁃ Combine with clean eating ( no gluten, GMO’s, refined sugars )

⁃ Manage toxin exposure

⁃ Minimize antibiotics
Chronic degenerative conditions ( inflammation based) are outpacing infectious diseases !!
Overall Health

⁃ Reduce sugar – need to manage insulin resistance in body and brain

⁃ Rebalance gut flora / microbiome

⁃ Insulin resistance is a good predictor of amyloid buildup in brain ( Alzheimer’s )

⁃ Microbiome controls the dial on inflammation in the body

⁃ The gut is connected to the brain via the vagus nerve

⁃ Sugar feeds the pathogenic bacteria in gut

⁃ Gluten ( huge player ) promotes leaky gut by releasing zonulin which breaks down gut junctions in wall.

⁃ Also gluten is a protein that penetrates the gut lining and gets into the blood ( leaky gut). After it accumulates in the body it can trigger an autoimmune response. It’s very similar to other proteins that are found in thyroid and the joints. Hence you get inflammation/ autoimmune response such as Hashimoto’s or Rheumatoid Arthritis.

⁃ It’s important when treating autoimmune diseases that we address the gut issues.
Gut Grenades:

1. Prescription antibiotics: destroy gut microbiome and thus elevated risk of immune dysfunction = cancer/ autoimmune disease

⁃ Also 80% of antibiotics are given to livestock ( chicken and cattle )

⁃ Fluoride in drinking water

⁃ Sanitizer and cleaning products.

2. Foods:

⁃ processed sugar

⁃ Gluten

3. Good Foods:

⁃ bone broth ( chicken): proline for gut lining, glutamine and glycine for liver detox and MSM for tissue repair. Very easy to digest !
⁃ Healthy fats ( coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, greens, fermented vegetables, grass fed beef, wild caught fish, flax seeds, onions, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, celery.

⁃ Collagen protein smoothies( w/ coconut milk, berries, flax, avocado, banana).

4. Supplements:

⁃ Probiotics

⁃ D3/K2

⁃ B complex

⁃ Curcumin
5. Raw local Honey ( great for allergies – natural immunisation )

6. Walk barefoot in dirt ( exposure to microbes)

7. Sea water – microphage and bacteriophage bacteria great for gut. We need some fungi and viruses as well that aren’t pathogenic. Some E. coli is good and lives in small intestine.
SIBO – lack of HCL in stomach. Poor digestion. Food doesn’t break down.

Bacteria grow in small intestine.
Candida – want to dry gut

No bananas or wheat products.

Add cold fermented foods
Bloating – slow down

Always in a hurry. High cortisol.

Probiotics, collagen protein.

Get off computer.

Go for a walk or hike.

Schedule in relaxation.

8. Essential oils

⁃ Intermittent fasting: giving digestion a break
⁃ Ex: Bread is also high glycemic food that triggers insulin resistance ( higher than table sugar )

⁃ We need to eat for ourselves and our gut bacteria

⁃ We are all the same
Butyrate promotes neurogenesis in brain !

⁃ regulates BDNF protein

⁃ bolsters immunological function

⁃ Improves insulin sensitivity

⁃ Short chained fatty acid

⁃ Great for colon health
Health screening

1. Gut function : bloating, gas, constipation, etc.

2. Antibiotic use

3. Food sensitivity / allergies?

4. Joint / muscle pain

5. Headaches / migraines

6. Previous infections

7. Chronic fatigue

8. Need for caffeine in am

9. Consumption of wheat, sugar, soy, dairy

10. Skin conditions

Nitric oxide in gut indication of inflammation in gut

It produces nitrates that feed pathogenic bacteria
Combined with toxic foods and stress – high impact on microbiome
Fighting Inflammation
-Berbereine – powerful anti inflammatory herb also lowers sugar and insulin

⁃ Anti inflammatory diet : healthy fats, no processed foods and sugar, no GMO’S

⁃ Immune function guided by 100 trillion bacteria in gut lining
Need to introduce more plant based foods and bioflavonoids

