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Michael Ruscio – Healthy Gut Healthy You

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week we welcome Dr. Michael Ruscio to the show. Michael is a doctor, clinical researcher and best-selling author whose practical ideas on healing chronic illness have made him an influential voice in functional and alternative medicine. His research has been published in peer reviewed medical journals and he speaks at integrative medical conferences across the globe.

Dr. Ruscio’s best-selling book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You, has paved the way for a ‘start with the gut’ philosophy which has enabled doctors and patient to obtain improved outcomes with minimal expense and effort. In this episode we discuss the strategies to diagnose issues and then start the healing process within our digestive system, enjoy…

Audio Version

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher Questions we ask in this episode:

  • What are the most obvious signs of an imbalanced gut?
  • How effective are shop-bought probiotics?
  • What 3 things compromise our gut health the most?

Get More of Dr. Michael Ruscio

If you enjoyed this, then we think you’ll enjoy this interview:

Full Transcript

Stu

00:03 Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness and human performance, in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to a achieve long-lasting health.

Now, I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do. Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition, and have a range of super-foods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, wanna find out more, just jump over to our website, that is 180nutrition.com.au, and take a look.

Okay. Back to the show. This week I’m excited to welcome Michael Ruscio. Michael is a doctor, clinical researcher, and best-selling author. He specializes in functional medicine, and is well known for his work in the digestive, thyroid and hormonal health space.

In this interview, we discuss his best-selling book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You, and talk about the common roadblocks that people face when attempting to improve their own gut health.

With gut health now regarded as pivotal for optimal health, this conversation is a must-listen. Over to Dr Ruscio.

01:19  Hey, guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and I am delighted to welcome Dr Michael Ruscio to the show. Dr Ruscio, how are you?

Michael

01:26  Doing well. How are you?

Stu

01:28 Very well, thank you, very well. Thank you so much for your time, and before we jump into the questions today, I would love it if you could just explain to our audience a little bit about your work, who you are, what you do.

Michael

01:42  Sure. Sure. So, essentially, right now I have an alternate medicine practice in Northern California, where I primarily focus on gut health. The interesting thing, though, is that, because the gut connects to so many systems, it kinda congenitally ties me to things like thyroid and autoimmunity, in general, immune health, in addition to just the gut.

02:06  After I was in practice for a while, I started noticing that some of the dictums of progressive, alternative and functional medicine were maybe a bit off, maybe a bit well-intentioned, but probably a bit wasteful and in need of some scientific verification. And so that led to the aspect of getting involved in some of the clinical research that we’re doing at my office, trying to answer questions of what really works in this progressive, alternative, integrative model. What, maybe, was good idea, but doesn’t really pan out.

02:40  And so, in the clinic, also performing clinical research, and I recently authored a book all about gut health. I also have a website and a podcast and write some articles. So, kind of involved in this, I guess, from multiple aspects. But all about trying to help people improve their health with progressive yet conservative and well-evidenced, vetted information that can, again, get them healthy without subjecting them to unnecessary dietary restrictions, unnecessary supplement popping or testing, and try to really take the best from what’s out there and leave the rest.

Stu

03:14  Fantastic. Wow, you are a busy man, by the sounds of it. I had a question about the gut, and, well, I’ve got lots of questions about the gut, but … I’ve been in this space for around 10 years. And 10 years ago, the term leaky gut, as well as other terms, like adrenal fatigue, mitochondrial, all of these terms were almost woo-wooed by the medical fraternity. And there really wasn’t any information around the gut and why it was so important.

03:48  My question to you is, what’s changed, and why is gut health so fundamentally important for overall health?

Michael

03:57  Well, there’s this tough balance to strike, which is, sometimes there are theories that don’t have science to support them, and then some of those are later proven to be true, and others are later disproven.

04:15  Because of that, because theories can either pan out to be true or erroneous, that is why I think there is some trepidation amongst conventional medicine with adopting some of these concepts. Some of it also has to do with hardheadedness and dogmatism. So, it’s not to totally absolve conventional medicine from any guilt, but I think sometimes you also vilify them in an untenable way.

