Gut Health Part 2 is here! If you haven't already listened to last week's Part 1 episode, we suggest you drop in now and have a listen. The guys pick up where they left off, diving deep into the energetics of the digestive system and referencing the ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy. Probiotics and prebiotics are discussed in great detail and the role they play with chronic disease manifestations, like leaky gut. Dan (The Functional Naturopath) brings his clinical observations to the table with real-life client experiences.
The guys discuss:
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.
Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?
Check Out The Transcript Here:
Mason: (singing) Time to talk tonic herbalism, people. Maybe some medicinal mushrooms and philosophy for longevity, so pour yourself a tonic and get ready to get superhuman, baby. Let's start the show.
Mason: Let's go back to the esophageal valve. I think we're entering into the stomach soon.
Dan: Yeah. Just to kind of recap that and segue that back into gut health, and so just the notion that stress depletes stomach acid and so, yes, we have an issue of, we talked about GORD and the issue of the stomach acid just being in the wrong place, and understanding that, stress-depleting stomach acid. We know that when we have a low stomach acid load, we aren't going to tone that sphincter as well. We associate low stomach acid with poor tone of that sphincter. The other thing is that when we have lowered stomach acid, we're going to have reduced digestive capacity for absorption, and we're not going to get that domino effect down the digestive chain.
Dan: It's almost like at the top of the digestive chain, you really want strong hydrochloric acid levels. That doesn't necessarily mean that you feel burning or anything like that. You shouldn't feel anything like that if your HCL is rocking. When you know that that HCL hydrochloric acid is in good amounts that you're going to have a much better chance of sending those subsequent waves down through the gallbladder and the pancreas, small intestine, et cetera, et cetera, yeah.
Mason: What comes to mind right now is, I just want to quickly get your two cents on alkaline water and alkaline everything.
Dan: Ooh, yeah, okay. That's interesting, mate. Because you and I have both been big spring water fans, which is naturally on the more acidic end of the scale.
Mason: Yes. Or you're going to be drinking like, generally, it's going to be like creek water, not necessarily spring. Not that I drink this, but even like if you look to the wild, if you're going to be drinking out of a fresh river or creek, maybe not these days, but back in the day, they're going to be neutral. Like, generally, spring waters, bar a couple of aquifers, are going to be slightly acidic. Then, all of a sudden, the alkaline, everything comes up.
Mason: I think you've already kind of covered it somewhat, in the fact this whole GORD conversation, and you've got too much acid in the site, now you're lacking the ability to actually mobilize acidity through the body or regulate acidity through the body. Also, it might have something to do with the machinery of the valves and the tonage of your actual tissue through the body, because it's not just going to rest in the valves and sphincters.
Mason: I just wanted to throw it out there. I'm not a particular fan like excessively alkaline diets or alkaline water. I don't know if you've got anything to say about that.
Dan: No, I love that topic. I could, potentially, blow out with me and you going head-to-head on it. I think that's a ... Yeah, it's a big area, because a lot of people are still under the sort of, the premise that you want alkaline everything. You want alkaline urine, you want alkaline blood, you want alkaline this, alkaline that. People need to understand that it's a balance, it's a very delicate balance. There are definitely parts of the body where you do want to be more on the acidic end of the scale. For example, in the gut microbiome, the large colon, you want a spread of bacteria that do keep a slightly acidic pH. You want that because you want to be able to disassemble bacteria and set up an environment where they cannot thrive.
Dan: Same thing with the vaginal microbiome, you want a really acidic, nice acidic pH for that same reason, so you can prevent a dysbiosis from occurring. I guess, parts of the body where you really want to think, "I want an alkaline environment," that's the blood, your blood alkaline. If all things are in ... If the machinery's rocking, the diet's good, the gut's clean and all things are really in good sort of capacity, you shouldn't have to worry too much about that. I think folks get really hung up on the acid-alkaline argument.
Mason: All right. Moving down through the stomach. You want to hit spleen or pyloric?
Dan: I think we hit spleen, and to be honest, I'd love to hear your sort of more energetic take on this as well. Sort of look at those two combined. Like the physiological and the more energetic side of it, and weave that into the conversation.
Mason: Okay. Spleen, obviously, having a lot to do with breaking down within the stomach and breaking down the compounds that we bring into the body to make it get a little bit more bite-sized, then feeding back, like fat, especially moving down, helping getting broke down through the gallbladder and the biome. The spleen is one of the primary organs within TCM. I'm not a TCM practitioner. I don't particularly want to be a TCM practitioner. I'm just kind of like a hobbyist in Chinese medicine. Especially since I'm kind of a bit more of a hobbyist with tonic herbalism. That always is going to bring in these energetic conversations of these organs. Spleen, basically, most associated with the whole digestive tract. You go [capital S 00:05:45], you can be looking at the whole, and you're going look at the pancreas and you're going to be looking at the stomach and that whole digestive cavity.
Mason: Now, firstly, if you want to talk about spleen function, you want to be looking at the kidneys. I talk about jing a lot. We brought it up in the podcast already, but if you look at the stomach being like the pot of digestion, and then the spleen being the fire, the spleen and its accumulation of vitality and chi, the capacity to transform chi, transform what you're bringing into the body, into I believe it's gu chi, the daily chi that you're going to be using, that you're digesting out of your foods.
Mason: Basically, if you want that fire rocking within the spleen, you are going to be wanting a pilot light so you can turn that fire on to begin with. That's coming from the yang jing of the kidneys. If you are exhausted, you're immediately going to be depleting, because you're not going to be able to feed that yang energy up into the spleen. I'm not an energetic anatomist either, and so I'm not saying that any of this should be taken as gospel. Just sharing my two cents and, basically, just sharing what I've learned that's been really useful for me.
Mason: From what I understand, when you get into spleen deficiencies, you're generally going to fall into there being a yang deficiency or a chi deficiency. If there's a yang deficiency, chi deficiency, I don't have the nuances in how to heal those two deficiencies. What I will always focus on is the stress response within the body and ensuring that the diet is, generally, going to be nourishing. I don't, I'm not going to fall too far either way on the whole, "You've got to go all cooked, sloppy, pre-digested foods," that a lot of TCM doctors like. I'm not going to down the route of going like all raw food, although what's interesting is I'm seeing more and more TCM practitioners actually getting friendly with raw food protocols.
Dan: Is that right?
Mason: Man, it's crazy. It's like ... There's a couple of tonic herbalists, who just, avid raw foodists as well. You can see they can balance it out. I like a nice in the middle kind of state. It's warming up here. I'm eating more raw food, of course, natural, using common sense. When you focus on building the yin, yang of the kidneys, and so yes, the kidneys are the organs of the water, may regulate the waters. Very important, especially if you start creeping into the deficiency of yang or the deficiency of chi.
Mason: If you, especially, have a spleen, a constitutional spleen deficiency with that deficiency of yang and chi within that organ, you're going to sometimes see dampness arise, and so you're going to see that excessiveness of dampness. Not, like at times like coldness, stagnation of chi within that body. Just, basically, dampness just seems a bit, becomes like a watery grave. Kind of in a way, it's nice to imagine it that way. It does give you a good insight to what's causing that sluggishness. It doesn't happen every time though. It can lead to that being the case because, yes, you have been possibly going years and years of eating cold foods and years and years on top of that, then depleting your kidney essence.
Mason: You start going into a place where you go, you fast, you fast, you fast. You're eating cold foods, you're eating raw foods. Generally, what that's going to lead to is a chi deficiency. You don't have the chi flowing through your spleen, and it's had to deplete all its chi, because it's top-down, it's had to deplete all its chi to do the processing of all those cold foods and all that roughage and raw foods that have excessively been brought into the diet. At times, if your constitution is bent that way, you will lead to dampness. At that point, I mean, I feel like dampness has been associated with gastroenteritis, like inflammation within the gut and a bunch of other things that aren't even associated with the digestive tract. Which, I don't want to go down that route, because I don't want to see self-diagnosis going on.
