Listen to my latest podcast episode:

TMHS 595: Use These Powerful Tools To Strengthen Your Emotional Agility TODAY - With Dr. Susan David

TMHS 583: Shocking Facts About The Human Gut & What Your Poop Can Tell You About Your Health – With Dr. Will Bulsiewicz

The human gut is home to trillions of bacteria, as well as other microorganisms that make up the gut microbiome. The health of the gut has been proven to affect immune function, skin health, cognitive ability, and more. If your gut health happens to be out of whack, it can also manifest in many ways beyond obvious digestive symptoms. An imbalanced gut can create symptoms such as cravings, poor sleep quality, and lack of concentration, to name a few. 

If you want to learn how to optimize your gut health, this episode is for you. Today’s guest, Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, is an award-winning gastroenterologist, a bestselling author, and a gut health expert. He’s back on The Model Health Show to share five major classifications of gut microbes, what we can learn about our health from our poop, and simple tips to improve your microbiome health. 

We’re diving deep into topics like the war on bacteria, the future of personalized nutrition, food intolerances, and so much more. No matter your background, diet, or knowledge base, you can always strive to improve your gut health. And on today’s show, Dr. B is going to show you how!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics work. 
  • The revolution that’s taking place in science right now. 
  • How the microorganisms in our gut behave.
  • The role our microbes have played in human evolution.
  • Approximately how many microbes live in our gut.
  • How antibiotics were developed and implemented.
  • A history of the war on bacteria. 
  • What you should know about candida. 
  • How archaea work in the body. 
  • Why destruction is not a sustainable approach to balancing gut health. 
  • Which intestinal parasite is beneficial for the metabolism. 
  • The importance of personalized nutrition.
  • What percentage of our genetic code comes from our microbes.
  • How to know if you’re having gut health problems.
  • What you can learn about your health from your poop. 
  • One of the biggest misconceptions about gut health and bowel movements.
  • How viruses interact with our microbes. 
  • Why challenge and adaptation are beneficial for our bodies.
  • The link between the microbiome and the immune system.
  • Two diet approaches for fixing food intolerances.
  • The importance of consuming fermented foods.  

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Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!

Transcript:

SHAWN STEVENSON: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. We now have incredible data demonstrating how our gut health affects our cognitive ability, how our gut health affects our skin, how our gut health affects our immune system, how our gut health affects our cardiovascular system. The list goes on and on and on. There isn't a single cell in our body that isn't affected directly by the health of our gastrointestinal tract. And it just kind of makes sense because this is where our body is interacting with the outside world.

 

It might seem like it's our skin, but truly, if you think about it, we're taking things from the external world and putting it into our bodies, into this tube, and there is this very graceful and delicate interaction taking place where we're interacting with what's hopefully food, but a lot of times it could be food-like products, and your body is deciding what it's actually going to do with the nutrients that you bring in. So those nutrients might get funneled to your pinky toe, it might get funneled to your heart or to your spine, it's just this really miraculous process that takes place, but it's all rooted in the interaction between our gut and the rest of our bodies, and there's a myriad of nerve tissue and nerve endings connecting your gut and your brain.

 

Your gut is often referred to as the second brain, it's often referred to as the enteric nervous system. So your gut has just about as many neurotransmitters as your brain and spinal cord itself. You could find many of the same things that are in your nervous system in your gut. So, things like serotonin, for example. Actually, the vast majority of this feel-good dual neurotransmitter/hormone, most of it is actually located in your gut.

 

We have these internal chromaffin cells that also produce hormones that are residing in our gut as well. Just really, really remarkable stuff, so our endocrine system, our nervous system, our brain. We've got the big nerve connection that a lot of folks are talking about today, which is the vagus nerve connecting the brain and the gut in this kind of information superhighway. And that relationship there... So inherently, what you put into your belly is affecting your brain instantaneously. It's happening immediately. So, we've got to put some respect on our guts name, alright? It's super important. So, this conversation today is diving in deeper into the gut, and we're talking with one of the foremost experts in the world, award-winning gastroenterologist about this incredible aspect of human health, and also, we're going to be talking about what comes out the other end, alright? Stuff goes in and what comes out can actually tell you a tremendous amount about your state of health.

 

So, we're going to be talking about the taboo subject of poop today as well. Shout out to Mr. Hankey, the Christmas poo. But this episode is like Christmas as well, we've got lots of gifts to give and things to unpack, so really pumped about this episode. And by the way, one of the foundational nutrients for good gut health, so we know about probiotics, for example, these are pro... If you break that word down, it means for life. So, these are what we consider to be these friendly flora, right. So friendly microbes or our "gut buddies," if you listen to my friend Dr. Steven Gundry, that's what he calls them.

 

Alright, so beneficial, friendly flora, probiotics. But prior to the probiotics, the precursor is the prebiotics. Alright, so we have prebiotics, that feed our probiotics, and so if we're not providing our body with the right prebiotics... And this is coming in the form of various types of fibers, then our probiotics are not going to be able to not only sustain themselves and to proliferate, but also to create postbiotics. So, we have prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics. These are the things that our bacteria, our friendly flora makes in us for us, like for example, these short-chain fatty acids, or SCFAs that have remarkable roles in determining our cardiovascular health, the integrity of our gut and our gut lining that have anti-inflammatory properties, the list goes on and on. So many important roles that they play, but the precursor to all of it is prebiotics.

 

And you're going to find that in a plethora of different plant foods. And so, to get an incredible array of prebiotic fibers, I love super food concentrations. Super food concentrations of particular vegetable matter and/or of different fruit combinations because a variety of fruits have wonderful prebiotics as well. So, for me, one of my favorite things has an inclusion of acai, blueberry and even beets. Why do I love these three things? Well, acai has one of the highest ORAC values of any food ever discovered. So, it has a ORAC value of 103,000. To give you some context, that's like 10 times the amount of antioxidants that you'll find in the average fruit in your produce aisle.

 

The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that acai actually raises participants antioxidant levels, specifically demonstrating how it's effectively absorbed through our gut. Alright, shout out to acai. And also, researchers at the University of Michigan published data finding that blueberry intake can potentially affect our genes that control the burning of stored body fat, pretty remarkable there. But the initiation starts in the gut. And another study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that beets can potentially increase our stamina by 16% during exercise. And the folks who they were examining, the test participants, even experienced less muscle damage and less fatigue post-exercise.

 

Alright. So, three remarkable super foods, and they all have this reddish hue, reddish-purple hue, and it's indicating a certain fiber type, certain antioxidant types and certain prebiotics. So, I get these combined in the red juice formula from Organifi. Go to organifi.com/model, you get 20% off their incredible red juice formula that kids love, by the way, as well. There's no crazy added sugars or anything of the like. This is a dramatic upgrade on the Kool-Aid that I used to drink growing up. So go to organifi.com/model. That's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com/model and get 20% off. And that red juice is... It's good. It's just, super good. Kid-tested, mother and father-approved. And on that note, let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.

