Harder To Kill Radio 249 Simple Lifestyle Changes That Will Help Your Microbiome w/ Kiran Krishnan

Simple Lifestyle Changes That Will Help Your Microbiome w/ Kiran Krishnan – Harder to Kill Radio 249

Today we are diving into the weird, wonderful and wacky world of the microbiome with microbiome expert and microbiology researcher Kiran Krishnan. Kiran has always been interested in treating the body, and as soon as he started participating in microbiology he was hooked.

Harder To Kill Radio 249 Simple Lifestyle Changes That Will Help Your Microbiome w/ Kiran Krishnan

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Feeling Better Through Your Gut Health

It may blow your mind to know that when it comes down to a cellular level, there are more microbes in and on our body than there are human cells. Essentially, our bodies are walking rainforests consisting of a complex microbiology environment, which is why we need to pay such close attention to our gut functioning to achieve optimal results.

It is scientifically proven that the way the brain functions, in addition to your hormones, chronic illness, mood, skin conditions, and longevity are directly connected to the gut. When you are able to understand how to feel better through gut health, you can give the different structures inside your digestive tract the love and nutrients they need to produce healthy bacteria and a happy environment.

Through the use of health and home products that facilitate in the production of healthy microbes, feeding your gut the right amount of diverse foods and understanding the difference between good and bad microbes, you can improve your brain function, relieve anxiety and depression, regulate your digestion, help support your internal ecology and so much more.

If you want to learn the importance of good gut bacteria, the roles of the multitude of different types of bacteria within your microbiome, and how to create a healthy environment to help your body function properly, Kiran is the expert for you.

What do you do to support your gut microbiome and support your own unique and diverse microbe ecology? Share your favorite part of today’s episode in the comments below.

On Today’s Episode

  • Learn why the gut is so important and the different ecosystems within it (15:05)
  • Exploring the innate relationship between brain functioning and the gut (40:55)
  • Understanding the direct connection between acne and the gut microbiome (49:45)
  • Proactive ways to help improve your gut microbiome and your ecological platform (52:26)
  • Simple lifestyle changes and therapeutic ways you can clean up your environment (53:31)
  • Why hugging can decrease your stress hormones and improve your microbiome (1:06:24)

Resources Mentioned In This Show

Microbiome Labs Website

Shop MegaSporeBiotic

Get the Made Strong + Core 4 Book Bundle Here

Nutritional Therapy Association Website


“We are far more bacteria than we are human when you look at the cell count of the organism that we call the Homosapien human.” (17:09)

“Everything about this process of eating, digesting and assimilating that turkey sandwich is controlled by microbes in your system, and there are very different microbes in different parts of the digestive tract that have control of certain conditions.” (37:48)

“Although we are using the digestion and assimilation of food as an example, this same dysfunction in your bacterial population can also lead to dysfunctions in hormone production.” (38:52)

 “It is fascinating when you think the control that microbes have on our brain and our outcome.” (45:18)

 “Just make one or two choices, and I promise you those will have compounding effects throughout your years that you will be grateful for down the road.” (1:07:50)

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249: Simple Lifestyle Changes That Will Help Your Microbiome w/ Kiran Krishnan FULL TRANSCRIPT

Steph: This is harder to kill radio episode 249 today we’re talking all about the weird, wild and wacky world of the microbiome with gut health expert Kiran Krishnan. Let’s go. I’m Steph Gaudreau. I help women get stronger, know their worth and take up space without restrictive dieting or exercise as punishment. I’m here to share that you can approach nutrition, fitness, and mindset from a place of nourishment so you begin to trust yourself more deeply. Let’s talk about how to embrace your body and own your power. Now with over two and a half million downloads, this is harder to kill radio.

Steph: Thank you so much for hanging out with me today on this Tuesday expert guests interview. Every Tuesday I welcome a guest to the show. They share their expertise with you and me so that we can all learn and become more informed and expand our own knowledge base. Today’s guests is Kiran Krishnan. He is a microbiome expert. He’s a researcher and he is from microbiome labs and I’ve met Karen for the first time earlier this year. I think it was March at the nutritional therapy association annual conference and heard a talk that he gave and I just knew he had to be a guest on the show. We are taking a dive into the gut today, not literally but figuratively and talking about the gut microbiome and the ecology of the gut. There’s still so much we don’t know about the gut and yet it influences so much of our health.

Steph: It influences our physical and mental health, our brains. I mean there is just so much that we have yet to discover yet. Some of the things that we do know about the gut now are just completely fascinating and I hope that you’re going to nerd out as much on this show as I did. Before we hop in, I have a few really interesting things to tell you. First and foremost, I rolled out a new feature on Friday of last week where you can leave me a voice message and ask me a question and I will answer it on the Friday show, the fierce love Friday show. If you have a burning question about nutrition, fitness mindset, anything that we talk about in the scope of harder to kill radio, I would invite you right now to put this show on pause and go to Steph gaudreau.com/message and there you can actually speak your message, your question to me and I will take a snippet of that.

Steph: We’ll play it on the show and then I’ll answer your question on Fridays. All right, so that’s really cool. Please head over, take advantage of that. Secondly, for a limited time through the month of October, you can get the core four book for half price. I’m doing this to celebrate eight years of blogging, writing, whatever you want to call it, online working in this online space and I’m so grateful for all the support that you’ve shown me over the years for being part of this community because without you, I don’t have anybody to share this knowledge and information with. So thank you so much. And the way to get that copy of the core four for 50% off is to head over to my website, get my made strong program and I will send you a signed copy personally assigned by me of the core four for 50% off.

Steph: If you’ve been waiting, if you’ve been on the fence about getting the made strong program, this is my three times a week, 30 minutes at a time, get stronger, no-frills, just the stuff that works. You can do it at home or in a basic gym strength program. If you’ve been waiting, now’s your chance. I will send you a signed copy of the core four book. That’s my number one Amazon bestselling book for half price. How good is that? And before we jump into today’s content, today’s show is brought to you by the nutritional therapy association, the NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners like myself. I did the program in 2018 and it was one of the best things that I have ever done for myself professionally. In the realm of nutrition, the NTA emphasizes whole food, properly prepared nutrient dense frameworks as the key to restoring balance in the body.

Steph: They’ve just launched a brand new online program for NTPs where students take an in-depth look at things like function and dysfunction of body systems, food quality, health and wellness barriers, emotional wellbeing environment, the importance of sleep and movement and stress and you know, we love all those topics here and how they affect the body. As a student, you’ll be empowered with motivational interviewing techniques, clinical and practical skills and all the most up to date knowledge to become a highly recognized and respected nutrition and wellness professionals in your community. Registration is now open and seats are filling up quickly. You can learn more and save your seat by going to nutritional therapy.com and, of course, remember to mention my name on your application.

Steph: Hello. Welcome back to harder to kill radio. Oh, you are in for the biggest treat today. I’m real. I’ve been looking forward to this podcast. This is about the month of October now that we’re in. I’ve been looking forward to this podcast since literally March of this year. And the reason is I heard today’s guests speaking at the NTA conference in March and I just kind of sat there and was furiously writing and just completely in awe. And as I said, nerding out on this stuff. So we’re going to be taking a ride today into the gut and this is going to be an awesome podcast. He has so many topics we’re going to talk about. So join me in giving a warm welcome to Koran. Krishnan Hey, how are you?

