Good vs. Evil with Matt
Subject: Gut Health
Your gut health may be in grave danger. Everyday there is an ongoing battle for the grounds of your gut. These turf wars are fought between bacteria and yeast. Some good, some bad. The good bacteria and yeast serve to improve your gut health. They are your allies. We call these good guys the “Belly Buddies.”
Competing with the Belly Buddies are the bad bacteria and yeast. We call these baddies the “Gut Gangbangers.” They are a fierce and resilient group who are capable of wreaking havoc on your gut health when left out of check.
Here is an amateur sketch:
The Gut Health Primer: Why should you care about the condition of your gut?
- We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” Well more importantly, “you are what you digest.” You want to make sure that food you eat is being utilized properly otherwise it can result in nutrient deficiencies.
- We are all confident that we are humans right? Prepare to have your mind blown: Bacteria outnumber our human cells on a scale of 10 to 1(source). For each human cell in our body, there are ten bacteria cells. The bacteria are also able to send signals to the brain(source, source). How many thoughts and cravings are really your own?
- Your gut health determines what genes are expressed in your body. The Belly Buddies serve to switch the skinny genes “on” while the Gut Gangbangers – like candida – will turn your fat genes “on.” When the fat genes are turned on, the fat jeans are put on. In this study, they swapped the microbiome of an obese rat with that of a skinny rat. The result? The skinny rats began piling on the pounds, while the fat ones started shedding them. Maybe you are starting to care a little more about your gut health now, eh?
- This study shows that many people with autism also have problems with gut health.
- We are first exposed to gut bacteria through birth. Yep. Your mom’s vagina is responsible for setting the tone of your gut health. In fact, the mother’s vaginal microbe community specifically changes for birth, so the newborn will have it’s first exposure to beneficial bacteria. It is shown that caesarian birthed babies -such as myself – do not get this CRITICAL bacterial exposure. This can cause different issues(source,source,source). I was born c-section and I honestly believe that this was a contributing factor to the crippling social anxiety that I experienced most of my life(source). Also, it is shown that using a formula instead of breast feeding can lead to various health issues. This is due to the baby not receiving substances from the mother’s milk that support healthy bacteria and keep the harmful ones at bay(source).
- It only takes a couple weeks to make a HUGE impact on your gut health. Even though there are more gut bacteria than human cells, small dietary changes can effect the trillions of bacteria cells very, very quickly(source). This is great news.
- The gut is the only organ that has it’s own nervous system. This is why it is often referred to as the “second brain(source).”
It should be clear by now that your gut health is pretty damn important. The microbiome(levels of good and bad bacteria) in your gut is considered so vital to human existance, that they even call it “The Forgotten Organ(source).”
***If you have ever taken antibiotics(which literally translates to anti-life), consume NSAID’s(aspirin, ibuprofen, etc), drink alcohol, consume large amounts of sugar, take birth control or have high levels of estrogen, have high levels of mercury(tuna/seafood/leaky silver fillings/vaccinations), smoke, or don’t eat much fiber – you are at high risk for an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast(source, source, source, source, source, source).***
Also read Heavy Metal Toxicity and find out why it is important to make sure your body isn’t burdened by harmful metals.
Gut Health: The Cast
The “Belly Buddies”: Lactobacillus(L. plantarum, L. reurteri, L. acidophilus), Bifidobacterium, etc are probably names you recognize.
- Produce Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) – The most important being butyrate. Butyrate is an HDAC inhibitor, has anti-cancer properties, and it is the preferred fuel for the intestines(source). As you learned in How to Eat for Life, Fat Loss, and Muscle, dietary butyrate comprises 3-4% of grass-fed butter. In other words, butter can help heal your gut. SCFA are also responsible for signalling LEPTIN, the appetite suppressing hormone(source).