Mason: The other side of things is making sure that, basically, from the bottom-up, is making sure that you're not living a life that's bent on stress and needing a coffee to get through the day. That's why I like people getting on jing herb, that jing formula. Getting off coffee for 30 days. See what happens to your digestive tract when you start building back the kidney essence, and therefore, because the water does live within the kidneys, you're going to have a better ability to actually regulate the waters. If there is dampness within the spleen, you're going to give more capacity for that chi to be transformed, and that water chi to be regulated.
Mason: Then you're going to also, you got to realize that, yeah, the fire organ might be the heart, but fire is, the seed of fire is within the kidneys. In order to allow that fire to come back into the body, allow that yang to come back into the body, then you're going to see, you're going to be able to turn on that pilot light of the spleen.
Mason: The spleen's going to actually get that yang essence back. A lot of women are very deficient in yang. They always tend towards like no, he shou wu, no, schisandra or yin, which is amazing. I know there's nothing bad about that, but I wouldn't shy away from the yang herbs, at the same time. That's why I've got a good balance with the eucommia bark and the morinda. Even adding [lindera 00:11:02], I think is very useful for women, to start actually getting an experience of bringing the yang back into the body.
Mason: Because, so many times, people don't realize, it's like, "I need more yin. A yin, a yin, a yin. I need feminine, feminine, feminine." Yin isn't necessarily feminine. It's like that's a loose association. Bringing back that fire, it's going to have to be a part of the diet. You're going to have to be, like those herbs, I'd like to see it, especially if you're not going to start living a life that isn't burning it at both ends, I'm going to want to see yang, jing herbs in your diet ongoingly, so that pilot light can stay lit. If you really figure out how to get your lifestyle in a flow where you've been on jing herbs for a while, you've been on a nourishing diet for a while.
Mason: You've cleansed yourself of toxins and you feel like you're really in the know of how your body and energetics work enough that you're not going to let yourself slip into that place where you're deficient. You're like, "Cool, I'm really rocking it." Jing herbs, they're still useful as a longevity thing, but you don't have to be as onto it in terms of taking it every day. It's more like a here and there when you feel it. What does become useful is chi tonics. That's where the astragalus, this is where the schisandra starts really coming into the fold. Herbs like ginseng, gynostemma, white atractylodes, cordyceps as well. Nice, toning yang jing and toning chi, heavily. Incredible herbs, and especially going to back to the astragalus, because then that's toning the flow of chi through the spleen. You've got the yang within the kidneys there, feeding up energetically, right?
Mason: Enabling the body to regulate heat and ensure that it's not too cold down there. That's actually, at times, physical heat. That's sometimes, if you're bad, get a pack, get a heat pack and whack that on your kidneys. Or even to an extent, whack that on your spleen. See if you have any good effects coming through. This is where a good TCM doctor is good, so you can actually read the pulse after treatments like this. You can do it yourself. Learn to read yourself and whether you feel like you come back alive. When you do these things, that you get that, build that ... I'm sorry, man, I'm rambling-
Dan:Oh, go for it.
Mason: Get the yang, you get that yang rocking and then you make sure you've got a lifestyle that's consistently feeding that and diet that's consistently feeding that, not taking you excessively, on way or the other. Then you're working on your chi. That's your exercise. That's your good food and your good water, and your chi herbs, like your astragalus, that are ensuring that the spleen is going to be able to keep on moving, transforming. Transforming energy and then be, basically, toned in its capacity to then produce its digestive juices to the body in the GI tract. Now that's a protocol I'm down with.
Dan: Yeah, beautiful. I love it. That's, essentially, what it's all about, Mase. This is earning, letting that fire come back to the kidneys, which you lovely touched on with jing, and getting jing essence rocking. Then, not just having that component, but being able to send that throughout the rest of the body with the chi herbs. That's where a strong spleen comes into it. Whilst we work through that digestive chain, yeah, I love to look at the physiological, Western explanation of everything. When it comes to getting to the spleen and the liver, that's where I really love the TCM light, because they just do such a good job of helping humans identify with the energetic side of it, and relating to things like fire and water and hot and cold.
Dan: That makes sense, I think. Stomach acid and fire, you really want that to be rocking. Like I say, it all comes back to having strong chi. Chi is, essentially, as you know, the ability to mobilize energy around the body. If you have a good chi, you mobilize an immune response well. You mobilize pancreatic enzymes. You mobilize hydrochloric acid in the gut.
Mason: You also point out, you animate the intelligence underneath that then activates that organic response or the organic intelligence. That activation, that animation of life itself. It's not necessarily driving anything, and it's not being driven. That's that nature of that chi, right?
Dan: Yep, exactly. It's you want it to a point where it's doing its thing on its own without you actively having to stimulate it or down-regulate it.
Mason: Epic point there with the down-regulation, because it gets to that point as well. I want to just touch on diet really quickly.
Dan: Go for it.
Mason: Because that's such a kettle of fish. I don't recommend that diet of kettle of fish. What I am recommending is that wherever you're at, I kind of feel like that the advice, I'd look back and I'd give myself, is just like absolutely start arming yourself with some detoxifying protocols that are going to be useful. Look at yourself up until the point where you're 95, I think, or like 90. I think that's a reasonable age to look upon. Now, in the development of your diet and the phases of your diet throughout the year, considering at that time, you may have children. Considering you may, at some time, you might be, you're single now. You might have a partner in the future.
Mason: Considering that you're going to be traveling. You might live in different places. Think about the constitutional aspects of your diet or specific meals or food groups. Think about there being somewhat of a consistency, over all of those years, up until the point where you're 90. Then be able to hit the fact there was consistency for your body, and there was a ratio of cooked food to raw food. There was a ratio of anabolic building, parts of my lifestyle, through diet and lifestyle, verse a little ratio that were there cleansing and detoxing myself.
Mason: Look at it over that incredibly long period and say, "What could I do?" Because that's what happens anyway. If you don't do that, you're just flipping and you're flopping, and now you're macro, and now you're raw. Now you're this, and now you're that. If you look at it over that whole ... Now you're vegan, now you're primal. That's a classic swing.
Dan: Oh, yeah.
Mason: Or, "Now, I'm an excessive meat eater, and just eating whatever kind of meat." "Now I'm a vegan, and now I'm going to be like that." You think like, you crack yourself out and just to play for it. You don't have to actually do it. Crack yourself wherever you're at. I do this consistently, because I still fall into my own little pockets of what I should and shouldn't be eating. Go cross that decade-long span and go, "What's sustainable? What's doable? What's reasonable, so I can fall into a nice, flow, rhythm that I don't constantly have to be thinking about?"
Mason: Because it takes a lot of energy to be constantly adjusting your diet and fretting about what's good and bad for your digestive tract. Realize there's going to be several periods where you'll need practitioners to come in and help you maybe either get to the next level or rebuild and get something sorted within your body, whether it's your immune system, your digestive tract.
Mason: Then as the foundations of your diet, what are they? What's going to be doable that's not going to become boring? That's going to connect you with people around you, which is going to be sustainable for the earth. Remember that there can be particular values. Over the years, those values warrant change, but you can get led down a changing, externally changing diet that's just attuning to where you're at in life. I just think that's ... I don't know if that's too vague for everybody, but I just wanted to throw that out there. I wish I'd kind of like, I'd go back and tell myself that, although I kind of like the lessons that I got through my excessiveness.
Dan: Yeah, look. Absolutely. I think these days, it's the best and worst of times. Because we got the best of information to really use to our best capacity to reach, who knows what lengths? At the same time, research and the amount of information can really send you down nasty, nasty rabbit holes where you will see people shucking and changing in-between diets and supplements, and there's no consistency throughout. I see that all the time. I've been there myself too, big time. That's all a part of learning. I think if you can come out of that though, I think the real success if you can come out of that and be content with where you arrive at, and know, regardless of what information's been thrown at you, that you feel content with your setup and you know what works for your body.