Kiran: Great. How are you? It’s a long time coming. We’ve been waiting to do this.

Steph: I know, I know. You have been incredibly patient and I was, I was saying off air like the day we were finally had on the calendar. Cause you are, you travel quite a bit. Yes. The day we finally had it on the, on the calendar and we had been waiting for months was the day that my tooth came in. It was just fate. It was like the same time. And I just thought, Oh my goodness. So nevertheless, here we are, but we’re going to be diving in, diving into all, all things gut today. And I’m so excited. I can’t wait. Like, I don’t even know what to choose first as a, as a jumping off point. But if people haven’t heard of you, would you give us a little bit of your background? How did you get into doing the work that you’re doing? Why do you personally love [inaudible]? Okay. Talking about the guts so much and, and, you know, investigating and what is it about the gut that’s so fascinating.

Kiran: Yeah. That’s how I always think about like my journey into this, this space. So on the, you know, more formal side. So I’m trained as a research microbiologist. I started out in pure microbiology research more on the, what we call the clinical microbiology side because a microbiologist can do many different things. Others, environmental microbiologists and commercial that do fermentation things and so on. But I always angled towards a sign of human disease. And the way I even got into microbiology was actually because of Hollywood and because of the movies. And so that’s the importance of watching movies. I would say driving all of this. You on my very first day I knew I wanted to get into science because I was, I’m a big science nerd. I was always fascinated by it. My mom is a medical doctor and I grew up actually in India and Malaysia and I was so into what she did for work that she understood the body so well and can help people who are sick and all doing all these amazing things.

Kiran: She actually named one of our clinics after me in a, in Malaysia. And, I used to go there all the time whenever I could. And in some cases she’d let me watch her, like suture people and do seizures like that, you know? And so I always knew that I wanted to understand the human body and figure out how to fix it and help people. And, of course I was premed at an undergrad. I was thinking that, that, that was my path was to go to medical school and become a doctor. But I didn’t know what I was gonna major in. And so, like my second day in the dorms, they were won. There was showing movies in the, like in the rec hall area. And one of the movies that they were showing that day was, that movie Outbreak.

Kiran: You remember that movie? It’s kind of like, Oh, today’s, you know. But it had, it had come out, you know, maybe a year before that it was with Morgan Freeman and Dustin Hoffman and they were chasing a, a virus turns out a Simian virus that, that broke out in a small town in the U S and a lot of the people in the CDC and all that, that in the movie that were chasing this virus where microbiologists or, or infectious disease specialists or virologists. And I was like, that’s what I want to do. I want to chase viruses and, you know, find a cure for Ebola. And like, you know, work in the space suit, wearing those, those what we call the BSL suits and biosafety level suits. So the very next day I went and I applied for this school of microbiology and got in and started my work in microbiology and loved it from the beginning.

Kiran: You know, it was fascinating to me that there’s this entire universe, that is so complex and so ubiquitous. It’s, there are everywhere. Microbes are in every square millimeter of everything we ever come in contact with, including our own bodies and every aspect of our bodies. And they control so much of everything. We can’t see them with a naked eye. We don’t know their sometimes they rear their ugly head in the form of illness. But most of the time they’re helping us, you know, and, and, and in many ways we exist because of them. And in many ways more we are made up of them, you know, and so we can talk about what that is and how, what I’m talking about and how that means. Cause we’re actually reservoirs from microbes. That’s the best way you can explain a human system.

Kiran: And that was always so fascinating to me. And, and the Digger you deep, sorry, the, the, the deeper you, I didn’t know what it is for you dig, the more questions come up, you know, and the more bizarre the world becomes. And that was just always fascinating to me. I knew that, you know, if I got into this space and, and dug deep and became a scientist in microbiology that I would never be bored and I would always have stuff we discover. And that’s, that’s where my passion for it came from. And I decided not to end up going to medical school. I wanted to go into research instead. My thinking was that I might be able to help a lot more people with discoveries and coming up with drugs or medications or you know, finding things out that people didn’t know about disease. Then, you know, working with patients one at a time as a doctor. And, that’s what drove me into the research side rather than going to practice side.

Steph: So how many times, if you’ve worn a, was the suit called a BDL? No. Oh my God. How many times have you worn one of those?

Kiran: Way too many. I mean, one of my first jobs in microbiology was in the Bureau in a virology lab and barraging me, you’re studying viruses and we actually worked on live HIV virus. I was part of a team that was trying to develop a sort of preventative vaccine using HIV. The idea was to create a strain of HIV that would give you the immune protection, but without giving you this disease. It was a really fascinating, in a project when, when it comes to the specifics of the molecular biology of viruses and all that. But because we were working with live virus, you had to wear a full space suit, you know, and work in this confined room with a positive oxygen pressure, UV lights everywhere. And it was in like this dungeon. And, and part of that actually is, is what drove me to want to get out of the resort side as a career because I was like, I just can’t be, you know, in this little dungeon in the lab for the next 40 years by myself. The research is super fascinating, but what I want to do is get, get out into the industry and do more human-related research. So that’s how I got into the side of the clinical trial of things.

Steph: Yeah. So I guess maybe it’s safe to say that the, a, the Outbreak, like it may be, it didn’t quite live up to like the Hollywood excitement, but yet the content was still fascinating.

Kiran: It was, you know, and if it wasn’t for a, for that movie and, and how good Hollywood makes it makes everything look, I don’t think I’d be where I am, you know, I, I’d maybe be working in a hospital, ER somewhere, you know, and it probably wouldn’t be, stoking my, my passions the same way that what I do now does.

Steph: Yeah. For sure. I love that story. Thanks for sharing that. I think there’s either so many directions you can take this because we were talking off-air about all of the research and the trials and the interesting studies that you all have been involved in. But I think maybe it would be helpful for our dear listener to talk about some basics of the gut first. You know, it’s, it’s no surprise if you’re sort of in and around this world and the wellness world and, and whatnot that the gut comes up. And I think, you know, we, we perhaps all know what it feels like when our gut isn’t up to snuff, but at the same time there’s a, I’m a science nerd as well, so I’m just, I’m fascinated by it, but I think it, when I was a teacher, a lot of kids summed it up by saying it. That’s gross. And so I don’t think a, I don’t think a lot of people necessarily know like the nitty-gritty details of, of like, like why is the gut so important? Yeah. And can you give us sort of a primer on I know that the talk that you gave at the NTA was sort of about like the different, like the ecosystem of the guide? I think that might be really interesting for people to get a brief overview on and then we can dive into the void. Yeah, of

Kiran: Of course. Yeah. So you know, if, if you just think about the gun just in the most basic sense in the way almost everybody understands the gut, but if you really think about it for a moment, just you’ll realize how fascinating that this, this system is, right? So imagine you could take a Turkey sandwich, right? And, and put it into your digestive system through chewing it and swallowing it. And then, of course, it comes out the other end in a very, in a dramatic fashion. No longer, of course, it looks, smells or resembles anything like a Turkey sandwich. But many components of that Turkey sandwich has gone towards rebuilding your brain, rebuilding your muscles, rebuilding your heart, your vessels, making immune cells, you know, making proteins, enzymes, hormones. All of these really complex biological compounds were, were, were created by converting compounds in that Turkey sandwich.