Ex: fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, oily fish, coconut oil
Metabolic endotoxemia – weight gain due to gut inflammation brought on by poor diet
Permeable gut = increase in LPS circulation.
Need to be careful with fermented foods if someone has SIBO ( bacteria in small intestine -where it shouldn’t be ) – don’t want to add to condition. Ex – don’t add Kombucha ( too much yeast )

Don’t want to add fermented foods if they are bloated – may need to add botanicals like oregano or berberine first
Food needs to be gene and gut smart
Plant based fiber foods build diversity and healthy microbiome
Microbiome convert fiber to butyric acid – very important in colon health
Butyrate- found in dietary fiber ( short chained fatty acid ) helps with gut permeability integrity

Also a potent anti inflammatory in immune cells

Brain – gut connection

Bi directional relationship

Our thoughts influence our microbiome and vice versa !!
Huge diversity in gut – very essential ( bacteria, fungus, viruses etc )
Lactobacillus planterum – real leader in the gut !
We also have viruses and Protozoa that are healthy
⁃ Microbiome control our cravings, moods, and gene expression !

⁃ Very powerful epigenetic impact !

– We have 23000 genes

Microbiome have trillions

Beer and wine – high yeast factor

If you have SIBO or candidiasis it will inflame your system – just feeding yeast to grow and create immune response !
Body Ecology Diet

⁃ Gene smart

⁃ Gut smart

⁃ Gluten free

⁃ No sugar
SIBO diagnosis

⁃ take Bifidus infantis and inulin

⁃ No fermented foods until SIBO is corrected

⁃ Then take lactobacillus planterum
Most bacteria should be living in colon !
Healing Movement – starter culture at WF
Sour ( sauerkraut ) dampens desire for sugar !!!
Grains should be soaked to rid them of phytic acid and eat with vegetables ( alkaline )
Grains are good fiber and calming to nervous system
Keep oxalates low – to avoid kidney stones

⁃ nuts

⁃ Soy

⁃ Whole wheat bread

⁃ Chocolate

⁃ Spinach ( highest level)

⁃ Cranberries

⁃ Beer

⁃ Beets

⁃ Beans

⁃ Oranges

⁃ Add more calcium to diet to prevent kidney stones

⁃ Reduce Vit C ( no more than 500 mg)

⁃ Drink 8-10 glasses of water

⁃ Add lemon

⁃ Moderate protein intake

⁃ looks like yeast

⁃ Has glyphosate !

⁃ Triggers immune response

⁃ Leads to auto immune disorders
Take Away

1. Eat more healthy fats

⁃ coconut oil

⁃ Olive oil

⁃ Grass fed butter

⁃ Flax seeds / oil ( better than chia seeds)
2. Manage dietary sugar

⁃ stevia ( add to water w/ lemon )

3. Eat fermented foods

⁃ great for microbiome

⁃ Helps digest fats / proteins
Essential Oils

⁃ peppermint ( great for athletic performance – better respiration and recovery and reducing inflammation)

⁃ Clove ( highest ORAC)

⁃ Orange ( add to pelagrino water plus Stevia – great drink)

⁃ Frankensense

⁃ Myrrh.
Want to dilute the oils first in honey or coconut oil

Can add oils to a capsule and ingest – put in gel cap and take immediately


Microbial Genetics and the Inner Ecosystem

We are in fact more microbial than human. While there are only 23,000 human genes discovered, there exists millions of microbial or bacterial genes. The microbial bacterial genes in the gut might be the most influential on our inherited genes and thus our health and well being. As such, the gut bacteria or microbiome that play a huge role in our lives need to be addressed and supported. Our inner ecosystem is really what drives our ability to survive and thrive. So it’s not just our human genes, which as we know their expression can be manipulated in positive or negative ways, it’s the microbial genetic expression that might be the most significant and most overlooked.