Dan: You know your constitutional energy. You know where you sit on the spectrum of cold and hot and what sort of things are going to complement your dosha, if we talk about it in an ayurvedic sense. The quicker you can arrive at that and then, as you say, achieve that consistency, the better. Yeah, like just the sheer amount of information, I just think can be used, yeah, to your detriment or you can make it work for you and arrive at that point quicker.
Mason: So good, man. Let's keep on traveling down through the GI tract.
Dan: Yeah, let's do it.
Mason: We've gone through stomach, hit the spleen. Want to touch on pancreas because that's opening up like such a massive one as well. Just like mad love to the pancreas, and then we just cruise across. We head into pyloric valve, duodenum, and we start getting some interactions with the liver, gallbladder.
Mason: Like let's throw down, man. Go for it.
Dan: Absolutely. At that point in the digestive chain, that's where you really want the communication to be very, very strong. Particularly, if you're eating a lot of heavier foods and a lot of foods that are rich in fat molecules. You really want your liver to be sending the right communication down to the gallbladder, to then be releasing the right amount of gastric juices and lipase and enzymes to help breakdown fats. Fat malabsorption is something I see, massively, across the board. With the whole, we're kind of out of the '90s, "Fat is bad," and we're more into, "Let's use fat in a good way," and not fear fats. With that though, we need strong digestive capacity to rock with that, and handle that, and break that down.
Mason: You see a huge amount of exhaustion coming through from people right now going keto for way too long, where it's like, and you'll see like absolutely overloading the liver. It's a new type of ... Because it's all about, raw foodism is all about creating like the damp spleen and digest ... Like, basically, creating deficiency through the spleen. You see like the keto, fat-heavy people start bringing this sluggishness to the liver. It's always funny watching it unfold but it's always a deficiency comes through at some point when there's an excessiveness in lifestyle, right?
Dan: Exactly, man. People are ... I say this all the time. People are addicted to extremes. We bounce ... That's what we do as Westerners. We are addicted to bouncing between, like you said, raw, all the way across to the ketogenic diet. All the way back to vegan, and then to paleo, in-between and-
Mason: Well, now it's the carnivore diet.
Mason: That's going off at the moment, man. That's trending.
Dan: It is very much trending. I did a podcast, I think, last week. Joe Rogan had a popular physician on, talking all about it. Blows my mind.
Mason: Jordan Peterson?
Dan: Yeah. Jordan Peterson. I think his daughter did one as well, and ...
Mason: "If you don't eat just meat, it will be chaos in your digestive tract."
Dan: Oh, man. I wasn't ready for that one. That's spot on. You should have warned me. Now, look, absolutely. Yeah. I just think we really need ... It just comes back to consistency. Like I'm not popular when I'm sitting in my clinic here in front of a person who's like so strong paleo and keto and I say, "Let's look at the amount of fat that's crossing the small intestine, and that's creating endotoxemia and then maybe crossing the blood-brain barrier." That's not a good thing. You do not want that, and I see that all the time, and so it's like-
Mason: Break that down. When does that happen?
Mason: What are you deficient in? Or is it just an excessiveness of fat, or can you buildup digestive compounds in the body to stop it getting to that point?
Dan: Awesome. Let's dive deep there. We have a few different things going on. With a high fat diet, we naturally call upon more bile. There are certain microbes in our gut such as proteobacteria species that survive on human bile. They actually eat our bile. That's what they ... You know how we've got probiotics, which are like fibers, which feed good bacteria?
Mason: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dan: There are some inflammatory species within the gut called proteobacteria, of which E. coli falls under the classification of, that actually eat bile. The moment you jack up the fat macronutrient distribution in your diet, and that sort of hinders your digestive capacity, and eventually overflows, and you've got too much fat going on. You're going to see a massive surge in fat eating molecules. When we see that, coupled with intestinal permeability, this it the sort of key here. We see those molecules cross the gut wall, get into the blood, and then from there, create systemic inflammation.
Dan: We're now connecting that exact mechanism to a whole host of neurodegenerative conditions, depression, Alzheimer's, anxiety and all this blood-brain barrier kind of issues. We call that endotoxemia. These particular molecules, as part of their bacterial shell, have something called lipopolysaccharide, LPS. We'll hear a lot about that as time goes on. They're not, these bugs aren't secreting that to harm us, it's just part of their natural shell, but it's inflammatory. When our immune system sees that, we launch a massive tirade of inflammatory molecules against this LPS, gram negative bacterial shell wall of these bacteria. Then that is what then goes on to create leaky gut and systemic inflammation and prolonged release of inflammatory cytokines, leading to, as we touched on, so anything from type 2 diabetes to cardiometabolic issues, to autoimmune disease, to depression, anxiety, et cetera, et cetera.
Dan: Just to kind of recap that, we've got a surge in bile-eating fat microbes, when we increase the amount of fat we're eating. We then, if that person then has a leaky gut, we then see the crossover of those molecules into the bloodstream. The immune system flips and attacks them. Attacks the shell of these bacteria, creating systemic inflammation. We call that endotoxemia.
Mason: Would you say, because ... Okay, so the key there is the fact that, because you see a lot of people finding themselves being quite sluggish on a high fat diet. Then, of course, there's those people that are absolutely rocking it, and their constitution just seems to beam. Then it seems to be a little bit more on that side of things, that more people are prone to enjoying a high fat diet. I definitely have in the past. Is the key there that they are susceptible or have gut permeability, and so that's i.e. leaky gut?
Mason: If that is treated and if you go back to what we were talking about, when I was especially trying to overcome, not consciously, but overcoming my gut permeability, focusing on medicinal mushrooms, colostrum, aloe vera, that kind of like, in that kind of vein, and really getting myself out of the stress response, do you find it's like, it's more sustainable to be having a diet that's on that side of things, of like paleo and keto?
Dan: First thing I'll say that, is that the people I see that end to do better on it are usually blood type Os. The people that are ancestrally primed for a more high protein or moderate protein, high fat, low carbohydrate diet are naturally going to do better, versus someone like a blood type A, who's more primed for an agrarian type of palate, if that makes sense.
Dan: That's the first think I'll say. A lot of people also don't do well on it because they're not conscious of things like feeding up their good bacteria at the same time. If you have enough prebiotic fiber to feed up your native, good species, which naturally keep these proteobacteria-
Mason: That's what I was going to say. This is the thing, because if you're like, if you go back to the argument of like hunter and gathering or we just like a diet that's more like straight off the land, non, like-
Mason: Not industrialized. We're looking at a diet that's extremely high in prebiotics. I think that's kind of like, that's the missing link, right?
Mason: Again, it's why the medicinal mushrooms come in and people go, "My god. I feel amazing." It's like, "You don't have many prebiotics in your diet, buddy." It's, and you have been talking a little bit more about like we, basically, like getting off a diet of excessiveness if it's not serving, and start reintroducing some more complex, prebiotic rich foods. Let's just, while we're here, talking about it, because I want to, I just want to like put a peg in the ground of where we're talking about the duodenum, liver, gallbladder. I want to talk about like cleansing the liver out a little bit, and just especially that morning detox drink, which I find very heavily focused on the liver. I want to talk about the permeability now of the gut, since we've entered into the small intestine.
Mason: You like focusing on that prebiotic action, because you like looking at like, What are the inflammatory states of these bacteria, that aren't bad bacteria? Just bacteria being fed an excessive amount of one food or possibly, in general, the population of the bacteria being annihilated through antibiotic drugs, and to a lesser extent, herbs and healing protocols and catabolic detox protocols. You, basically, like that approach of feeding up with prebiotics in order to be a preventative or even like a, basically, a healing protocol for gut permeability, right?
