Podcast 372: Your Microbiome and Immune Health
80% of our immune system is located in the gut, so taking care of our intestines, our microbiome especially is crucial for our overall health. Our body is an amazing machine that knows how to heal itself once it has the raw materials to do that!
Martin: Hello, everybody! Martin Pytela here, health coach at Life Enthusiast! Today, I’m sitting here with Miri Okocha, and we are talking about the digestive health and the microbiome, buzzwords that we have been hearing a lot lately. I’m listening to shows and lectures about these subjects all the time, so to me, it seems like the most obvious thing, I think that “of course, everybody knows why the microbiome is important, of course, everybody knows what makes it better or worse.” And then I talk to Miri, and Miri says…
Miri: (laughing) I say: every time I talk to someone about this topic, I am shocked by how little people really know about it. We listen and learn about this stuff all the time, because we’re really tapped into it, but there are a lot of people that don’t really understand what the microbiome is and why it’s so important. So, I convinced you to let me just talk for a couple of minutes at the beginning of this discussion, just to lay the groundwork for those who don’t really understand it.
Martin: So, please, pretend for two minutes that I have asked you a question. Well, what is this microbiome, Miri?
Miri: Well, the microbiome is what’s in your gut, basically. It’s the wall of your gut lining and what is contained within that lining in your gut. That one-cell thick wall is a barrier between you and the outside environment. All those little cells of your gut lining are held together with what are called tight junctions, it’s like velcro that holds the cells together.
And there’s been some research done by a lot of doctors and medical researchers that say that within 15 minutes of ingesting something that contains either glyphosate or some kind of chemical in it, or a food that’s been genetically modified in some way, it only takes about 15 minutes to destroy those little tight junctions. Those tight junctions are what’s keeping toxicity out of your system, so when those tight junctions are destroyed, the toxic materials leak directly into your bloodstream. What’s even more important is that 80% of your immune system resides right behind that gut lining. So every time those toxins leak and get behind that lining, it’s basically assaulting your entire immune system. So not only is your body fighting the toxicity, it’s also weakening your own ability to produce the white blood cells that are working as your first line defense against pathogens or things that cause disease in your body.
So it’s crucial that you focus on healing your gut lining and your microbiome. Until you do that, you’re going to have so many health problems. At least that’s what all the recent medical research is showing. My own experience in healing my microbiome was that I started to really lose weight, I started to have enormous amounts of energy… of course, there were other things involved there, but the microbiome was a huge part of that.
Martin: Right. There are actually two different things to focus on. One is the barrier, the lining of our gut, which a single cell thick separation. It looks like stretched cellophane, that holds the foreign substances where they need to be, and this is where the microbes live. The second thing is that those microbes we talk about as the microbiome, microbes that we carry within us. They live on the “dirty” side, that runs between the mouth and the anus (which technically could be thought of as being outside of the body). The gut lining is a wall of separation to the “sterile” side, and only sterile things should make it through that barrier. If non-sterile things get through, that’s where the warfare begins.
Miri: Exactly. Warfare is a really good way to put it. We don’t even know that there is a war raging, but when you start getting bloated and you start feeling really bad, that’s the first place I would look into, to see if your microbiome is out of whack.
Martin: What do you tell people wrecks their microbiome? What do they need to worry about? What makes it worse?
Miri: Eating the wrong foods, eating gluten, eating things with chemicals like glyphosate. Any produce that’s grown in a non-organic fashion or is genetically modified is most likely going to be sprayed with glyphosate, and glyphosate is a poison to our bodies. This food, I like how you call it Frankenfood, which always makes me laugh, because it’s really what it is, it’s not really food. It’s a food-like substance, that makes you feel like you’re eating food, but you’re not. And companies that are growing these Frankenfoods are making tons of money off of it. The pharmaceutical companies are also making tons of money, because they try to fix the symptoms that we’re getting from eating them, but our health is going down the tubes!
There’s a lot of research now stating that all diseases are on the rise, autism is on the rise, and all of these things are being proven to be caused by an upset in your microbiome. This is actually the biggest breakthrough in medical research right now: the microbiome area. There are thousands of research papers being written on this every year now, and a lot of the pharmaceutical and supplement companies are trying to understand how to capitalize on this. And we happen to be at least one step ahead of it, and that’s why I wanted to talk to you today, Martin!
I’ve had such tremendous success with healing my own microbiome with some of your products, and I wanted you to share my story with people to show them how they can heal their own microbiome!
Martin: I actually get quite amused when I see the advertisements on television, where you see the belly doing the hula dance, being happy and all of that, just because somebody ate yogurt that has two strains of special bacteria in it.
Miri: Yes, and lots of sugar, which actually grows the bad microbes. (laughs)
Martin: The natural microbiome is very diverse. In fact, it should be said that diversity (the number of different species that live within the gut of the person) is often an indicator of a healthy microbiome. It isn‘t necessarily the quantity, the weight, but more the diversity.
Miri: Which really speaks to the Strata Flora I’ve been taking! When I look on the shelves in some health food stores, I can see probiotics that have maybe eight or nine strains of bacteria, and they say: “We have billions of these in each capsule!” But unfortunately, it’s billions of the same thing, instead of having that biological diversity like you’re saying.
Strata Flora has 77 strains of probiotics, and not just probiotics, but also prebiotics, which are very important! The probiotics will die off really quickly if they don’t have food to fuel themselves. You have to feed these microbes in your gut in order for them to be what we call self-colonising. They will live and thrive in your digestive system, and they’ll be more effective if they have food themselves – and that is what prebiotics are for.