Microbes produce metabolites ( enzymes ) that are useful to us. They can, in fact, make their own antibiotics which are helpful to our entire system. Microbial diversity is also important as genes from different microbes have different functions. They are difficult to study because once extracted from places like the gut lining, they start to act and behave differently. Interestingly, microbes can swap genes in the gut so has to handle changing environments and conditions.  They nourish our bodies by producing anti inflammatory molecules and substances. These micobial genes interact and communicate with our inherited genes influencing their expression. These genes are responsible for gut health and microbial diversity, detoxification, creating and balancing energy, immune regulation and fighting infections to name a few.

Some Examples:

Lactobillius Planterum – a master microbe that leads and guides other microbes. It produces folate which is vital in the methylation process ( detoxification) and consumes oxalates.

Bifidus bacterium – also produces folate and is resistant to antibiotics.

Spores: ( Mega Spore or Just Thrive)

Bacillus Subtilis Spore – have the ability to survive stomach acid. They work in the intestines for up to 21 days and are great for gut healing. The spore genes are very active and beneficial.  This also has oxalate decarbooxylase gene which helps degrade oxalates.

Oxalates are found in spinach, chocolate and nuts – they can be harmful in large amounts as they may lead to kidney stones, inhibit iron absorption and have been implicated in autism. Interestingly dairy products help bind to oxalates and remove them from the body.

Bad Bacteria – can be toxic and turn off protective genes and suppress immune function leading to cancer and many autoimmune diseases.

Archaea – is a methane producing microorganism. It creates problems associated with SIBO ( small intestine bacterial overgrowth). It can set off a cascade of events that also can lead to adiposity. Glucomanmon – a water soluble polysaccharide considered a dietary fiber helps to control Archaea. It’s found in shirataki noodles.

Lipopolysaccharides ( LPS) – is found in the outer membrane of Gram – negative bacteria. It is considered an endotoxin and can lead to gut irritability and dsyfunction.

Virulence Genes- are inflammatory in nature. Such C- reactive protein and TNF-Alpha – signaling protein ( cytokine) involved in systematic inflammation and implicated in depression, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Eating a plant based diet really  helps to minimize these bacteria from expressing their genes.

Diet – a plant based diet that is about 80% vegetables and 20% protein is ideal for supporting microbial density and variety. Our diet is so important as it directly impacts our microbial genes which in turn acts on our host genes. A diet high in saturated and trans fats  and sugar destroys our healthful microbes and turns on the harmful bacteria as manifested in leaky gut.

Sleep – directly impacts our microbiome. It also affects our biological clock genes responsible for our circadian rthyms (circadian regulation, function, pathways and expression).  Our clock genes are all over our body. Sleep may be just as, if not more important, than food.

Time Restircted Feeding – also known as intermittent feeding. Essentially, you eat for a specific and consistent time frame. Research shows when we eat and don’t eat might be more important than what we eat! Establishing a feeding and fasting schedule helps regulate a healthy microbiome and  the microbe’s gene expression.

You are not only what you eat but when you eat !!

Intermittent Fasting Benefits:

–  Helps in lowering blood insulin levels.

– Helps with insulin resistance lowering risk of type 2 diabetes.

– Elevates human growth hormone.

– Helps with cellular repair and gene expression which are vital to immune function, disease prevention and aging.

Factors that drive healthy microbial gene expression:

–  Sleep ( sleep early and wake early )

– Intermittent fasting

– Plant based diet ( minimal consumption of saturated and trans fats and refined sugars and GMO’s)

–  Clean water and air

– Exposure to natural sunlight ( Vit D)

– Moving and exercising

–  Stress reduction ( meditation and deep breathing which activates the vagus nerve which helps the gut/ brain connection and parasympathetic activation)

The Alkaline Diet: Shifting Your pH for Good Health

How we eat impacts our health and longevity. New research is pointing to how internal pH levels in the body might be the key to setting us on the road to a longer and higher quality of life.

A person should have a pH in the range of 7.35-7.45, but with the highly acidic Western diet it is difficult to maintain a healthy pH level.