04:41   And it’s gonna vary from person to person, clinician to clinician, and educational body to educational body. But because there are some things that are theories and haven’t been proven yet, there’s some trepidation amongst those who are more conservative. Fortunately, we’re seeing some of the, I guess, crop of philosophies that were advocated by natural medicine practitioners from a decade or two ago now being proven. Others are being disproven, but some are being proven. And that’s what I alluded to earlier, trying to keep what is proven and what works, and [ectase 00:05:15] out from the model what has not. And leaky gut being one of those concepts.

05:18   Now we have more reliable lab markers that are able to document leaky gut, and a broader, more robust data set that have tied leaky gut to various conditions. I still don’t know how clinically actionable leaky gut is, per se, and we can come to that in a little bit if you want, but it’s certainly a marker that’s getting more validation. And I think that the bigger picture that we’re starting to see is that there does seem to a correlation between non-optimal digestive health, which can be labeled by a number of measures, and various conditions all the way from things like IBS, bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, to skin breakouts and skin lesions, brain fog, depression, rheumatoid arthritis. So there’s this whole circle … If you picture, here’s your gut, and here’s all these different conditions that it points out to, we’re documenting more and more conditions that the gut ties to. One way we may refer to non-optimal gut health could be leaky gut.

06:21 Loosely, again, I don’t think that’s the best maybe marker, but it’s hinting at something being wrong in the gut that eventually causes problems elsewhere.

Stu

06:29  Got it. Got it. Okay. I took a flight, a couple of months back, and I was looking through the inflight magazine, and there was an advertisement there for thyroid checks. So, come to us and we’ll get your thyroid checked, if you have any of these symptoms. And the symptoms were as long as the page.

06:49   And it was skin disorders, anxiety, depression, sleep, digestive issues, lethargy, all of the above. And in the arena of digestive health and gut health, almost all of those things can be attributed as well to a problem.

07:07 So, where do we start when we think that there might be a problem in the gut?

Michael

07:13   That’s actually a great question. And as we’re talking here, I’m trying to pull up something that I wrote about in our clinicians’ newsletter. If I can find it here, because I wanna give you … There’s actually been one paper that was an evidence-based thyroid questionnaire. And they consolidated this down to a handful of symptoms that were actually somewhat true indicators that there could be a thyroid problem present.

07:43 And just bear with me, if you don’t mind, for one second-

Stu

07:46 Sure.

Michael

07:46 …if I can quickly pull it up for you.

07:51 Okay, so here we go, yeah. The most documented complaints were fatigue, dry skin, shortness of breath, and hair loss. And this was out of a 13-point thyroid questionnaire. And here’s the important thing, that if fatigue is not present, it’s unlikely, and if dry skin is not present, hypothyroidism is also unlikely.

08:17 And I know fatigue is very broad, but there are some evidence-based questionnaires that can be used. And essentially, this research group looked at 13 questions, and they found that you had to have three or more of the questions ticked positive, and you had to have fatigue and dry skin included in those questions. And that was a fairly good probability of hypothyroidism.

08:42 The problem is, that you’re alluding to, and I’m just being curt about it, is that it’s a highly marketable condition, and so you will see the advertisement of a broad array of symptoms, and it always comes back to thyroid. And I think that actually does the patient a huge disservice, because what ends up happening is, people who don’t have thyroid problems are led to believe they are by these ambiguous markers, and then down this rabbit hole of thyroid treatments that produce little to no results.

09:14 It’s not that difficult, actually, to discern if someone is true hypothyroid, and needs some help, and that’s a traditionally a high TSH paired with a traditionally low T4. If you see other downstream markers, more functional markers, that are askew, that oftentimes doesn’t mean that there’s a problem with the thyroid. It tells you that there may be inflammation or malabsorption, or some other problem in the body that’s skewing the thyroid hormones downstream. But the thyroid, it’s pumping out hormones just fine. It’s that when the thyroid hormones get into the body, into circulation, there are things awry with your body, most namely inflammation, that’s not allowing the hormones to work properly when they’re in your body.