 

ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled, “Inspiring the Lives of Others”, by T-Man 866995. "Hey Shawn, I could go on all day thanking you for the passion you put into your craft and truly helping to model the way we need to be living. The information you've put in both books and every single podcast, for years, I will add, is transcending the health and wellness world. I try and communicate all the valuable details you provide, weekly, with my clients. You're a great role model for all ages of people, so keep up the fantastic work, brother, much love."

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Much love to you as well. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave that review over on Apple Podcast. Incredibly powerful, and I appreciate you so much. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Our guest today is Will Bulsiewicz, MD. And he's a New York Times best-selling author of the book, Fiber Fueled, and he's also an award-winning gastroenterologist, gut health expert, and author of more than 20 peer-reviewed articles in the top American gastroenterology journals. He's a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, and was chief medical resident at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and chief gastroenterology fellow at the University of North Carolina hospitals. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife and kids, and he flew out here to hang out with me in the Model Health Show home-based studio in LA, and this is one of my favorite conversations. Let's jump into this remarkable interview with Doctor Will Bulsiewicz.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: I don't know if you knew this about me, but when I became interested in medicine, when I was literally in college, I was pre-med, my original plan was to be a pediatrician and the idea for me was like, I love kids. And I've always wanted to inspire. I've always wanted to help people. That's always been a big thing for me. So, the summer after my junior year of college, before my senior year of college, I went to this camp in New Hampshire in the middle of nowhere, for kids from inner-city Boston, and Hartford, Connecticut. And it was basically like kids that the penal system had said, "Well, instead of us doing this to you, we're instead going to have you go to this sort of rehabilitative camp."

 

So, I was one of the counselors, and so we worked with these kids all summer. My job was fishing. So, I was in charge... Dude, I got so ripped that summer, man, 'cause I was rowing a boat all summer, and teaching these kids how to fish. And it's so cool to take a kid from inner-city Boston, and they catch that first fish, and to see them light up. And these kids made massive changes from day one, towards the end of the summer, and it was not easy. There were a lot of kids that... They taught us being a big... I'm 6'4. Being a big physical male, and with most of the staff being women, if a child was out of control physically, it was my job to basically get them under control and that would include, in some cases, physical restraints. But the point I was going to make is that, during the course of the summer, you see these kids growing and changing and these issues, these behavioral issues that were there, are going away. And then it ends, and you get on a bus, and you drop them off back in that neighborhood that they came from, and you realize that nothing really changed. It sucks.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, man, but here's the thing, it's the seeds that get planted. Because there can be a kid like me, and despite the environment, all I needed to do was just to see an example of what was possible. So, and those came from... I'd stay with my grandmother for a little while when I was between the ages of kindergarten to second grade. So much brain development's happening then. We had structure, certainty, safety, a lot of love, and then, getting bused out... I was in the deseg program, getting bused out to the good schools, and I saw the environment just like, "I choose this." You know what I mean? But then I would go back. And so, it creates this schism, but at the same time, that imprint is there. And so yeah, all those experiences... Man, you never know who you could touch. They matter, but...

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: They definitely matter.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Back in the day, I did a lot of likes... I would go to different schools and speak. I would go to schools, you know, "He's got to walk through the metal detector," and that whole thing. One of them was an all-girls middle school in one of the worst parts of St. Louis, and you could see the kids were lit up, and they were having a good time and they were learning. They couldn't believe that this was a possibility of learning. But then I know, again, they're returning home. No matter what they're learning about, their nutrition, whatever, they got to deal with what's at home. And so, I made it a mission, and part of even writing Eat Smarter, by the way was, now when I do this stuff, I'm going to make sure that I'm creating the avenue for the parents to be involved, the faculty to be involved, instead of it just being this one-off thing, so... Yeah, man.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: I love that, and man, I mean dude, I have so much respect for you, man. And that's one of the things that I love about you so much is that, look at the man that you have become, and where you came from. And it reminds me of 2Pac talking about the rose coming from the concrete, and that's a beautiful thing, but how do we get more roses coming from the concrete? That's what we need. And these are complex issues, for sure. And I think that they really cut across socioeconomics in a lot of different ways, and there's a lot of... There's layers of complexity to it, but it really starts, honestly, at the end of the day, with people actually caring.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Simple.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: It's not that complicated, when people actually care?

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: That's the real vitamin C.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Whereas we can ignore it and not see it, and... But we know it's there. And so how do we make it so that people know that we care about them?

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. It's like a superpower today I feel. It's just... It's one of the things that really... Funny enough people are looking, they're craving it, they might not realize it. And they can pick that up in somebody, and I pick that up in you. And just even having you here for the first time to really kick things off, and you're an award-winning gastroenterologist, researcher, published researcher, and New York Times best-selling author, by the way, and there's a big movement that's taking place. And it really revolves around your world, which is the world of gut health. Just to really kick things off for this conversation, what for you, is the big reason why people need to focus on getting their gut healthy today?

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: There's a revolution taking place in science, it's happening literally as we speak. Every single month there's new scientific articles that are coming out that will blow your mind. They blow my mind and I'm a scientist. I'm a guy who's been sitting in the world of science since the '90s. And the power that exists within the gut is insane, and this is why it become so important for us to first of all, learn about it, and use that information that we learn to empower ourselves with the right information, because then we can tap into this potential. Where this community of invisible microorganisms, they are as alive as you and I are Shawn. And they have personalities just like you and I do. And they got cliques, they got certain friends they like to hang out with. And they got different skills like those things that you do really well that I do not. And they got different dietary preferences. And we embrace those things, but we have to acknowledge that they're there, and when we feed them, when we fuel them, when we empower them through our diet and lifestyle, then they become more successful at doing their job.

 

Their job is human health, they're touching on digestion, which is access to nutrients, this is... What's more life-giving than that? We can't live without nutrition, without access to nutrients. But beyond that, our immune system, our metabolism, or hormones, our mood, our brain health cognition, even the expression of our genetic code, these microbes they're flipping switches, they're in control of these different things. And there's so much that we could talk about in terms of different directions that we could go with it, but the point though, is that it really starts for the listeners of seeing like, "Whoa, this is powerful stuff, and this is real, the most important thing for human health is not even human." And let's use this information that we can gather from today's episode, from other episodes that you and I have done from other episodes that you've done with other people, and let's empower that knowledge so that we can optimize our health.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, I love it, I love it. And of course, we'll put your past appearances on the show in the show notes. But I think it's important, every opportunity that we get for you... Because this is one of the things that really brings it all to life. Can you give us a little...? A snapshot of what's happening in our gut. The different classifications of microbes that are living in us, I believe there’s five. And also, just how much... I know we have human cells, but how many bacteria live in our bodies?

