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Functional Naturopath Dan Sipple is back on the show with Mason today to discuss the intricacies of the gut and the bacteria that call it home. The pair explore the methods you can use to optimise your health and build a rocking microbiome.
"You're the custodian of your microbiome. Look after it, learn how to nurture it, learn what affects it.. You want to pass that on to your kiddies. So do right by it and live long and prosper."
- Dan Sipple (inspired by Dr. Jason Hawrelak)
Mason and Dan discuss:
- Colonics and enemas.
- Soluble and insoluble fibre.
- How to create a gut friendly plate.
- Gut health and pregnancy preparation.
- The pros and cons of fermented foods.
- The lifestyle factors that damage health.
- What to look out for when purchasing a probiotic supplement.
- The benefits of short chain fatty acids (SCFA's) such as butyrate.
- The danger of restrictive diets, particularly those deficient in dietary fibre.
- Essential oils and the disastrous antimicrobial action they can have on the microbiome.
- The body as a home to several microbiomes e.g. the scalp, the mouth, the skin etc.
- Preboitics and botanical dietary variation as long term strategies for sustainable microbiome health.
- The origins of your personal gut bacteria and the critical life stages in which your microbiome is influenced.
- The types of prebiotic fibre and what foods contain them (see resource section below for specifics).
Who is Dan Sipple?
Dan is a also known as The Functional Naturopath who uses cutting-edge evidence-based medicine. Experienced in modalities such as herbal nutritional medicine, with a strong focus on environmental health and longevity, Dan has a wealth of knowledge in root-dysfunction health.
- Inulin/Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) – asparagus, dandelion, onion, garlic, leek , chicory, burdock, artichoke.
- Galactooligosaccharides (GOS) – legumes, beans, beets, lentils, etc.
- Pectin - apples, bananas, potatoes, berries.
- Resistant Starch - green bananas, cooked cooled potatoes, plantains, sorghum, sweet potatoes.
- Polyphenols - the skins of dark fruits/veg best e.g. pomegranate, blackberries etc.
- Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum (PHGG).
- Polysaccharides/beta glucans - medicinal mushrooms, oats etc
- Saccharomyces boularrdii
- Lactobacillus rhamnonsus GG
- Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 1224
- Bifidobacterium longum BB536
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
- Bifidobacterium breve M-16v
- Bifidobacterium longum BB536
- Bifidobacterium animalis BB-12
- L.rhamnosus LGG
- Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM
- Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001
- Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis HN019
- Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis BB-12
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae (boulardii) (SB)
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
- Lactobacillus paracasei LP33
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
- Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM
- Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07
- Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL9
- Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2
- Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716
- Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938
- Lactobacillus plantarum 299V
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae (boulardii) (SB)
- Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07
- Bifidobacterium animalis spp. lactis B420
- Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis HN019
Check Out The Transcript Below:
Hey everybody, welcoming SuperFeast podcast, favourite special friend Dan Sipple. Hey man.
Dan Sipple: (00:09)
Hi buddy. How you doing?
Yeah, really good. Really stoked to be having this conversation with you. It's been a little bit since we've had a podcast. You guys are cooking a baby? You know that happend since...
Dan Sipple: (00:20)
It's been a while.
Since our last chat. Yeah, that makes it a long while. Maybe we didn't realise you're in the early stages of baking.
Dan Sipple: (00:27)
Yeah baking again. It's good. It's nice and timely but with a good microbiome rehash because it's all so fresh in the mind.
Yeah. Sweet. So guys, we get a lot of people asking around gut health and Dan and I did a two part like a mega dive into gut health. We'll put the links to that in the show notes. We also did a real good conversation with Sage around candida and fungal infection, which crossed over a lot with a lot of big gut information and seemed like the missing piece was coming out of the FAQ we get around.
Which probiotic should I be taking? Should I be doing sauerkrauts and fermented foods? What's the best diet to support a microbiome, so on and so forth. And Dan and I got jamming about it a little bit when we realised we had a pretty mega podcasts that we could probably hash out. And so that's what we want to talk about.
We want to dance around the microbiome, the clinical setting of getting your gut health back into balance. What does that look like? And then what does that look like after the clinical setting, clinical probiotics perhaps. Diets and extreme diets and how they cross over into being for and against a long term strong microbiome, and when it's time to cruise over into more of a lifestyle diet, that's generally going to support many areas of the body, like our cellular metabolism and various organs.
But as well as that a microbiome and see some of the pitfalls that can come about when we over identify and go a little bit too long in a diet that's a little bit extreme. So yeah, I'm really looking forward to it because it's brought it up for me as well. Just like, all right, what's my long, because I think I'm doing really well in myself to not be overly identified with a dietary system. It's taken a lot for me over the years and just really just setting in, nestling into the home and the home cooking vibe and just making sure I've got all my little principles and while maintaining my particular healthy foods that I like, romance in the kitchen, creating a diet, which I think is going to be sustainable over decades and decades, but what are those little principles and distinctions to ensure that I'm really rocking my microbiome as I go along. But it doesn't need to be an extremism in doing one thing or another. So, yeah, any thoughts for you going into this podcast in the beginning before we dive into the first topic?
Dan Sipple: (03:09)
I think it'd just be a good opportunity, like you say, just to really look at it over the course of a lifestyle as we spoke about designing a lifestyle that supports a healthy microbiome from basically mum's gut health from our infancy as kids and then right through the teenage years and early adulthood and into the older years and having a longevity plan because there's definitely challenging time periods I feel like throughout the course of a human's life where for instance, like mode of birth, that's one of the biggest ones, whether the baby is a C-section or a natural birth.
Dan Sipple: (03:51)
And then as the immune system is developing in childhood, all that exposure to different microbes and lots of chance to pick up different bugs and whatnot. So, the chances of going on things as a child like antibiotics from say two years of age to eight years of age is another critical point. And then I feel like again, in the teenage years when people tend to throw caution to the wind and really tests their microbiome. Test their gut barrier function. The insults that get thrown at it, that's another critical time point that I guess as a clinician you see those patterns emerge quite often in people's stories. It's like you'd be doing a case history with someone. First question I usually lead with and all my patients will know this is birth mode.
Dan Sipple: (04:40)
How are we birthed? Was it a C-section, was it natural? What was mum's health like? Does mum have gut issues, et cetera. And the reason we ask around that is because every human's microbiome on the planet is their mum's. That's how it gets passed down. And essentially if you're vaginally birth, then you're seeded through that process. That's where your microbiome in your gut is seeded for life. So that's very, very critical. Hence why with birth modes that differ to that. So C-section for example, which is medically necessary in a lot of cases, don't get me wrong, but that can be a very initiating disturbance to long term gut issues or long term risk in terms of inflammatory conditions.
Dan Sipple: (05:28)
So in a nutshell, vaginal birth, lower risk of inflammatory conditions, gut conditions, skin conditions, et cetera, C-section higher risk. And then that flows over to whether you're bottle fed or breastfed. Same deal.
Dan Sipple: (05:45)
So yeah, going back to what I was saying, the infancy period, the teenage period. I feel like once you're in adulthood and life slows down a little bit, that's probably less... There's always going to be exceptions to the rule but there's probably less risk factors there. But it's generally speaking, anytime there's those big quantum leaps in development I reckon, you might want to be mindful.
They create little forks in the road and you can go down a particular trajectory with your health, and as you said, teenage years, it's when you are there to test yourself. You've got a lot of Jing and Kidney Essence in the system. But sometimes we don't have a conversation in our culture about just how far past the barrier we go a lot of the time. And respecting that you really... It's not a moral conversation. I don't have to feel bad and we can always do what we can to get back into balance. But it's very hard to heal something when we've gone into a real extreme. We've really tested ourselves too far and we've literally gone down a trajectory with our health from say that a critical period when we're teenagers. We've set ourselves down a path because we've tested too far.
The barrier in the gut's been, we've smashed through it, right? And therefore we are leaving ourselves susceptible to lowering the good bacteria and basically heading down an inflammatory. Just an Inferno. You just can't stop it. And it takes a lot to cool it at that point. So, all right, sweet.
So I like the fact that we've started off with that pregnancy preparation. So, although we start there and of course it's going to be the best to make sure that guts absolutely rocking in that preparation period, that everything that we're going to be talking about in this podcast is getting a little bit contributing to that conversation. What to do if you're preparing to get pregnant. And something we always say is regardless of your situation, you should be preparing to be as fertile as possible because that shows you've got fertile ground and you've got the JIng and the microbiome regardless of whether you're going to get pregnant.
So that's relevant for everyone. So that's going to come and then anything you want to say a little bit more about the birth mode and just the intricacies of a vaginal birth and how that can set you up for success bacterially?