09:59 And this often comes down to the gut, which can be one of a number of causes that can lead to that. So it’s very important that people don’t get misled into thinking that all their health ailments are coming from thyroid. Even though a textbook may connect 30 symptoms to a thyroid problem, what you really wanna know is, do you need to treat the thyroid in some way to fix your problems, or is that just a red herring?

Stu

10:23 Yeah. Got it. No, that does make sense.

10:25 So, if I … I think, right now, if I asked 10 people on the street, what should you do if you’ve got problems with your digestive system, if you’ve got gut health … And for those who know anything about it, would probably say, “Well, I just go to the chemist and buy myself a probiotic, a jar of probiotics.”

10:43  And my question is, how effective is this without any, I guess, any testing, first up? If you think testing’s useful at all, against a generic, shop-bought product.

Michael

11:00 Testing to predict or guide responsiveness to probiotics, in my opinion, has little to really no evidence to support it. Some who are being highly progressive and trying to draw inferences from some data will make that claim. I don’t think there is suitable evidence to support that, which is actually a good thing, because what the research studies do show is that there are a handful of probiotics that have been documented to be helpful for a number of conditions.

11:28 So you don’t have to convolute things with testing. But you can rather identify a good probiotic formula that satisfies either what I term in the book, either a category one, a category two or a category three probiotic. Find a good quality formula for each one of those categories, and try each of those and see which one, or maybe even a combination of all, leads to benefit with your symptoms. And the categories are a lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strain blend, a saccharomyces boulardii, is actually a healthy fungus, and finally a soil-based or spore-forming probiotic which contains a mixture of various bacillus species.

12:12 And we have three probiotic formulations that we offer in our store that are exactly that. It’s a lactobacillus bifidobacterium blend, a saccharomyces boulardii probiotic, and then a soil-based blend. And what that does is, it helps simplify the probiotic landscape. Because what can happen is people get sold on the marketing claims of one probiotic versus another, versus another, and they may not understand that they just tried three of the same category of probiotic, and they were dumbfounded why they got the same result every time. It’s because you took the same thing. You drank orange juice, but it had a different label on it, all three times.

Stu

12:53 Yeah, got it.

Michael

12:53 So that’s one important that can greatly simplify the probiotic landscape for people.

Stu

12:55 Okay. No, that’s good to know, because typically, I think, people just look at the, there was like a billion count on the jar, and say, “Oh, well, this one’s got so much more than the other one. It must be great,” but …

Michael

13:06 Yeah, it’s not necessarily always about how high the dose is, but this is where looking for a quality probiotic is important. Because if you’re looking at probiotics, just as a simple rule of thumb, and you see that all the probiotics are around $50, and then there’s one for 20, to get to that $20, the manufacturer is probably cutting some corners.

13:27 Now, it’s not to say you should look for the most expensive one, but I would look at where the bulk of the companies are pricing their probiotics, and that will probably let you know where the market is able to get the price point if you don’t cut corners. If you see things that are askewed, or outliers significantly higher or lower, that’s probably they’re ripping you off, or they’re also ripping you off where they’re … One is probably a decent product overpriced. The other is probably it’s a bad product that’s priced accordingly.

13:59 So, I would look at that kind of price average and

14:00  I would look at that kind of price average and work within that range.

14:07 But also to your question, there is documentation that probiotics can be helpful for IBS. There’s a wealth of literature showing that for digestive symptoms, probiotics can be helpful. Does that mean it’s guaranteed to help you? No, but can be helpful.

14:21 Some evidence showing that probiotics can improve mood, slight improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, or even some evidence showing that people who have things like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or fungal overgrowth, that probiotics can actually help clean those things out. They can aid with constipation. Ones that I believe found and proven in fatigue and fibromyalgia.