Dan: I do, I do. I often compare that by saying to people, "Would you rather fertilize your native strains of probiotic bacteria that you passed on from birth and that life in you natively, that naturally take care of you? Or would you rely on an exogenous probiotic strain that'll hang around for 10 to 14 days and then be out of your system again?"
Mason: Yeah, because you don't ... I mean, you use particular strains of probiotics, but not as the blanket, "Let's cross our fingers and hope I have good digestive health," because it is, you like focusing on that feeding the good stuff that's already there, and even if it's been wiped out, you still get the food in there to feed that primordial bacteria that's attuned to your body, right?
Dan: Bingo. That's exactly right, mate. We see a lot, when we do the ... I use a company called uBiome, which uses PCR technology, allows us to see a lot more of the microbiome than the old stool culturing days, when we could only see like 20 to 30% spread of microbes, and had no idea about the other 70%. I use, yeah, uBiome. We get a good spread of that person's indigenous diversity and different counts of bacteria and different phylum and species and whatnot. From there, you're able to then engage in different protocols that will feed up individual species whilst down-regulating, perhaps the more pathobiont species.
Dan: The species that are meant to be there but, opportunistically, have taken on a more inflammatory role, because conditions of that person's terrain have allowed that. We come back to terrain, and it's like you really have to start thinking about your gut as you would your garden, and the soil, and so you have to ask, "Why is that bacteria there in that amount?" It's there because it's opportunistically been able to thrive unchecked, because your indigenous levels of ... Sorry, your indigenous levels of good bacteria haven't been there to check it. Or, you've been on a ridiculous diet that has favored the growth of those microbes. Yeah.
Mason: Ah, man. I'm with you. The whole microbiome, basically, being the soil within the garden of your body.
Mason: Then we start to link in the fact that the kidneys, the essence, and the kidney gene are the roots. It's nice to see really strong roots going down. They rely on good soil, and good soil also relies on seedlings and life growing throughout it. Then my cilium and fungal matter, "Well, just take your bloody medicinal mushrooms." We've touched on the prebiotics now, and I think it's a very important point. Let's talk afterwards, in the show notes, I want to get a couple ... Do you want to just share a couple of your top prebiotic foods?
Mason: Do you have a supplement?
Dan: Yep. Let's do it. First thing I'd like to do is just to define what a prebiotic is. A prebiotic is a type of fiber that selectively feeds beneficial bacteria that are already inherent in your gut microbiome, so it's fertilizer feed good bacteria. The best types of prebiotics, from a dietary perspective, are going to come from soluble fiber. You have two classes of ... We have lots of classes of fiber, but mainly we hear about insoluble fiber versus soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the type of fiber that passes through the small intestine, undigested. It resists digestion until it gets down to the large colon, where your bacteria can ferment it. That's the type of fiber that, if you really want to grow your native species back up to healthy levels, you want to be conscious of. What are we talking about there?
Dan: We're talking about things like garlic, onion, asparagus, dandelion root, chicory root, resistant starch from cooked and cooled potatoes and rice. Aside from actual fibers, polyphenols from our plant foods also feed our good bacteria. We really want to load them in too. We get polyphenols from the skins of lots of fruits, so black currants, cranberries, pomegranates, blueberries, all those rich, deep kind of color pigments that we see.
Mason: Deeply pigmented.
Dan: Yeah, exactly. Deeply pigmented. They go in and do wonders for the good gut bugs as well. That's the issue I have as a clinician when I come across ... Don't get me wrong. I'm not totally against the paleolithic diet or a ketogenic diet, definitely have a place.
Dan: People go hell for leather on these things, and they don't understand or know to look to things like the impact on the gut microbiota, and being conscious of really loading their plate up with lots and lots of plant foods and fibers, in addition to the meats and the nuts and seeds and the avocados and the ghee and all those beautiful fats. It's just, it's all things considered in context of the person. That can be down to things like their, yeah, like the health of their liver. Their ability to secrete digestive enzymes. Their constitution, whether they're hot or cold, blood type, and all those things that you really have to bring into the conversation.
Mason: When we move through the valve there, from the stomach to the duodenum and to the small intestine and the pyloric valve, I assume we're having a similar conversation as we did with the esophageal valve, where we're looking at tonage, we're looking for not an excessive amount of stress.
Dan: Exactly right. It serves a very similar purpose in the sense that it's meant to be closed between meals and you don't want poor tone. Either way, you don't hypo or hyper, excessive tone. Yeah, very much in the same vein that you want food to be able to pass through there, and the valve to be open, and then to have a nice, strong, healthy tone afterwards to prevent backflow.
Mason: I want to touch on the liver. I mean, it's a huge conversation, liver and digestion. As you would like, as you were saying, we've got the yin organ of the liver and we got the yang organ of the gallbladder there crating the bile so we can breakdown fat molecules. Also, energetically through the liver, breaking down emotions so they can become more digestible and not just be these big waves of emotion. We haven't really touched too much on the emotive side of digestion. Of course, with the spleen, you're looking at excessive worry. You're looking at a lack of ability to tend to yourself, you're excessively looking after other people. You have a deficiency of meekness.
Mason: Possibly complaining a lot and looking for gratification or external motivation, when you should be putting your head down, bum up, and just moving forth with your actions. When we look at the liver, of course, liver's associated with the vision, anger.
Mason: Taking control, organization. Laying out a genetic plan. Bang. All that kind of stuff.
Mason: When we look at liver and digestion, we discussed a little bit beforehand, that you start building up stones, you start building up toxicity within the liver. You're going to see a clogging upstream and eventually start getting that up into the stomach. Even have an association or impact on the acid levels there, right?
Dan: Yeah, absolutely.
Mason: What I want to just throw into the mix is like I always have done it unconsciously, but I always have my beautifying drink in the morning, it's always liver-focused.
Mason: Always like, I have my water first thing. Then I'm, generally, having like a warm, lemon water. It's warm at the moment. Especially coming out of China, where if you try and drink a cold water, they're like, "Uhhh!"
Dan: Blasphemy. Yeah, yeah.
Mason: The amount of times I spoke to them and I'm like, "What tonic do you have every day?" Like, and here I am Western like, "Is it ginseng? Or is it berries?"
Dan: Yeah, yeah.
Mason: They're like, "Ah, warm water. It is my best tonic for my body and for my digestive system and my spleen." Laughed at them. I'm like, "Really? Warm water?"
Dan: "Is that it?"
Mason: They're like ... We're like, [crosstalk 00:36:14] literally like maybe in an herbal shop. Like, "Oh, warm water." I'm like, "Okay, Mason. Meek, buddy." They want know what you're looking for, but there's your answer.
Mason: Every morning, so I've been enjoying my warm, lemon water and throwing in my MSM, my methyl sulfonyl methane, which is still a favorite for me. Basically, supporting methylation and the movement of toxins, in general, through the liver and [crosstalk 00:36:43].
Mason: Then throwing my schisandra in there. I've got, basically, when I look at that and when I reflect on that, it's always supporting digestion at the start of the day through having a spleen tonic in the schisandra. It's always got citric acid in it, which is always supporting the calcification within the liver and helping that chi move.
Dan: Nice, yeah.
Mason: Always having a methyl group in there, generally, from the MSM, although I'm not religious about that. I'll go on and off. I'll always put a pinch of sea salt in there as well. If I'm not doing that, I'll be having my immortal beauty shot, which has been a while, but now that it's heating up, I will be doing that again. You see aloe vera ... I'll put the recipe for this in the show notes. I've got a video as well. I've got the aloe vera, which is an incredible liver tonic within itself, an incredible herb for supporting flow of bile. You've got tumeric, of course, another magic liver herb. Schisandra, sea salt, pinch of black pepper, lemon water. Boom.