According to nutritionists and other experts, an acidic diet can lead to aging and chronic illnesses. Diseases such as arthritis, asthma, fibromyalgia are believed to have a strong link to diets that are known to be high producers of acid compounds. A switch to an alkaline diet is believed to be capable of of boosting energy levels, reducing congestion, relieving symptoms of anxiety and irritability, and may even lead to fewer headaches and colds. New research is looking at how alkaline diet changes may help counter and prevent osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, polycystic ovaries, and kidney stones.

A great majority of the foods that many people eat today are highly processed, and they contain high levels of of refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, salt, and chemicals that contribute to health concerns. White bread, meats, cheese, and other dairy products all produce large amounts of acid compounds when they are digested. All of these acids are rapidly released into the body’s bloodstream which in turn creates problems as the body tries to maintain its normal alkaline ph balance. The reality is: The human body is constructed for a diet that consists of fruits, vegetables and other whole foods that are minimally processed.

If you are going to eat meat or fish make sure:
1. Grass fed meat sources.
2. Organic free range chicken.
3. Wild (not farm raised) fish

Alkaline Diet foods are foods that are rich in alkalizing minerals. These minerals include: calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. ( Iron is a micro-mineral and only needed in small amounts). Potassium has the largest effect on the acid-alkaline balance. The richest source of potassium is fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables in general are high in vitamins, minerals, and other phyto-nutrients.

Other alkaline diet foods include some whole grains, certain beans and legumes, nuts ( almonds, cashews, walnuts), and seeds, and healthy fats ( olive and coconut oil, avocado, omega 3 fatty acids).

Alkaline Diet Detox:

1. Cut back on dairy and meats. If you do consume dairy consume raw dairy products. Eat only grass fed meat products.
2. Cut out soft drinks and other sweetened beverages. This includes, energy drinks, sports drinks and coffee drinks and fruit juices that contain added sugar. If you are going to drink coffee select an organic, low-acid brand. Try green tea.
3. Eliminate processed snacks ( candy, breakfast pastries, pop tarts, salty snacks like corn chips, potato chips, pretzels). All these food are acidifying, they are also high in salt, unhealthy fats, and refined carbohydrates.
4. Eat more fruits and vegetables – they are alkalinizing, high in fiber, low in calories, and are the richest source of vitamins, minerals, and phyto-nutrients.

Alkaline Food Benefits:
1. Improved immune function: When the blood becomes too acidic, cells become less efficient at absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste. These weakened cells are much less effective at fighting infectious microorganisms.

2. Slower Aging: When the body becomes too acidic, cells are less capable of repairing themselves, and premature aging occurs. Acidity also impairs organ function ( liver, kidneys, heart , lungs).

3. Improved Energy: A crucial part of your body’s energy cycle is the production of ATP by the mitochondria inside each cell. If the pH inside each cell is either too high or too low, the mitochondria cannot perform this role as effectively, and fatigue results.

4. Fewer Yeast infections: Candida and other potentially harmful microorganisms thrive in an acidic environment – leading to increased risk of vaginal and systemic yeast infections.

5. Healthier Teeth and Gums: An acid-forming diet makes the mouth too acidic. An acidic oral environment promotes the growth of harmful bacteria which can lead to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

6. Reduce Pain and Inflammation: Magnesium and Omega 3 fatty acids are very effective in neutralizing excess acid and hence lowering inflammation.

7. Preventing Muscle Atrophy: Another side effect of your body’s attempt to neutralize excess acid, muscle wasting can occur when the body breaks down muscle tissue to release glutamine , an alkalizing amino acid. Your body can the use the glutamine to neutralize the acid, but at a price of reduced muscle tone.

8. Reduce Your Risk of High Blood Pressure: One of the major causes of high blood pressure is too much sodium and too little potassium. An acid-producing diet can make this problem worse, because your body draws upon potassium reserves to neutralize excess acids. Once used in this way, the potassium is excreted in your urine, throwing your potassium/sodium ratio further out of balance.

