DiscoverNew Frontiers in Functional MedicineEpisode 52: Ground Zero for Gut Health: Probiotics, Microbiota Manipulation and Dr. Jason Hawrelak
Episode 52: Ground Zero for Gut Health: Probiotics, Microbiota Manipulation and Dr. Jason Hawrelak

Episode 52: Ground Zero for Gut Health: Probiotics, Microbiota Manipulation and Dr. Jason Hawrelak

Update: 2018-12-051


The centrality of gut health in overall health cannot be overstated, and for many years researchers and practitioners have encouraged probiotic use to promote gut health. But their recommendations have been based on early and inchoate research. Today, several decades after the emergence of gut health as the ground zero of overall health, science has been able to correlate specific bacterial strains with specific health outcomes—and one man has spent years anthologizing all that research and making it available to practitioners and patients. Dr. Jason Hawrelak is a scientist, educator, and naturopathic physician. He’s one of the leading experts in microbiota manipulation and the use of specific strains for specific conditions. He is also the creator of, where practitioners and patients can access information about specific bacterial strains. Check out my conversation with Dr Hawrelak on NFFM. I am thrilled to be introduced to his work (have referred folks to him already), and so appreciate his dedication to crunching the data for us clinicians on
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Episode 48: Mastering Diabetes with Dr. Mona Morstein
Dr. Mona Morstein has focused the bulk of her career on treating all types of diabetes (DM). In late 2017, she published the a superb 500+ page very well-referenced book on the topic, titled Master Your Diabetes: A Comprehensive, Integrative Approach for Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Despite written in layman language, clinicians will find it meaty enough to be useful in practice – I especially like the sections on DM complications. In our conversation, we look at the four main types of diabetes, discuss etiology and epidemiology of types 1 and 2. We discuss standard labs, including the limitations of A1C, and the utility of the GlycoMark test. Learn how she does a glucose/insulin tolerance test and specialty lab testing considerations in patient management, managing the microbiome, intestinal permeability, food sensitivities. Diets: Dr. M recommends a very low carbohydrate diet (VLCD), but we had a great sidebar convo on the paradox of VLCD and vegan macrobiotic diets demonstrating equally good outcome – learn why Dr. Morstein suspects that is. Toxins, particularly POPs, but also metals, play a huge role in ushering in diabetes – learn how she’s evaluating and treating. We discuss nutraceutical interventions, medications – what she’s using and why. Of course, no conversation on DM is complete without discussing the influence on lifestyle. An interesting point Mona makes is that the program of treatment must be doable and relatively stress-free. Please give this terrific podcast a thumbs up and share if you like it as much as I think you will, and as always, let me know your thoughts!
Episode 47: Dr. Stephen Sinatra and the Past, Present and Future of Integrative Cardiology
If you’ve listened to my podcasts, you surely know that I love what I do. And my podcast with Dr. Stephen Sinatra is no exception. One of my most inspiring conversations to date, Dr. Sinatra is, as you know, a pioneer in the field of integrative cardiology. Hear about his remarkable, very early transition to integrative cardiology, including pivotal encounters with patients and scientists that shaped his thinking; his gutsy, hospital grand rounds presentations on the use of CoQ10 for heart failure patients, and the story of my mom working as a cardiac nurse with him during his fellowship. While Sinatra doesn’t maintain an active medical practice anymore, he still goes into his office often “to see how my former heart failure patients are doing. I don’t charge them. I just want to check in” He talked about a 9 year old boy he saw with florid heart failure. That boy is 32 years old now, and doing great. He was involved in designing the treatment plan for the now oldest-living person with tetralogy of Fallot. What did he prescribe? The “fearsome foursome”: CoQ10, magnesium, ribose and carnitine. At 73 years old, the first heart failure patient he prescribed CoQ10 to (10mg TID!) is alive and well. We move through loads of research on nutrients (yes, we discussed K2) diets, fats and what we need to be doing for ourselves, our families and our patients. Update: Dr. Sinatra and I spent a chuck of time on the famous PREDIMED study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013. PREDIMED garnered much attention by validating the use of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or mixed nuts for reducing incidence of cardiovascular disease in persons at high risk. Interestingly, the day we recorded, news broke that the PREDIMED was retracted. However, the study authors re-published the PREDIMED in NEJM June, 2018 with compromising data omitted. The findings remained similar to the original PREDIMED. Listen to Dr. Jeff Bland discuss the details.
Episode 46: SPONSORED Endotoxemia: The Underlying Reason Most of Your Patients Need Immunoglobulins
Endotoxemia. A fundamental driver of chronic disease. What is it? And more importantly, what do we do to address it? In my podcast with Dr. Jill Carnahan this month, she unleashes a torrent of compelling science and clinical savvy on all things endotoxemia. From heart disease and diabetes to autoimmunity (genetic or acquired) and mast cell activation, Dr. Carnahan is clear that pathological intestinal permeability (she discusses testing, but at this point in her career believes most everyone who sees her with chronic disease has IP) drives inflammation by allowing excess microbial endotoxins- primarily as lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- to enter circulation. Focused on root cause functional medicine (toxins, diet, infection, genetics), she concurrently heals the gut to drop the inflammatory burden. A key intervention for Jill is sugar-free, GMO-free, serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin (SBI), and we spend quite a bit of time on why SBI is crucial. With 43 human trials behind it, if you are not using SBI yet, you’ll be compelled to start, I suspect. We also have a fun dialogue on the role of fatty acids and toll-like receptor activation, connected directly to LPS. Jill shares a handful of very compelling case vignettes AND talks candidly about how she set up an extremely successful functional medicine practice and positioned herself as an expert in the field. And let me know: will you be changing how you prescribe high fat diets based on the research we discuss?
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Episode 52: Ground Zero for Gut Health: Probiotics, Microbiota Manipulation and Dr. Jason Hawrelak

Episode 52: Ground Zero for Gut Health: Probiotics, Microbiota Manipulation and Dr. Jason Hawrelak

dr. kara fitzgerald