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Yeah, so let's start with this. We love to talk about human evolution and how we built up to who we are in 2022. And I'm as interested as anyone in these topics. But you can't have a conversation about human evolution and not talk about these microbes. From the very beginning they were a part of this process with us, go back whoever that first human was three plus million years ago, they had a gut microbiome, they weren't a sterile creature. They had a gut microbiome, they had a microbiome with their skin, their nose, their mouth, in women in the vagina, all these different places there are microbes that are teaming, covering us. My thumb right here, there's literally as many microbes right here in my thumb... I can't see them, but there's as many microbes as there are people in the UK, literally here. And the most concentrated place is inside our colon, which is our large intestine. This is where you will find the vast majority of these bugs.

 

38 trillion, which is a number that's very hard for us to fathom, how do we wrap our mind around 38 trillion microbes? So let me do the best that I can here. We take our galaxy and there's 100 billion stars in the sky, it's a lot of stars. Let's compact that down, and I would have to put 100 galaxies full of stars and even then, I'm not meeting the number of microbes that live inside of you, inside of me and inside of every single listener here today. That's how many there are. And they're made up of... You mentioned five different classes of microbes. So, the most of them are bacteria, now it's time for us to refresh or reboot our understanding of bacteria, because we grew to really vilify them. And that's because the only bacteria that we really knew up until recently, the only ones that we understood are the ones that are trying to hurt us. But the vast majority of these bacteria that live inside of us, they're actually our friends. And we talk about evolution, we rose, and we fell together. So, when we live, they live, and because of that, we grew to really trust these microbes with specific jobs that we can talk about more in a moment, but bacteria... Yeah, there's E. Coli, shigella, salmonella, but there's also a whole bunch of good guys in there. And the good guys outnumber the bad guys, and that's the way that we want it to be because the good guys can keep the bad guys in check and that's a body imbalance. Now, we also have other types of microbes.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Before you get to the next category, even with what we deem to be bad bacteria, everything has a role. And you just mentioned that ratio, but going back, I think it was really impressed upon us when the germ theory of disease hit, and it was just like, these things that we can't see are all bad, and we need to kill all of them. And so, then we get to practices today where it's just really about targeting and killing stuff haphazardly, when we can also be damaging our healthy bacteria too.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Thank you, this is actually a huge and very important point. So, there's a historical context to this, you and I are both in our 40s. I'm turning into my dad; I'm becoming a history nerd. Right now, I'm reading a book about the Civil War. In the Civil War, people weren't just dying from gunshot wounds, they were getting gunshot wounds and then infections, and that's what they would die from. Stonewall Jackson, that's what he died from. He died from an infection. But we didn't understand that. We didn't know, but a lot of the soldiers, when they would get hit, they would say, "Don't take me to the hospital." Because all they knew was that going to the hospital meant you were more likely to get sick and then die. And so, they didn't understand it at that time, they really thought that there was like... The theory, the prevailing theory... Again, this is less than 200 years ago, was something that's quite fascinating called miasma, M-I-A-S-M-A. And I don't even know how to describe this, other than it's almost a supernatural thing, it's like... You walk by a swamp at night you and it's dark out and there's this mist and there's a smell, and you're like, Dang man, that's not good over there, is it? That's what miasma was. There's these weird pictures that you can Google on the Internet...

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Bad air.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Bad air.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: That's back in the days of Uhtred of Bebbanburg and bad air is killing people. Yeah.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Right, but it's right around that time that Louis Pasteur is in France, and he is starting to study, and he discovers this concept of these microbes, and it was actually through fermentation that he was studying, and this transforms our understanding of human health. And all of a sudden, the light bulb goes off and it comes into clarity, and we realize, the top causes of death in 1900 were all infections. Heart disease was not one of the top three causes of death. The top three were all infections. And the most radical, most important event to take place in the history of human medicine was the discovery of penicillin. World War II, we discover a way to stop these infections in their tracks using a pill. Can you imagine how seductive that would be to a doctor in 1945? And so now we start doubling, tripling, quadrupling down, and by the way, this is an explanation for modern healthcare too, not just the vilification of these microbes. But this is how we got to empower the pharmaceutical industry so much is that we started doubling, tripling, quadrupling down on this idea that pills can fix our problems, we lost track of the basics, like what do you eat, are you exercising...

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: The environment.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Did you get a good night's rest? What's your environment? How about stress? How are you feeling? So, we completely lost sight of that, we built our healthcare system around pills and procedures because it was so seductive, and we empowered those industries and now it's hard to take that back.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: And a war on bacteria.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: And we had a war on bacteria and a war on bacteria to the point that if you look with the development of new antibiotics that was taking place in the '40s, '50s and '60s, there actually... There was someone who was the Secretary of Health in the United States who said, "The war on bacteria is over." But that was a pretty short-sighted comment, and it goes to show you how little we know in an individual moment how we can think we're so right, but yet we're actually wrong because the war bacteria actually was going to go on in perpetuity, these bacteria will always be there. And so, we started looking for ways to basically destroy them, and this is more than medicine, this is our food supply, this is our water. And I'm not going so far as to say, this is the environment in our home, this is what we put on our skin when we shower.

 

I'm not going so far as to say that these things are bad, again, I don't want to go back to a time where my life expectancy is cut short by infections. But there is such a thing as a pendulum and the pendulum can swing too far, and that's what has happened. And yes, there is the over-utilization of antibiotics, and people at home need to know that antibiotics aren't just targeting the bad guys. Antibiotics are dropping bombs. They're dropping bombs in the gut microbiome, and they're just decimating it, and it's hard for us to recover after that, 'cause basically we've destroyed part of our gut. But even going beyond the antibiotics, think about our food supply. So, food is meant to have a life cycle, this is the way that it works. If we call it a plant, that plant starts off as a seed and it germinates and it sprouts and it rises up from the soil and it grows towards the sun and it matures and eventually it reaches a point of maturity that a guy like you and I might come along and be like, "Oh, look at that tasty cabbage, I think I want to eat that."

 

But if we don't, it continues to mature to a point that it no longer is edible, it starts to break down, it decomposes, we've missed our window of opportunity to eat it. We may call it rotten... That's kind of a derogatory term. We don't have to call it that, because what's happening is, this is the life cycle of food, and it's decomposing and it's going to turn back into soil, and that soil is going to enrich the next generation of seeds that are ready to sprout and grow. This is the circle of life. Food is meant to decompose. So, what are we talking about with something that sits on the shelf for two years and it's exactly the same as the day you produced it, what's the deal with that? Well, here's the issue, preservatives, we call them preservatives, and I would call them antimicrobials. Because it's the microbes that are part of this life cycle, and they break down the food. So how is it that you can have cold cuts that sit in that refrigerator for a year, and you cut off a couple of slices every couple of days? And how is it that you can have crackers that sit in that bag, and they're just as fresh and tasty...