14:43 So, certainly I think probiotics are worth a shot. I think if you have that little bit of a guiding principle of knowing the different categories and finding a quality formula, that may get you to a little bit more of a accurate application than just going to a pharmacy, taking one and kind of going through it willy-nilly.

Stu

15:00 Great. That makes sense. In terms of a guiding principle, now, I wanted to talk about your book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You and, personally, too, I think it’s really, really confusing as to where to start when you want to fix or at least work on your gut health. There are so many dogmatic diets that we’re told, right, we’re going to start here with this diet and we’re going to go maybe strict Paleo or Mediterranean, whatever diet it is, oftentimes, doesn’t work. We’re told to take a probiotic, we tried to, what, drink bone broth, do all this other stuff.

15:41 I was looking at your testimonials on your website as well. There was a great one from a guy who traveled around Costa Rica and I think [inaudible 00:15:48], too. He was talking about how this book changed his life.

15:53 In a sea of books out there to treat gut health, yours seemed quite different, so I just wondered if you could tell us a little bit about it and what to expect from it, too?

16:06 I think the reason why the book is different is because I wrote this book, I don’t know, to make myself obsolete? To give a patient a resource that was as close to the thought process I go through one-on-one in the clinic with patients, but given to them in a kind of choose-your-own adventure guide where, okay, here’s all the important context in the background and, now, let’s start applying this stuff. Step one, here’s what you. Then after a few weeks, how are you doing? If you’re doing great, okay, we go down this track. If you’re not doing well, okay, we can now do this.

Michael

16:44 It’s kind of this algorithm that evolves like a clinical process would throughout the book protocol. I think that’s what, combined with the fact that I’m someone who’s actually seeing patients and it’s something that … I don’t want to be disparaging to authors, but some authors are great, fantastic people. They share awesome information in their books, but they’re not practicing clinicians. So you can only get so far in terms of helping someone really get clinical with the application of this stuff if you’re not doing it actively.

17:17 Again, it’s not to take anything away from authors who might be doctors, but having been practicing for 10 years and are just author now, still great information, still well-intentioned and can still be helpful. But I think to get beyond some of these introductory principles more into a highly personalized protocol, it’s very helpful to have someone who’s actually doing this day in and day out, learning what works, learning how to apply these things and then giving that to you in a book protocol that you can work through step by step.

17:46                   That’s the reason that this book, I think, has been helpful for people, where maybe other books or even other doctors’ hasn’t been, is that it was really meant to be your guide to developing a personalized protocol for your gut and it’s all in there, right? Some books, if I’m being truthful, are also kind of like a really expensive business card where, here, you’ll learn a bunch of stuff and then if you really want to get into the deep of this, go to our course or whatever.

18:17  That’s fine. I’m not taking a knock at that. Totally fine, totally virtuous. But for me, I was so busy at the clinic that I couldn’t see any more people, I couldn’t help any more people. So the only way I could help more people is to write it down into a guide and then give it to people. That’s why I think this book has been really helpful because it was designed to be someone’s personal map through the process of improving their gut health.

Stu

18:43 Fantastic. Yeah. Well, look, we have a copy on the way, so I’m super keen to dive into it and have a good look at the guiding principles.

18:53 If we follow the steps in this book, how quickly would you expect to see perhaps the first signs of improvement until we start to feel better?

Michael

19:03 It depends on if someone’s a fast responder or non-fast responder. We usually just kind of paint this backdrop of context. There are some people who have only very mild involvement and usually respond very quickly and don’t ever have a relapse of their condition. This would be your very mild inflammatory bowel seizure, very mild IBS or what you have. The other end of the spectrum, you have a more severe manifestation where the symptoms are more severe. They’re usually longer-standing, they usually take longer to get rid of and there’s usually a higher predilection to a relapse. So, there is a range. The people who are coming into this with the easiest hand, they can see improvements within days to weeks. That would be a fast responder.