Other facts:

– Try to go gluten free – eliminate wheat and yeast products. Add in rice pasta, rice cereals, oatmeal or quinoa
– Avoid corn and eat only brown rice.
– Add in more apples, carrots, squash, broccoli, celery, avocado, lentils, nuts ( excluding peanuts), seeds, healthy oils, and small quantities of eggs.

If you eat dairy,eggs, meat, fish or poultry , try to balance the diet with more alkaline foods – by adding alkalinizing vegetables.

Final thoughts:

1. Make Fruit Your Snack of Choice.

2. Make Vegetables Part of Every Meal.

3. Think of Meat as a Condiment, Not the Main Course.

4. Go Easy on The Chocolate, Coffee and Alcoholic Beverages.

5. Keep protein around 20-25% of diet. ( Use only lean meats, low-fat dairy, eggs, nuts, and seeds)

6. Take a multi-vitamin and omega 3 fatty acids each day. Also include healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, flaxseed and coconut oils.

The Gut and Brain Truth 

The following are some real facts that you can live by.

Your body has 2 brains – the one you know about and the other the lies in your digestive tract called the Enteric Nervous System.

Your gut houses 80% of your immune system. Fix your gut and you are on the path to reducing many of the chronic inflammatory diseases.

Your gut has the largest interface with the environment. Your environment is comprised of a dynamic and modulating relationship with the foods you eat, the water you drink, the air you breathe, your exposure to toxins, the company you keep and the thoughts you generate. In essence, you are a complex and integrative set of systems.

Your gut and brain are connected by a bi- directional pathway ( the Vagus Nerve ). Neurotransmitters play a huge role in the communication that drives this process. Bacteria ( microbiome ) interact with these neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, GABA, histamine, ATP, nitric oxide to name a few.

Serotonin produced in the gut doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier. But it affects the vagus nerve connection.

Zonulin is  a protein that modulates the permeability of tight junctions in the intestinal wall.  This protein that has been linked to leaky gut and can cross the gut- brain barrier is activated by Gliadin which is found in gluten.  This process has been implicated in triggering inflammation and auto immune disease.

Amyloid plaque – the precursor to Alzheimer’s is a process that can actually start in the gut. It is characterized by a mis-folding of the protein. It appears that insulin resistance and glucose intolerance are the real drivers that initiate a microbiota imbalance. Yes, sugar is a real culprit in this disease.

It’s vital to improve the blood-brain barrier. This can be done by building a robust immune system, increasing healthy forms of dietary fiber, which increases the microbial diversity in the gut and lowering  the intake of processeed foods, which contain damaging emulsifiers. Reduce gluten intake which helps control the affects of Zonulin on both gut wall integrity and the blood-brain barrier.

Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s were once considered a genetic disease. It has now been proven we can turn on or off the gene that is involved. Gut dsybiosis ( pathogenic micribiota ) is a real driver in these diseases as it travels up vagus nerve to the brain. Gut motility is a early sign ( along with constipation)

Gut dysbiosis – imbalance in bacteria. The mucosa becomes compromised leading to inflammation. This can be measured by increased cytokines and has been linked to depression and anxiety disorders. Therefore, important to build bacterial diversity and this gives the immune system greater strength and resilience.

The micrbiome plays a real big part in cognitive function decline and aging, which can be seen in and measured by malaise, depression and impaired mental and physical performance. The key is reduce gut inflammation which will help regulate neurotransmitter function – especially serotonin!

Serotonin very involved with mood, sleep (melatonin regulation), executive function, working memory, decision making and personality expression. Fix the gut and you fix the brain – without the need for pharmaceutical anti – depressants and all their side effects!

Fixing the gut and the serotonin levels also impacts the other neurotransmitters like dopamine, GABA, norepinephrine etc..