Kiran: All of that happened in your gut, right? It’s just, it’s such a fascinating thing. When you, when you just think about just those basics and you know, all of that is facilitated by microbes that live in your gut. So for people to get an understanding of how important the gut and that ecology is, you know, our digestive tract is covered with about a hundred trillion organisms. That is from the latest estimates anywhere in between five and two and five times more bacterial cells in your digestive tract than you have human cells in your entire body, right? So we are far more bacteria than we are human. When you look at the cell count of, of this, an organism that we call the human, Homosapien human. And then when you look at our genetic material and know for the longest time we always thought our genes dictated everything about us and our disease risk and our personality and our function.

Kiran: You know, we’ve got about 22,000 functional genes in our chromosomes as a human. But, and that may sound like a lot, but then you look at like a rice plant or an earthworm, they have about 38,000 or 48,000 functional genes. And so these really simplistic organisms, like a rice plant or an earthworm has twice as much genetic material as we do, you know? And so we are really half as cool as an earthly, really think about it. Right? So how is it that we’re so sophisticated and how is it that we are at the top of the food chain and top of the evolutionary ladder? Well, and as it turns out, we’ve got around three and a half million bacterial genes in our system. So 150 times more bacterial DNA in our system than human DNA. You know, so we use bacteria DNA for more than 90% of all of the functions it requires to be a human.

Kiran: So that, that’s why we think of ourselves as more as you think, get, dig deeper into this as more of a reservoir or construct for bacteria. You know, and the human Sal, you just take the human cell. If you look at evolutionary biology and you understand cell biology, you understand that the human cell is actually a collection of bacteria. You know, the first you carry out Excel, that’s a term for a human cell or multicellular organism that you carry on. Excel is actually made up of ancient bacteria. At some point during the course of, of evolution, a bunch of ancient bacteria got together and formed this special type of cell we call a eukaryotic cell, which is what we’re made up of. And so inside our cells are actually ancient microbes. That can be shown by DNA and following the DNA of some of the most, the oldest things that they’ve ever sequenced on earth fossils and things like that.

Kiran: So we’re actually made up of ancient bacteria, you know, so it’s, it’s such an amazing construct. And there’s a word for humans, called holobiome means a super organism, right? And that’s a new kind of a definition for what a human being is. We are essentially a walking, talking rainforest. You know, every square inch of us is covered by a complex microbiology, and micro microbial environment and ecosystem. And there are thousands of different little ecosystems in and on our body. And everywhere. Everything we used to think was sterile in the human body is no longer understood, to be sterile. Like we used to always say, Oh, you’re in a sterile, you know, your blood is sterile. None of those are true. Everything is covered with microbes. And there are different microbes in all of these different sections and parts of your body.

Kiran: And each of these different areas have different ecology. And all of these ecologies have to communicate with one another and support and work with one another to perpetuate the health of the whole system. So like that, we are essentially a walking, talking rainforest, which is a very complex ecosystem, made up of thousands of little ecosystems and most of chronic illness can be traced back to some dysfunction in our eco, in our ecosystem. You know, we used to think that every disease had a genetic dysfunction and that was the whole purpose of the human genome project where we wanted to sequence the human DNA because the hope was for every disease you would find a dysfunctional gene, right? Here’s the gene for bowel cancer. Here’s a gene for heart disease. Here’s a gene for brain cancer. We thought that everything had a gene and if we can just fix an alter the gene, we could eradicate disease. But as it turns out, once we completed the human genome project, we figured out we have half the DNA of an earthworm.

Kiran: So it certainly doesn’t explain the disease process, which, which means that, you know, when they started looking at the impact of the microbial ecology on our health and wellness, you start to see that virtually every chronic disease can be traced back to some ecological disruption in one of our biomes, whether it’s our gut microbiome, my skin microbiome, I biome our vaginal track or you know, or microbes that are inside the body and our blood in our mouth and so on. So that’s a fascinating part of this microbial ecological world that exists in and on and around us.

Steph: It’s so meta and when you’re, when you talk about it in that way, my brain just starts to go and all sorts of strange places and yeah, it’s, well, the, the sort of complimentary, I think, difficulty in wrapping my brain around that is the same thing that happens when I watch space shows that space. Right? You’re just like, I can’t even comprehend what’s happening, but on a different scale.

Kiran: Totally. Yeah. And in fact, and I forgot to tell you one of my side passions is quantum mechanics. And I’ve been a super nerd and studying quantum mechanics for years now. And what I love about quantum mechanics, it’s the same thing because quantum mechanics is a study of the, the infinitely small, right? We’re getting down to subatomic particles and all of the things that dictate how all of those function, and how it creates the world that we see. But the deeper you go into it, the more bizarre it gets and you know, and the more complex it gets and it becomes less and less, real-seeming because it’s almost like a science fiction flick. And the, the microbial world is the same way. I mean, there are microbes, that can live at the bottom of the ocean in a, when the pressure is so intense that it would crush a nuclear submarine if it went anywhere near it.

Kiran: There’s no light, there’s no oxygen, there’s nothing but methane fumes coming out from the middle of the earth and their microbes that are living there. And S and S, you know, hanging out in that area and thriving in that area. You know, there are these little microorganisms call ’em part of graphs that can live through almost anything. You know, you can, you can burn them, you can squish them, you can compress them, you can do anything. They’ll survive through it. And they’ve been around for hundreds of millions of years. So it’s such a fascinating world. So I totally get what you’re talking about. The same way. It’s hard to wrap your head around it when you’re looking at things about space, it’s the same thing. It’s an, it’s a universe that needs exploration, but it’s within us. You know, it’s there right in your midsection. You know, I always, I always joke with people that, you know, for, for the longest time until about five or six years ago, we knew way more about the ecology of the deepest recesses of the Amazon jungle or the deepest depths of the ocean. Then we knew about the ecology that existed. Right in your gut, you know, what you’ve been carrying around with you since you’re, the day you were born. We had no idea what was in there, you know, and we’re still just discovering that.

Steph: Yeah. And it seems like there’s just so much more is being added to the repository of knowledge, every single day. It’s hard to keep up. One of the things I heard you talk about in March was this idea of sort of the different layers of bacteria in your intestines essentially. And, and this like the watery mucus and the thicker mucus. And I just thought that was really cool because I thought that that led into understanding like what are some of the things that, cause I know a lot of people listening to this show what we’ll say. Okay. This is all very cool. Y’all are nerds. Awesome. But like how do I feel like how do I feel better? Right? I, you know, I’m not, I don’t feel great or I think I have something going on with my gut. Like, just tell me what to do and say, this will kind of, I think, bridge those two things pretty well is kind of like, let’s, okay, so let’s go. What was that show where they just journeyed into the center of the, of the PR of the person? I can’t even remember what though.

Kiran: Yeah. It was called like space Odyssey a body or something like that.

