Lost in the Supermarket

Everything You Need To Know About Your Gut Health

April 22, 2021 SupermarketGuru
Lost in the Supermarket
Everything You Need To Know About Your Gut Health
Chapters
Lost in the Supermarket
Everything You Need To Know About Your Gut Health
Apr 22, 2021
SupermarketGuru

Today with me is Kimberly Griffith, a Clinical Research Partner for Thryve.  She is also a microbiome researcher and Functional Medicine nutritionist that uses science-based, individualized approaches to promote optimal wellness for each individual. Her persistent focus within lifestyle medicine application and research is firmly founded within the microbial community, understanding health effects from gut, skin, oral and vaginal dysbiosis and how best to optimize each biome for ideal health and wellness. Kimberly is a board Certified Nutrition Specialist and holds a Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, alongside continual education within microbiome research.

Show Notes Transcript

Today with me is Kimberly Griffith, a Clinical Research Partner for Thryve.  She is also a microbiome researcher and Functional Medicine nutritionist that uses science-based, individualized approaches to promote optimal wellness for each individual. Her persistent focus within lifestyle medicine application and research is firmly founded within the microbial community, understanding health effects from gut, skin, oral and vaginal dysbiosis and how best to optimize each biome for ideal health and wellness. Kimberly is a board Certified Nutrition Specialist and holds a Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, alongside continual education within microbiome research.

Phil:

Welcome to Lost in the Supermarket. This episode, we're going to talk all about your gut. Now there's been a lot of conversation about gut health, even pre-pandemic during the pandemic. It accelerated even more. Well, do you know what gut health really is all about? We're going to explain it. We're going to explain the science to it. We're going to explain it in layman's terms and we're going to find out what you need to know about it with us is a cutting-edge company by the name of Thryve, they provide at-home gut microbiome testing, custom probiotics, and a personalized diet plan. That's designed by experts from leading universities. They've built one of the largest unified and high quality databases on microbiome in the world. Today with me is Kimberly Griffith , a clinical research partner at thrive and a microbiome researcher and functional medicine nutritionist, along with a lot of other areas of expertise. Kimberly , thanks for joining us today on Lost in the Supermarket.

Kimberly:

Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

Phil:

Kimberly, let's start off with the simple definition of gut health. What is it and what do we need to know about it and why is it so important?

Kimberly:

Sure. So when we think of gut health, we really do think of the gut microbiota. Those are the bacteria yeast fungi viruses within our gut that contribute to manifestation of disease or health benefits. Um, you know, we can see our neurotransmitters are made within these bacteria are vitamins, such as vitamin K and B12 are made within these bacteria. So when we look for gut health, we look for healthy populations of those beneficial bacteria that contribute to health.

Phil:

Now, the other thing that I think is so important that you bring out is it's really a combination of different factors. Obviously it's what we eat. Um, there's physical factors, there's psychological factors. There are environmental stressors. Uh , if we look at the stress during the pandemic, I'm sure that's affected a lot of people's microbiomes. Talk to me a little bit about that.

Kimberly:

Sure. You're absolutely correct. There are many factors that affect the growth of the beneficial bacteria, such as diets , stress , um, even exercise. And so we kind of wanted to look and see how has the pandemic affected our data sets over the past year? Um , since we know these factors do influence the bacteria and we were coming that we came across some pretty interesting data that showed a trend in a specific bacteria called Faecalibacterium front NCI. Um , this bacteria is inversely related to obesity. Um, diabetes actually severity , um, also GI diseases such as Crohn's and such. So we've seen that over the past year , uh, the bacteria that are attributed with health have been on the decline specifically the Faecalibacterium front NCI.

Phil:

So when I look at various surveys, in fact, one just came out from produce for better health a few weeks ago that really showed that the consumption of fruits and vegetables in our country has declined over the past 10 years. Not increased, even though we all know, and science has proven and folks like you talk about it all the time that the more fruits and vegetables that we eat, the healthier we are, the stronger we become on non non , um, what, what effect has that had on this bacterium?

Kimberly:

Uh , well, the beneficial bacteria, we know it's had a drastic effect . Um, we feed those beneficial bacteria with a lot of those fruits and vegetables that you're speaking about that have been on the decline. Uh , we see that the pro-inflammatory bacteria are fed with more of the processed foods and fast foods. What's , you know , there has been a general incline of people consuming over the past 10 years. Um, yeah, I like that you bring up food because a lot of people say we are what we eat, but we kind of , we are what we absorb and if your gut bacteria is not healthy, if you have high pro-inflammatory bacteria , um, if you have inflammation within the lining of the gut, then you're not even in Zuora being are adequately breaking down those nutrients that we're trying to contribute to our health.

Phil:

So how do I know besides looking down and seeing too big of a gut? Um , how do I know if , if my gut health is good?

Kimberly:

Yes. So that's where thrive comes into play. Still testing is fantastic because you can see the exact , uh, Bundance of different bacteria and how they are balanced. You can see if you have pathogenic bacteria. Um , if you have high levels of pro-inflammatory bacteria that are associated with not only GI distress, but skin inflammation, metabolic disease , um, so thrive does a great job of showing you exactly what your bacteria looks like. Your spread of bacteria. We've looked at over 50,000 peer reviewed studies that tell us exactly what these bacteria do. So we present in an easy to understand manner, how this bacteria contributes to health or how it may be contributing to your disease. And then we provide a personalized food recommendation, the foods that you should eat to increase your deficient beneficial bacteria. And then also what probiotic strains to incorporate to address your specific symptoms, your specific pathogenic growth, and how best to optimize your gut biome in general.