Dan Sipple: (08:04)
Yeah, I think like you touched on preconception is a big one. So making sure mum's microbiome is as optimised as possible is always a great idea. And that concept is becoming really, really prominent and important. But like even 10 years ago, people just weren't necessarily having those conversations. But you talk to naturopaths that have been practising for 20 years and it's like they'll all tell you a lot of couples come in now for preconception. It's awesome.
Dan Sipple: (08:36)
I've got one couple down in Tilba. They're living off grid and doing so many good things to support the birth of the next baby. I remember a couple of weeks ago, I said, "How long have we got? Basically, when do you want to start trying?" And they were like, "Six months, nine months or something like that." I'm like, "Awesome. That's great. No pressure. We've got six months to do that." That's ample time versus when you see a patient who's had three or four miscarriages for example, and mum's 35 and she's under pressure.
Dan Sipple: (09:10)
So yeah, the longer the better. And that allows us to really, really look at the things that might be impacting that person's gut health. So for example, diet, environment, stress, medication, et cetera, et cetera. For the people that are interested, I always, as a clinician, love to see actually what bugs are in their gut and run a full microbiome assessment.
Who do you do that with these days?
Dan Sipple: (09:40)
I'm using microba which are an Australian based company up in Queensland and they're using technology called shotgun metagenomics, which is still DNA based assessments rather than culture.
Dan Sipple: (09:53)
We used to culture the stool years and years ago, but they worked out at some time point that you can only see about 30% of gut microbes using that culture. So the majority of even mainstream gastroenterologists are all in agreeance now that DNA testing is where it's at. That allows you to see, don't get me wrong, there's still bugs that come up that are unidentified, basically. We know they're there and we know what percentage of their in, but we just don't know what roles they play. But the science is catching up with them. So with this particular company, you'll get a section of the results say CAG 1456 or whatever it's like that means nothing. But if you check that in six months time, they'll probably know what that does. And I'll continually update the reports. That's really funky. It's cool.
Do you need to go through a clinician to get that test or is that available to the public as well?
Dan Sipple: (10:43)
Good question. I have a feeling it's available to all because I know that when you do order it and you log in to check your results, there's a general overview section, which is for the user. And then there's the practitioner section, which really dives deep into detail. So, yeah, I'm fairly certain that it's across the board for everyone.
Yeah sweet. So then getting to a vaginal birth, I feel like a lot of people are going to be, I've heard this. The mucosal lining through the whole vaginal canal is basically swabbing, seeding, all that bacterial complexity through the mouth, through the nose. Is there anything going on via, if there is a C- section, is there any recreating all of that? Is there-
Dan Sipple: (11:35)
... enough going in through. There is? Through the vaginal canal? I mean of course it's all there?
Dan Sipple: (11:40)
Yeah, some still gets through. A small portion gets through. So, there is-
But I mean going and taking what's in the vaginal canal if possible. Even if there's a C-section and then running that along the orifices of the baby.
Dan Sipple: (11:52)
Ah, okay. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And that's what I always recommend patients to try for. Get a good doula who can advocate. In mainstream hospital settings, it's still looked upon as a bit on the fringe and a bit odd by mainstream practitioners, but absolutely. The name of that actual, escapes me at this time point. But yeah, essentially by swabbing that area and then applying it to bub's skin and orifices and that sort of thing, you do mitigate a lot of that loss. So yeah, absolutely. I'd definitely recommend that.
This might be a bit fringe, this is just like an experimental kind of thing. What's the benefit of that when we get a little bit older as well?
Dan Sipple: (12:42)
Yeah, yeah. We don't know.
I guess that's what they say when all those, the sexologist blogs came out about it being really good for guys going down on girls and so on and so forth and really advocating for it it's like a really healthy treat.
Dan Sipple: (13:01)
Yeah. I have no doubt that it's going to increase diversity of bugs, which is always a good thing. Just want to make sure-
There's no dysbiosis in the first place.
Dan Sipple: (13:09)
Yeah, yeah. There's a good podcast there about vaginal steaming in that and we'll put that in the show notes as well. Not making any claims but always a fun little conversation there. So, moving on from birth mode, we get to breastfeeding. I feel like this is one, if you find a crone in the medical system that's saying that there's no difference between bottle feeding and breastfeeding, I feel like even a majority of the institution will disagree, which is a really nice thing to see. Institutionalised dieticians are probably still the fossils that aren't going to... So just in case you come across someone that's like, "Look, there's no difference." Good red flag.
Dan Sipple: (13:57)
Massive red flag.
Yeah, red flag should be like out with you. So I mean naturally, breast milk is just loaded, right? Just loaded with immunological factors and bacteria.
Dan Sipple: (14:09)
Oh, to the thousandth degree. You cannot match what that contains and the spectrum of what they call HMOs. Human Milk Oligosaccharides, prebiotics essentially. They are trying now of course to start trying to mimic and throw into formulas to add some prebiotic action in there. Which you know-
It's not a bad thing.
Dan Sipple: (14:32)
It's not a bad thing. Of course. That's right.
Because there's instances where we know it's not possible. Milk dries up, so on and so forth. You might as well make the best of an unfortunate situation.
Dan Sipple: (14:45)
Yeah, that's right.
Especially if there's no, is it wet nurse, especially if you can't get access to a wet nurse,, which is very difficult in this current setting.
Dan Sipple: (14:55)
Exactly. Exactly. And then of course there's things a mum can do dietarily to help influence the composition of the breastfeeding mum's that is to improve, flow and the composition of that breast milk such as pre and probiotics, which are beneficial particularly for babies that are young and they might have, say for example a baby that is birthed vaginally and is getting breastfed but for whatever reason picked up an infection and had to have antibiotics in the first week of life.
Dan Sipple: (15:25)
The good thing is that whilst you might not necessarily be able to get a capsule down that baby's throat, a mum can take a probiotic capsule or prebiotic capsule or powder or whatever and you'll get maternal transfer essentially through that milk.
We're going to go through and talk about all the different prebiotics and probiotics. Dietary and supplement based that you can be using if that's the question. Because it is always that question which probiotic do I take and which prebiotic do I take?
And I guess there's a sliding scale between all right, is there something clinically that we're actually trying to do to counter a dysbiosis or an infection? Or are we just trying to upkeep for general, the mum might be perfectly fine and just want to make sure that the breast milk is absolutely optimised. So we'll go down that wrung. And along that sliding scale and I guess in that instance it's going to fall more again into the diet, more of a general throw a wide net supplementation if they want to do it for pre and pros. So we'll just say anyone's listening in going, just tell me which one to take it if I'm in that situation. That's coming. So anything else you need to say on that?
Dan Sipple: (16:35)
I just wanted to add there to your point that yeah, I really want to just get the message across that probiotics are just probiotics and we'll talk about strain specificity and stuff like that. But I think it really pays to see a clinician that knows what they're doing with particular strains. And so for anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about with the probiotic, you've got a genus a species and then a strain.
Dan Sipple: (17:01)
So take lactobacillus acidophilus for example. Lactobacillus is the genus, acidophilus is the species, and then what comes after that, which isn't always written on probiotic labels, actually carries all the weight. So that's your first red flag. If you're taking a probiotic or you're thinking about taking probiotics, you're looking at different products and whatnot, and then not mentioning that third component, you're just seeing the first two words essentially, that's a bit of a red flag because two strains within the same species can have completely different actions.
Dan Sipple: (17:35)
And a good example there is like E. coli. So Escherichia coli, Nissle 1917, the strain, great for colitis and a whole range of conditions. Escherichia coli in another strain can cause watery, bloody diarrhoea and make you really sick. So strain absolutely matters. I think there's a lot of companies out there that will probably skimp on that a little bit. And might be paying for inferior strains and then extrapolating research that's been done on good strains. And when you look at a label, unless the strain is written down there, you don't know what you're getting.
How's it going to be written? So is it going to be in a third in bracket, they're going to say what the actual strain is after the bacteria?
Dan Sipple: (18:19)
Exactly. Exactly. So a common one. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. So GG, that's the strain. That's the one with the research. If you pick up a product and it says Lactobacillus rhamnosus and nothing else after that, red flag. Yeah.
So in that instance you want to be able to talk to the... I'm sure maybe you can get a good health food store owner that's really onboard and has naturopathic skills or something like that or then if not, you can go to the actual company and start asking them what their actual strains are.
Dan Sipple: (18:50)
And is that the difference between you go for one that's actually super specific and you know for you particularly from all the research and just how you feel you want particular strains. Therefore you have a particular company that you don't like to buy your probiotic supplementation from because if you are not really... Look, I don't really mind, I just want lots of different strains in this. A bit more like a wild fermentation going on, where rather than just them buying a specific cheap strain of bacteria and putting that in versus them going, "Look, there's a huge variety of bacteria and strains that are going in." but I guess that's going to be then determined by what starter they are they're using in their fermentation process.