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Not to mention a Twinkie that can last 100 years. We haven't even experimented to find out yet, but it's incredibly abnormal.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: And how about those experiments where someone grabs a McDonalds burger and puts it...

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: The fries. What about the fries? Growing up, it was three kids, so we would randomly find a French fry in a couch cushion or somewhere in the car from... And it looks like the day that it was bought, and it could have been there for a year, who knows. That's crazy, man. Crazy.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Right, but there's a reason why this is happening, is that we have retarded the microbes, so we're disrupting that normal life cycle, and the way that you disrupt it is by basically keeping the microbes away. So, then what happens when you take that and put it into your body? And the problem is, we don't know. And I'm not here to... First of all, I'm not here to pretend that I don't eat processed foods, I do. I do my best to reduce them. But I am here to talk to the American public where the average American's diet is 60% ultra-processed foods and look at the health problems that we have in this country, where we are the biggest spenders per capita on healthcare in the world, by far.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: By far.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: By far. Literally number two is less than half of the United States. And yet, if you look at our life expectancy as rich as we are and as much money as we spend on healthcare, we're like number 43 in the world in life expectancy. Countries like Costa Rica, which are third world countries, and they spend 10% of what we do in healthcare, per person, they're living as long as we are, crazy.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, something's not adding up.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Something's not adding up. And this is the point, going back to what you were kind of getting at, which is that there's good microbes, there's bad microbes, but many of the things that we are choosing in our society, they're just smashing both of them, and that's not a good thing. And... So yes, bacteria, that's number one.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, and by the way, I just love that you mentioned that pendulum as well, because we're not here to vilify either side. If you think about the context of one of the issues today that actually kills a lot of people still, as of this recording, unfortunately is water, drinking water that's contaminated with nefarious organisms. So, we have that as an occurrence, and then on the other end, we have utilizing a very strong antibiotic in the form of chlorine in amounts that might be unsafe for your microbiome as a way to "clean the water." So, I don't want, of course, to drink contaminated water that can make you sick, but at the other side, I don't want you drinking something that can also make you sick, but it might have more of a long-term drip effect, to use a pun with the water, of damaging you. So where is that graceful spot in the middle where we have a respect for the structure of water itself, the state of... Because even... And as I'm talking about this, I'm thinking about humans evolved drinking water, that was a lie, that would have exposure to what would probably be more beneficial microbes, but they were coming from springs. Humans would set up civilization, spots, tribes where the water was coming out. And today...

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Sure, that's why we feel so much more comfortable... This is innate in us, we can't change this, but this is why we feel so much more comfortable living close to water.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, it's a vibe. It's a vibe. But today of course, we could basically get water anywhere delivered or we'll drill down into an aquifer or whatever the case might be, we've got all of these wonderful inventions to clean water, which is great. So again, it's that pendulum, we've got everything on the spectrum is an option, but at the end of the day, we have to come with a place of balance and this again, is what I really love about your work is taking all these things into consideration, not vilifying any of it, and let's find a place to bring everybody together. And so, we got bacteria, and then the next one would be?

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: So, the next one would be the yeast, so the fungi. People have heard of Candida, so Candida lives inside of all of us, it's there. Now Candida can get out of balance, get out of control in a person who has a damaged gut, but when our gut is in balance, again, the good guys suppress the bad guys, and so we don't need to worry about that in the vast majority of cases, so that would be the Candida. Now the third one... I'm thinking my favorite, it's the archaea. Now the archaea, they're not bacteria, they're not fungi, they're somewhere in between. And the earliest life that we're aware of on Mother Earth are archaea. We believe that they are the first thing that showed up about 4.5 billion years ago. Again, humans, three million years. Four and a half billion years ago, that's more than a thousand times more history than us humans, and that actually predates oxygen by billions of years, which is crazy, they were there when there was no oxygen. So, I can assure you that no matter what happens to us humans, I'm pretty sure the archaea will be around.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Facts.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: They're very resilient, and you will find them in some interesting places, you could find them inside of a volcano, you can find them in the bottom like miles deep in the ocean and Rift vent and they are potentially inside your colon right now, hanging out. And they're very interesting creatures. They're gas producing. So, some people who have archaea will experience gas and bloating. Now, this is not to vilify them, because the flip side is that we also have evidence that suggest that archaea protect us from heart disease. So, you could create plans to attack archaea because you have gas and bloating but could that be a mistake because you then increase your risk of the number one cause of death in the United States, heart disease. These are questions that we have to grapple with. But at the end of day, I tend to believe, and I think it comes back to the important point that you made, Shawn, is that I tend to believe that the solution is not destruction.

 

The solution is building up, let's be builders, let's not be wrecking balls, let's be builders, let's make something. And that's what my approach to gut health is all about. Now the last two, number four are the parasites. There are many types of parasites actually, some of them are actually good for us, some of them are actually great for our metabolism, believe it or not. So, like Blastocystis hominis, we actually have research... There's a company that I'm involved with called ZOE, we're a personalized nutrition company, and we do microbiome, continuous glucose monitor, lipids, and people enter into an app what they're eating in thousands and thousands, we have 10,000 people now who have done this. They all do these tests, and then we can put it into super computers, and they can run complex algorithms and identify personalized trends of how to optimize our metabolic health to control our blood sugar, to control our lipids, to reduce our risk of heart disease and to help us lose weight if we need to do that. It's pretty cool stuff. So anyway, one of the things that we found is that this Blastocystis it's a parasite, it's actually great for our metabolism, and I am a proud Blastocystis donor. I know from my testing, I got a buddy downstairs, a Blastocysts who is my buddy, taking care of me.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: That's something I would have never thought you would say today. That's awesome. When I think about... As soon as you said, parasites, I thought about these relationships that you see even in the ocean with these certain fish hanging on to sharks and kind of having their... Their traveling is conducted that way. There's this great show on Disney Plus, National Geographic show with Will Smith.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: See, now this is how I know that you're a dad in his 40s man.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Listen...