Improving Cognitive Performance:

– understanding disease begins decades before it manifests itself. The decisions you make now will affect you later in life

– increase uptake of healthy fats like Omega 3 fatty acids ( salmon, sardines, flax seeds) which contain EPA and DHA. , coconut oil (MCT), extra virgin olive oil, and  grass fed butter and dairy.

– be mindful of Omega 6 fatty acids which can be found in grain and wheat based foods, processed foods, canola, soybean and corn oils. Aim for around 6:1 ratio of Omega 6/3’s

– fix and build micobiota diversity in the gut with healthy dietary fiber, prebiotic and probiotic foods and minimize or removed processed foods.

Exercise for Cognition:

– benefits microbiota.

– can help wth epigenetic modulation (turning on or off gene expression).

– add in high intensity or interval training while building muscle not simply just aerobic / endurance training.

– helps build BDNF protein which seems to help ward off cognitive decline and the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Improving Your Bio Terrain 

What is your bio terrain? Essentially, it is the environment of your body. It is the way you eat and live.  It is the decisions you make every day that impact your health and wellness – which can then influence the turning on or off of specific genes that direct so many crucial immune, hormonal and neurological functions ( epigenetics). One of the most important environments is our gut that hosts critically important bacteria known as our microbiome. 70-80% of our immune function is directed and controlled by the gut microbiome. Without a healthy immune system we are susceptible to a vast array of inflammation based diseases – auto immune, neuro -degenerative, cardiovascular, cancer and accelerated aging.

Thanks to functional and ground-breaking medical research and science we are learning  new information on the power of the gut microbiome and how it affects our internal bio terrain. The science proves that we are in fact more microbial than human. As such, we need to understand the crucial role the gut bacteria play and what we can do to bolster its vitality and  maintenance. Our microbiome also communicate with our genes. This discovery further supports the fact that the microbiome are key players in how we live and function. The microbiome take up residence throughout the body – gut, skin and mouth to name a few.

Our internal biology is impacted daily by so many factors – our thoughts and beliefs, the foods we eat, how much we move and the quality of that movement, our sleep, our exposure to chemical and food toxins and metals, the amount of natural sunlight we get, how we manage our stress and the list goes on. We are not static beings. We are ever-changing. As such, our genes and DNA can change expression, the neurology of the brain can be re-mapped and our microbiome can be altered to either support our physiology or lay the groundwork for illness and disease.

Some Interestting Facts:

– The intestinal lining, epidermal layer of the skin and brain all share a crucial similarity – they are all permeable to both important nutrients and unwanted toxins.

– Food is either supportive medicine or is harmful and robs the body of energy and life.

– Sauerkraut is a natural antibiotic that ferments to produce lactic acid which is toxic to pathogenic bacteria.

– Conventional lotions, soaps, toothpaste are toxic to the body and destroy the microbiome in the skin and mouth.

– Avoid commercial  toothpaste ( they contain SLS  and Triclosan which are both toxic and kill microbiome and hydrated silica – a whitener that damages  tooth  enamel).

– Sodium fluoride is a hormone disrupter, it destroys microbiome, inactivates enzymes, disrupt immune function and causes genetic damage.

– Your skin reacts to toxins and pathogens much like the gut does. You get dysbiosis and leaky epidermal problems where the toxins/ chemicals penetrate the skin and create a pro-inflammatory response. The response can vary from  a topical reaction  to a more complex inflammatory reaction that triggers allergies, etc. 

– The epidermal barrier of the skin is very similar to the intestinal barrier in the gut. Interestingly, so is the brain. 

– Your microbes in your skin talk to your immune system – they protect the epidermal area from UV radiation. 

 – Essentail oils like Frankensense, mrryh, peppermint, clove, orange, cinnamon, lemon and eucalyptus kill pathogenic cells and bacteria. They are great anti inflammatories – also help with respiration and some have anti oxidant properties ( Ex: Clove ). Lavender is a great sleep aid!

– Your moods are largely controlled by serotonin levels which are predominantly found in the gut. Happy gut function = happy moods!