Steph: They don’t, they like that. Okay. So like, let’s take our little journey now like we are the Turkey sandwich perhaps or going through and what should be X, you know, and an ideal situation. What should we expect to see going on in, in the gut? Like beef, we’ve passed through the stomach and we’re on our way. Like what should we be encountering in that region of our gut? And I think that will help people understand like why things oftentimes go wrong.

Kiran: Yeah, absolutely. And we can do a 30,000-foot view of being the sandwich and making its way all the way through to the end where we get pooped out in dramatic fashion. Right. And then we can even talk about what happens when we flushed that poop. Cause that that’s an whole, yeah, yeah. Cause and how that comes back into our body actually. So the Turkey sandwich and we get chew, we get though put it in the mouth and we start there. And then the, the host that’s eating us as is, I’m starting the chewing process. Now. Here’s a couple of things that are happening in the truing process that are really important. There are microbes, all kinds of microbes in your mouth, right? And the microbes in your mouth kind of control the immune system and your mouth and the immune system.

Kiran: And your mouth is already sampling components of the Turkey sandwich to alert the immune system in your gut. And about 80% of your immune tissue is in your digestive track. And so it alerts the immune system in your, in your gut to, to signal to it that something is coming in and it’s trying to identify what the things are to, to give you a warning, whether it’s something dangerous, so the to prepare the troops or it’s something that you should, shouldn’t be cautious about. So just chill out and don’t up-regulate inflammatory response. So a lot of times when people are eating foods that they are intolerant to or they get a bad reaction to, that communication even starts right in the mouth, right? And there’s indications that if your mouth is unhealthy, meaning you have the wrong types of bacteria in your mouth and a lot of that can express itself as frequent mouth sores or gum disease or gingivitis of some sort.

Kiran: You know, all of those are indications of disruption of your mouth ecology that can also lead to, dysfunctional bacteria that that screw up the signal between the mouth immune system and the gut immune system, right? So that, so that’s one little caveat. Now as we’re chewing it and we’re breaking up the food particles, you’re also releasing something called salivary amylase. So that’s an enzyme that’s released in your saliva to start breaking down the food. Then the food moves into the stomach in the stomach was supposed to be secreted, a bunch of stomach acid, which is really important, breaking up that protein and the carbohydrates that are coming in. And here’s the thing, the stomach bacteria control the stomach acid that’s going to be released. If you have too much of a particular bacteria, for example, H pylori in your stomach, then you’re not going to produce adequate stomach acid and you’re also not going to get the right signals for the stomach to empty the contents into the small intestine, which is where it goes after the stomach.

Kiran: So then what’s happening is because you have inadequate stomach acid, the food is not being broken up adequately and then the lining of the stomach also becomes thin and when the lining of the stomach becomes thin, that overgrown bacteria, H pylori can cause inflammation on the lining of the stomach. That inflammation on the lining of the stomach will cause, we’ll call spasms in the stomach. And so when you eat that sandwich, and we are the sandwich now going into the stomach, we’re sitting there waiting for a bunch of stomach acid to flood us to start breaking up the the food particles. But it’s not coming. We’re getting tiny drips of stomach acid and so the, the sandwich is not really being broken up. And then at the same time, the stomach is going into spasm. So of war, the host, and we’re feeling that what we’re feeling is real fullness, right?

Kiran: So the people that eat food and get really full feeling right away and then cramping that cramping, is that, is that stomach lining going? Having spasms, because the lining is too thin, it’s causing inflammation in response to the presence of food and this inadequate stomach acid. So the food’s not really moving through the stomach that the way it should be. And it’s not really getting broken up the way it’s the way it should be broken up before going into the small intestine. So they’ll, that again, that whole system is controlled by microbes, right? So if we have the wrong microbes in the wrong amount, then we’re gonna have inadequate stomach acid and stomach spasms every time we put food in there. Now let’s say it finally moves into the small intestine. The small intestine is supposed to secrete a bunch of pancreatic enzymes that come from the pancreas.

Kiran: And then to just help chop up the food. And then the other thing it’s supposed to secrete is bile. And that’s your gallbladder. So your gallbladder is stores bile that comes from the liver, and then it squirts it into the small intestine where the food is. And it helps do a few things. One is it helps grab the fat from the Turkey, and then whatever sauce you might’ve put on it and helps your body absorb the fat and also grabs toxins that come in with the food, and like mold toxins or environmental pollutants and all that, and grabs it and covers up the toxin and then takes it to the liver so the liver can clear the toxins from your system. And then the bile also sweeps through your small intestine to prevent bad bacteria from overgrowing during the digestion process.

Kiran: But if you have dysfunctional bacteria in that part of your gut, what you start to get is an overgrowth of bacteria in that first part of your small intestine where the Turkey sandwich is supposed to come in contact with pancreatic enzymes and with bile, and the digestion is supposed to happen. So instead these overgrowing bacteria are using components from the turkey, either the bread or the protein and metabolizing it and doing a fermentation of sorts in that part. And as a result of that fermentation, they start producing ammonia, gas and hydrogen gas and so on. Then as a host, you start to feel really bloated and distended, then you might have gas passing and you might have cramping in your intestines at this point. And all of that prevents the full digestion and assimilation of those nutrients into your system. So the microbes are preventing all of that, from happening.

Kiran: If you have the right microbes and they’re not overgrown, they can actually assist in digestion by producing digestive enzymes and triggering your small intestine to continue to move the food down the road towards the large intestine. Now, the layering you’re talking about is really important as well because when you look at a cross section of the intestines, you’ve got the lumen, the lumen is the tube in the intestine where the food and all that passes through the layer that lines. Alumina is called mucosa, but the mucosa has a top layer to it, which is like a really viscous liquid layer, almost like a syrup kind of layer. And then below that top layer of mucosa, there’s another layer called mucin too. And that’s more a harder jelly-like structure, like jello. And in those different structures, there are different microbes that live.

Kiran: And in fact, as you get closer into that jelly-like structure, it should become more and more sterile. There should be fewer and fewer microbes in that area because now you’re getting close to the intestinal lining, which is a cell lining, right? And the intestinal lining is only one cell layer thick. And that’s the only barrier aside from the mucus layer that separates the outside of the body, which is all this stuff that’s going through the lumen and the inside of the body, which is your circulation, you know, and and the and your gut bacteria in that area, maintain the structure of that mucus and maintain the structure of your intestinal lining. If you have unfavorable gut bacteria in that top part of the mucus and they’re producing a bunch of toxins and they’re releasing the toxins down into the mucus layer, what you’re gonna get is a disrupted mucus layer.

Kiran: So you don’t have a barrier. It’s almost like having jello with a bunch of holes, spoken it. And then you also don’t have a strong intestinal epithelium layer or intestinal cell layer, so you don’t have a barrier. And a lot of those food particles think about proteins and, and fats and carbohydrates from the Turkey sandwich end up leaking through and actually entering your blood. And it’s not supposed to do that, right? So, the good microbes prevent that from happening. The good microbes improve the digestion of the Turkey sandwich so that you can actually break up the proteins into amino acids and your body can absorb the amino acids. It’ll make up some of the carbohydrates and just sugars, the fructose or glucose. And then it’ll absorb those for energy and then it can absorb the fat from the sandwich as well.