Martin: The important part for us to understand is that we humans don’t actually digest anything. The microbes are actually taking apart the food we eat, and what they process is what we absorb. Ingesting something doesn’t necessarily mean that you absorb anything out of it. It’s the microbes that take it apart and make it available to us.
Miri: That was a really surprising thing that I learned from you, and also from listening to some of the lectures that you shared with me. Some of these scientists are saying that we’re only 10% human. The rest of it is a foreign entity that’s keeping us alive, and we just don’t understand it. We are actually very complex creatures; we are sort of like a universe of beings in our own bodies. But we think it’s just us because we’re the ones experiencing it, we don’t understand all the things that are going on inside of us. It’s really amazing!
Martin: Yeah, we are more like a traveling containers for all the other species living within us! You put two points out. One was the probiotic. Yes, the probiotic bacteria is what eats the food that makes it available to me. But they themselves require prebiotics, mostly fructo-oligo-saccharides, that they live on. It’s a high fiber plant material that they require, but they also require what we call the humus from the soil; it is the environment in which they thrive. Humic acid electrically enables them to communicate with one another and create a healthy environment. It’s an entire ecosystem that is interdependent, and when we throw it off with assaults, we cause trouble.
Let me just mention a few examples of what I mean by assaults. The most common one is chlorine, drinking chlorinated water. The second one you already mentioned, the glyphosate. Glyphosate or Roundup has been used in all kinds of foods, and it’s been sold to us as perfectly benign, because it doesn’t affect the mammals directly, but it negatively affects the microorganisms in our gut. So when we ingest it even in small quantities, it’s actually screwing up the microbiome. And then the other things would be consumption of other chemicals, such as over the counter and prescription drugs, including birth control, alcohol, and of course diet.
When you consume large amounts of refined carbohydrates such as high fructose corn syrup, flour, sugar, those foods directly feed certain subspecies of the micro-organisms. We are well familiar with the terms candida, and candida overgrowth. When a diet is out of balance, it disproportionately feeds certain organisms and creates imbalances that are reflected in our health.
Miri: And candida causes a lot of illness. I had a dear friend whose wife died from cancer, and they found an overgrowth of candida in her body after she died. And that was enough proof to me that I needed to get my microbiome in order.
You also mentioned cell communication. One thing that I didn’t mention about those tight junctions between the cells and the gut lining is the communication part, there are these little tiny fiber optic channels that help our cells communicate with each other, but when the microbiome or the gut lining is destroyed, cells can’t communicate properly. And it’s not just the gut barrier, but the blood-brain barrier works exactly the same way. So if your gut is destroyed, your blood-brain barrier is destroyed, and if you wake up with a foggy brain and you are bloated, your microbiome is definitely not in good shape!
Martin: Yeah, we do say: Leaky gut = leaky brain. And oftentimes, you actually get the leaky brain symptoms first. The brain fog, the inability to recall things, the “would you please hand me that what-is-it-called…” That for sure is a sign of the inability to feed your brain cells adequately.
Miri: Your brain controls every function in your body! So it is not just a memory problem or a foggy brain. It really affects everything, our heart, breathing, everything!
Martin: We need to support the ecosystem. It is all interconnected, everything depends on something else. Like in nature, for example, if I kill mosquitoes, that means that I’ve eliminated mosquito larva. Mosquito larva is the food that the trout fish eat, so when I eliminate the insect, I have actually eliminated the foods that makes the fish thrive in nature. Well, it’s that sort of interdependency that exists in our guts, too. When we make it out of balance, or cause it to be out of balance, we create what we call illness.
Miri: True. But we have products that help keep our microbiome in balance. We have Strata Flora, the probiotic formula I mentioned before, we have the Humic Acid, and then there’s something that I’ve been taking called Tummy Love. We do have the humic and fulvic acids separately, and then we have them together in the Tummy Love, and I swear by these things. I don’t go one day without taking them, and it’s part of my health improvement program.
I am almost 63 years old, but people think that I’m in my mid-forties, or at least a lot younger than I am. Depends on the day. If I’ve been really good with my health regimen, I look younger. And I can tell the day after I’ve done something I shouldn’t do, it shows up immediately. It’s just amazing at how quickly it shows up. These products are the things I really have learned to rely on, and to take every day to feel my best, to have energy. I have the same level of energy that I had in my twenties! It’s pretty amazing.
Martin: Congratulations on finding these things soon enough in your life, that you can still enjoy a whole lot of the benefits for a long time!
Miri: Even if I had a health condition, I would still be doing this, because I think one can reverse a lot of those conditions by improving what they’re doing in their daily diet. Our body is an amazing machine that knows how to heal itself once it has the raw materials to do that. I really believe that Strata Flora and these humic and fulvic acids are part of the raw materials.
Martin: Yes, these are the basic basics, these are the cornerstone on which the whole thing stands, it’s the foundation. I keep telling people: “If you screw something up with your fork, it’s really hard to fix it with ointments and pills.”
Miri: That’s really wise!
Martin: So the most important message for today is: you need to fix the microbial terrain with probiotics (like Strata Flora), and you need to give those microbes something to eat (prebiotics). You need to keep the communication of the microbes going, and this is where humic and fulvic acid is important. Prebiotics are just as important; without them, no amount of probiotic pill that you toss into your mouth will do the work.
Miri: That’s very true. Well, thank you, Martin, for talking to me about this today. I’m very excited about it, and I hope that other people are as well, because it’s made such a huge difference in my life. I just can’t even believe it.
Martin: Thank you for listening! This is Martin Pytela for Life Enthusiast! Visit our website at www.life-enthusiast.com to learn more and to purchase all the products we mentioned today, or call me directly. The number is (866) 543-3388. We are restoring vitality to you and to the planet!