- Regulate gut permeability. This allows nutrients to enter the bloodstream, while preventing microbes and toxins from passing through. Animal studies show a link between increased gut permeability and obesity/insulin resistance(source) – Remember you want insulin SENSITIVITY, not resistance. So it is possible that a fatty appearance is not wholly your fault, but the fault of your gut health and its residents. Excessive gut permeability is also a big factor in autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease. “We identified small intestinal exposure to bacteria and gluten as the two more powerful triggers” Triggers that increase the permeability of the gut, allowing the wrong particles to reach the bloodstream(source).
- Produces key vitamins B12, Biotin, and Vitamin K2. B12 is very important vitamin. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell, it is needed for a properly functioning brain and nervous system, and it is needed for the formation of blood(source). Biotin is sold as a supplement for strengthening hair and nails and is usually lacking in alcoholics. It is important in fat and amino acid metabolism. Usually the Belly Buddies can produce enough of this vitamin on it’s own, but if the Gut Gangbangers are dominant, then you might have sub-optimal levels(source). Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and strong bones. It guides your calcium to the bones and keeps it out of your arteries. It shares a special relationship with Vitamin D and both are especially needed for people with chronic kidney disease(source).
- Digest oxalates and phytates. Oxalates are accused of forming kidney stones, which are part calcium and part oxalate. The Belly Buddies can break down these oxalates and prevent that. Spinach is the highest source of oxalates(source). Phytates are classified as antinutrients. This means that they interfere with proper absorbtion of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc(source). Belly Buddies can neutralize phytates also(source).
- Produce 95% of the body’s serotonin! – Serotonin is also known as the Happy Chemical 😀 (source). Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter and is needed for proper sleep and feeling happy.
- Your gut immune system makes up 60% of your Total immune system! If you find yourself getting down with the sickness frequently – and not because of the song – then your gut health may be to blame(source).
- Can improve wound recovery through increasing Oxytocin. L. reuteri can increase levels of neuropeptide Oxytocin(source). Oxytocin is known for being intricately involved in social bonding, wound recovery, and many other important processes(source).
Remember, we learned previously that L. plantarum can increase BDNF(Read How to Eat for Life, Fatloss, and Muscle).
L. reuteri ATCC 6475 is also shown to increase testosterone, testicle size, and other signs of fertility in rats(source).
Wow, all of these benefits just from little ol’ bacteria in your stomach…
The “Gut Gangbangers”: Proteobacteria(Salmonella, E. Coli, H. Pylori), the yeast Candida Albicans, etc.
- Cause you to desire unhealthy food. The Gut Gangbangers love sugar and sweets. They are able to send messages to your brain that make you feel compelled to consume junk food(source). Scary stuff.
- Can increase gut permeability leading to increased toxins and pathogens in the bloodstream(source).
- Compete for food sources with Belly Buddies. If they gain the upperhand, illness quickly follows suit(source).
- Can bind to heavy metals – Candida is capable of binding to mercury, making it that much more difficult -and risky – to eliminate(source).
- Cause inflammation. The body is connected, therefore inflammation in the gut will have downstream effects harming the whole body(source). Some researchers are even convinced there is a link between gut inflammation, liver disease, and cancer. They believe that a combination of 3 factors: “an active immune pathway, harmful bacteria, and a carcinogen” can cause disease(source).
- Cause nutrient deficiencies. If the Gut Gangbangers crowd out the Belly Buddies, then you will obviously be lacking the nutrients that the Belly Buddies provide(Butyrate, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K, etc). Not to mention the minerals you will miss out on if you consume phytates and don’t have Belly Buddies to protect you from them.
- Can cause “auto-brewery syndrome.” This is when bacteria and yeast ferment sugary and starchy foods – causing a drunken state from the alcohol byproduct. So if someone appears drunk after consuming a carbohydrate/sugar rich meal, then there is a chance that they are drunk off of the alcohol produced by a yeast overgrowth in their small intestine. In this study, a 3 year old girl displayed drunken behavior on repeated occasions. It turns out she had an “auto-brewery” in her gut that made her drunk after carb-rich meals. Crazy, huh.
- Can promote allergies, asthma, and eczema by producing inflammatory fats in the gut(source).