Is there validity of going, "Right. I don't want that specificity, but I want something that's a more of a wild ferment, but I want it supplemented I don't want to be having that in fermented foods as much. Can't rely on it."
Dan Sipple: (19:50)
Yeah, so if I'm honest, it is a little bit of a myth that taking a multi-strain probiotic is going to confer more health benefits. People seem to, I guess have a bit of a, what am I trying to say here? When someone looks at a strain that is just literally a unique strain in a probiotic, I think there's a potential for some people to think that that does very little when that couldn't be further from the truth. Sometimes literally just one strain can have extremely pivotal actions and benefits in the gut.
Dan Sipple: (20:26)
So more isn't always better. Having said that, you do want to make sure that if you are just doing one single strain that the number of colony forming units does meet the minimum requirement. But yeah, back to your point, I would get nervous of any company that isn't writing any of the strains down.
Dan Sipple: (20:45)
And then if you get in touch with and they're cagey about that information, that's another sure sign. And that happens all the time. Using a company like Metagenics, I use a few different companies and clinic here, but Metagenics are a good example of a company that do list the strain always and they've only got a handful of strains that they use probably around 10 or 12 at the most. And within that range they've got maybe eight or nine different types of probiotics. And so some contain two or three strains only, one of their multi strains is only five strains. And then they've got some just single rockstar strains with really good research. So yeah, more species, not necessarily better.
Dan Sipple: (21:29)
Yeah, go on, sorry.
I was going to say they're all refrigerated, are they?
Dan Sipple: (21:35)
Yeah, yeah. You can get shelf stable probiotics and again, you just want to make sure that the strains listed in that strain has good evidence, but there's no issue around if a probiotic is shelf stable, that it's any less beneficial.
Is Metagenics... They're available to the public. Right, I'm not crazy?
Dan Sipple: (21:55)
No, it is a practitioner only.
It is a practitioner only?
Dan Sipple: (21:59)
All right. It's really alluding me what those...
It's really eluding me that practitioner quality that I'm seeing when I go into the health food stores. I'll have to check it out because there's a few that I've had some good results with that have been available to the public. I'll have to check it out. And I'm sure everyone listening, I'm sure has gone about and they have their fav's, but it's a good little basis to make sure that they were actually able to get the species specific when we're looking at the [crosstalk 00:22:25]
Dan Sipple: (22:25)
Well that's it. And I should say too that there is definitely brands, over the counter brands, non practitioner brands that are very efficacious and that do list their strains down for sure. Yeah.
Are you taking one preventatively yourself?
Dan Sipple: (22:45)
Look, when everything is in good shape, I tend to just focus on prebiotics and dietary diversity. So I think that needs to be the core thing that people focus on always. So generally speaking, the more diversity in your diet of plant species, so aiming for 40 to 60 different plants species a week, exposes your microbiome to various different shapes and sizes of fibre, mucilage, pectin, polyphenols, et cetera, which then grows the diversity of our microbiome. So you want a very rich microbiome in terms of species diversity. That's correlated with better health outcomes versus, like we touched on earlier, starting life with the C-section. Unfortunately, you're going to start life with a very dwindled down, poor diversity of microbes, which can be improved, of course, but yeah. So as I say, the core thing I want people to focus on is getting everything from their diet because probiotics; although, they're great.
Dan Sipple: (23:45)
I use them every day in clinical practice. They don't permanently colonise. Still, a lot of people I find are under that kind of idea, I think from the blogosphere basically and yeah, it's a bit of a myth that one. Some of the probiotics do hang around longer than others, two to three weeks. And in others only three or four days. They will always confer a positive action when they go through, such as modulating the immune system, compete for space or out-compete pathobionts and other pathogens along the gut wall, down regulate inflammation, et cetera. So they'll always do those sorts of things, but they don't permanently colonise whereas if you use prebiotics that is fertiliser for your own probiotics. The ones you were born with. So the better long-term strategy I find is to grow them.
You're talking about a drifter or a bit of a nomad that's still good. It has great intentions. They're coming along. They're contributing a little bit, but they're not the ones that are actually going to consistently be coming back and being the custodian of the land, setting up a little bit of a civilization in [crosstalk 00:24:48] alignment with the rest of the body that's thinking it will be continuing to pour back resources into the environment and just set up shop.
Dan Sipple: (24:56)
I did. I try. I'm feeling it. I need that. It feels nice for me going into that imagining of that reality helps me get out of my head a little bit with it and get into my Heart and that will leave my lower dantian to feel what's going on.
I feel that storytelling is always what's necessary for me to go from a short term outcomes mentality to really making sure that when I'm 80 and 90 years old that I've had a real serious trot building this. People talk about creating a legacy in business and yet that external projection, which is noble and good, but that external projection of wanting to create a legacy out here in the world. Often, you know that it's going to be unsustainable or an element of martyrdom if that takes away from your capacity to create a legacy through your microbiome internally.
Dan Sipple: (25:59)
Yeah. I've got a little skit that I'm brewing called Bacterial Master Chef and I'd always think about you really prepare and I don't know if we've talked about it before, that legacy that microbiome that you've developed such a supple, beautiful environment. Eventually, you're going to be passing that down through your kids and through your offspring as well.
Through the sperm health is going to be directly correlated. I assume through what's going on in the microbiome and then you've got a healthy microbiome and that's really creating this solid rooting within your own household. And then just via whether its physical transfer or whether it's just transfer of your habitual internal development of that beautiful complex ecosystem that's an old growth forest. Those habits that are leading to that are going to be passed down through your own personal culture to your kids, through your friends, everyone around you and far out. That's a legacy. And then I feel like you're also preparing yourself for when you go back. Your body goes back to the earth. You're serving up that bacteria in your body in that.. Go to the Master chef kitchen and when it's all done and dusted and your bacteria reflecting with the judges of other bacteria in the world of how [crosstalk 00:27:21] that human body was prepared and it was off its back. You want to really win that contest.
Dan Sipple: (27:27)
Yeah. Yeah. And my mentor, Dr. Jason Hawrelak down in Tasmania says pretty much just that, we are custodians of our microbiome. You got to really think of that in that context and it's up to us to nurture it and protect it because it does get passed down. And what are we now, four or five generations or more antibiotics. So with each generation that pool of diversity is dwindling, if anyone gets a chance to read Missing Microbes. Really good book. It talks all about that.
It's like a sourdough starter. It gets passed down from generation. For me, you just feel what lights up internally. I went to a pizza joint right in Aguascalientes at the base of Machu Picchu and they had a 300 year old starter, sourdough starter for their pizzas or something like that and they had a three day ferment process for their pizzas and there's something kind of like lights up internally and you get out of that upper dantian of the head and I really got me into my Heart and the romance, something sprung up and it brings up more of a song and dance to the food and to life and that's the same internally just as who you are. You can really create some proud family tradition and something that lights you up internally by seeing that you do have something precious like a starter that gets passed down from generation to generation.
Missing Microbes. All right, that's a book we've got to get. So, I'm sure everyone knows that you've heard it to death things that are going to alter and damage microbiome, intestinal epithelial barrier and all that.
Dan Sipple: (29:26)
Yeah and it's a good, nice bridge to talk about how the leaky gut thing interfaces with the microbiome. So essentially, that's just the protective mucosal, thick jelly like layer that just coats the whole digestive tract. The intestinal barrier really just being our protective layer against the outside wall and then between our bloodstream. People have to think about it like that from mouth to backside, it's a hollow tube. It's still technically outside your body. So you want to make sure that the integrity and the quality of that lumen is tip-top. So, essentially the microbes throughout that entire tract do hang out in that mucosal lining and you've got about five different layers from outer to inner that comprise that and so you've got the mucosal layer and then I think by memory the last layer is the immune layer where all the immune phagocytes and interleukins and they do their dance there.
Hmm, [crosstalk 00:30:33] but that were like the macrophage, like the gut-associated lymph tissue almost.
Dan Sipple: (30:37)
GALT and yes, lymph tissue and whatnot.
It's why the macrophages as well are sitting there with their receptors waiting for the beta glucans from the mushies.
Dan Sipple: (30:47)
Exactly. You have the TLRs, the toll-like receptors waiting to get turned on, which we'll go into, but I've lost my train of thought.
Well, we were talking about that mucosal lining there being something pressured that's sitting on that skin of the gut, the epithelial barrier and so that's got a lot to do with protecting against leaky gut. Right and therefore, degenerating the physical structure that ensures that we have the potential to grow and maintain a microbiome within that mucosal lining.