Phil:

So I've taken a bunch of these tests. I have not taken yours yet. I will. Um, but whenever I talk to the average person about, you know, DNA tests, the stool tests and so on, they say, well, you know, that science is five years away. We , we really don't, you know , add a lot of credibility to what comes out of it. What are you have to say about those naysayers of which, by the way, I am not one because I have gotten, you know , my tests in certain cases, there are a hundred, a hundred pages long , um , of, you know, what my DNA is and what the food recommendations are. And I've learned a lot from it. But what do you have to say to those people who say, you know, we're, we're talking about the Jetsons , um, all that I want to know is, you know, what should I be able to eat?

Kimberly:

Right. Um, well, as a researcher, you know, it's hard to dispute what's being presented right now. Um, right now the microbiome research is expanding at 30, 35% growth every year. And there are many bacterias that we don't know what they do, but we do know what some pretty critical bacterias , um , do. The one that I spoke about to callback to in, from NCI, we know it's inversely related to Crohn's disease. Those that have Crohn's disease have very low level , um, to the point that Harvard right now is trying to create the Cal bacteria in front and say, I, to be able to treat those with those specific diseases. So , um, I get this skeptics, but the research out there is just fascinating right now. And it's growing daily. Uh, even the COVID severity with Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is inversely related. Um, so it's pretty amazing

Phil:

Talking to someone. Um, and , and again, back to produce for a moment , um, that put forth the, the , um, the notion that had we not seen a decline of produce consumption over the past 10 years when COVID hit, we might have had a lot less cases because people's gut and, and their DNA, and just everybody else would have been strengthened would have been, you know, much stronger. What do you say about issues like that? Should we be using, you know, the kind of data that you can create, the kind of information that you can create , um, to really change, you know, the , the way we're going to be looking at these pandemics. And it looks like, you know , uh, there's going to be more of that come down the pike and we really have to strengthen our whole immune system.

Kimberly:

Oh, I can completely agree with you, Phil. Um, the reality is we don't know what's going to , like you said, becoming a year from now. So instead of waiting for what supplements or what , um , medications are going to heal us, give yourself the best fighting chance, right? Give yourself the immunity , um, try to make yourself as healthy as possible. And that's really about eating those healthy foods and boosting those gut bacteria where , you know , 70 plus percent of our immune system is housed. Um, so I can completely agree that the best way to fight what's possibly coming in the future. And what we're fighting now is to really boost your own immune health by way of foods and optimizing your gut health.

Phil:

So let's talk about foods versus supplements for a moment. Um, and I , and I'm not going to talk about prebiotics and probiotics yet, but what do you say to all those consumers that are out there? And I think that the latest numbers, 37% of all Americans are overweight or obese. We continue to see the rise of diabetes and heart disease and cancers, and on long on , and they say, you know, it's okay, I'm going up to my pharmacist. Who's then saying, you know, take some vitamin B12 or take vitamin D or, you know, all these other supplements rather than saying, Hey, maybe you should just be eating right. And getting those vitamins and minerals from foods,

Kimberly:

Right? No, absolutely. Um , like I mentioned, if your gut is inflamed, how well is it going to absorb those vitamins and supplements and nutrients, and how do we make our guts healthy? We feed it with what you're , you're speaking about those good foods. Um, so I, I , without the foods, you know, foods are first, we can't really can contribute to our health with all those supplements and vitamins. Um, I would say they are needed at times for, you know, we'll speak about probiotics when you're treating a symptom. Um, but food is first and really choosing those foods that are going to nourish your gut health and contribute to your immunity longterm , uh, should be the initial starting spot.

Phil:

So step one is education, you know , um, for, for you to be able for thrive, to be able to look , um, at the DNA, to look at all the microbiomes , to make recommendations, to become educated , uh, to then understand what are the foods that I should be eating now, talk to us about, you know, a new product that you're coming out with a pre-biotic , um, called rise. Uh , but before you do that, give us the explanation of the difference, because a lot of people are confused between probiotics and prebiotics.

Kimberly:

Sure. So , um, the definition of a pro a prebiotic is that it selectively feeds those beneficial bacteria. Um, when I first started, I used, I was confused by, well , if I take a prebiotic and it feeds all the bacteria, well, then I could be feeding pathogenic bacteria too . And that's the, not the definition of a prebiotic. It selectively feeds beneficial bacteria where it's , um , encouraging the growth of your own microbial fingerprints , where a probiotic is creating an environment where your beneficial bacteria can grow. Um, some strains of probiotics will directly target pathogenic growth. Um, and then some strains are effective on certain symptoms like transit time issues, symptoms, such as constipation and probiotics are transient. They're there to make a great environment and target what they need to target. And then they're gone within five to seven days where a prebiotics are selectively feeding your bacteria.

Phil:

And what is rise?

Kimberly:

Rise is a prebiotic that , um, there were two bacterias. We really wanted to target one Akkermansia and one Faecalibacterium prausnitzii guy. Both of them contribute to gut lining integrity to metabolic health , um, to local GI health, but also systemic health. And so we have prebiotics within rise that directly target to rise, to increase the levels of the Faecalibacterium and the Akkermansia.

Phil:

So , uh, Kimberly you've given us the one Oh one, there's a lot more to this. If people want to know more information, what's the website, they should go to

Kimberly:

Sure. It's www.thryveinside.com THRYVE

Phil:

Terrific. Well, thanks so much for joining us on Lost in the Supermarket and giving us a real clear definition and a real clear insight on why our gut health is so important.

Kimberly:

Thanks for having me, Phil .