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: You got Disney Plus.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Even when you said that about becoming your dad and watching some civil war stuff, last night, I was sitting there watching the story of MC Hammer's dancers and their background and their history and how they grew up and wanting to be a soul train... I'm fascinated with history of stuff right now.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: MC Hammer is fantastic and his rise in Oakland was a great story. I wanna know too about the In Living Color dancers. J-Lo was one, right? J-Lo was an In Living Colour dancer.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: So, one of them actually I had that was cued up for the next watch was Josie, she was a In Living Color dancer.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Nice.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: That's I was going to watch next, but then my wife and I started talking, and she was kind of talking sh*t about the fact that I'm watching these history reports basically on all these different things, it's just so fascinating, and also, I think it's... I'll tell you this, I haven't really articulated it, but I love to see... I love to pick up what worked for people and to find out what didn't work, and also with every great story consistently, there are challenges and opposition that take place throughout the way, and I think it's a human connective tissue thing when we hear these stories of resilience, and we understand that we're not alone in our struggles. So, it's just...

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: I would agree.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, I think that's kind of why I'm really more tuned into it now as well.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Yeah, nice.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: So awesome.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Yeah, and I think speaking to that, these success stories, one of the challenges that we have is that there is no one-size-fits-all, that we are unique individuals, that speaking again to the gut microbiome, there are eight billion people on this planet, and there is no other Shawn Stevenson when it comes to the gut microbiome, it's a fingerprint, even better than a fingerprint, and it is completely uniquely yours. Now, let's pretend that you have an identical twin who grew up in the same place as you, you would only share about 35% of the same microbes. And let's pretend that the identical twin literally lives at home with you and eats the same food that you do.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Can he be an evil twin?

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: He's an evil twin. So, this lucky gentleman who gets to hang out with you all day, who also is evil, we can feed you guys the exact same food, you would still have different responses. And what do we do when we have a clinical trial, which we all love, we all love these clinical trials, but there's a problem, because at the end of the day, you are not average, I am not average, and neither are the people listening to us right now. And I'm not saying that in an inspirational way, although I do like that inspirational element. But I'm saying more like, you can't expect that you're always going to fall into the average of what everyone gets, you're going to have your own response to everything. And so, when we do a clinical trial, let's pretend Shawn for a moment that we're comparing plant-based to Keto. Alright, now I'm not trying to pick any fights with anyone who's watching this show, I'm all about inclusion and I want people to feel very comfortable with me, alright? But let's pretend that we do plant-based versus keto, and the goal is weight loss.

 

And in this trial, we go, "Oh, okay, on plant-based diet, the average person lost four pounds, and on the Ketogenic diet they lost three pounds, so we're going to make the plant-based diet the winner, we declare this the winner." Okay, what do you say to the person who gained five pounds on a plant-based diet? Are they supposed to feel good about the fact that the average person lost four pounds on a plant-based diet, and they gained five? What do you say to the person who lost 20 pounds on the Ketogenic diet? It's not good for them? So, there's this personalized element to it, and it comes back to the gut microbiome, and I'm excited about the future of personalized nutrition, because this is how we move beyond averages and tap into our unique biology to ultimately figure out how to use this information. There is so much information in our poop, okay? To put this into context, you asked me in the beginning, what do people need to know in terms of cells and stuff like this? Alright, literally, you are less than 50% human.

 

And if we only look at the cells that I consider to be from biology class, true cells, they have a nucleus and an endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex, you look at that, you are 10% human. 90% of your cells are coming from these microbes. And if we look at you from a genetic code perspective, the human genetic code is shockingly simple, and it makes up a very, very small part of our actual information. Less than 1%. 99.5% of our genetic code comes from these microbes. So, the amount of information that exists in a bowel movement, look, you're just going to turn and flush it down the toilet, but pay it some respect. Because Shawn, it was to the point that there's so much information that the computers of the '90s could not handle this amount of information, and it took us until 2005 or 2006 to have computers and laboratory techniques that allowed us to understand the gut microbiome. That's when we started to break through on this stuff for the first time, and a lot of that has to do with the overwhelming amount of information where 99.5% of our genetic code can be identified in a bowel movement.

 

So, it's just insane and it really makes you come at this with humility because 20 years ago, we're just flushing the toilet, "Get that crap out of here," and now scientists are fighting over fecaliths. It's like a Jurassic Park thing where they tap into the amber and they get the mosquito DNA. Now scientists are fighting over caveman poop and who gets to have ownership of the information that exists in caveman poop. Alright, they're fighting over it.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: They're fighting over sh*t.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Oh dude, I'm telling you this stuff is worth like millions of dollars. You step in a caveman poop, if you step in a caveman poop, save it because it is worth a lot of money.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Dang. Oh my God, that's crazy. So powerful. Since we're on the topic of poop though, let's stay here for a moment.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Let's go.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: What kind of information can our poop tell us about our health?

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: This is such an important topic because we have stigmatized talking about poop, and that's an unfortunate thing because to me, this tells us just as much about your health as your blood pressure, your heart rate, your ability to run a mile. This tells me just as much information because if we're saying that gut health is so important, and again, like I'm here telling you that these 38 trillion microbes are critically important for digestion, our immune system, our metabolism, our hormones, our brain and mood and our genetic expression. So, if it's that important, what is our window into understanding this? And it's literally the bowel movement that you just dropped in the toilet. And so, what can we learn from this? Well, here's where I would start. Your body thrives on rhythm. It's like your heart. Dude, you're a good athlete, man, alright? I'm quite sure that you could give me a decent time in running a mile, and I know you can lift some heavy weight, but if I flip your heart into an abnormal heart rhythm, I can assure you, you won't be able to walk up a flight of stairs. That's how much your heart requires rhythm.

 

So, what happens when our gut is out of rhythm? We suffer. A gut that's in rhythm is just effortless. You are enjoying your food. You're having good, regular, complete, and dare I say it 'cause it's real, satisfying bowel movements. They feel good. And you whip that door open, and you walk out in slow motion and the entire world knows dang man, that dude must have dropped some bombs in there.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm a visual person. I'm picturing the whole thing.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Doves flying right? Doves flying in slow motion and it's just like, "Yo Doctor B is in the house right now." So anyway, but in all seriousness, the flip side, and these are the people that I've taken care of my entire career. These are people who are suffering and they're suffering from a loss of rhythm of their gut. Their gut is out of rhythm.

 

How does that manifest? Well now, this is not just effortless. This is a struggle. Eating food is a struggle. They suffer with symptoms, gas, bloating, discomfort, cramping, diarrhea, constipation. Their bowel movements are a struggle. They're not rhythmic. They're not effortless. In fact, they can be very challenging, very difficult, require great effort, be uncomfortable, not be satisfying, feel incomplete, right? And these are the experiences, like for the people who are at home, if this is resonating with you, I'm talking to you right now. This is what you can experience in a bowel movement, in the bathroom, behind a closed door. That's an insight that your gut is not where it needs to be, and we need to get it back on track, get you back to those effortless bowel movements, get you back to the satisfying bowel movements. So, I really think that this is an important thing to look at. Now, one of the biggest misconceptions that is just flat-out dead wrong is that people think that it's all about how often you go. Does that matter? Yes, it does, but that's not the only thing. You can only take so much from that.