Dan Sipple: (31:18)
That's right. Yeah. So the things that damage it we were going to lead into, so antibiotics being the biggest one. Followed by probably, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Proton pump inhibitors, which is a big one that is coming up hugely in the research at the mument in terms of antacids, basically or reflux and those sorts of conditions.
Are they going in because they're destroying directly the bacterial colony and therefore, the bacterial colony is what is maintaining and producing that healthy mucosal lining? Or is it destroying the actual mucus? Therefore, the bacteria don't have somewhere to live.
Dan Sipple: (31:56)
I think it would be both, but essentially it's down-regulating your acids and therefore, bacteria that you do ingest have an easier go. Basically, they get an easier pass at getting into that layer, so whereas your acids in the stomach, which precede the small and large intestine would normally take care of that. That's a free pass straight through because your acids are suppressed.
That's something I'd probably throw out there. This whole alkaline water thing. I know we've discussed it. You're on board with that as well. That's where I'll never get on board and a long-term alkaline water that there's maybe some validity, maybe and this is where all the data and the preaching around alkaline water comes from these short-term healing protocols, which you can see validity in extreme we're going to talk about ketogenic diets, short term ketogenic diet, right, maybe. Short term alkaline water ingesting for a healing protocol, maybe, but then when you get long-term, the antacids, the alkaline water are going to start, I assume. That's the pathway in the stomach that's going to contribute to the stripping of the microbiome.
Dan Sipple: (33:00)
I mean we could probably do a whole podcast just on that.
Oh, we should. All right, we'll I'll put that in there. We'll put that out there. We'll get Sage on as well and we'll talk about alkaline water. That'd be good.
Dan Sipple: (33:15)
So other than that we've got diet, alcohol, lack of fibre, lack of plants in the diet. Stress is a huge one. So stress and medications and alcohol probably the biggest, but yeah, essentially, I guess that's a good segway into what you and I have talked about briefly in the past on other shows is that diets that do overly emphasise protein and saturated fat and meat and that do become devoid of fibre, soluble fibre, specifically in different plant polyphenols. They happen to increase the growth of bacteria in the gut that degrade mucus, so they degrade that mucosal protective lining.
Dan Sipple: (33:58)
So let me just repeat that. When you're on those diets for too long. High protein, high fat without sufficient fibre to offset it. Different bugs in the gut use those as fuel. They proliferate, they start out crowding more protective types of species and they feed off mucus. So, they're going to start eating mucus in our gut and burrowing down through that layer and making that more cryptic and making that more accessible to the bloodstream and the immune system start invoking a proinflammatory response. I think people can can tell where I'm getting with that. So if that goes on for too long, then you are looking at a massive pro inflammatory response coming from the gut.
Yeah, I mean everyone can see that there's always Yin Yang and a pendulum swinging within the dietary system and so we've seen an excessive amount of industrial food over such a long time and therefore, we saw the cleansing, catabolic vegan diets, raw diets, no fat diets real void of animal proteins come into dominance. And then that went to extreme. Therefore, the universe and life will always balance itself out. The trick is not going back to the pendulum swinging too far and then we see that more of the high protein, the Atkins, ketogenesis, carnivore now, bulletproof diet being that balanced up and start really dominating what's been recommended out there in the blogosphere, so on and so forth. I think that's what you're talking about. Right?
Dan Sipple: (35:32)
Totally and like you said it, the pendulum can swing too far the other way. And you see that, I always say to patients, the microbes don't lie. When we look at the gut microbiome, we know what you've been eating. We can base what foods you've been eating by the look of where the bugs are at and we know what roles they play and what percentage they're representing in that person's microbiome. And so with that sort of dietary approach and I'm not against meat at all. I'm flexitarian as I like to say, but too much for too long without that fibre can lead to those dysbiotic changes and we're really starting to see saturated fat play a big role in increasing what are called pathobionts and these pathobionts produce something called lipopolysaccharide and I'll break all these terms down, but LPS, lipopolysaccharide, this is something that's on the outer shell of these gram-negative bacteria that when they get fed in sufficient amounts they produce more of and its absolute chaos for our immune system.
Dan Sipple: (36:35)
For whatever reason, our immune system just hates this lipopolysaccharide and launches really pro-inflammatory interleukins at them into interleukin 17 and interleukin 6 causes that pro-inflammatory response. So, to break that down, high fat, high protein, you're encouraging the growth of certain bugs in the gut that are more likely to produce these endotoxins.
Dan Sipple: (36:58)
The endotoxins are what damage the gut. So we used to think it was just like with leaky gut what I said before, just the medications and just the diet and just the stress and that sort of stuff, which cause the tight junctions to separate, but there's a whole new body of research which is really, really becoming super accepted right across the board about the actual bugs in the gut being responsible for all that too. Particularly, the ones that produce these endotoxins and these hydrogen sulphide gases and that's been connected to anything from gut issues themselves. Anything from Celiac to Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, all the way over to anxiety, depression, Parkinson's, Dementia because we think what can potentially happen down in that gut microbiome can also then be affected in the blood brain barrier and affect the blood brain barrier the same way because that in itself is a very similar set up with that epithelial lining which can get damaged.
Because the microbiome in itself.
Dan Sipple: (37:58)
Pretty much. Exactly.
Oh man. Alright, so let's just start breaking it down a little bit because I feel like this is where the boring over-identifying with diet and what macronutrients are defining who you are and defining your diet at all. It's something I know we've hit a lot. We definitely hit in the past, the boring nature of identifying on being like low fat and low protein from animal sources and then we've seen that busting of the bubble around the saturated fat is bad coming especially out of the institutionalised dietitians so we've busted that and so then it's like you see fat-fueled, hashtag fat-fueled coming up. Completely living off saturated fat because all of a sudden we've almost been given this free pass to go and eat those things and do those things that we enjoy, but yet then you start identifying with the macronutrient of my diet, saturated fat, fats.
That's my fuel and I only talk about this from personal experience because you're internally too boring to develop your own innate identity through who you are and your true nature is you have to go and look at your macronutrients in order to create an identity for yourself that you can therefore go out and create in a career and a brand or just a bit of personality so you have something to talk about and it is boring and I think that's what we're talking about here. Right and it's not going down a short route because you're interested in creating some balancing for yourself through the endocrine system. I know we've talked about ketogenesis for a short amount of time, whether it's through water fasting, which isn't a very easily accessible way to get to ketogenesis.
But you know, living off fats and ketones and bulletproofing or maybe you go down that route because you want to get your insulin receptors and your leptin receptors back to a point where they're quite healthy. You've got an intention and you go full bolt into that intention, but then what happens when you don't find a sweet spot and you over-identify. I think that's what we're talking about at all points here.
You've gone too far. You haven't realised that what goes up must come down and find a sweet spot that's sustainable for decades and so we're talking about, there's a sliding scale of the damage that you can do to yourself verse.. I know I've gone really down like that fat route for a while. It gets to a point where I can just feel sluggish and you want to talk about what we're actually going to physiologically feel. If we're rocking the fats too hard, we're creating too much bile. Therefore, we're going to be having to lead to those bacteria growing that are going to start eating more of that mucus. What are we feeling?
Dan Sipple: (41:02)
The things that I think of straight away from a gut perspective, oily stools so if you're wiping lots that's a pretty sure sign that your intake of fats is exceeding your gallbladder's attempt to up regulate bile to the point to where it's affecting your stool.
That's such a good little distinction then. Lots of wiping, too oily.
Dan Sipple: (41:28)
Totally and then the flow on from that, I guess if it is done in excess for too long, you're talking about brain fog, lethargy, just overall increased body inflammation because if we strip it back down it is going to increase our leaky gut. So then all the symptoms that you can expect to find in someone with a leaky gut, you can carry over to that. Brain fog, just general digestive disturbance, lots of gas, lots of odorous gases and always check the stool. Look at what the stool is doing. I think that's the biggest marker of whether a diet is working for you or working against you.
Okay. So it's basically about ensuring we're not consuming so much fat that we're creating an excess of bile. Basically creating a different [crosstalk 00:42:19]
Dan Sipple: (42:19)
The other one is nausea, which I forgot to mention too. Nausea is a classic sign of poor fat breakdown.
I can get into immediately, a lot of my fats I enjoy my tonic. Having a bit of grass fed butter is my fat and just due to all the fat solubles that I'm going to be able to get going in through there especially with such a focus on bone health and teeth health and a little bit of EMU oil is also a big favourite of mine, but I can feel if I go for that second tonic and I'm relying on a saturated fat and it's been a hard one for me to chew the fat on actually over the years is I do feel a little bit nauseous afterwards. It's very immediate for me and [crosstalk 00:43:04] I feel like...