19:52 Now, for people on the other end of the spectrum, they may also see improvement within days or weeks, or there’s a probability that the starting point that helps most people didn’t sit well with your system and, now, we have to modify the approach.

20:07 But there’s actually, in my mind, a benefit. Because when there’s just one protocol I’m wanting to do and it fails, then you’re done. But if the protocol is built to listen to your response and then modify and adapt, even something that might be a flare actually advances our agenda and allows us to get closer to the point of helping you improve. So the easiest end of the spectrum a couple days, the most difficult, it might be weeks or even months. That’s longer.

20:36 But what I think people can expect to come away with is all along the while, they’ll be learning about their system and inching towards figuring out exactly what they have to do to have their gut run optimally. Also, as we broached on earlier, if your gut’s optimal, you’ll probably have optimal or a higher chance of optimal brain function, skin, sleep and things like that.

Stu

21:00 Great. Fantastic. I love the fact that you said a flare-up of sorts is great because it’s data and we can do stuff with that as well. Because, oftentimes, you just go, oh, I got a flare-up. Forget it. It’s not working. Move on. Try …

Michael 

21:13 You’re right. That’s a key thing because if you can look at a flare-up as a lesson, you’re now able to identify, oh, I went on the Paleo diet, high in vegetables and fruits and my gut got worse. Ah, that may tell us there’s an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut and a Paleo Diet, which is rich in these vegetables and fruits that feed bacteria made the overgrowth worse. So now, we’re going to change to a low FODMAP diet, which can help starve that overgrowth and now, you feel a lot better. If you have this stuff mapped out, to your point, even a flare can be a helpful redirection to getting you where you should be.

Stu

21:52 Great. It’s a bit of a loaded question, but do you or what diet have you found overall to be the most beneficial or I guess the easily accepted?

Michael

22:08 The most beneficial, I would say, a Paleo-type Diet is a good starting point with one caveat. Sometimes you share these iterations of the Paleo Diet that are highly restrictive, incredible strict and they’re sometimes simplified as being very high-protein and fat and very low carb. That’s one application of this kind of broader dietary camp. The main tenet of the Paleo Diet is removing processed foods, grains and dairy, focusing on healthy fruits, vegetables, meats and fats, but it doesn’t have to be a high-protein, high-fat, low-carb diet. Now, there’s some nuance in there, but that general principle of removing processed foods and removing typical allergens like grains and dairy, that’s a great starting point for most people.

23:01  However, there are some people for whom that diet can actually flare their gut, for the reasons I outlined before. I use that example very intentionally because the most common thing you’ll see if the Paleo Diet doesn’t work for someone is oftentimes they FODMAP or an intolerance to the prebiotic-rich foods that are often found in these vegetables and fruits that are also known as high-FODMAP foods. So introducing someone then to a lower FODMAP diet, then they may see the improvements that they’re looking for. So between a Paleo first and that consideration next to a low-FODMAP diet, that will work for a lot of people.

23:39  Now, there’s one also important caveat there, which is, if not a one of those works there’s a possibility that there is a non-dietary problem present. So, it’s important not to wallow in the dietary predatory for too long because if a couple trials on diets hasn’t gotten a person to where they want to be because of their symptoms may be a non-dietary problem. That’s where we want to advance what we’re doing to address things like inflammation and bacterial overgrowths. That’s exactly the protocol done. You go to the dietary trials at a very brisk clip giving a few weeks to each diet, one then the other. Then if you’re not feeling, sleep any better, then you incorporate other therapies that may be fixing the non-dietary cause of your problems.

Stu

24:25  Makes sense. That’s perfect. From a supplement perspective, have you got any like shining stars in the supplement world that always seem to be of benefit?

Michael

24:42 It’s great a question and I pause because what I’ve noticed and I read about this in a book, is there’s not really a magic supplement. But there are a number of supplements like probiotics and enzymes, antimicrobial herbs and antiinflammatory herbs and kind of healing meal-replacement powders that all have evidence that show that they can work and they can work for people, but they don’t work for everyone.