Mason: I'll throw one of those down. Now, I think that has saved me a lot of headaches, and probably, because I am quite a hot person and I do have that tendency towards frustration and resentment and anger. I do have the ability to create tension in through my shoulders and my neck. It hasn't got to the point where I've created headaches for myself, but like when I was in university, definitely put myself on the edge of that, because I do get stagnant through my liver.
Mason: That is something that I feel, digestively, I'd like to throw in the mix, ensuring that you're tending to that clean, clear flow of liver chi. Generally, when I get people on tonic herbs, I have three basic categories I want to see them on. I want to see them on a jing herb, in the beginning. On a jing herb, on an immune herb, and on a liver herb.
Mason: At some point there, you're going to see a crossover, and chi is going to be included.
Mason: As you get like months and months or years and years down the path, you can start mixing up that chi herb to being a chi herb, that jing herb to being a chi herb. You're going to see a lot of chi coming through, tonage coming through, whatever you're using for your liver. Especially if it's schisandra, and especially through the medicinal mushrooms. Especially if you're taking Mason's Mushrooms and you're on the poria in Mason's Mushrooms. Incredible chi tonic, incredible herb for helping the body regulate water and transform the chi within the spleen, but I digress. Basically, jing herb, medicinal mushroom, liver herb. I like getting that liver herb first thing in the morning.
Mason: The other little bit, like what other like herbaceous tones have you got for the liver?
Dan: You know what? I think for our audience, like it really doesn't get much better than that, to be totally honest, even from a clinician's perspective. Because we're tackling the liver's ability to perform its role, its main role, which is detoxification. We're using herbs that enhance phase one and phase two detoxification, particularly with the tumeric and schisandra. We're up-regulating glutathione, which gets largely produced in the liver.
Mason: Aloe vera, magic for that.
Dan: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. We have to remember, as well, we get, with the liver, I think there's not enough attention and spotlight put on the fact that the gut, if permeable, is going to get what we call ... I'll probably stuff this up, enterohepatic recirculation. There you go, I did it.
Mason: Oh, yeah.
Dan: Thank you. If we've got that going on from the gut, and we've got all these nutrients and viral debris and bacteria and food particulars splaying out from the gut wall back up through that channel to the liver, the liver has to then process that, and that's a massive load. That's what we see often. I think there is where TCM gets it right with liver stagnation. I think that's a perfect explanation for that mechanism. We just get that recycling, and the liver, it never gets a chance to really rest. You know?
Mason: Yeah, man. That's, I want to see as many people as possible on a medicinal mushroom. We talked about reishi last time. I think that's a great one. Whether you're doing the Mason's Mushrooms or reishi, you're going to be getting a massive amount of prebiotics in there, and a massive amount of immunological factors in there to help you overcome fungal infections or bacterial infections that are rocking, viral infections that you've got that are like, they're suppressing your digestive tract on the long-term, then you can team up with a practitioner like yourself or whoever or someone locally, to help you get on top of a really gnarly, stealth infection.
Mason: Then get on like schisandra, like a liver herb. Because if you start working on the digestive tract and you're working on the liver, you're basically going to start seeing a lot, lot, lot flowing.
Mason: Throw in a jing herb to help build back, if there's exhaustion. Not as necessary, if there's no real excessive tiredness and exhaustion. You're rocking from a tonic herb, there's like a million other things that you're going to have to be doing, but from a tonic herb perspective, I just, I love seeing that combo.
Dan: Big time, man. Absolutely. All three, ideally. Then, look, there's going to be the times where you need to just start on the jing herbs and raise the constitution before you do any clearing. Ideally, you want to get to a point where your jing is pumping, and so that looks like good, healthy levels of DHEA, cortisol, healthy adrenaline response, healthy epinephrine response. You want your phase one and phase two to be clearing. We've got phase one and phase two with the liver. Phase three doesn't get enough attention too. That's when we see the liver spit all those metabolites back into the gut to be excreted out through the bowel. That's where the fiber and the prebiotics come into it.
Dan: We want fiber to be thought of as a perfect tool to really mop up all those metabolites that the liver's just spat back out. If we don't have enough fiber, the liver, even if it's in really good shape and you're throwing everything at it, will spit all that back into the gut, but like I said, that will have to get reabsorbed and then delivered right back up to the liver where it came from.
Mason: This is where the carnivore diet's going to come back and bite people in the ass.
Mason: This is what I see. Again, things are going to be rocking for a while, because they always do, whether you go on raw vegan, whether you go on the carnivore diet. All of a sudden, you've got all the shit out of your diet and you've got all the grain out of your diet, and all those inflammatory foods. Your body's just like, "Cool. I mean like I can just chill out for a while." Then all the while, poor bloody liver. Poor bloody liver is always the one that has to cop it and accumulate it, and because it's a bloody team player, it does it without complaining for so long, and then at some point, all of a sudden, all the creaks and cracks start to come about because it's just like, "Hey, guys. I can't handle having to process this once again. It's inefficient."
Dan: Yes. No wonder we associate it with the organ of anger, when it gets unhappy.
Mason: Well, why wouldn't you be? I mean, like if it's the General, if it's overlooking the entire army and you got ... What's under a General in the army? I don't even know. Whatever. It's just too, we're too, we need to get industrialized a little bit more so we understand these, but anyway ... Colonel?
Dan: We'll come up with like an infographic where we'll just draw up the whole team player space, and associate-
Mason: Yeah, basically, yeah. Your Sergeant, you've given your Sergeant the orders, and you don't want to see the end of that. Like he can take that project, and he can take it to the end. Then he comes back, he kind of like fudges it up because he's no good at his job, and he runs it back, and he puts it back in your pigeon hole. You have to go back, and you go like, "Well, hang on. I got to do all of this again." It's like again, and again, and again. If you're in an organization, that's a really inefficient way to be running.
Mason: If anyone works within a business, think about that, think about that. You've done the process, you drop it in. You expect the fiber, the gut health, the epithelial skin cell wall lining to be nice and healthy, and not depleted. We haven't talked about the things that deplete it. I don't feel like it's necessarily ... It's not necessary for us to be like, "Gluten's bad everybody. You need to not eat gluten. You need to not eat inflammatory foods." I mean, we can have enough conversations about this. Maybe we can lay down a couple later on but-
Dan: [crosstalk 00:44:44] there, that it's, yeah, we're preaching to the choir. It's probably better spent with the things that go in and heal.
Mason: Because it's too ... It's great, but again, you see like for as much as I love Jordan Peterson, I couldn't help but click on that YouTube video where he's talking about health, and all of a sudden, him become this bubbling newbie, where he's, I'm so used to seeing him being an intellectual powerhouse, and work his way with absolute reason and absolute groundedness in every argument and aspect of the dialectic, come back and just being like, "Oh my god. My god. I got rid of gluten and I eat only meat. Oh my god." Like, "Gluten's poisonous." You see, it's just like, "Well, you're in the swamp. You're in the swamp of excessiveness right now." It'll come out in the wash.
Dan: Yeah, it will.
Mason: Joe Rogan, to his credit, was just like, "I wonder if this is like when vegans first go vegan. They strip back and they feel amazing, and all of a sudden, you start becoming deficient." Peterson was just like, "I don't want to hear it." He didn't say that, but you could see it. He was like-
Dan: You got that vibe, you got that vibe.
Mason: He was like, "Leave me in my bubble." Which I'm fine with, because being in that bubble's amazing. He's a smart enough guy that, I'm sure, he'll make that transition. That's where the whole like, "Go gluten-free" thing lies. It's just, it's boring and I don't feel like it really lends itself to that long-term conversation. Albeit, when you look at that long-term conversation, do that practice like we were talking about, and you span out decades, look to your 90s and go, "What's actually going to be a sustainable way for me to eat? Sustainable way for my body that's enjoyment, that's romance?"