Dan Sipple: (43:04)
It's saturated fats? Or do you find you would get that, say if you slay five avocados in a row as well.
Avocados. I used to have that same experience when I was a raw foodie and I was relying on the macadamia butter and the avocados to really sustain me through the day. I'd get to that feeling. I get to that point where I'd eat my salads and it'd be heaps of olive oil and heaps of avocados and say olives, but mainly that avocado factor that would kind of get in there. And I just said, I'd be feeling it. It's an oily, stagnant feeling and it's a good one to kind of get on top of because it's not like that's a bad thing to feel. It's just that it's a good thing to be able to realise so you can, so I can adjust. I mean for me it's been an interesting one because I had so many years of so much roughage and so many plants, but I was having them in more of that raw form that it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth to an extent.
I did enjoy needing to balance out and getting a little bit more of that animal fat and animal protein. And now I really feel that they're settling in to their sweet spot and their little place and I'm acknowledging that I'm going to have to be responsible enough and go be the custodian of my microbiome to find that sweet spot, where I'm actually going to be able to create some mumentum in the development of that ecosystem.
Dan Sipple: (44:28)
And that's the thing, man, like that's what's so good about testing is because when you do that and you can see where these guys are at and their percentages. There's ideal percentages and don't get me wrong, we don't know what the exact perfect microbiome looks like yet.
Well it probably doesn't exist. I mean, that's like [crosstalk 00:44:45]
Dan Sipple: (44:45)
That's right. It's the horses for courses. That's right, but we do have a pretty good idea based on databases of healthy donors where these healthy species are meant to fall within, and you can design your diet around that. That's what's awesome about doing the gut microbiome testing is that you are going to get particular foods which we know feed up Akkermansia muciniphila and Bifidobacterium and different species in the gut that do produce these amazing substances called butyrate and other short chain fatty acids. Butyrate. We should talk about that too actually.
Well, let's get into it. I just want to kind of end on the fact that it's excessiveness and finding sweet spots, so you can kind of set and forget things in your diet and you can get on to enjoying life and celebrating life and developing your virtuous nature without taking your health down a dysbiosis route that will sneak up on you over years. And it's nice to get out of the good and bad kind of aspect of foods and just find there's always, you know, with most indigenous diets of course we've got the extreme instances with like Eskimos that are just basically all blubber and protein.
Dan Sipple: (45:51)
And that's a particular like fringe instance. And I think we've chatted about it before being like there's a phase of adaptation for that microbiome to find its harmony. But when you look at generally in the middle of the bell curve, which is where most of us can kind of like aim for. If we want them, by all means go and explore the fringes, just don't project it onto others until you have generational data for yourself and currently. But it's mostly like all the successful indigenous cultures, blue zone cultures, there's like that appropriate amount of saturated fat, plant in some places, most of the time it's coming, from animals that appropriate amount of protein, a lot of plant diversity, soluble, insoluble, right? And fibre.
Dan Sipple: (46:39)
That's exactly where I try and now more so than ever shoot my patients long-term towards that Mediterranean diet in terms of the actual research, comparing different diets. Mediterranean diet always trumps the others still. And I think exactly what you said, just because it is such a flexible approach where you're just getting a bit of everything and you're getting so much diversity and polyphenols and you're still getting your saturated fats and your proteins and whatnot. It's just that you're not relying on the same basic five foods to get them in.
Yeah, I mean that's so huge. And I also want to trump people who take that example, whether it's blue zones and say they pretty much eat nothing animal and try and use it to justify their other extreme vegan diet. I'm not getting away with that today sonny, not on my watch. I mean it is finding that sweet spot and also almost creating that legacy with how in harmony your diet can be and I'm respectful of what works and what doesn't work man. So good. It's so rad. Hey everyone, don't be so boring that you need to overly identify with your macro nutrients. If you find yourself at that point, please don't go spurting all that self-righteousness over everyone else. Chickity check yourself before you wreck yourself, because you will brand yourself in a particular way. And then it denies you the fact of getting very real. And it also denies you with being curious because what you do when you identify externally with your diet, extreme diet, even if you're over identifying with like the name of the Mediterranean diet, whatever it is, it means that when you go about and try and get testing done on yourself and you're looking for generational data, it makes you biassed and it makes you go and search for justification.
You know, misery loves company and you want to create company and basically create data that justifies your position, which is very boring. It's very boring to be around. I know that I've talked about that for myself. I've found that blandness in myself and then I've had to kind of shut up for a couple of years and really just go about that nature of that route of building something for myself, which I feel is in harmony and let the cup floweth over through curious conversations like this. Not saying I'm doing it right. Just sharing my little path and my opinion.
Dan Sipple: (49:10)
Hmm. And being open-minded and flexible.
Being open-minded and flexible. Hey, so did you want to go and break down any of those terms anymore? Do you feel like you've, you know, the lipopolysaccharide and that, I mean, I feel like we've dived into that, but just even going further down into diet and some of your faves, the places you're kind of like looking at to make sure that you've got like a wide variety of prebiotics getting in there?
Dan Sipple: (49:39)
Yeah, good point. Yeah. So I guess just to sort of preface by saying that old concept of fibre is fibre is nonsense and it comes in all different shapes and sizes.
You mean like have your bowl of all bran in the morning and your sweet?
Dan Sipple: (49:55)
Yeah, that's exactly what I mean. Yeah. Very dietician, very old hat, 80's, 90's mentality. There's soluble-
Dieticians are getting a flogging this podcast.
Dan Sipple: (50:07)
Well they will, unless they're willing to adapt to the research. You know?
I'll say there's a couple of dietitians out there I like and they're adaptive, but gosh, not many. Nope, not many. I've got a chip on my shoulder from when I had to butt heads with the dieticians that were trying to tell when my mum had her aneurysm, like nearly 10 years ago now, nine years ago.
Dan Sipple: (50:32)
Custard. Wasn't a custard.
Yeah, it was custard. They were basically, they were just ripping it to me about trying to go against the grain of their recommendations, giving her the golden circle orange juice.
Dan Sipple: (50:43)
[crosstalk 00:50:43] brain.
Yeah. Literally when it was literally custard, stock standard, golden circle, sugar infused, synthetic vitamin infused juices, which were just going to be putting in pressure through refined sugar on her system. Ra-ra. And I sat there with like the head of dietetics in the Royal North Shore. My mum's dietician and then a student, this like ratty little student right out of the institutionalised dogma, who was just trying to have a go at me because she thought I didn't know a thing or two. And then I just let her have it and ripped her into the biological healing process of the brain inflammatory processes, so on and so forth.
And I was like, I'm feel really beautifully smug about, because I was so highly charged and so traumatised and going through so much grief at that time and during those times I think for someone like that to not have tact and be projecting onto the stupid son who's just distraught and not being able to have a conversation because you're so rigid. I'm like that's where my chip on my shoulder of dieticians comes from. And yeah, as you said, I've changed my opinion and adapted so much over the years and when someone else doesn't have the capacity to do that, I'm just like "Sorry. You have ejected yourself from the conversation of relevance. So you go, I don't want to talk to you right now." So yeah, take that dietitians.
Dan Sipple: (52:20)
Well said. Yeah. So prebiotics and the different shapes and sizes. So look, we've got these long chain sugars and fibres. Inulin is one of them. One of my favourites. We've got fructose oligosaccharides, or FOS, we've got galactooligosaccharides, GOS, and then there's-
Galactose. What's the probiotic as well that goes by like, maybe it's just galacticose or so something like in, in that, anyway, sorry, I'm thinking about some of the names of bacteria or over the years you hear and I'm just like, Oh wow [crosstalk 00:52:59]
Dan Sipple: (53:01)
The names aren't forgiving. They're horrendous.
Like galactose is great. I've always, where's the dietary source of...
Dan Sipple: (53:13)
Was it galactose, am I making it?
Dan Sipple: (53:15)
So we've got galacto-oligo-saccharides and it's abbreviated as GOS for short.
Dan Sipple: (53:22)
And you're going to find that in legumes and beans and lentils and beets and stuff. So in the Mediterranean diet, they're getting a lot of GOS.
Where are you at with beans and the presence of lectins and that? Beans being like a peasant food, something like grain that's not necessarily natural, it's going to go against like an indigenous diet kind of style of things. I feel like there's a nice middle ground there to talk about taking advantage of the access we do have to like agriculture and realisation that some of these like prebiotic rich foods are going to be good. Maybe again it's, maybe is it just like a little bit, you know, where are you at?