25:13 People are looking for this magic thing and I get it. This is where I think a lot of people spin their wheels, where they jump from the new hot thing to the next new hot thing and they never really get anywhere because they don’t understand. The magic is not the product. The magic is the process that you go through.

25:32 That’s what we lay out in the book, which is here are the available treatments on the board, but you can’t just throw them all at your system. We need to have a map or a plan for how to work through the application of these. This is how you create yourself a litany of different products and pills and supplements and diets and you turn it into a very effective process that can help you regain your gut health.

25:52  So there are things that can be helpful, like I outlined some of those things, like enzymes, probiotics and meal-replacement powders, but you can’t just throw them all in at the same time. You need to have a program, a process to work through to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.

Stu

26:05  Got it. Okay. In my instance, I’ve ordered your book so it’s going to take a couple of weeks to get here. But in the meantime, what things should I perhaps be mindful to slow down or stop doing right now? What three things perhaps would compromise our gut the most?

Michael

26:26  Well, one simple thing that people can experiment with is meal frequency or fasting. Some people do better on an intermittent fasting-type protocol, where they don’t eat every three to four hours. But rather, they periodically maybe two or three days a week will skip one or two meals in a day. For some people, just consolidating their food window, let’s say, between 12:00 in the afternoon to 6:00 at night and eating two large meals and then having that kind of fasting window in the morning, for some people that leads to pretty cathartic improvements in their gut health.

27:05 There’s some evidence to back that up and there’s some, I think, evolutionary plausibility to the fact that, as we evolved, we didn’t have three square meals every day. But rather there was likely cycles of fasting and famine and we evolved probably to need some of that famine-or-fasting stimulus.

27:22  That’s one thing people can experiment with. An easy way to do that is one or two days a week or maybe three days a week, skip breakfast. You may have some tea or a little bit of coffee, but careful with how much that you put in there, and you drink water all morning and have lunch and dinner. See if you notice you feel better when you give your gut a little bit of a break from digesting food and just fasting. So, that’s one simple thing people can do.

27:44 The other thing people can do is a two to three-week trial on either the Paleo Diet or the low-FODMAP diet. Those are available on the internet. They search my name and Paleo Diets. We have a certain Paleo Diet we put together and we also have a certain low-FODMAP diet that we put together. If they buy the book, they have …

Michael

28:00 Together. If they buy the book they have all those resources that they have access to also. You can get in the ballpark with just a quick internet search in pulling up the first PDF that you find. So between trying to get your meal frequency dialed in, and also doing a trail on paleo, and then potentially low [inaudible 00:28:19]. That can get you decently far with taking steps toward optimizing your gut health.

Stu

28:24 Great. Fantastic. What do you personally do? What are your non negotiables where gut health is concerned?

Michael

28:33  What I’ve been doing recently, and I should mention that, I think to some degree it’s a constant process of evolution. It’s not something that should feel daunting. But lately I’ve been experimenting with intermittent fasting, and I’m finding what I do on Wednesdays and Fridays, is I skip breakfast and have lunch and dinner. That seems to give my gut a little bit of rest, and that keeps me pretty sharp and pretty optimal in terms of gut health. I eat mostly paleo. I have a little bit of grain, not much. Dairy I’m okay with, so I have dairy. I eat a fairly lower carb diet.

29:10  Around anywhere from 70 to maybe 150 grams of carbs a day, so that’s a lower carb diet. Maybe approaching slightly on the ketogenic side of things. That tends to work pretty well for me. I also use one of the three probiotics I outlined earlier every morning. That’s really the brunt of what I do now. Now, about 10, 15 years ago I had some intestinal inflammation and imbalances, and I had to use some anti microbials, and really go through a clean out phase to get me to a healthier point. Now that’s what I do to maintain that.

Stu

29:46 Fantastic. No, that’s good advice. Lots of people will want to, I think emulate what the gut doctor says.