 

Let me put it this way. If you tell me, "Hey, doc. It's been seven days since I've had a bowel movement." Okay, you're constipated. I know what the problem is. I don't need any more information, right? But you could poop every day and be constipated. You could poop five times a day and be constipated. You could be literally having explosive watery diarrhea and be constipated. So let me walk through these for a moment because I think this is important. There is an epidemic of constipation out there, and these people, let me describe the constipated person so that the people at home can see if this resonates or fits with them 'cause they're wondering what's going on with their body.

 

The constipated person suffers, number one, with gas and bloating. They all have gas and bloating. It is the number one symptom in constipation. And they may have discomfort, and that discomfort could be any of a number of places. It could be lower, but it could be upper abdominal pain. It could be right across the top, could be around your belly button, could radiate to your back, could feel like your gall bladder. It's a number of different places. You get nausea in many cases, like a mild nausea. You're not literally throwing up. You lose your appetite, like food is not appealing to you anymore. Fatigue, tons of fatigue. This is a common symptom of constipation. So, if this is you, like gas, bloating, and some of this other stuff, you got to listen up, because you could be pooping every day and still be constipated. And this person, when they go, I will say to them, "Okay, cool, so you're pooping every day, but do you really feel like you completely emptied your bottom when you go?" They go, "Dr. B, oh my gosh, you're right." They feel like it's not complete.

 

Or take the person who has four bowel movements a day, they go, "Doc, I'm not constipated, I'm having four bowel movements a day. Come on man, I'm not paying you money for this." Hold on, when you go, is it like you're straining to just have a little chicken nugget? And they go, "Yeah, it's just like a little thing. It's not very satisfying. And then I have to go again 30 minutes later." You are not completely evacuating, and when you are not completely evacuating, you are backing up, and when you back up and that compound interest starts to add up, you might drop 70% of it out, but 30% is sticking. That 30%, after a couple of days, is going to add up and effect you, and that's how you manifest the symptoms of constipation.

 

Now, the last thing I want to talk about real quick, 'cause I think this is very important, is that there are people who have diarrhea, and these people typically, they suffer with chronic constipation. They're like, "Yeah, I've always had constipation, and then all of a sudden, boom, I had diarrhea one day and now I'm having diarrhea, like going watery bowel movements eight times a day. What's going on there?" So, what's happening is they have a column of solid stool that is backing up and it's impacted and it's not moving, and the only thing that can get through the cracks and the crevices is the liquid. So, the liquid comes down to the bottom, and our rectum is not designed to hold liquid, so you feel urgency and you rush to the restroom, and you have a loose watery bowel movement. And you go to your doctor, and you say to your doctor, "I'm having watery stool," and they say, "Take Imodium. It slows down... It's an anti-diarrheal and it slows you down," and actually your problem gets worse.

 

This is a person who has, what we call, overflow diarrhea. I've seen it a bazillion times. These people are so frustrated because nothing is working to fix their diarrhea, and the solution is paradoxical. You got to run it out. You actually have to make yourself poop more, like drinking a bottle of magnesium citrate, to get a couple good healthy evacuations and get your body back on track. So, going back to the question, Shawn, there's so much information that we can gather from our poop. From the rhythm, how often we go. From the experience, like how satisfying. Is it a complete evacuation? And from the appearance of the bowel movement. Is it sausage-shaped, is it soft but formed, or is it a pile of mush? Or, on the flip side, is it hard and with cracks and crevices? And that's a constipation bowel movement. So, all this information is stuff that I'm trying to integrate, and all of it is giving me a window into what's going on with my patient's gut.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: This is so powerful, so powerful. And just to be able to turn around and have a peek at what you're producing can provide you with so much information about what your body needs. That's...

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Take a peek? Take a peek at that little poop?

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: The power of poop. Man, that's powerful.

 

We've got a quick break coming up, we'll be right back. Few people know that regularly drinking coffee has been shown to help prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease. This attribute, referenced in The Journal of Practical Neurology, is yet another reason why intelligent coffee consumption makes the list of best neuro-nutritious beverages. Another study, featured in the journal, Psychopharmacology, uncovered that drinking coffee has some remarkable benefits on mental performance. The researchers found that intelligent coffee intake leads to improvements in alertness, improved reaction times, and enhanced performance on cognitive vigilance tasks and tasks that involve deep concentration.

 

Now, why am I stressing intelligent coffee intake? This means acknowledging the true U-shaped curve of benefits and not going ham on caffeine. The data clearly shows that some coffee, a cup or two a day, and the accompanied caffeine, is a great adjunct for improved mental performance. But going too far starts to lead to diminishing returns. So, we want to make sure that we're getting an optimal intake of coffee, and again, not going overboard. But also, coffee is best when it's not coming along with pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, fungicides. These chemical elements are clinically proven to destroy our microbiome terrain, so destroying the very microbiome that helps to regulate our metabolism, regulate our immune system, the list goes on and on. Obviously, you want to make sure that those things are not coming along with the high-quality coffee that we're trying to get these benefits from.

 

And also, what if we can up-level the longevity and neurological benefits of the coffee by combining it with another clinically proven nutrient source? Well, that's what I do every day when I have the organic coffee combined with the dual-extracted medicinal mushrooms from Four Sigmatic. And if we're talking about optimal cognitive performance and the health of our brain, the protection of our brain, there are few nutrient sources, like lion's mane medicinal mushroom, that pack these kinds of benefits. Researchers at the University of Malaya found that lion's mane has neuroprotective effects, literally being able to help to defend the brain against even traumatic brain injuries. It just makes the brain more healthy and robust. So again, this combination of medicinal mushrooms plus organic high-quality coffee is a match made in nutrient heaven. Go to foursigmatic.com/model. That's F-O-U-R-S-I-G-M-A-T-I-C.com/model. You get 10% off their incredible mushroom elixirs, mushroom hot cocoas and mushroom coffees. Again, that's foursigmatic.com/model. And now, back to the show.

 

We've got bacteria, we've got fungi, we've got archaea, we've got parasites.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: And last but not least are the viruses. So now the viruses actually are not technically alive, many people don't realize that, but viruses are... They can be pieces of RNA or DNA, but they're not cellular, they don't require energy, they just infect our own cells. In this case, though, the viruses are actually a very healthy component of maintaining the balance of our gut. There's something that y'all are going to hear about more in the next couple of years called bacteriophages, and these bacteriophages are viruses that help to shape the gut microbiome. And I'm starting to see now for the first time that this is starting to get into the supplement industry, that people are selling products that... Like they'll sell bacteriophages. Now, this is not me endorsing this approach yet. I will celebrate when we have good studies that show us that it's a good approach, but until we know more, I feel like we always should be a little bit cautious when we do things...