Mason: There's gut health, there's all those kinds of things. A lot of the time, an excessive amount of gluten's probably not going to be there.
Dan: Yeah, that's what I think.
Mason: I think I've found myself there. I denied it for a couple of years. Tahnee healed herself of celiac disease. Took her eight years of gluten-free everything, and like doing the vegetarian, and then bringing meat in, and then bringing tonic herbs in, and all those kinds of things. Finding herself in this place where I was like, "Try some gluten. See if you can handle it." You want to be robust enough to handle it, but necessarily saying that it should be in the diet ongoingly. I was just in a phase where I was enjoying seeing where my edges were, and Tahnee realizing, "You know what? Just because I can handle something, doesn't mean I should be eating it."
Mason: That, but I like, at the same time, knowing you can and it's not going ... Because that's, it's a good indicator of where your health is at. Like, "Oh, if I have a glass of wine, is that going to send my inflammatory response going?" Or, "If I have a beer, is that going to send me off?" No. Good, man. I'm healthy. Doesn't mean I should be smashing beer, like not like necessarily at all, but like seldom. I mean, that's where I'm at with it. I think it's a good marker.
Dan: Totally, and that comes back into people and society largely being addicted to extremes. It's like, "Ah, I can have that again. Boom, let's roll with it."
Mason: It sneaks up on you, when you're so sick for so long, as well.
Mason: You've been trying to heal for a decade. You watch like, all of a sudden, you'll get your constitution back, and then what you're lacking is excitement and romance and freedom within your diet.
Dan: Yes. It's freedom. Yeah.
Mason: You can, generally, just go and explore that again. All right, we've gone on many, many tangents. I like that liver love. I feel like we've covered that. Is there anything you want to throw in there about the liver? Or like do you want to move down, just start hitting the small intestine and the colon a little bit?
Dan: Yeah. I think we rock into those areas, and open up that kettle of fish.
Mason: Yeah. I mean, we've seemed to have covered a lot about small intestine. This is where the gut permeability and leaky gut comes in.
Mason: Leaky gut, I'm into thinking leaky gut has been a big crack in the digestive system where everything leaks out. It is to an extent, but it's like more about the thinning. What was the word? You used it before. When there's inflammatory markers that split. That split the lining.
Dan: The tight junctions?
Mason: The tight junctions. That's it.
Dan: Hmm, yeah.
Mason: What are talking about? Foods and things that, generally, get attributed to being the ones that are splitting those tight junctions within the epithelial cells.
Dan: Yep, so again, before we go into specifics, stress is one that gets overlooked. We know that, the perfect example is like a marathon runner. We've heard of like triathlon's diarrhea or marathon runner's diarrhea. That's a classic case.
Mason: I haven't really, I hadn't thought about that in a long time, but yeah.
Mason: I think, maybe, tell people that one. I don't think that's just like, "Oh, yeah. marathon diarrhea."
Dan: That's the classic, like prolonged state of exhaustion. Men, really tap ... Men or women, really tapping into their jing on this prolonged marathon or whatever have it be, where they experience a really exacerbated version of a leaky gut, to eventually to the point where it's so systemic that the body will just respond with diarrhea. There's that much stress on the nervous system.
Mason: Far out. That's very, very interesting. You were talking before, pre-show, about how, basically, if you're a healthy person, if you go and you hit it at the gym, you're going to have some wear and tear, and gut permeability occur.
Mason: If you're healthy, you're going to build that back and regenerate, right?
Dan: That's right. That's exactly right. With leaky gut, it's not a black and white, "I have leaky gut, of I don't have leaky gut." This person either has it or doesn't has it, that's crap. It's a dynamic dance, and you experience intestinal permeability with things like, yeah, like a prolonged exercise. That will, temporarily, open up the tight junctions. Alcohol will temporarily open up the tight junctions. It's when someone can't recover from chronic, chronic stimulation at that gut wall, that opens up those tight junctions, and keeps them there.
Dan: They just have this chronic, inflammatory cascade happening of contents coming out of the gut lumen and through the gut wall into the blood, disregulating their nervous system and causing an overwhelming inflammatory response. That's when it's ... I'm not saying leaky gut isn't an issue, but that's when it's at its most exaggerated kind of form. That's sometimes when we see the starts or autoimmunity really begin to take a hold.
Mason: Yeah. It got trendy there for a bit. Same way, like it was like a few years ago, that candida was trendy, "I have it."
Mason: It's like, again, may I bring meekness up again? Like have it without telling us. It's not that it's not valid to share what's going on for you but it's, basically, what I'm calling out. Because I've done it, we all have, where you start overly identifying with your illness, whether it's candida, whether it's leaky gut, whether it's PCOS, whether it's any of these things. It becomes a modern, medical diagnosis that makes you think, "I got it or I don't got it."
Dan: That's right.
Mason: That kind of flies in the face of what we were talking about it, whether you have stress or you don't stress, because there are particular markers. We're talking about like, everyone's stressed. There's stress markers everywhere. It's whether they're integrated into the entire symphony of the body, and the body's actually able to keep itself living within harmony.
Mason: It's whether it's hormonal imbalances, they're all there to an extent, because we're all, we got the Ferrari out of the garage and we're all driving around, driving these bodies around, loving life. We're all exposing ourself to a certain amount of gut permeability and leaky gut, or we all have a certain amount of candida. Don't focus on it though.
Dan: That's right.
Mason: 20%, 20% focus on treating that at the symptom level, 80% on your foundations and your long-term lifestyle, that's actually going to bring you back into harmony so it's not an issue anymore, right?
Dan: Yeah, absolutely. It definitely comes back to terrain. The terrain of the individual, what's their terrain like? What's their ecosystem like of their gut, and their resilience? What's their ability to ... What's their level of perceived stress? Perceived stress is huge. That's another one going back to what we were talking about earlier, is someone's stress perception might be completely ... You take two people, you expose them to the same stressful stimuli, and then analyze and look at how that person's stress mechanisms and reaction compared and contrasted to the other person's, where they secreted a massive amount of cortisol. How is the stress response in that person compared to the other individual? Yeah, it definitely does come back to terrain and host resilience, really, but yeah, we digressed a little bit.
Dan: Going back to the leaky gut wall sort of scenario, it is pretty endemic. There definitely is this grumbling away of gut permeability that we see associated with a lot of conditions, which we never associated with previously.
Mason: Like what? Like autoimmunity?
Dan: Definitely autoimmunity, but not just ... We used to look at it just like strictly with celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, gastritis, H. pylori, and a lot of gut-centric conditions. Now we know that it's just as much occurring in those conditions as it might be in, say, something like Parkinson's or MS or rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, et cetera, so it's-
Mason: What about any connection between neuro-degeneration and-
Dan: Oh, boom. Absolutely, absolutely. In those conditions, I think we've got it happening on a gut level as well as the blood-brain barrier level, so it's the same kind of concept.
Mason: The membrane's not active.
Dan: Exactly, exactly. Yeah. The membrane is porus, and we've got inflammatory molecules passing out of that gut lumen and through the blood, traveling up with the blood, and passing through the blood-brain barrier and causing neuro-degeneration.
Mason: Yeah. You're in high school, you're throwing a party. The word got out. You don't have anyone manning the door, and any delinquent can just come in and muck things up.
Dan: Boom, yep.
Mason: All right, beautiful. I feel like we've covered a lot in terms of working on this permeability. Do you want to throw anything else in there? Like L-Glutamine?
Dan: Yeah. Look, we've got those players, like we've got the colostrum, the L-Glutamine, the aloe vera, the retinoic acid from Vitamin A, Vitamin D. We got all those beautiful things, but I want to get people thinking about butyrate. Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid that our good bacteria, when they're nourished effectively, are going to produce. Think of butyrate as this byproduct that we get when our gut bacteria are happy and they're being fertilized with fiber. We produce this lovely molecule called butyrate. It goes in and heals and seals the gut, just as well, if not better, than a lot of those we think of when we think, "leaky gut."