Michael

29:55  But I should mention that what works for me won’t work for everyone.

Stu

29:57  That’s right.

Michael

29:59 There are some people who do not do well at all with intermittent fasting and they get really tired and hungry and irritable and angry. Also, some people that do well on a lower carb type approach. Take what I do and try it, but don’t stay there. Make sure you listen to your own body, because you may feel optimal doing something opposite to what I’m doing.

Stu

30:21 Yeah totally. No, that is good advice. In terms of the future. You’re at the cutting edge of tech and advice and information for gut health. What’s coming up in the future for gut health?

Michael

30:37 Well, one thing that has been really helpful is using an elemental diet. We recently released a formula that is one of the first formulas for an elemental diet that actually tasted good. What an elemental diet is, is essentially think of a meal replacement protein shake, but that is gluten free, dairy free, very hypo allergenic and gut friendly. Then you have the elemental diet, which is a super gut friendly meal replacement shake. For some people, doing a short course on exclusive liquid nutrition can be very helpful in improving their gut health. The challenge has been, that the formulas that were used in the past tasted really really bad. A palatable formula can be very helpful. If it sounds like doing an exclusive liquid diet is hard, I’ve done it for four days and I felt fantastic. It’s actually quite easy. Just have your thermos with you and you sip on the solution throughout the day. If you think about it, how many people in America, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, make a shake in the morning?

Stu

31:48 Yeah. Lots.

Michael

31:50  You’re just extending that for a little bit longer with a very gut friendly solution. That can be really helpful, and that’s been something that we’ve got a lot of good feedback on. There’s also something I’ve been looking at. An amino globulin supplement that actually helps to bind toxins and microbial particles in the gut. This has been helpful for cases that really didn’t respond on other therapies. This is something else that we’ve been experimenting with in the clinic. There’s a handful of clinical trials showing benefits. It’s essentially an amino globulin supplement, and it’s becoming more widely available. It was previously only available as prescription medical food, but now it’s becoming available not in that context, and we’re working on releasing a formula for that also. I wouldn’t send people to start there.

32:37  Those two things are more so if you’ve done all the foundational things that we discussed in the book, and you’re still not at optimal. Those are two other things to consider. Then there’s one third thing I should mention which is, fecal transplant therapy. I’m not sure if you’ve talked about this in any of your previous. I think there’s new expanding, and exciting applications for fecal transplant therapy where you essentially take a healthy person’s stool and you administer it to an ill person via an enema, and that can kind of recolonize you with healthy bacteria and fungus and other like organisms. But again, that is not something that you do first. I would say go through and exhaust all your other options first, and then consider that afterwards.

Stu

33:12  I have a friend over here that did exactly that. He had a form of blasto, and really really struggled for about eight months, and tried everything under the sun, and nothing worked, and just felt terrible. Then ended up in hospital with his symptoms. Just bit the bullet, flew over to the States and had a fecal transplant procedure. He said within days he felt fantastic, and remains the same today.

Michael

33:47  It can be such a great therapy, but I should also mention that we routinely see blasto clear, even stubborn cases, with the exact protocol that’s outlaid in the book. I just want to be careful, because sometimes people do a couple of things, and they jump to the most extreme therapy after that. That is investing way more resources than you need to. He probably was $6,000 in, I’m assuming, at least, for that whole thing.

Stu

34:12  Absolutely.

Michael

34:14  Yes it’s powerful, but I don’t wanna make people think, or lead people to believe that if they do one or two things and they’re not feeling well, and they’re frustrated, and they’d do anything, and they’re feeling terrible, that means that you have to jump to the most extreme end of the line therapy.

Stu

34:29 Yeah, no. That is an absolutely valid point. We’re just about coming up on time, but I just wanted us to touch on one subject, which is exercise. I know that exercise can be hugely beneficial, but in some instances it can be … It could do us more harm than good if we’re not doing the right thing. What are your thoughts on exercise in terms of gut health?

Michael

34:56  Sorry, I’ve got this little slide of light here I’m trying to get way from. I keep moving the camera.