Kiran: And then any vitamins and minerals and things that come in, it will allow your cells to absorb that. But if you don’t have those good bacteria, then what you’re getting is a fermentation of the sandwich and the production of gas and other toxic compounds. And then the gut becomes leaky where bigger chunks of the food are leaking into your blood system, triggering your immune system to react. So then you get a rash or you get a, you know, kinda a hives or allergic type of response to the food. So that was a, the roles of the different types of bacteria. And then as a Turkey sandwich moves down into the colon, what is supposed to happen is all of the undigested components, especially the carbohydrates. So there may be some fiber like carbohydrates or resistant starch in the bread component of it. Most of that should feed good bacteria in the, in the colon that actually converts those fibers into things called short chain fatty acids.

Kiran: And those short-chain fatty acids then trigger your, your gut to tell your brain that, Hey, we got plenty of food. Stop eating no calories. Or here it turns off the hunger hormone. They increase leptin, which is a [inaudible] hormone. And then they, and then they stimulate something called a M a M P K network, which actually stimulates all of the cells in your body to start burning fat for fuel. So this, the good bacteria in the colon starts signaling to the rest of your body that, Hey, we’ve got food and stuff is in here. Everybody worked to burn off the calories, burn off the sugar, use the fat primarily for food, for fuel, and send signals to the brain that we’ve got food. Stop wanting to eat and stop having the desire to eat, you know? And so all of that signaling occurs all the way in the colon. Now if you have dysfunctional bacteria in the colon, then what’s going to happen is you’re either gonna get overproduction of certain toxins, which is going to give you a loose stool and diarrhea, or it’s gonna give you cramping in the very low part of your bowel.

Kiran: Or that food is going to be converted in instead of short-chain fatty acid, again, into gas. And then gas will give you bloating, distension, and that really kind of tired, lethargic feeling, you know, and, and ultimately will mess up your bowel movement, right? So you don’t get that really nice formed bowels. The bowel movements that are regular, you end up getting sporadic bowel movements, loose bowel movements. You ended up getting a lot of gas. You might go as little as once every, you know, five, six days, or you go regularly, but it’s always a little loose and, unformed. You know, so everything about this process of eating, digesting and assimilating that Turkey sandwich is controlled by microbes in your system. And they’re very different microbes in different parts of the digestive track that, that have control of certain conditions.

Kiran: You know, so if you eat stuff and you’re getting immediately within the first 30, 40 minutes of eating, you get bloating and cramping and discomfort. But then like three hours later you feel okay, then you likely have dysfunction with the microbes in your stomach or in your small intestine, or if you eat immediately. And then with it, and then for the first couple of hours you’re okay, but then later on the food just feels like it sits in your lower bowel and you get bloated and you get gas. Then you likely have a dysfunction with bacteria in your large intestine. Or a lot of people have IBS, which is both. Essentially if you eat, it creates cramping, discomfort right away in your stomach and then almost right away in your small intestine. And then eventually when it gets through your colon, you end up getting diarrhea, constipation, you know, one of, one of those two things.

Kiran: Now, here’s the why this is also important is although we’re using the digestion and assimilation of food as an example, this same dysfunctions in your bacterial population can also lead to dysfunctions in hormone production because every single hormone that basically functions in your body is also produced in your gut. And some of the hormones that are most important, things like your M serotonin, your happy hormone is primarily produced in your gut. Your dopamine, which is, which feeds a reward center, is your pain primarily produced in your gut. So these same good bacteria that help you with digestion are also the bacteria that produce things like your hormones, stimulates your immune system, produces regulatory parts of the immune system so you don’t have autoimmune response and you don’t have allergy response. You know, they produce vitamins, they produce B vitamins to help with energy. So then digestive issues are the signal that there’s a deeper problem within your, within your GI tract. And those deeper problems lead to most of the other chronic issues that Canary in the coal mine. Totally Canary in the coal mine. I know for example with Parkinson’s disease, the very first symptom of Parkinson’s disease is constipation. If you are somebody in your seventies and all of a sudden you develop chronic constipation, that’s the number one reason or risk factors that you’re, it’s the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Steph: Well, that’s fascinating. Okay. I think that’s a good, that’s a good foundation to then jump off into whatever topics that we wanted that we were taking that Turkey sandwich full circle. So you did mention there, serotonin and you were telling me off air that you had some interesting, there’s some interesting new sort of data about mood and I would love for you to share that cause I think, you know, people hear there’s kind of like maybe a food mood connection or you know, like a gut mood connection. But it seems so weird. I mean it doesn’t, in some ways you’re like, you know, we feel we can feel feelings all over our body, including kind of in our gut. We talk about gut feelings. We, you know, we have this like really interesting, kind of a neat connection between the brain and the gut. But yet they’re, I mean they’re relatively far away in our body and side. I feel like people are just like, how could, what’s going on in my gut be affecting how I feel in my head?

Kiran: Yeah. And, and one of the important things is, you know, we always think of our gun as the, as the digestive tool. But the gut is actually the factory, the primary factory for producing all of the things that our body needs to function. And so the guts not producing the things that the brain needs, then we’re going to have cognitive issues include, you know, everything from learning disabilities. Autism is, is, is closely related to that gut-brain access issue. You know, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s later on in life. And then throughout life, the difficulty in dealing with stress and the development of anxiety, depression and so on, even addictive behaviors. And we could talk about that as well, how the gut plays a component in that. So think of the gut as the predominant factory for feeding all of our systems.

Kiran: The components it needs to function appropriately. And if the gut is not healthy, it’s not providing all of the other systems with the components that needs to function. You know, including the brain and the gut and the brain are intimately connected and they are connected outside of our control. There’s something called the entire nervous system. The enteric nervous system is basically a very elaborate nervous system that covers your entire digestive track all the way from your mouth to your bottom, and the entire nervous system is so dense and complex that actually there are more nerve endings than in Terrick members system than in your spinal cord. You know that it’s the second most dense neuronal network in your body aside from your brain. The entire nervous system is connected to your brain directly through something called the bagel, the Vegas nerve, and that nerve is under control by microbes in your gut, so microbes in your gut can produce whatever they want and send it directly to your brain through the biggest nerve and affect behavior, mood choices and so on.

Kiran: For example, pathogenic bacteria like yeast pathogenic yeast can actually create neurotransmitters in your gut, send it up your Vegas nerve to your brain to make you crave sugar and make you want to eat sweet stuff because they need the sweet stuff to survive. So they are the puppet masters. You know, and when I first got into the whole microbiome world, that was this article, title my book, my bacteria made me eat a cupcake on it. And it kind of illustrated some of the early evidence of how microbes make neurotransmitters and all that that it can send directly to our brain to create, emotion and to create, wants and needs. In fact, there are microbes in your body, in your gut that create hormones that make you more altruistic to make you want to engage on other humans more. There are microbes in your gut.

Kiran: They create toxins that can actually bring on sudden panic attacks. For example, Campylobacter is a foodborne pathogen. It’s, it’s a, it’s a pathogen that comes on contaminated chicken. And one of the main side effects of Campylobacter infection is not the uncontrollable diarrhea and vomiting that you see with some of the other ones. But it’s all a sudden onset of panic and anxiety. It just comes out of nowhere, you know? And, and that’s the bacteria sitting there for making this toxin that makes you nervous and sends it up to your brain. And the reason they want you to do that is because when you’re nervous with a lot of people, what happens is your bowels get loose, right? So we all know that we know of, you’re a frightened or you’re super nervous or you’re anxious, you’re going to have loose bowels and the bacteria wants you to have loose bowels because diarrhea clears the, uh, population to some degree.