Mason: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Dan: Yeah. It does the same thing with the blood-brain barrier too. We know that, so we know in people with these-
Mason: Say it again. How do you pronounce it?
Mason: Butyrate, yeah.
Dan: Yeah, yeah. Short chain fatty acid. Everyone produces it, but if you have a dysbiosis or you're lacking your good gut microbes, you're not going to be producing as much butyrate. Then it's like you can use your L-Glutamines and your probiotics and your aloe veras. They're all good, but you really want to stack that in addition to feeding up your microbes that produce butyrate, knowing that that is going to fill up to a level where it'll do its thing in the gut, and then you want to really rock into where it's going to go splay outwards and travel through the rest of the circulation, and heal that blood-brain barrier.
Mason: Yeah. It's like going upstream, right? It's like what everyone's realizing with like getting the, cleaning up the oceans from plastic. Everyone's like going and doing beach cleans, which is like the aloe vera and the L-Glutamine, and all these kinds of things. Really, we're going to start going up and leaning on companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi and Nestle, and go to the actual source of it, so you can start working on your lifestyle and your diet, and get that butyrate, like I will, basically get, just get your bacteria working at an optimum level. You're going to see that over ... Within your body's generational spans, and you're going to see an improvement. I like that, man. I think that's a good awareness. That's a good reminder for me. Always need that little touch up.
Mason: What about what comes in candida-wise? Do you just, basically, see that, when you kind of like, when you decimate, whether it's antibiotics or whatever, just depletion? You can see the gut microbiomes depleted. You see immunities, basically, then depleted. You're going to see, naturally, that fungal load's going to lift up, because that's what fungus does when you've got gaps within the body. Do you find that, generally, do you work on it much, going for the fungus itself? Or do you, generally, work on the gut and the immune system?
Dan: A little bit of everything, to answer it straight up. I use a combination of all those things. We know that candida is like, it's like a resident of the natural gut microflora, that in opportunistic circumstances, will take up space. It's like, just think of it as like a car park. When you've had antibiotics, you wipe out all the cars that are naturally supposed to take up their car space. Then when the candida see that there's no cars in the car spaces, they're going to go and occupy those spaces. With particular molecules and probiotics and dietary changes and things like that, you then when want to shift them out, and get your good bacteria taking up residence there, to naturally keep them out.
Dan: To answer your question, I use a particular strain of probiotic yeast, saccharomyces boulardii, a variation by [Codex 00:57:48]. I use that in conjunction with, depending on the person, some herbal antifungals are appropriate. [crosstalk 00:57:56]
Mason: Pau d’arco?
Dan: Yeah, pau d'arco.
Mason: Where is that one now? Because I feel like that one's got a little bit more specificity about it now in terms of when it's used, when it isn't ... It's a tonic herb, but clinically, where is it?
Dan: You can use it every day. It is definitely a tonic herb, and you're not going to have to fear excess and excess immune stimulation, and all those things like we once thought. I usually use that in context of some other herbal protocols that aren't going to be as damaging to the native flora, so they're going to be the ones that are more selective. For example, if someone comes in and we know that they've got fungal overgrowth, bacterial dysbiosis, and generally, all the nasties doing their thing, yes, we'll want to use some antifungals, possibly some antivirals as well and some antibacterials. That might look something like propolis, pomegranate, perhaps a berberine herb, maybe, depending on the person. Yeah, it's highly individual, man. Yeah.
Mason: Yeah. I hear you.
Mason: I just want, while we're touching on the berberines and pomegranate, can you just hit those as antibacterials?
Dan: Really good question. When we've got a really delicate ecosystem, we've done someone's stool analysis and we look at their terrain, it's damaged. They've got low microbial diversity, their good guys, next to nothing, and just hanging on by a thread. That's when you really, really want to be cautious of using the berberine rich herbs, and the herbs with less specificity, and that are going to act more like antibiotics. Because that's a thing a lot of people ... You and I have been there a long time ago as well. Just assume that because an herb has natural antibiotic properties, that it's necessarily going to touch good flora, but that's just not the case. I definitely am very cautious about which ones I use and when. The berberine rich herbs are typically things like goldenseal, barberry and phellodendron.
Dan: All amazing herbs, definitely use them all. However, I do consider, perhaps, using ones that are more specific like garlic, like pomegranate, when you want to make sure that you are not touching the good flora of that person, if they're only just hanging on by a thread. Then again, you get someone that's never done, that hasn't had much antimicrobial exposure from antibiotics or herbs, their constitution's good, that's when you have a little bit more room to play with, with the berberine rich herbs.
Mason: Okay. Cool, man. I just wanted to throw in there the whole like, the medicinal mushroom factor of bringing the fungus down, as always. Candida, medicinal mushrooms, reishi, chaga, lion's mane, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake. We've discussed it before. I think we're all in agreeance, and I've been doing it for a number of years, of really bringing up this like, it's not even, it doesn't even fly in the face of, it isn't even a contradiction that we're dealing with a fungal infection and we're using fungus. It just makes sense when you look at it, and when you look at the chemistry.
Mason: I love the fact that those polysaccharides in the medicinal mushrooms, particularly, the beta-glucans, are very unique, very important to be growing them on wood and not grain, so you don't get false readings of those beta-glucans, and they're actually from mushrooms. Native food, going in there and acting as a prebiotic, helping you to seal up that wall. Getting in there and hitting lymph-based receptors and helping lift the onsite immunity within that digestive tract, and helping your body in its organic immune cell sense, at the same time, start overcoming any of those infections.
Mason: I just wanted to throw that in there. Anything else you wanted to say about the small intestine? There's a lot to say. Very long thing it is. Is that reductionist enough for you? Especially, what I want to just know, in terms of someone with a digestive tract and looking at the small intestine, anything from your perspective that they're going to be needing to look at, additionally?
Dan: Oh, I think for as much of the things that we look at that nurture, heal and seal the gut, I think we really have to be on to looking at the things that impair it. Yeah, if we kind of cap off the leaky gut, intestinal permeability thing, it's like, look at and start to pay attention to, yeah, your macronutrient distribution of your food, so be cautious of going too high fat. Knowing that that is going to create a bit of endotoxemia. You're going to feed up your pro-inflammatory species, which will encourage intestinal permeability. Things like medications, that's often really overlooked.
Dan: A lot of people don't make that connection, that something that they might have been on for a long time could have kept their gut leaky for sometimes 10, 20, 30 years. We get a lot of older folks come in that have taken antacids or calcium channel blockers or things like that, that they just would not have linked-
Mason: Yeah, calcium channel blockers, man.
Dan: Yeah, that's a whole conversation, right? Yeah, so just to really be conscious of the stress thing. Things like alcohol, medication, your diet and things like that, just as much as you are looking at the things that heal and seal and nurture it.
Mason: I feel like we're on the home run here. Then we go, we go further down and we cross ... Is it that iliac valve?
Dan: Yep. The ileocecal valve, yep.
Mason: I would just like to, at this point, throw the hat in the ring for abdominal massage. Tahnee, my partner has a good little spiel on her Facebook. I might get that right now and just copy the post, because it's just like, it's just so good. I'll put it in the show notes. Just basically, she's just basically, I'll read the beginning of it. "When you learn anatomy, you learn from simplified drawings or pictures of ideal physical specimens that are awesome for getting a rough idea of where the bits are, but in real life, bodies are strange. Everyone's insides look just as different as everyone's outsides, and they function slightly differently too. When I first learned Chi Nei Tsang, which is Taoist abdominal massage, it blew me away how different everyone's bellies were, from the tone of their organ tissue to the actual placement of their organs."