Stu

34:59 It’s okay.

Michael

35:04 I think the best way to think of exercise from the perspective of gut health is, you have in your gut this colony of bacteria that are regulated by the immune system. Now, how does exercise tie in? Well, we know that exercise is a little bit amino suppressive, and too much exercise is pathologically amino suppressive. We see the most compelling documentation for this is, triathletes who have a significantly higher instance of upper respiratory tract infections, because of the high training load. There’s more evidence now pouring in showing that athletes who are really at the high training load and have more IBS and more disturbances in their gut. Too much stress, too much amino suppression then can allow problems to occur in the gut. The right amount of exercise can be healthy. Too much, like I just mentioned, is a problem, but also too little. We know when we track the microbials of the gut colonies in people who are sedatery, they don’t look good.

36:08  They start exercising, they look better. But then if they exercise too much, they look bad. There’s kind of this sweet spot that should be to the healthiest gut that you can have. It’s just finding what that sweet spot is for each individual. But it’s essentially exercising, but not exercising too much. How do you know if you’re exercising too much? Well, if you’re getting lots of joint aches and muscle pains and muscle twangs and pulls, and you’re not sleeping well, and you have fatigue. Then you may want to, for a couple of weeks, cut your training load in half and see how you feel. Now, it’s not to mean that you have to do that forever, but if you’ve over extended you may have to dial it down for a while until you feel revitalized and those symptoms go away. Then you can dial it back up.

Stu

36:54 Great. Fantastic. Just to wrap up. What’s next for you personally? What have you got coming up in the future?

Michael

37:04 Oh boy. That’s a long list. We do have a clinician newsletter that publishes every month, and we’ve been working hard on getting that out there for clinicians. That’s one thing I’m working on. We’re doing more on the website with various articles. I probably wanna get a short thyroid e-book out there to help dispel some of the … Because I just see so many cases come in who’ve been misled in thinking that the problem is their thyroid. Sometimes it is. It’s not to say that it’s never, but so many people who got wrapped in that whole marketing ploy of, your problems are from your thyroid, and then they come in and we do some basic diet and lifestyle work, tune up their gut and all their symptoms go away. I see a need for that. So it’s probably one of the next things. Then just the podcast we’ll keep cranking. We have a research study. We’re in the final phases of … I’ve been talking about this for a while. It’s been pretty difficult to get the final touches on this research study approved. But we’ll be doing a research study. Universe and God willing, starting in January we’ll be looking at a herbal treatment to prevent the relapse of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. So people who treat cebo. This agent is suppose to help prevent it from coming back. That’s what it’s reported to do, but no one’s actually test if it actually does what it’s reported to do. So we’re gonna run that assessment in a placebo controlled environment. Then we’ll either be able to say this treatment works, keep doing it, or save your money. Those are few of the things on the table for the immediate future.

Stu

38:42 Busy. Fantastic. Where can we send people? They wanna find out more about you. They wanna order the book and just get into your stuff. Best place.

Michael

38:53 The book is available on Amazon. It’s called Healthy Gut, Healthy You. You can learn more about that on our website also, which is drruscio.com. D-R-R-U-S-C-I-O .com. At the website you can plug into our podcast or newsletter, our clinician training newsletter. Learn more about the book. That’s pretty much where you can try. I’m on Instagram, @drruscio. I think Twitter is the same thing, and Facebook is pretty much the same thing. There’s some posts there. Yeah, pretty much the lion’s share of it.

Stu

39:23  Fantastic. Well look, Dr. Ruscio, thank you so much for your time. We’ll put all of the information that we’ve spoken about today in the show notes as well, with links and everything, and share it across our audience. Wish you well, thank you so much. You’re doing fantastic work.

Michael

39:37 Thank you.

Stu

39:37  Don’t stop.

Michael

39:39 Thank you. It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Stu

39:40

You take care. Thank you. Bye bye.

Michael

39:41 You too.

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