Kiran: And that gives that, that particular bacteria more space to proliferate. So it’s creating these neurotransmitters that make you get anxious and have you make, you have panic attacks so you have diarrhea. It’s fascinating when you think the control that microbes have on our brain and our outcome. You know, there’s a whole category of antibiotics. The ones like Cipro that have all types of horrific side effects. One of the common side effects of these antibiotics is anxiety and depression. You know, because they can kill microbes in your gut that are supportive and increased the growth of pathogenic microbes that cause anxiety and depression. You know, so we have been going about the whole mood thing completely wrong by just focusing on the brain when, as it turns out, most of the factors that influence how your brain functions comes from the gut. The happy hormone, serotonin, 90% of the total serotonin in your body is actually produced in your gut. You know, the same thing with dopamine and that controls addict addictive behaviors. Wow,

Steph: that’s crazy. I oftentimes tell people about the Vegas nerve and it sort of like that conduit and bacteria are just sending their little signals to their brain and they just look at me like it’s a science fiction movie, but you know, it’s what’s going on.

Kiran: It is. Yeah. And I know the bacteria will also, have direct connection to your, to your brain, through your immune system as well. They can, they can upregulate certain immune cells, that then will have an impact on the brain where they, where they can cause inflammation in the brain. There are certain bacterial toxins that’ll make their way through the blood and then go past the blood brain barrier and enter the brain and create things like memory loss, you know, slower recall capability. It also sets the, the foundation of inflammation in the brain, which is, which is where Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s starts. You know, so, so yeah, the microbes can either be really, really important and beneficial for the brain, or if you have the wrong microbes, it can be very detrimental to the brain.

Steph: Okay. So on that we’ll like pause maybe with that and I want to have you probably dive into the connection between the skin and the gut and then hopefully we can kind of like tie it all back together. So our dear listener isn’t just like my body been hijacked by bacteria. Oh crap. What am I going to do? I’m how I start taking some steps to like really make sure my gut health in my microbiome is healthy. So we’ll get into that in a minute. But there are so many peoplea nd know in my community who are dealing with skin issues. And you were telling me before we started recording that there are some interesting developments in, in sort of the skin at the gut connection.

Kiran: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. In fact, we just finished a clinical trial on acne, and what we were able to show and we just submitted that to for publication is that, when you, when, when you can make certain changes in the gut and I’ll talk about what those changes are. You actually see a pretty quick a reflection of those changes on the skin. So, in this case, we were able to reduce acne lesion count by about 45% in 30 days of taking a probiotic, right? And most people would think, no way can you change the number of acne lesions on your skin by just taking a probiotic. You must’ve used a topical something you don’t know, it’s all through the gut. Now, what’s, here’s what’s important to remember when skin is skin grows from the inside out, right? Everything you see on the surface of the skin actually came from the inside part of your body, right?

Kiran: What, what you actually, what’s the, the top most layer of skin is basically just the layer of dead skin cells. But everything you see like the inflammation, the rashes, the lesions, all of these things are driven from the inside. And you have a very elaborate immune network through a mucus layer that actually connects the gut directly to the skin. And there are microbes in the gut that produce compounds that can either bring down inflammation in the skin or increase inflammation in the skin. And that’s one of the things we saw in acne. So, I’ll give you an example of one of the mechanisms. You know, when you look at studies on the gut microbiome of people who suffer from acne and what is the difference between their gut microbiome and for your listeners that don’t know what that word microbiome means,

Kiran: It means, so the full collection of, microbial organisms and all of their genetic elements that live in and on you, right? So when we say we’re looking at someone’s microbiome, we’re basically looking at who are the players are, who’s, what’s living in your digestive tract, and or other parts of your body as well. But right now we’re talking predominantly of the digestive tract. So studies have looked to see if there’s a difference between the ecology in population of bacteria in the digestive tract of people that have acne and other inflammatory skin issues versus people who don’t. And one of the things that they’ve seen is in the case of people without acne, without inflamed skin issues, they tend to have a higher level of a certain type of bacteria called Ruminococcus, right? So this particular bacteria in the gut seems to have some ability to protect against inflamed skin and acne lesions and so on.

Kiran: And so when we started doing our study and we started seeing a significant change in people’s acne lesion count, we also started studying the microbiome and we saw that the probiotic that we were using was actually helping increase the Ruminococcus levels. So as you bring up the Ruminococcus levels, you bring down inflammation in the skin and lesion count. And in part it’s because of what that Ruminococcus is producing. So in the intestines, Ruminococcus is producing a particular type of short chain fatty acid called acetate and butyrate. And those two short chain fatty acids that are being produced in the gut are being absorbed through your immune system and then transported to the skin immune system from the gut and changing the inflammation and the types of bacteria that live in your skin layers just below the top surface of the skin. So it’s a direct impact between a single organism in your gut and all of the blemishes that you might’ve been dealing with or in the case of a rosacea or in the case of psoriasis, there are other organisms within the gut that either drive it or can be totally protective from it.

Steph: Absolutely fascinating. My goodness. So like I said, let’s almost maybe provide the listener a little bit of relief now and sort of talk about it. Cause I’m sure people are like, Oh my God. Like if my body’s not my own, I’m gonna just along for this ride, I am the flesh bag through which these bacteria are just having a fun time. What are some of the things that people can do proactively to really help kind of shore up their gut and provide perhaps a better ecological platform for the right kind of bacteria to grow? Yeah.

Kiran: That eventually perpetuates, you know, really good health and wellness. And one of the things I explained to people is, you know, in the beginning of our conversation, I talked about how we are basically a microbial construct, right? We are made up of microbes. Every square millimeter of us is covered with microbes and there are way more microbes in us and honest then there are human cells. So we’ve taken this really elegant and complex microbial structure and we’ve put it in an antimicrobial world. So we have for the most part, shot ourselves in the foot. You know, our shot ourselves in the ecology, we could say, because everything that surrounds disrupts our ecology in some profound way. So in order to actually help your ecology become more diverse, I, which is what we want within the, within the microbiome and help the growth of really beneficial protective bacteria.

Kiran: There are a bunch of things we can do with lifestyle. And then, of course, there are some therapeutic things you can do with some of the products that we have developed and clinically studied. But let’s talk about simple lifestyle changes. Right? To begin with, people need to clean up their environment. And when I say that it’s counterintuitive cause I don’t mean clean it as in sterilize it. What I actually mean is trying to minimize a number of antimicrobial things you are allowing yourself to be exposed to, you know, starting with your personal care products. You know, I always encourage people to go as natural and as simple and as playing with their personal care products. And I know it sounds kind of hokey and hippie-ish, but it makes such a big difference. You know, even if you’re using, you stop using antimicrobial soaps or you start stop using, in the lotions that are loaded, all these chemicals in it, many of which are antimicrobial and antifungal.