 Antibiotic use can be devastating to the gut microbiome. It can break down the intestinal lining that precedes leaky gut. It is especially damaging in utero or with children that shut down critical microbiome that is vital to strong immune protection. Antibiotics are found in food and drugs. 

Dysbiosis ( pathogenic bacterial imbalance ),  SIBO ( small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and a lack of HCL in stomach ) , antibiotics, glyphosate  (pesticide), gluten, GMO’s, chemical and metal toxins found in diet or absorbed through the skin and elevated cortisol due to unmanaged stress.

Anti – Inflammatories: 

1. Butyrate: 
Is a super anti- inflammatory short-chained fatty acid.  Reduces C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor. It promotes neurogenesis in the brain. It regulates BDNF protein, bolsters immunological function, improves insulin sensitivity and great for colon health. It is found in dietary fiber. 

2. Other powerful anti- inflammatories:

– Berbereine: a powerful herb also lowers sugar and insulin. 

– Curcumin ( turmeric ), oregano, quercetin, ginger, cinnamon, dark chocolate and berries 

– omega 3 fatty acids ( wild caught fish and flax seeds)

– garlic and onions.

– Coconut oil ( MCT’s – medium chain triglycerides)

– Flavonoids ( dark leaf vegetables, quinoa, fruits, almonds)

Other  important supplements that support immune, hormonal, neurological and  digestive function 

– Vitamin D3 / K2

– B complex 

– Magnesium citrate 

– Alpha lipoic acid 

– HCL / digestive enzymes

– Full spectrum probiotics 

Mitochondria and microbiome are the keys to good healthy and vitality. 

– At the heart of all disease and dysfunction. 

– Need to treat root causes not symptoms. 

– Use functional and integrative medicine to address  and attack the problems. 

– It is essential to examine the microbiome and gut wall integrity. 

– As mentioned above gut wall integrity is affected by antibiotics, gluten, GMO’s, glyphosate and metal and chemical toxins. 

Gut Healing: These gut bacteria can alter gene expression ( epigenetic) 

1. Lactobacillus planterum: activates the NRf2 pathway ( regulates the expression of antioxidant proteins in fighting inflammation and reducing oxidative stress). 

2. Other important bacteria found in probiotics ( Lactobacillus brevis, Bifidobacerium longum, Bifdiobacerium lactis).

3. Aerobic exercise impacts microbiome. 

4. Managing your emotions and stress directly affect  the microbiome.

5. Clean eating  ( no gluten, GMO’s and refined sugars)

Gut Grenades:

1. Prescription antibiotics:  destroy gut microbiome and increase risk of immune dysfunction ( cancer and autoimmune  disease). 

2. Fluoride in drinking water:  (Alternatively, use purified and filtered water)

3. Sanitizers and cleaning products.  (Alternatively,  use natural chemical free products)

4. Processed sugar and gluten. (Alternatively, use organic  foods and dairy, grass fed meats, fermented vegetables, healthy fats like coconut milk and oil, avocado, nuts, flax and chia seeds, wild caught fish, onions, garlic, onions, ginger, lemon, carrots and shiitake mushrooms, berries, apples, and collagen protein).

5. Artificial sweeteners: ( Alternatively, use stevia, organic raw sugar and raw local honey which is also great for allergies)

6. Sodium Cloride ( table salt): Alternatively use sea salt or Himalayan salt

Overall Health:

1. Reduce refined sugar and carbs – need to manage insulin resistance in body and brain. Sugar feeds the pathogenic bacteria in the gut. 

2. Rebalance gut flora / micrbiome. 

3. Insulin resistance is a good predictor of amyloid build up in brain (Alzheimer’s )

4. The microbiome controls the dial on inflammation in the body.

5. Gluten is a powerful inflammatory protein. It promotes leaky gut by releasing zonulin which breaks down junctions in the gut wall. Once gluten particles get into the bloodstream they create inflammation and an immune response. Some tissue, joints (Rheumatoid arthritis) and organs (Hashimoto’s Thyroid) share a similar molecular structure and are mistaken for gluten and are attacked by the immune system. Gluten also looks like yeast!