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Right, right. So, you're taking about essentially bacteria that are infected by viruses?

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Yeah, well, these... So, these phages, these bacteriophages, there are viruses that will actually take out... Like they will like suppress microbes, reduce them or allow them to become more powerful. So, it's not necessarily infecting and getting into the virus, but it's more just like shaping... It's like two hands shaping a piece of clay, right? So, the clay is there, that's the microbiome, all these different microbes, these four different types, and now here's these two hands coming from the outside and shaping it and molding it.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, 'cause even...

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: 'Cause guess what we have hands too. We can do that through diet and lifestyle.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Right, whenever I hear that molding, of course, I think of Ghost, Demi Moore and...

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Swayze man, Swayze.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Shout out to Swayze. So... But when we... Again, when we have tunnel vision on something, because from my education, going to a traditional university, which you barely hear any of this stuff, but when we think about... When we talk about viruses and that they can infect bacteria, and we start to think of the size of viruses, like a bacteria cell can have a thousand virus particles in it, you know? And it's pretty remarkable, but it's a mode of information transfer. And that's the thing that's missed out when you just see is, "Oh, this is bad, or... " But there have actually been several instances that we are becoming aware of where there's a benefit, there's a evolutionary adaptation because of a virus and its association with a bacteria.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: So, this brings in a very interesting and important point Shawn, which is the idea of challenging our body as humans, right? Exercise is a challenge to our body. If you decide that you want to become a marathon runner, like you go out, you've got your eyes on a marathon that you're going to run 26.2 miles, obviously, you're not going to wake up and just do that. You have to train, right? And you go through a process where you build up to that. And in that process your legs will grow stronger. They become more efficient at dealing with the oxygen and reducing the lactic acid. Your heart changes, literally the chambers of your heart get bigger, and they become more efficient at squeezing blood, this is why your heart rate goes down when you're not exercising. And your lungs actually expand and become more efficient at dealing with oxygen. Your body adapts to the challenge that you've just created, right?

 

But is that easy? Is training for a marathon easy? Do you guys have fun running 15 miles out there? Heck no. You are putting your body to the test so that you can grow stronger, and the same is true with so much of what we're talking about here. Exposure to a virus of any variety, this is speaking very broadly non-specifically, but exposure to a virus, it can be a challenge that can overwhelm some people. But the vast majority of the time exposure to a virus is a challenge that is actually good for us, because just like exercise, we emerge on the other side where our body has adapted to it, and it's grown stronger as a result of that. And this is the conceptual framework that we can apply to our gut microbiome as well.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Just to parallel that point, because even with training for... For example, an Iron Man, which my friend Jesse Itzler is doing right now, but training for that, it can be a process where you have a little bit more exposure each day, so you don't notice it as much. Certain viruses can be like, you go from one day, never running five miles to doing an Iron Man, and that's quite a jump and you... You can do it, but the adjustment might be more of a struggle.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: That's so true.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Versus the daily exercise, a light work for our immune system when we interact with our environment, when we interact with other people, because as we're sitting here together, our immune systems are tethering back and forth, they're playing a little bit of a tennis match here and sharing information, we can't help but share data as we're going back and forth, that is going to better equip us, as we interact with the rest of society.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: That's so true.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, when we take that away, whether it's... Even with pets, for example, just being able to interact with other species, with other humans, it's all training, it's like getting a workout for our immune system that often times we don't realize it's happening, but if you pull that away and then you get hit with something that's a bit stronger, it can be more of a struggle to adapt.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: And any time you talk about the immune system, you have to include the gut microbiome, because the gut microbiome is in direct communication with the immune system, literally right now. Those 38 trillion microbes are sitting opposed from 70% of the immune system where the only thing that separates them, 38 trillion on one side, and 70% of the immune system on the other side. The only thing that separates them is a single layer of cells. And they're constantly talking to one another. Any time the immune system is out of whack, if you look at the gut microbiome, it will be out of whack. Any time the gut microbiome is out of whack, you should expect that the immune system will fall out of whack. And this analogy, they're this sort of scenario that you're describing, we've seen this throughout human history. When people moved into a new space, for example, Europeans would show up and come into contact with the natives of the land, those Natives would basically fall victim to severe infections, and many of them would die, because they'd never been exposed to that before.

 

Now flipside, fast-forward to some new research that's emerging with the gut microbiome, and if we look at our partners, okay? So, you look at your spouse. We share microbes with our spouse, to the point that you actually share more microbes... You have a brother. I have two brothers too. We share more microbes with our spouse than we do with our own siblings, even though we came from the same parents, and we have a similar genetic code, we share microbes with our spouse. Now here's the part that I really love, they looked at this and they discovered that not everyone was sharing microbes with their spouse on the same level, some were doing it more so than others, so what separated the two?

 

And when they looked under the hood and unpacked this a little bit, they discovered that the people who were in a loving, optimistic relationship with their spouse were sharing more microbes, the people who felt distant and separated from their spouse, were sharing less. Now, is that an expression of our sexuality, is that just us touching one another in love, or is this just Mother Nature celebrating that we have love for another human being, and therefore our gut microbiome is more healthy. I don't know. And who cares? Because at the end of the day, when you have love for other humans that you share space with, you both benefit and that's a beautiful thing.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, and it's a beautiful thing, the work that you're doing and sharing these powerful insights with everybody, because right now it's a time where we need more of this, we need more empowerment education in a way that makes sense. I mean, everybody poops, everybody poops, and it's one of those things where unfortunately, it's taboo and we don't understand that we can get some valuable feedback about how our bodies are working by paying attention to the simple things. And so, you've got another resource for us that as of this recording is now available, The Fiber Fueled Cookbook is out there on store shelves, and of course, you can pick it up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, all that good stuff as well. You're giving us the recipes, the delicious-ness, so that we can start to provide our bacteria, our remarkable, powerful microbiome with the raw materials that we need to be as healthy as possible.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Yeah, man. So, I'm very proud of my first book, Fiber Fueled, it was like a passion project. I didn't know what was going to happen. But here we are two years later, and 200,000 people have bought and read this book, that is a dream come true, right? Because as a medical doctor, my dream, my wish has always just been quite simply to have a positive impact in people's lives, and it starts in the clinic, but then it can grow into an Instagram account, and then a book, and then a collaborative thing with this company ZOE, where I'm now the US medical director. But anyway, Fiber Fueled, to me, that book was, why you should care about gut health. Let me shine a light. You all need to open your eyes and see this is science that is revolutionizing the way we look at the human body. We discovered a new organ, that's crazy, and this new organ is so important, and it's not even human. But my new book, The Fiber Fueled Cookbook, I just want you all to know, yes, it is a cookbook, but this has something for everyone, and I embrace that personalized element for every single one of us, no matter who you are, no matter how you like to eat I don't care whether you're vegan or plant-based or paleo or keto, or whatever it may be, I want to bring you into my tent, I want you to come and celebrate with me, and I want you to have a healthy gut.