Kiran: All of those things get absorbed into your system and, and they do disrupt your microbial ecology. So even if you can pick a couple of personal care products and go as clean as you can with them, like pick your deodorant and find the most natural, clean deodorant you can, or pick your soap or your lotion. And tried to find the most natural clean version you can, I promise you it’ll make a huge impact on your overall health and wellness because that’s one less thing that’s disrupting your good microbial ecology. So that’s your personal care stuff, the stuff you put on you. The next part is what you put in you, you know, foods are one of the biggest influencers on what’s going on in your gut microbiology. The first rule of thumb is you need to have high diversity in your gut microbiology in order to have health, wellness and longevity.

Kiran: In fact, longevity is directly tied to how diverse you’ve got. Microbiome is. And there’s numerous studies coming out of this. They’ve seen that people who live you know, to the ages of 9,000 and above without any chronic illness, the biggest difference you see between them and Western populations, even in their sixties and seventies at do have chronic illness. The biggest thing that you can point out is the diversity of their microbiome. Those 90-year-olds have similar diversity to healthy 30-year-olds in the Western world. And because they’ve maintained that diversity, that’s what’s given them the longevity and function, you know, so, so though, so that diversity is really important. One of the biggest ways to influence diversity is by changing what you eat. The more diverse your diet is, the more diverse your microbiome is going to be. An early humans throughout the course of evolution anthropological studies show we ate six to 800 different types of foods annually.

Kiran: You know, we forage, we gathered, we hunted, we ate all kinds of stuff, and now, even a quote-unquote healthy westerner might eat maybe 20 different types of foods. So I’m always encouraging people to try to expand the diversity in your diet. So that, and one of the easiest ways to do that is, you know, go to an ethnic grocery store that’s, that’s nearby to you. You’ll find vegetables and roots and tubers and fruits that you won’t find it. Your whole foods or trader Joe’s or the regular places you shop. And even just adding one or two of those new and unique kinds of food into your diet. And again, you don’t have to make a whole meal out of it. Just eat a small amount of it. Like grab a starfruit, you know, you’ve never heard of star fruit. Grab a unique type of a bok choy, which is, you know, Chinese broccoli.

Kiran: We will that has different molecular structures than your conventional broccoli and will feed different types of bacteria in your gut. You know, so think about every week trying to add a new unique food into your diet, and then try to maintain that food in your diet for as long as you can. And again, it can be just one or two meals and it can be just a small component of your meal. So diet diversity is really important. The next part is reducing the, the exposure to pesticides and herbicides. These pesticides like Roundup and glyphosate are devastating antibiotics for your gut. They specifically killed good bacteria and increase the growth of bad bacteria. So then, so there’s a, there’s, there’s a huge issue with being exposed to significant amounts of these herbicides and pesticides. With that in mind, it’s important to choose organic food as much as you can. You know, and I know many places, organic is not readily available and it may be a little bit more expensive, but however much you can choose, do so every little bit will make a big difference in your overall ecology. Another thing to consider is intermittent fasting. I dunno if you do that. I’m not staff, I don’t know if you’ve done that either. The intermittent fasting,

Steph: I don’t, I don’t do it as a formal thing, but I do have a pretty decent window between dinner and breakfast. I just don’t call it in. I still say, Hey, I’m intermittent fasting, but I do take a break. You know, as long as I, as long as I can between dinner and, and when I eat, usually like 13 hours or so.

Kiran: Yeah. And that’s great. That’s perfect. I mean, if you can get in anywhere from 12 to 14, 15 hours of a break from eating anything any in any part of the day, and that can even be largely overnight. That actually helps the diversity of your microbiome. There are certain strains within your microbiome that actually proliferate better when there’s no food coming through. And then they turn on all of these genes that are called autophagy genes, these genes are turned on a cleaning mechanism for yourselves. So the, they’re, they’re basically like housekeeping that goes through and cleans up all of dead and dying cells and messed up DNA and messed up proteins and removes all that stuff from your body, you know, and, and when you’re not eating and you’re, and the certain bacteria that proliferate when you’re not eating, you get all of those genes turned on and that becomes a really important part of cleaning up your system.

Kiran: You know, so some period of not taking in any calories and not digesting food is really important. And then you know, your home itself, you do not need to, nor should you sterilize your home in a numerous studies shows that houses, they use chlorine-based cleaners and sterilize their context surfaces and all that have kids with higher incidents, rates of allergies and asthma. And immune dysfunctions. You know, households that have higher number of people like they compare to households that have six or seven people versus households that have two households that have higher number of people actually have overall healthier people and healthier outcomes because of the interconnection between individuals in the sharing of microbes.

Steph: I was gonna say swapping microbiomes. Yeah. Yeah.

Kiran: You wanna if you want a little mind blown. Here’s a study that came out. I actually got to see this researcher from Johns Hopkins present on this study at a microbiome research conference where I was, and a, and then finally the study published sometime last year. Here’s what’s so fascinating, right? He followed individuals that were about to take a course of antibiotics for whatever reason. And right before they started the course of antibiotics, he measured their microbiome. So looking at the different types of species that existed within their gut. And then after they took the antibiotic, and then for as long as six months after they stopped taking the antibiotic, he measured their microbiome. And what he found is clearly compared to before the antibiotic, after they took the antibiotic, there was this huge disruption to the microbiome community. You know, loss of diversity, certain pathogens became higher, all of this dysfunction and then this dysfunction seem to exist even six months after stopping the antibiotic.

Kiran: Right? So that is in itself kind of mind-boggling. Here’s the part that w that that blows people’s mind. He also look at the microbiome of individuals that lived in that same household but did not take the antibiotic. And those individuals suffered the same disruption in their microbiomes even though they didn’t take the antibiotic well. Right. And it was almost the same kind of disruption that the person who took the antibiotic saw. So we’ve got something called the microbiome cloud that we share and we upload and download bacteria to it all the time that we share with people that are close to us. You know, earlier I mentioned when we were doing the Turkey sandwich analogy, I was going to tell you a little bit about when the Turkey sandwich comes out as poop. The another really interesting finding of that, because one of the questions people ask me is, how is it that someone who’s taking an antibiotic and having a disrupted microbiome, how can they influence someone else’s microbiome that’s in the house?

Kiran: Well, one of the ways is we share bugs and microbes everywhere. You know, if you go, it’d be dedicated into the toilet, that Turkey sandwiches now in the toilet, you flush the toilet, it starts spinning. That spinning causes aerosolization of bacteria from your poop, and they, and you can actually visualize this with black light and all that and others, right? And so you flush, you create a tsunami of poop bacteria flying out of the toilet, get into your air vent and blown back out and onto all our skin and nose and mouth and everything else. This is the best show I’ve ever done.

Kiran: You know, I mean, if you look at dust in your home, 90% of dust to solid matter and dust as human skin cells, right? And here’s the fascinating thing about skin cells. For every cell skin cell that you see on your body, you have 30 microbial cells on that skin cell. Wow. Right? So all of the dust that you can see, if you don’t dust for a few days, that’s all. 90% of it is skin cells, 30 times that matter. His bacteria from that purse, from the people. So we are constantly in contact with each other’s microbes, you know, and so the healthier the individuals are that are very close in proximity to one another, the more we can influence each other’s health. Very well. So one of advice I give to parents who are really passionate about taking care of the kids and making sure the kids are eating healthy and doing healthy things is if you don’t take care of yourself, you’re actually going to negatively influence your kid’s microbiome.