– Negative mindset ( fear and anger trigger physiological and biochemical changes in brain and body).

– Noradrenaline, adrenaline and cortisol alter the gut bacteria composition. 

– Meditation , exercise, restorative sleep, clean eating, minimal exposure to metals and toxins all help to reduce stress and their respective hormonal, immunological and neurological impacts. 

Eliminating and Avoiding Acid Reflux

Acid reflux (GERD) affects 20-35% of the US population. As a result acid-blocking medications and drugs that treat reflux (Nexium and Prevacid) are among the world’s best selling drugs. Unfortunately taking these drugs have many undesirable side effects.

The acid blocking drugs do block the acid that can cause symptoms of heartburn and reflux. But your body actually needs stomach acid to stay healthy. Stomach acid is necessary for protein and food digestion, activation of digestive enzymes in your small intestine, keeping the bacteria from growing in your small intestine, and helping help you absorb important nutrients like calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12.

Research indicates that taking these medications can prevent you from properly digesting food, cause vitamin and mineral deficiences, and lead to problems like irritable bowel syndrome, depression, hip fractures and more. For example, long-term use of these drugs can lead to deficiencies in vitamin B12 that can lead to depression, anemia, fatigue, nerve damage, and even dementia.

Use of these drugs can cause dangerous overgrowth of bacteria in the intestine called Clostridia, leading to health and even life -threatening infections. A recent study in JAMA found that chronic use of these drugs can lead to osteoporosis and increase in hip fractures as they block absorption of calcium and other minerals necessary for bone health.

What Causes Reflux?

-Fried foods, caffeine, alcohol and soda can all trigger reflux. Spicy, tomato-based or citrus foods can also present problems.
– Smoking also increases risk of reflux.
– Being overweight and having your abdominal fat push up on your stomach can prevent stomach emptying , triggering reflux.
– Eating large meals and eating before bed are both strong triggers.
– Stress contributes to reflux. Food is supposed to go down, not up, when you eat. There are 2 main valves or sphincters that control food going in and out of the stomach – one at the top ( the lower esophageal sphincter) and one at the bottom ( the pyloric valve). When you are stressed, the valve on the top relaxes and the valve at the bottom tightens up. This can lead to food moving back up the esophagus. Practicing relaxation and deep breathing exercises techniques has proven to help with this problem.
– Magnesium deficiency is another significant cause of reflux – magnesium helps the lower (pyloric) sphincter relax.
– Food sensitivities or allergies can also cause reflux. Common culprits include dairy and gluten-containing foods like wheat, barley, rye and oats. Also, yeast overgrowth in the gut can cause reflux.

To properly diagnose the cause of your reflux you may need to do the following:
1. A test for IgG food allergies and celiac disease.
2. A urine organic test to check for small bowel bacterial growth.
3. An upper respiratory endoscopy or upper GI series x-ray.

Steps to Permanently Overcoming Acid Reflux:
– Treat your yeast overgrowth with anti-fungal drugs such as Nystatin, or Diflucan or herbs such as oregano or caprylic acid.
-Treat bacterial overgrowth in small bowel with Xifaxin.
– Change your diet: Eliminate dairy or gluten products, alcohol, caffeine, citrus, tomato-based foods, and spicy foods.
– Don’t eat within 3 hours of going to bed.
– Hydrate well during the day.
-Don’t eat junk or processed foods.
-Eat cooked foods like- fish, chicken, cooked veggies, and brown rice ( avoid raw foods until reflux disappears.
– Eat smaller, more frequent meals ( 5-6 x daily)
– Take 2-3 capsules of digestive enzymes.
– Take probiotics ( acidophilous) daily.
– Take 400mg of magnesium citrate daily.
– Take 3-5 grams of L-glutamine daily 2x /day
– Chew 2-3 tablets of DGL ( a form of licorice) 15 minutes before meals.