Dan Sipple: (53:59)
I always go back to the blue zones and I just think if you know, you can't just compare the legumes consumed 500-1000 years ago to what's being produced now and say they're the same. So it's going to come back to quality at the end of the day and if they're being soaked and sprouted and cooked properly, because the reality is all that nasty crap like phytates and oxalates and lectins and a lot of that gets removed when you do those things, versus when they're picked, canned and then you heat the can of soup up for 30 seconds or whatever, different story, that's when you're going to end up with more likely chance of bloating and gastrointestinal issues.
So you can say that it's like a kitchari is not going to be a kitchari, is a kitchari, is a kitchari, is a kitchari. You look at preparation and again you've got to put time and effort into these things. If you want to go the convenience model it really is when you're going to be eligible to be in that legume, bean and lentil eating kind of category, where you might be actually doing some detrimental stuff to yourself over the time, versus I mean an almost like the preparation that you do, which I know is hard for everyone but the preparation time and the sprouting and the soaking, it kind of almost like limits the amount that you're going to be able to be having naturally and therefore you're going to have more diversity, because it takes so much effort. Right? There's like magic just in, it's the same as like a flavour of the food is, of garlic is going to limit the amount of garlic a lot of the time that you're going to be able to take, or like the flavour of Reishi is going to affect how much you're actually going to be able to dose. And so to the preparation time of foods is going to affect how much you're actually going to be able to reasonably include your diet. Therefore,. it's going to put a natural cap and help you find the sweet spot.
Dan Sipple: (55:50)
Totally, totally. And look, it's slow going for some people. Quite often when we do a microbiome assessment, take John Smith who's been on a paleo or a carnivore diet or whatever it is, a diet that focuses on the removal of legumes and that sort of thing and has been quite meat heavy for quite some time, 99% of the time the bugs that feed off legumes and resistant starches and whatnot and produce these beneficial compounds for us like butyrate, that heal the gut and lower inflammation, they're starved. Sometimes they're extinct totally. And that's because they've had such an over reliance on other foods and they've been on such a restricted diet that these bugs just dwindle and dwindle because they're waiting to get fed.
And what is butyrate do for the barriers again?
Dan Sipple: (56:43)
Sure. So when you feed your gut these types of fibres, so GOS, FOS, inulin and resistant starch, et cetera, et cetera, you're feeding beneficial microbes in the gut that when they get fed in sufficient amounts, they produce this awesome compound called short chain fatty acids. And there's different types of short chain fatty acids. One of the major ones is butyrate, which is probably the most favoured because it does have such good healing benefits for blood brain barrier function, for lowering lipopolysaccharide, healing a damaged leaky gut wall and just lowering colonic inflammation and systemic inflammation. So you want as much butyrate as you can get. So you want to feed those bugs up, you want to give them the fuel from those foods so they can produce that for you.
Dan Sipple: (57:26)
And yeah, sometimes it's a real hard slug to get those bugs fed up again, because those foods have been out of that person's diet for a while, reintroducing them does cause issues and it is like going, so for instance, sometimes it's like, all right I want you to go to bulk health foods or whatever it is, grab yourself a bag of black beans, go home, soak them when you're ready on a day where your gut's okay and you know, pick a Saturday or whatever, usually a day you're not at work, get literally like half a palm size and cook them over a long period of time and just start there. And I want you to do that again in three days from then and then again in three days from then and just slowly, slowly build it up. And you know when they're able to handle appreciable amounts of that. Cool. Go on to lentils, do it with lentils now and you just build them up slowly and slow and slow. And sometimes it takes like literally months, but it's good when you can show them their microbiome again in six months and say now look at that guy now. He was almost extinct in the first report, look where he is now and look how much butyrate you're producing now.
And so you're saying do that because you're going to have to go through a process of being farty and having a bit of a reaction to it or what?
Dan Sipple: (58:37)
You're always going to get gas. Yeah. You're always going to get gas with legumes and lentils, it's normal. I always say to folks when you're producing really odorous stinky, ridiculous amounts of gas and you know it's wrong, that is 99% of the time protein putrefaction so that is actually more from high protein and lots of saturated fats. When you're getting lots of gas from plants you'll get gas definitely, but it's usually more volume and less odour.
Well you probably also kind of talk to the fact that that gaseousness, because I've kind of opened a little bit more up to legumes and lentils and beans based on this preparation model because I've had a bit of a problem with them and with the anti-nutrients for some time. So I'm kind of trying to find my balanced approach. And again, even with those, with artichokes and you know is a big one, we call them fartichokes.
Dan Sipple: (59:35)
I think it's probably also just a good gauge for where the sweet spot in your diet is long-term as well. Right? Like if it's making you noticeably, if it affects your day because you're noticeably farty, it's even just like lower the dose and don't necessarily use it as a staple of a meal. Right?
Dan Sipple: (59:52)
Hundred percent. And that's sometimes where I'll go in with an actual supplement, like a stripped down, like galactooligosaccharides as a fibre powder and they start on literally a pinch in their water a day, because you're doing some feeding, but it's different than say having four tablespoons of black beans or lentils and you just do it super, super slow. Yeah.
Man. A lot to learnings and just going through my processes on these podcasts. But yeah, I think you're right. I think there is still the presence of these legumes and even grains in traditional diets. They're just prepared and the thing is they we're just limited by what was possible to forage and procure and so you just had a reasonable amount in the diet. It's just the fact that we can get such high amounts and such easy access to these things that we just blow it out of the water and create a sometimes an unnatural reliance and to be honest, sometimes we can, I know this is speculative, but we can build upon what we've learned from our ancestors and those generationally tested diets that are actually generationally tested and just I guess try and slowly potentiate it without the ego to think that we're like necessarily improving, just honing it in based on the availability we have of things.
Dan Sipple: (01:01:22)
Yeah. I always think about, it's kind of like make your diet about your microbiome. Don't make it about your Instagram profile.
So tough. I get so many followers no, I mean like I'm vibing man. I just haven't been talking about my diet for so long. I just feel like I haven't it a right to. Appreciate the journey for sure.
Dan Sipple: (01:01:42)
Do you get that a lot still Mase? Like people will say, what are you eating? What have you found works for you? What are your vibing at the moment?
I don't get that any more. People notice that I don't talk about my diet, because I don't have a framework, because my framework is something that's internally driven and it's meant to be for me all about my family, building that loving hub within the kitchen. That's the main, because I was so kind of clinically minded and self-righteous about my diet in the past, I've just been trying to like settle a little bit more into my Heart and then allowing the infusion of the health principles to come back and you know, merge with that.
And at the same time, because I got my model, the kind of the three antians driving a lot of health. The upper Dantian being about logic and morality and like this makes sense and you can get stuck in dogma there and because you're so far away from the Kidneys in the lower dantian, it leads to Jing deficiencies and a lack of capacity to create your own self identity and self worth. Not needing to identify with something and be able to explain exactly what you're doing, who you are to others. Because that's what I find that does. And then there's the Heart, that middle Dantian, that Heart space being very much about connection, romance, the song and dance, you know, think about the Italian mama, what she's bringing? Preparation being a place where there's aromatics and there's a positive association and enjoyment and then that lower dantian being that place where it's associated with our gut and it's associated with our instincts and knowing when we're taking ourselves in a direction, which is despite the fact that we don't logically know why, we instinctively know we're going too far down a rabbit hole.
It's what happened for me both when I was on a conventional diet. I instinctually knew for some reason I needed to go towards something else. And so I chose a cleansing raw food diet, but it was the same thing coming towards the end I was like, there's instinctually something for me that needs to start altering right now. And I kind of explained that as you know, a lot of the time it was like a very boring conversation that I was having internally. But at the same time I needed to listen to my gut and start taking myself into a direction, despite the fact that it didn't logically make sense to my head and I didn't necessarily want to or couldn't logically explain it to other people, especially the more vegan community that I was in at the time.
And so creating a harmony between that lower dantian is about our microbiome and feeling what's instinctually right. Literally feeling the body and being intact with the body and not denying the symptomology of the high fat diet or the no fat diet or whatever it is. Literally listening and feeling what's going on and adjusting to that. The Heart, which is romantic and enjoyment, which excessively can become gluttony. Right? Just wanting flavour and just wanting to use all the butter all the time. If someone is kind of living in that space and maybe doing it successfully, kind of like a Julia Child's vibe, I really like that, the French really do that Heart space well as well. And then the upper dantian, with the logic and this makes sense and I want to have this in my diet, because it's like bringing harmony between all those worlds is something that's been my journey.