Kiran: And overall health. Everyone in the household has to practice kind of the same things to ensure that everybody has the best chance at health and wellness. You know? So that’s, that’s really important too. And of course you don’t want to sterilize your home you don’t need to use chlorine. And Clorox and all that on all your surfaces. It’s fine if you want to do it in your toilet or in your shower once a week to bring the mildew down. But like your kitchen surfaces and all that, you don’t have to do it unless of course you bring a rock church, a Turkey home or chicken and you’re cutting it up and you get Turkey juice all over, then wipe it down. Cause there may be salmonella in there. But outside of that, no, I cleaned my house with a spray bottle of water that I’d put a few drops of essential oils and just for smell, spray it and just wipe most surfaces with a cloth, you know, and that’s about it.

Kiran: And, and that in itself has a huge impact on your microbiome. So those are the few things that very simple things, you know, pick one or two personal care products and find the most natural versions that have the least amount of antimicrobials and chemicals in there and switched to those. I would recommend deodorant, toothpaste, or lotion, you know, and certainly eliminate antimicrobial hand washes and soaps from your house. You don’t need them. Just regular soap is perfectly fine. Second thing is trying to increase the diversity in your diet as much as possible. Try to add in new unique foods into your diet on a regular basis. And again, you don’t need to eat a whole lot of it. You don’t have to make a whole meal out of it. You can just eat it as a small side to what you’re already eating.

Kiran: And then the third part is you don’t have to sterilize your home. And certainly most of the context surfaces in homes don’t have to be sterilized. And then when you’re eating food, you want to choose organic as much as you can, you know, and, and then close interaction with other humans is really important. It’s amazing how impactful hugging is. You know, we are actually designed to be altruistic creatures. When you hug somebody or you compliment somebody, it actually increases oxytocin in your own body. And oxytocin is a hormone that increases closeness and bonding. And when oxytocin goes up, stress hormones come down by about 25%. Wow. You know, and stress leads to leaky gut and the growth of pathogens and all that in the body, you know, so those are some similar to the simple things. And then of course we have a probiotic called MegaSpore, that we’ve shown reduces leaky gut, increases diversity within the microbiome and overall just kind of helps a dysfunctional gut bacteria get back to where it needs to be.

Steph: Yeah. And it’s fantastic stuff. I’ve been taking it for a few years now and just absolutely love it. And so we’ll put some links to all that stuff and I love how you talked about sort of doing the best you can, adding things in. I mean, we’re on the show are big fans of the EWG and you know, their skin deep database and their dirty dozen list and there’s so many tools out there for people to really, you know, do what works for them and make those small changes

Kiran: well changes. Yeah. That’s so important because all of this can be so overwhelming to people. Right? We’re not all gonna become, you know, the biggest hippies and live a pure, clean life that’s not feasible. We’re not going to have perfect diets, you know, but 80, 20 rule for the most part or, or around your house with your personal care products, just make one or two choices. And I promise you those, we’ll have compounding effects throughout the, throughout your years, that you will be grateful for down the road.

Steph: I love that there are so many things that I didn’t get to as you, yourself in the future. I’d love to have you back so we can tackle some more of these topics. This has been absolutely just test scratched an itch for me in terms of keeping it fun, keeping it educational and just like really nerding out with me. I’m so, so grateful. Let us know where we can find out more about you. Find out more about and a and dive into that.

Kiran: Yeah. So I’m coming to our website, microbiomelabs.com. So that’s labs with the S at the end of it. We’ve got blog posts, articles, webinars, videos, all kinds of stuff to learn, all kinds of things associated with the hell with the microbiome. If you’re really interested in how your gut impacts everything else around you can just put my name in YouTube and with the word microbiome or just put my name and you’ll find hundreds of, of videos that were uploaded from talks I’ve done or webinars that people have graciously uploaded there. And you can almost search any topic. You can put microbiome and hormones, microbiome and sleep or wait and you’ll find videos. I’ve done almost every topic out there. So just coming to a website, going or go on YouTube. There’s a wealth of information out there that we’ve been putting out. I have a major focus on education and lecturing, getting the right information out to people. So there’s no shortage of nerdy content out there for you.

Steph: I love that you’ve been so generous with your time. I really, really appreciate you coming on the show and educating and sharing your knowledge with our listeners. This has been an absolute treat and like I said, I’d love to have you back. So yeah, it’s my pleasure. I’m looking for a part two. All right. Thank you so much and we’ll talk soon. Thank you.

Steph: All right, that might be a wrap on this episode with Kiran Krishnan but I guarantee you I’m going to have him back on the show at some point because there is still so many questions that I have for him. There are so many things that I would love to have him talk about and I hope you found it as interesting and brain tickling as I did. You can get the show notes for this episode as well as a full transcript over at stephgaudreau.com just look for this episode on the homepage and click on it and you’ll go right to the show notes. There are quotables, you’ll learn more about Koran. You will be able to see the full transcript. So go ahead and do that over at stephgaudreau.com and make sure you hit subscribe on your podcast app. This is so important. It helps send the message that folks are listening to the show and helps to get the podcast more visible to new eyes. And that’s how we grow is organically when you tell friends and family and loved ones, or that you love the show or you hit that subscribe button. So very important. All right, until next show, that’s Friday. I’ll see you for fierce love Friday, Bye!

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4 Responses

  1. Hi Steph, I was listening to your podcast as I am fascinated by the gut microbiome as I believe it’s an important aspect of our human body that’s often overlooked. This morning I happened to stumble on a PBS YouTube video on scientific urban legends that are debunked and one happened to be on the idea that we are mostly microbes. In the YouTube video called “7 Scientific Urban Legends Debunked!” by ‘It’s Okay to be Smart’ they mention that the estimate that we have 100 trillion microbial cells is based on a 1970 paper by Thomas Luckey that made a “back of the envelope estimate, and wasn’t based on actual experiments.” At 16:45min in the podcast episode Simple Lifestyle Changes That Will Help your Microbiome with Kiran Krishnan, he states that our body is covered with about 100 trillion organisms. I don’t want to assume where he got his number but could you pass on this message so he is aware of this?

  2. This episode was so fascinating and I’m already looking forward to learning more. I have a history of gut issues- I’ve had a sinus surgery and chronic sinus infections for the two years since, with another surgery coming this next month. Consequently, I’ve been on antibiotics nearly every 2-3 months for two years and my gut is WRECKED! I would love to hear more about healing the gut following antibiotics or what suggestions Kiran has for people who get stuck on antibiotics frequently. The last round left me with GERD, for which I am now on Nexium… which also feels like it’s ruining my gut :(. This whole thing is a terrible cycle I would love to break and I feel like I’ve tried everything!

    Aside from my personal woes, I loved the tangible takeaways. I work in a food safe environment and we are all addicted to hand sanitizer here, so I was very intrigued to hear that could affect my gut, too!

    Thank you Steph and Kiran for an impactful episode! More like this please!!!

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Hi, I'm Steph!

Lord of the Rings nerd, cold brew drinker, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.


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