 

And this book is what's giving you the tools in your own unique way to accomplish that, so if you have a healthy gut, you're not having any food intolerances, 125 recipes designed to crank up your plant diversity. Every single recipe says this many plant points, plant points is my game that I play with my own kids who can get the most plant points at this meal to get more diversity in our diet, but if you have food intolerances, I actually teach people how to fix their food intolerances. I have two protocols, low FODMAP and low histamine, so that literally... Yeah, it can be complicated. Like literally just to eat these recipes, you'll be good to go. Do that for two weeks and see how you feel. And you tell me if you feel better. If you're not eating fermented food, there's new research showing that fermented food can transform our gut health in a number of weeks. So, if you're not eating fermented food, you should be... And in this book, I will teach you how to make your own ferments at home, and if you're not sprouting, you should be sprouting. We talked about how the seed germinates and that's a special process, and you can have a garden on your kitchen countertop of the most nourishing, nutritious food out there. And what's beautiful about it is it's not expensive, it's non-perishable and it's completely organic, and it's as fresh as can be, it's not hard to do, and I teach you in the book how to do that.

 

So, The Fiber Fueled Cookbook is out. And for those of you who are interested in grabbing it, the only thing I will say is that grab it wherever you want to, but in your community, there are mom and pop book shops that like these are your neighbors, and they deserve your business, so it's worth taking the drive down to their spot and grabbing the book there, if you can.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, yeah, definitely, I echo that. And you just said something that I don't want to glance over because it's become another epidemic that's not being talked about, which is food intolerances have never been like this in any form or fashion. And one of the things... You posted a message about this on Instagram, I think it was on Twitter as well, and you posted it on IG and you were like, essentially any food, there's a threshold that you hit where you can develop an intolerance to that food. And it just makes sense because throughout evolution, diversity was a primary tenet, and so if we're going ham on just ham, you're probably going to run into... Your body's going to be like, "You know what, I'm good with this. I need other things. You're missing things," and it's a driver towards behavior change, and so one of the things I really love about your work and about a cookbook like this is the diversity that becomes apparent for us, and also of course, learning how to use certain foods that we might not be getting access to on a regular basis.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Yeah, that's very true. And I think that one of my important messages, and what I describe in this book is actually teach people the step-by-step methods to heal food intolerances. And this is very important because we can run away from food, we can be seeing food monsters out there, and we can be living in fear. A fear of your food is the first step towards having disordered eating, right? And I'm not talking about big diagnoses like anorexia and bulimia, that's a different... I'm just talking about food is meant to be enjoyed, and when it's causing us angst, and we're not where we need to be, and we need to repair that relationship. And so, I want to help people do that, and that's really a big part of what this book is about. I teach you the entire step-by-step method on how to actually fix those issues.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Awesome, well, man, you're one of my favorite people in this space, and it's just remarkable to see what you're doing. And if you can, can you let everybody know... What? You're about to say something?

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: There's one more thing that I needed to say before we close this out. Alright, first of all, I love you so much too my brother. And when I knew I was coming out to LA, like as soon as I knew, I jumped on the Nike.com website, this is not a plug and I'm not endorsed by Nike. Alright, I jumped on the Nike.com website, and I was like, "I need to be so fresh," like Kool & The Gang, fresh, fresh, exciting.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Let's go, let's go.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: And so, I don't know if we can zoom the cameras in on these sneakers right here.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Boy.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: But these are custom Nike 77s. And I made them specially... And you know what, what might happen off air you guys is that I may be pulling up... Because I think we're probably a similar shoe size. I'm a 12. So, I might be pulling...

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: 11, yeah.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: These suckers off and walking out of here in my socks and signing these for Shawn Stevenson and when you see him in...

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Let's go.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: A future episode wearing those green Nike 77s, you know. You know where he got them.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm going to put those in a box and sell them on eBay bro. For sure.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Oh, you son of a gun.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Listen, man, again, you're one of my favorite people in this space, and I know what it takes, you're seeing patients and creating these books and these resources. It's a lot man, and also being a dad and a husband and finding the grace in all those things, and I know it takes work and effort, but it's beautiful when it all starts to have the synergy. And so, I see you and I appreciate you. And can you let everybody know where they can follow you on social? One of the best social media accounts for sure to follow. And also again, drop the name of the new cookbook.

 

DR. WILL BULSIEWICZ: Alright, cool, so yeah, so y'all can find me on Instagram and on Facebook as The Gut Health MD. If you try to track me down on Twitter, unless you like fantasy football, you're not going to get what you're coming for, 'cause I'm not posting anything on Twitter other than I follow some fantasy football accounts, so that's about it. But... And then my website is the plantfedgut.com. Go there. I got an email list that y'all will love. I mean, basically, what I do is like when there's a hot new study that just came out... I mean dude, there's this new study that came out with melanoma research. And they're using... It came out in December. They're using immunotherapy to treat melanoma, and Shawn, they discovered that people who are on a high fiber diet improve their survival with melanoma by taking this therapy, and it's through the gut microbiome. And so, every five grams of fiber translates into a 30% increased survival. Think about that, imagine that you're the person with melanoma, all you got to do is crank up your fiber by some grams and you can radically change your likelihood of surviving. That's insane, right?

 

So anyway, on my email list on the plantfedgut.com I like to... Like new study comes out, look, Instagram, it's hard for me to talk about nuanced science on there, so let me give you the full break down to my email list. So, check me out there, and if y'all check out my new book, The Fiber Fueled Cookbook, it is out now. This is the tool kit for gut health no matter who you are. Just come into it, make it your own, do it your own way. I don't care how you make the adjustments to the recipes; you want to throw whatever in there, just do it. And I hope you enjoy it. Share it to your social, tag me, let me know. It's always a pleasure.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Boom, Dr. Will Bulsiewicz everybody. Thank you so much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. This is one to share, make sure to share this out with your friends and family. You could send this directly from the podcast app that you're listening on. And of course, this is a great one to take a screenshot of the episode and tag me and tag Dr. B on Instagram, he's @theguthealthmd. Alright, tag him and let him know what you thought about this episode. Let everybody know what you thought about this episode. I appreciate you so much for tuning in again. Share this out Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and let's get folks educated and empowered, that's what this is really all about. We've got some epic shows coming your way very, very soon, so make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.

 

And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com, that's where you can find all of the show notes, you could find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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