And so I haven't quite had the framework to talk about it and then obviously as you can see, it's not just able to be written in an Instagram post. I can't just do like a 60 second or a five minute video and create entire context. So these conversations is me trying to share that journey so far. And I mean, and there's that, I call them the archetypes, those three and the fourth archetype really kind of, I find, associates for me more from not from those, the ganglia of those three dantians that I'm talking about, all those endocrine, pivotal points of those Taoist three brains, those dantians but it's more like the vagas nerve. It's more that connective part of me, I call it the celebrator. Right? There's a part that just wants to like set and forget at some point and literally just enjoy life in an integrated manner, where all those three dantians are in harmony. So, and I just get to go forth and celebrate-
... but I just get to go forth and celebrate life and who I am, knowing that I'm not excessively living in just the gluttony of my Heart or the logic of my brain, or the pure animalistic survivalist instinct of my lower dantian and guts. I try to bring harmony between those and that's where I'm trying to sit and procure my diet's emergence and then the culture around my food.
Dan Sipple: (01:06:29)
Cool, man. It's good. That's where I'm at.
So, in the show notes, I'm going to put these various prebiotics in some of the foods. These foods aren't going to be too out there: the skins off dark fruits and veggies and pomegranates and blackberries being in there. Sweet potatoes, berries, apples, beets, lentils. They're all there. Onions and garlics. You think about that over 10 years and how these foods are going to have an... It's like the pomegranates were on up at my mate's place, Tanya's place, right? So she brought down some pomegranates-
Dan Sipple: (01:07:14)
... and so it's like, "Sweet, I kind of forget. Oh, that's right." There's a connection there. I don't need pomegranates all the time but wow, there they are and then there's that... Let me to go the notes. There's that polyphenol factor again through the pomegranate vibe being present. When I'm in California, the blackberries come back in. I don't need them all the time and we don't need to live in the upper dantian, that mind, the thinker all the time and think, "Right. Okay. I need pomegranates in my diet. When am I going to fit them in? I need blackberries in my diet. Okay, I need to keep them in my diet," and have that kind of medical or that medicating association. I think that's important but I'll put the list in the show notes so everyone can just get a little bit of a vibe for that.
Dude, for preparation, do you have any recipe books or anything? Like natural... oh, gosh, what's the... Nourishing Traditions recipe book I feel like goes into a lot of the preparation for lentils and beets and legumes and that. Do you have any other [crosstalk 01:08:16]
Dan Sipple: (01:08:17)
Is that Sally Fallon?
Yeah, Sally Fallon.
Dan Sipple: (01:08:19)
Yeah. That is a good one actually. Look, not off the top of my head but, again, we can do a bit of homework and throw some in the show notes for folks that are keen to learn more.
Yeah, sweet. I'm sure it's out there but Nourishing Traditions is a good... Is that recipe book to get an idea of what we mean by preparation. Growing up, my mum's ex-husband, who was my stepdad at the time, he was an Israeli, and he was just... His lentils soaking was just always going on. The beans soaking, the red kidney beans soaking. They had really long cooks in the cast iron pots going on for a long time and then they'd whack their eggs in the top of it. It's there and it's something beautiful to-
Dan Sipple: (01:09:03)
It's embedded in the culture.
Yeah. We just need a little bit of culture. Literally.
Dan Sipple: (01:09:10)
Speaking of which, fermented foods. Do you want to do a little piece on that?
Dan Sipple: (01:09:15)
Yeah. So fermented foods.
But this comes up, like, "Should I be doing sauerkraut and kimchi every day?"
Dan Sipple: (01:09:19)
Every day. It comes up literally almost every day in practise for me, and you guys probably get it quite a bit too. I think the whole thing is that if you tolerate those foods, yes, they're beneficial but don't expect that the strains, the wild strains that are present in, say, a batch of sauerkraut, is going to have therapeutic impact, essentially. So they're just that. They're wild, they're random. We don't know what strains are in there. We know there's lots of them. We know they're quite diverse but a) they're not going to colonise, they don't permanently seed your microbiome. So that's a big myth, that one. But like I say, if you can tolerate them, awesome. They're going to produce some good compounds and they're going to help... a lot of them are high in vitamin C and other, I believe, minerals and co-factors but they aren't going to pack a punch like a strain-specific probiotic is, that has a tonne of research on it.
Do you see the main benefit being that this is a pre-digested food?
Dan Sipple: (01:10:21)
Yeah, exactly. It's a food that I always like to think is a suitable accompaniment in your plate to help you digest and break down other different types of macros and so forth.
What's going on, from your point of view, when fermented foods are having a negative effect, creating bloating? It came up back in the day when lots of people were doing Body Ecology, Donna Gates.
Dan Sipple: (01:10:49)
Yeah, I remember. I remember that.
Yeah. I think they have a good recommendation, just back off until such time where you slowly introduce them and you don't have that reaction anymore because most likely showing a particular dysbiosis. But have you got any insight on that?
Dan Sipple: (01:11:05)
Exactly like you said. I would say that's usually in the case of dysbiosis and more specifically fungal overgrowth. I've tended to observe clinically, when patients do have higher fungal loads, the ferments are usually out, as well as histamine reactivity. So those folks who have allergies, asthma, and are dealing with histamine issues, which, by the way, some bugs in the gut create histamine. I think that's a big one to tell people as well. So it's like, yes, there's different dietary foods that are going to contain histamine but don't always blame the foods in your diet, and if you go on a low histamine diet and you're still having histamine symptoms, that's when it's a gut issue. That's when you've usually got a dysbiosis of certain bugs that are producing histamine.
Is there any particular line of treatment for those bugs or anything that's overly feeding them that you can speak to?
Dan Sipple: (01:11:55)
Yeah. Generally, they tend to be the ones that, again, are linked to a high protein intake, long-term, without sufficient fibre. So if you can antagonise them, from a competition perspective, that's always the best way to do it rather than trying to kill them. I want to make that clear, that killing off bugs is a very Western style of doing it, and yes, we have some awesome herbs that are needed in certain cases that do that and that are more selective than antibiotics, but I try and get my patients thinking in more terms of growing bugs in the gut that naturally out-compete those ones. That's a better long-term investment for them.
Dude, so good. All right. So fermented foods. Any faves? Any you just keep it circulating? Because fermented foods was about preservation, food preservation, and so there was an upper cap and now you get... I remember when I was a young gun on the health scene. It was just like smashing a jar of sauerkraut in a day, kind of vibes.
Dan Sipple: (01:13:04)
Yeah. We all thought back then that, "Hey, these bugs, they're in me now, that's it. They're doing their thing, they're reseeding my microbiome."
At all? Maybe a little bit. I guess over time you get 10, 20, 30, 40 years where you have an appropriate amount of fermented food coming with your diet and you're just contributing to topping up [crosstalk 01:13:25]
Dan Sipple: (01:13:25)
I'll always eat them. I'll always eat them. Kimchi's a favourite. I'll always eat them, but they hang around-
Do you do it with fish oil? Not fish oil. Do you do it with fish sauce or no fish sauce, the kimchi?
Dan Sipple: (01:13:36)
Oh, no, I haven't done it with fish oils. Perhaps I should.
Dude, that's traditional.
Dan Sipple: (01:13:41)
I feel like a rookie now, man.
There's kimchi. It's not using like a... Is it a Chinese cabbage? If they're using just a regular cabbage, can they call it kimchi? I don't think so. You've got to get a real good Korean style.
Dan Sipple: (01:14:01)
Like a nice, thick-cut. That's a bit of a segway.
Dan Sipple: (01:14:09)
That's some homework.
Sometimes people might be listeners for the first time. Do you want to do a little bit of a breakdown on just when you talk about fibre, insoluble, soluble? Do you just want to talk about a little bit of the role there between the two? I know we've discussed it quite a bit so feel free to brush over.
Dan Sipple: (01:14:24)
No, look, just a nice little overview. Insoluble and soluble I guess are the main two breakdown products of fibre. You're either in one camp or the other, food-wise. A soluble fibre is one that is going to basically be resistant to our digestion, and it reaches the large colon intact still, and it's our bugs that transform that fibre, and usually beneficially that is.
Dan Sipple: (01:14:50)
Insoluble fibre, think of that as roughage, purely roughage, to help wash contents through. So good for constipation, usually where there is that stagnance. Psyllium, classic example of an insoluble fibre. Legumes, soluble fibre. Some do a bit of both.
Is this where you're at with leafy greens sitting in the diet?
Dan Sipple: (01:15:12)
Yeah. That's a good example of ones that are a bit more broad spectrum and not as specific. It's easy to get bogged down into polyphenols and colours and stuff like that and forget about the greens. So I'm always conscious to remember to keep them as a section of the plate, build your plate that way. Have the main percentage of the pie graph, so to speak, be your resistant starches and your lentils or whatever. Then you want 20% to 30% to be your animal protein. You want to have maybe 10% as your ferments, and 20% of greens or whatever it is.
That's a nice little starting point. Look at you.