Mason: She's got a picture of a colon there. "People think because they poop every day their colons are healthy, but the number one thing we are taught in Chi Nei Tsang is that most people's colons are not healthy. Modern diets definitely have a lot to answer for. If you ever want an entertaining evening in, watch ..." That's on a whim. "An entertaining evening in, watch the Japanese doctor, Hiromi Shinya’s, YouTube on gut health. He shows the insides of people's colon that's pretty amazing, gross, motivating. Also, biomechanics. We are no longer quadrupeds, so our tummies don't hang loose like a dog's or cat's do. We, instead, sit a lot, compressed over our transverse colon, and our poor ascending colon has to work against gravity to get the food out or the waste out. Plus, we don't walk enough. Walking gets your poo moving, people."
Mason: Now there's more to it. It's in the show notes, so basically, what we just covered. You need to be moving your f'ing body, people, walking. The [Hyundais 01:04:52] say, in China, it's like 100 steps after a meal. Make it more. Consistently walking. "How many steps do I have to do?" It's like many. Just keep on walking. You were built for it, especially if you're sitting a long time. Because we aren't on all fours anymore, our body is still getting used to how get waste up and food up that ascending colon.
Dan: Yeah, and fight gravity. That's right.
Mason: Fight gravity. That's tough to do. You need a lot of chi and a lot of jing to do that. That's the other thing, is that it looks very different in there. What I suggest is get someone who can get someone who can give you some abdominal massage, or get in there yourself and learn where your ileocecal valve is. Massage it, really get in there. I just told everyone that it accumulates gunk and sediment in the valves. Get in there and feel them and help move it on. If anyone gets a little bit tense, we feel it. It's localized in the neck and we go, like we try and massage out that muscle.
Mason: If you have digestive issues, it's probably going to be uncomfortable for you, just like when you get a superficial muscle massage, is that you need to move through the pain because you've got a lot of accumulation of energy and chi and evil chi and inflammation there. Work through that abdominal wall of pain very gently, and get down and start getting in communion with your organs. Especially your small intestine in the middle there, but especially your colon and your valves. Help the body move that waste up the ascending colon, across the transverse colon to the left, and then down, descending colon. Yeah. Onto the left, I think I had it right there. I was just thinking about how some people are reversed inside, but very rare. Anything you want to say on the colon there, mate?
Dan: I think, yeah. Just getting people in that mindset of by doing all those things that Mason's talking about, you're talking the load off your body's requirement to use its own energy to do gastric propulsion. Things like rebounding, as Mason touched on. Walking, lymphatic drainage, massage of the organs.
Mason: Rebounding, I'm going to throw another like big endorsement behind ... I'll put a link to my recommended rebounder, which is a mini trampoline. Are you happy if I recommend Bellicon and make that-
Mason: ... the official rebounder recommendation of this gut health episode?
Mason: What else you got on there?
Dan: Yeah, it's interesting. When you touch on massage of the valves, because I typically advise a lot of my IBSC patients, the patients where they're motility's more on the slower end, and more sluggish. Quite often, that is a result of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which they've had for a long time, which slows down gastric propulsion.
Dan: A lot of these people who come in, they've done lots and lots of therapies, lots of antimicrobials, lots of diets. They haven't tried physical manipulation, and so I refer lots and lots and lots to physios, to osteopaths, for that kind of multi-pronged approach. It's like, "Yes, we're going to do diet. Yes, we're going to do herbs. Yes, we may do prebiotics and fibers and whatnot," but get some physical manipulation in there to take the stress off the body's need to secrete its own energy, and then fight gravity through the ascending colon, things like that. Stack the odds in your favor there. Yeah.
Mason: Stack the odds in your bloody favor. Hey, I want to just remind everyone that even when you're rocking it and you're super healthy, from a non-paranoid, but just like a very excited, intentional way, stick to the rebounding and stick to the walking. You want to be a rad, rocking, 90-year-old with digestive health just like coming out of your ass. I think we should do another podcast where we talk about myths. We'll do like a little bonus podcast where we talk about digestive myths.
Dan: Yes, we should.
Mason: Cover anything, any other little bits and bobs. It's a huge conversation. I think we've entertained and, hopefully, not bored everybody enough. We'll bring it home. I just wanted to throw in, maybe just like a little bit of like a hand up for when appropriate, and what's appropriate, do the building back first, and then start moving out for enemas, at this point, and colonics. I'm a big fan. Especially if you can find someone tuned-into where the organs lie with colonics. Where are you? Are you a fan in that context of it being done appropriately?
Mason: Or do you think it wipes out the bacteria?
Dan: The microflora? Yeah, look, that's something that does come up as a bit of a concern. I do, speaking from like an anecdotal perspective, I have seen one case where prolonged use of it has severely, severely reduced gut diversity, so diversity score of microbes. That's anecdotal, but I'd definitely be selective in the cases where I'd use it. Definitely for the more sluggish digestion. Someone more predisposed to cardiometabolic type issues, and that sort of thing. That's where I see it being really therapeutically effective. If you get someone who's more on the faster end of the spectrum, they're thin, they're catabolic, they're underweight, obviously, in that case, you're not going to prescribe it, so it's all individual. Yeah.
Mason: Yeah, man. I love it. I hope you've had fun talking to me about all things digestive tract. We didn't even really talk about poo, but I think it's pretty ... I think people ... I think at this point, I think I'll just finish off with a nice way for everyone to tune-in is to feel your organs, feel your belly. Are they really tense? Are they very sore? That's a good way for you to get an indicator of the health, straightaway.
Mason: Also, just watch your poo. Watch the poo. Watch the way you react to stressful situations. Watch the way you react to coffee, raw food, cooked food, a nice balanced diet, excessive fats. I'm sure everyone here knows it, but keep on looking at it. Keep on looking at the color, and maybe we'll put up a ... If you got a good poo chart reference that maybe we can link to people. If not-
Dan: Yeah, yeah. Good old Bristol stool chart. If you just do a Google image search, I'm sure you'll get a plethora of different variations of it. It's like a grading from one through to seven, with different types of shapes and whatnot of poo. I think it's like stage three, four, five is being the more ideal end. Then you got the more extreme ends, above and beyond that.
Dan: Yeah, no, just a good take and a message from my end is just to, if you've been through the full gamut with your gut health and you're still not getting answers, and you're starting to see it spill over into different areas of the body, and you might have a bit of autoimmunity going, that's when it's a good time to do a really good, comprehensive digestive stool analysis. Don't waste your money with over-the-counter probiotics, and don't guess with your supplements. Get a gut profile done. See a good, experienced clinician who knows what they're doing, and come up with an individual, tailored regimen using particular fibers and foods and whatnot to nourish your individual ecosystem.
Mason: I love it, man. I think everyone should tune-in for the bonus session, and I think we'll talk more specific testing and what to be looking for in a test, plus all the myths that are flying around digestion. We'll talk about the whole like medical medium, where like, where's my little list here? We'll talk about antacids. We'll hit probiotics a little bit more.
Mason: I want to talk to you a little bit about that, and a bunch of other things. Man, thank you for your time.
Dan: Pleasure, mate. Thank you for having me on the show. It's always good to have a good old chat with you and get down and dirty with these topics and, hopefully, bring some new insights to the audience. Love it.
Mason: Thanks, man. Thank you for those of you that stuck through this epic two-part gut series. Very gutsy of you. Later. Bye, bye.
Mason: Everybody, thank you so much for tuning-in today. Now time to take that information, ground it into your lifestyle so you can amplify your health to next level. You can really help amplify the health of this podcast by going onto iTunes and subscribing and leaving us a review. Really helps us spread this information around Tonic Herb, around Sovereign Health, further out there to the community so we can help more people experience the best out of this life. Thanks, guys. I'll speak to you next time.
Tahnee and Amanda take a deep dive into the journey of motherhood, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, the cycles of fertility, the east vs west approach to fertility and reproduction, fertility and veganism and a whole lot more.