- Can create harmful levels of the neurotoxin ammonia. Ouch, sorry brain(source).
Gut Health – Help the Belly Buddies Gain Advantage
YOUR MISSION: Eliminate Gut Gangbangers. Starve & Discharge.
Step 1 – Starve:
- Remove food allergies – Food allergies cause gut inflammation and promote Gut Gangbanger growth. Common allergies are from the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant), also nuts, shellfish, etc. Research strongly suggests that food allergies can be prevented by proper levels of Belly Buddies(source).
- Remove sugar and refined flour – Both are quickly digested in the small intestine and will feed the Gut Gangbangers.
- Temporarily remove gluten and dairy – The gluten as well as the casein from dairy can create undigested peptides which act as opoids or morphine in the brain. They are called gluteomorphins and caseomorphins. Normally these are broken down and excreted through the enzyme called DPP-IV, but this doesn’t always happen in a compromised gut(source).
- Refrain from drinking alcohol – Alcohol contributes to gut dysbiosis and promotes a leaky gut(source). Dysbiosis is a microbial imbalance in the gut(when the Gut Gangbangers outnumber the Belly Buddies). Both of these make your gut function poorly. Drinking alcohol while attempting to fix your gut will be counterproductive. Cut it out for now.
Step 2 – Discharge:
- ALLI-C Allicin Garlic Supplement. Garlic is the strongest natural antibiotic known to man. It is able to destroy the Gut Gangbangers while leaving the Belly Buddies unscathed. Taking one pill of ALLI-C is equivalent to eating 36 raw garlic cloves. On top of that, THERE IS NO OFFENSIVE GARLIC SMELL! This is arguably the #1 tool you can use(source, source, source, source, source, source).
- Jarrow Formulas Saccharomyces Boulardii & MOS. Sacch. Boulardii is an interesting beneficial yeast. It reduces pathogenic toxins, it is antimicrobial, reduces inflammation, stimulates the immune system, and builds a positive gut flora while not harming any of the Belly Buddies(source). Jarrow also includes MOS in their formula which works synergistically with Sacch. Boulardii. MOS is a prebiotic which encourages longer villi, increases goblet cells which bind to pathogenic microbes, and encourages Belly Buddy growth – all of which are signs of good gut health(source).
- Caprylic Acid. This is a medium chain triglyceride(MCT) found in coconut oil, palm oil, and human milk. “Caprylic acid has potential application for anti-cancer, anti-aging, anti-Alzheimer’s disease, anti-Autism, anti-infection, & general circulatory improvement(source).” All-in-all, caprylic acid is another great weapon to use against the Gut Gangbangers(source).
Good job soldier.
You’ve got the Gut Gangbangers on the run!
Time for the next mission.
NEW MISSION: Repopulate your gut with Belly Buddies. The Rebuilding Phase.
- Diet. You should still follow the dietary guidelines listed above in “Step 1 – Starve.” Only once you are confident you have established a healthy Belly Buddy population can you begin to slowly reintroduce exiled foods. It should also be noted that it is very beneficial to have core foods as staples to your diet. This study shows that fish whose diet lacked any consistency had a worse gut microbiome, than fish that ate the same thing more frequently. In other words, eating the same foods will result in a better gut profile. Also refer to How to Eat for Life, Fat Loss, and Muscle for more tips.
- Exercise. Exercise helps in a couple ways. First, it minimizes fat. Fat is where toxins are stored. Less fat= less toxins. Second, this study shows that exercise is capable of increasing one’s gut bacteria diversity.
- Enzymes. Now Foods Super Enzymes is a good source of digestive enzymes. If your gut is damaged, then your body won’t be able to break down all of the food parts and extract all of the nutrients. Enzyme supplements make sure that this happens, and help lessen the burden of digestion for your body.
- Probiotics. Now that the Gut Gangbangers have been dealt with, you have to fill the vacant lot with Belly Buddies. You can do this by eating fermented foods and/or with supplements. Prescript-Assist, AOR Probiotic-3, and Primal Defnese ULTRA are all amazing probiotics that will serve to dutifully protect your gut from future Gut Gangbanger invasions.