Dan Sipple: (01:15:52)
Nice little pie chart.
Talking about dominance of lentils. Who are you? I don't even know you anymore!
Dan Sipple: (01:15:54)
Who have I become? I know.
Yeah. No high fat diets. A lot's changed. I think it's a very normal progression. Who knows where we'll go? It's a good launching point. Gosh. Where do people bring it out into something that's like nothing to comply to? There's nothing to comply to here. Where do all these principles descend to? That's been my big bug. Personal practise, my meditations, doing the work with Benny, Movement Monk Benny, at the moment is just really sitting and feeling that energy descend from my head to my Heart so that it can then infuse out into my practises because I don't like throwing the baby out with the bathwater and using that the plate percentages. Like, cool, input, and then where does it go? Where does it go so that this is something that is just infused into your lifestyle, like your Heart-based lifestyle long-term? Anyway. Do you mind going through a bit of an express round with me?
Dan Sipple: (01:17:12)
Yeah, let's do it.
I want to just talk about what happens with colonics and enemas excessively.
Dan Sipple: (01:17:18)
Yeah. Good point. Whenever I think about that, I remember straight after I left uni, we went down to Tasmania and did some training with the almighty, Jason Hawrelak, and there was a class of maybe like 40, and that come up. The prerequisite for that course was all people in that classroom had to have just assessed their microbiome and had to bring their results along, and had to talk about what foods they were eating, and they had to talk about what things they were doing. I can recall someone saying that they had been a huge colonics fan and I think they... That's right, they worked at a colonics place, wherever that happened to be, and were doing it pretty excessively. She had 17% diversity which is really, really poor, dwindled down. She wasn't necessarily very sick at the time but who knows what that would have looked like if she kept going? 17%. You want to be 100% if you can, or in the 90's percentile.
It's like living with no super and then all of a sudden you lose your capacity to work at 55 or 60 and you're not going to live off. That's the same thing with Jing, the bacterium associated with your Jing. They're literally this foundational potential, that you might not be bit in the arse right now but it could come back to bite you in the arse later.
Dan Sipple: (01:18:37)
Yeah. I think we've touched on that in podcasts before, how bacteria evolved from mitochondria. So when you take things that wipe out bacteria, you're also affecting your mitochondria. So that's a Western way of explaining exactly what you said, between the link of Jing and bacteria.
Yeah. The powerhouse.
Dan Sipple: (01:18:55)
The powerhouse, that's right.
That potential, the potential for energy. If you're doing your every now and again colonic and you're doing your enema every now and then just to get yourself cleaned out, are you a fan of that? Are you a fan of doing the bifidus enema afterwards to try and reseed the bifidus?
Dan Sipple: (01:19:16)
You know I'm going to say I'm a bigger fan of prebiotics for bifidus, for feeding up that guy, and certain partially hydrolyzed guar gum. That is a direct feeder, as is inulin, of bifido bacteria. I'm not a huge fan of colonics but I think they do have a role for the right person.
Dan Sipple: (01:19:34)
For the right person who wants into clinic, you're like, "You need a colonic. Actually, you need several colonics," and rolling it out. Rather than someone who comes in, is squeaky clean already. I just don't see a role there.
Yeah. Speculatory cleansing verse... Otherwise going, "Look, you're caked. You're really caked there. Let's look at your colon. Let's do some shit about that."
I just want to quickly touch on the various microbiomes in the body, the fact that we're not just talking about the gut, and we've discussed the microbiome into the blood brain barrier. There's been a microbiome within the dental cavity, through the hair, on the skin.
Dan Sipple: (01:20:15)
Yeah. The nose, the hair. Everywhere, man.
I guess it's the same principle. It's like, don't nuke it, right?
Dan Sipple: (01:20:21)
Yeah, exactly. I see the problems of... Take someone who peroxides their hair all the time. That's nuking your scalp. Of course, you're going to end up with maybe a higher risk for psoriasis and eczema and stuff like that. You're nuking the microbiome on your scalp. Same thing can be said with essential oils. That's getting a little bit off topic but essential oils, there's a big fad at the moment taking them internally, as you're probably aware.
As well as putting them on the skin, or using them in the mouth?
Dan Sipple: (01:20:53)
Yeah. I think if they're in a carrier oil on the skin it's less detrimental and, again, that's going to be nuanced between what essential oil you're using, peppermint oil versus oregano, for example. But there's a big trend at the moment being put forward by a lot of companies that they can be taken internally which is not so great if you're trying to look after your microbiome because you've got to remember how many plants or leaves specifically, for example, it takes to get one drop of tea tree oil. Heaps. Like 70. So it's highly, highly concentrated. Yes, there's essential oils in herbs but there's also a thousand other constituents packaged around that essential oil, just not concentrated essential oil.
Dan Sipple: (01:21:36)
So I get nervous when people say, "Yeah, I've taken oregano oil at night for about a month now. My kinesiologist," or whoever it was, chiropractor, "said that's good to do for bad bacteria." It's like, "Yeah. We'd better get in there and look at what your microbiome looks like because you've probably just eradicated everything."
Okay. So you're seeing using the essential oils basically over in that antibiotic?
Dan Sipple: (01:22:02)
I have a lot of beautiful friends that love taking it internally, colleagues that love so doing as well. It's a tough one to discuss at times because a lot of people are in the MLM and there's somewhat of a livelihood and identity, let's just call a spade a spade, associated with using essential oils for everything, and especially taking them dietarily. Haven't really spoken to it. Looking at Susun Weed, she's a pretty rad herbalist. She makes a pretty good case for that is such a level of excess of taking that much plant energy, that much plant nervous system I think... I don't know if she says that. As you said, I guess to take it to the point where you're in that excess, you're basically going pharmaceutical.
Dan Sipple: (01:22:59)
That's right, yeah.
[crosstalk 01:23:00] but I do, and into it being antibiotic. I've got to kind of agree, and it might not be evident really soon, but it's probably better to err on the side of caution. You've tested it I assume?
Dan Sipple: (01:23:14)
Yeah, totally. Yeah [crosstalk 01:23:15]
Where the same, if you're using orange, a bit of cardamum essential oil in your tonic and all that, kind of same deal, you see it as something that's going to be like ultimately-
Dan Sipple: (01:23:26)
I do. But, again, I think there've been nuances between the different plants in terms of their severity. But citrus seed extract, oregano oil, there's a few others, but there is actually research that you can look up to show that they wipe out... They act like an antibiotic. They wipe the terrain. They wipe good and bad. So you probably are dealing with your problem but you are not serving yourself in the long run, and you're setting it up so that problem can bounce back. What you want to use is selective antimicrobial herbs that are in their whole plant form, that are going to leave the good guys intact and target rogue fungus and bacteria and whatnot.
Man, thanks for that. It's good to start getting that discussed a little bit more, a little bit more publicly and just create a little bit of self-regulation. Like doing with the herbs, I like making sure people know when to stop and pause and instances. We want people to take advantage of the beauty of essential oils and where they're like super useful in life and we want to make sure that we're self-regulating and seeing that there's nuance, it's not just a one-size fits all. Just start realising which one of them are going to be a little bit more suited for an every now and then internally, they're not too harsh and which you can just like, "Come on, let's not go down that route." Man, this has been a bit of a whopper, eh?
Dan Sipple: (01:24:57)
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Love it. It's been good.
What we'll do is, we'll pop in the show notes... I know you've got some notes there about particular strains of bacteria and the clinical instances that they're used. So just establishing microbiome I think you've got on the list, post-antibiotics a massive one, autoimmunity, what kind of combination you're going to be looking at there. So pop that in the show notes and you can get in touch with Dan, Functional Naturopath, thefunctionalnaturopath.com.
Dan Sipple: (01:25:30)
Yeah. The.functional.naturopath on Insta and thefunctionalnaturopath.com on the web. But reach out, more than happy to answer any questions and work with anyone who's keen to advance their gut microbiomes.
Thanks for providing those resources as well. You've got candida in there, we've talked about that before. If you're dealing with a fungal infection and candida and you can just check out that strain there and see if that could be one to be layered into your protocol. Same with your metabolic health and weight loss in there. So, sweet. Head over to the show notes. Anything you want to leave people with, chewing on?
Dan Sipple: (01:26:16)
Just that classic quote from my mentor, as I mentioned earlier, Jason Hawrelak: You're the custodian of your microbiome. Look after it, learn how to nurture it, learn what affects it, and you want to pass that on to your kiddies. So do right by it and live long and prosper.
Thanks, bro. Big love to you and the family.
Dan Sipple: (01:26:36)
Thanks, man. Appreciate it. Look forward to our next chat, and have yourself a good day.
Yeah, you too. Ciao for now.