- Vitamins/Minerals. Poor gut function results in lower zinc levels. Funny enough, zinc is needed for natural function of digestive enzymes(source). Zinc Picolinate is cheap yet effective for restoring zinc levels. Zinc has tons of other benefits, but only one that pertains to this article. Vitamin D is another one that is critical for proper gut functioning, and like zinc it also has a multitude of benefits for the body(source, source, source, source). If you don’t sun bathe daily, then you likely need more Vitamin D in your life. Country Life Vitamin D3 is my personal favorite.
- Resistant Starch. Watch the video below. DO IT. Do it now.
Sources of resistant starch: cooked then cooled potatoes and rice, green bananas, plantains aka macho bananas, chickpeas, etc.
Resistant starch was a game-changer for me.
Once I started using Hi-Maize RS along with eating natural sources of RS I noticed:
- My sleep became deeper and more restorative. I experience extremely VIVID dreams.
- I started feeling good all of the time. Likely due to the increased Serotonin.
- Gas issues seemed to have vanished into thin air.
- I started having PFS(perfectly formed stool).
- I also can now drink dairy without any stomach complaints. Before I fixed my gut, milk would leave my belly burbling all day.
It is very liberating to be able to eat whatever I want, without having to worry about how my stomach will feel afterwards. I am now able to eat anything I want without having stomach issues.
I’m thinking that the improved gut health resulting from RS has also helped me maintain leanness while doing my bulking diet. I have gained 15 lbs so far and I still have my abs. RS is shown to improve insulin sensitivity and is associated with reduced abdominal fat(source).
Unfortunately it isn’t recommended to take resistant starch if your gut health is currently compromised since the Gut Gangbangers can potentially use it as a food source, so it is important to clear them out first. RS should also be taken with a fiber to ensure it travels all the way through the digestive tract.
Another interesting experience with Hi-Maize Resistant Starch: One of my cats, Nike, was frequently sick and the vet said it was because of a gut imbalance. She also loses hair near her tail. We didn’t know if this hair loss was gut-related, anxiety related(obsessive grooming), or both.
So I did a little research and found that gut health is obviously important to animals as well. I started out giving my cats small amounts of the Hi-Maize in their wet food, and slowly upped the amount throughout the week.
After two weeks, Nike’s hair was growing back fast and her fur is now shiny and soft. Before adding the RS to her food, her fur was patchy and rough.
It really is amazing how important gut bacteria is to both humans and animals…
If you followed all of my steps to optimize Gut Health, then you are ready to relish in the great feeling that is:
Congratulations, your gut health is now impeccable.
“But they don’t have no award for that…trophies” – Drake
Ubiome is amazing site that can easily help you keep track of your gut health. Whether you want to test your current bacteria levels or keep track of its changes, this is the place to do it.
If your poop is high quality, you can make up to $250/week by selling it to OpenBiome. Talk about some cool shit.
For people with severe gut issues, you can consider doing a fecal matter transplant. Kind of gross, but if it works – who cares? The success rates are very promising.
Due to all of the research involved, this was my most demanding article to date. I would have much rather not cited any of my sources – TRUST ME, but I don’t want to be one of those “gurus” who make claims all day while never showing any supporting evidence.
The gut is a fascinating facet of health, and I guarantee that making an effort to optimize your gut health will change your life.
If you want my to know my exact protocol you will have to purchase my book: Going 100.
In this book I tell you everything you need to know about quickly eliminating the Gut Gangbangers and establishing a strong, healthy Belly Buddy community.
I write it out step-by-step and make sure that YOU get the “best bang for your buck.”
Teaching you how to effectively heal your gut in the quickest time possible is just one small part of my all-encompassing book that WILL keep you healthy for the rest of your life.
You are my #1 priority. If you aren’t happy, neither am I. My goal is to help and heal everyone.
Thanks for reading.
Until next time.