Health Vibed Radio EP #1 – John Brisson On Gut Health And Healing (Transcript)
(The Podcast Audio Will Be Here Shortly, Just Doing Some Final Edits 🙂 )
Nick Earl: Hello and welcome. My name is Nick Earl, and I'm very happy and proud today to present you the very first episode of “Health Vibed Radio.” This is going to be an ongoing podcast series. We're going to be looking at a lot of different subjects to do with optimal living, and living in this modern day and age, which has its challenges in terms of being able to live with an optimal level of health. I'm very happy to introduce my first guest today. His name is John Brisson. John runs a website called fixyourgut.com. John has helped many, many people with their gut, and improve their overall health as a result of the amazing knowledge that John has. I think you're going to see in this call just how knowledgeable he is.
Some of the things we are going to talk about, quickly before I introduce John. I've got some great stuff here for you. We're going to talk for example, about why you most likely have gut issues, even if your asymptomatic, you don't have any signs that you have gut issues. We're going to talk about how common mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, even all the way up to things like OCD and Schizophrenia are actually tied very much to the health of your gut. I'm going to ask John, and he's going to tell a story about how he permanently cured his life long asthma, by correcting his gut health. I was particularly interested in that, because that's something I could relate to for my own life.
We're also going to discuss the top two supplements for healing a leaky gut, or improving your gut health. Why probiotics may actually be harming you more than helping you to improve your gut health. That's something that a lot of people would be surprised at, as was I. We're going to quickly talk about EMF's, and how they might affect your gut health. Lastly, of course, just want to give you a bit of a warning. This being a call about digestion, and intestinal health, there's going to be a little bit of poop talk, as well, so just be aware of that. It's all in good humor, and I think you're going to get a lot from this call today. Without further a dew, I'm going to get John on the call here, and I hope you enjoy it.
Okay John. Thank you very much for joining us today on Health Vibed Radio, really appreciate you coming along. Welcome to the call.
John Brisson: Thank you very much for having me on tonight, Nick.
Nick Earl: It's my absolute pleasure. Basically I came across your work, and having gut issues myself like many of us, I was very intrigued and read some of your book. It seems like you really know your stuff about guts. I'm excited to have this call, because I think this information could help so many people. As you would know, a lot of health issues probably originate in the gut. As we're finding out these days, it's kind of one of the main systems in the body in terms of health.
John Brisson: Very much so Nick. Here lately, we've found more information that a lot of auto immune diseases stem from overgrowth's within the gut, as well as mental health issues. Schizophrenia. Anxiety. Depression. A lot of these things emulate from people from having poor gut health. If you look at the statistics, more and more people are going their doctors complaining of gut issues. More and more people are also going to their doctor complaining of mental health issues as well. It's becoming a sort of an epidemic in this country. In the United States and throughout the world, people's digestion are failing them at an alarming rate. It has to do a lot with our modern lifestyles that we live, on a day to day basis.
Nick Earl: Absolutely. I think the world has changed a lot, especially in the last fifty years. As soon as the petrochemical industry's kind of evolved. I think that's had a massive impact. Obviously I've got some questions for you.
John Brisson: Yes. Yes, yes.
Nick Earl: Just before you sort of go into the questions. If you could just give me a quick summary of how you got in to all of this work. What brought you into your current understanding of the gut and health in general. Just a quick intro for people.
John Brisson: I myself, had always grown up totally skeptical of natural medicine. I thought it was a sham. My grandfather was a Pharmacist. I had health issues. Asthma and allergies, and surgeries, and stuff like that. As a kid, took multiple courses of antibiotics. I was extremely premature kid, infant, and stuff like that. I had my own host of health issues. I went through life thinking that medicine was the only answer. About, I'd say it's been almost eight, seven, eight years ago, I got sick. One day just out of the blue, my stomach burned. I had gastritis for the first time in my life. I've had occasional heartburn like everybody else. Especially if I drink orange juice, for example, it would cause me to have heartburn. I never really thought any difference of it. I never really had any gut problems. I could eat what I wanted. Didn't seem to have that many issues. I still suffered from my allergies through my adulthood, but I didn't think anything of it.
I was also taking Lisinopril at the time, which is an AC inhibitor, that actually I developed a sensitivity to. It was causing my resting heart rate to go from seventy to about a hundred and thirty. I couldn't find out for the life of me, what was going on. I had real bad stomach issues, I had real bad diarrhea. I had real bad anxiety, almost to the state of paranoia. None of these issues I'd ever had before. My stomach was burning and hurting all the time, I had reflux. I couldn't figure it out Nick, so I kept going to the doctors. The doctors would do blood work, and they would say “Oh, your perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with you.” They'd keep wanting to put me on more medication. They wanted to put me on a beta blocker. I had asthma at the time, and I was like, “Well, you know I don't want to use the beta blocker because beta blockers can cause problems with asthma.”, so I refused it.
My grandpa's a pharmacist, and he goes, “Well, Lisinopril could in theory cause a paradoxyl reaction, where it should decrease your heart rate, because that's what most blood pressure medications do, but maybe it's increasing, so why don't you lay off of it.” I did, and I kid you not Nick. The next day, my resting heart rate was seventy.
Imagine for a month, your resting heart rate goes to one twenty, one thirty, even when you're laying down. Of course, there's a reason why I had all this adrenaline going through me. My adrenals were shot. I had adrenal fatigue, and everything else. I had pitiful zinc, because ACE inhibitors deplete zinc, and it made my testosterone go in to the toilet, and everything. All the doctors said, “Oh, you look perfectly fine.” Every time I went to the hospital, “Oh, you know you're healthy as an ox. You're a little bit overweight, but other than that, all your markers are normal.” Here I am, losing my mind because I'm the sickest I've ever been. There has to be something wrong with me.
That's when I started doing the research, and eventually found natural medicine. The research to try to get myself better, because I wasn't improving. I had to take my health into my own hands. That's what a lot of my clients who contact me do, because doctors are either dismissive of their problems, or don't spend enough time with them to try to get down to the bottom of what's wrong with them.
Nick Earl: Yes, yes. I think more and more people are becoming aware that they can take responsibility. Because we have the internet, people are much more empowered.
John Brisson: Yes.
Nick Earl: I think it's great, your story. It's empowering. It's always good to hear about other people who've overcome their own health issues just through self study, and just taking responsibility. Ultimately, I think we have to take responsibility. It's kind of like, are you going to rely on the government to make sure your healthy? That's crazy. It's crazy to do that.
John Brisson: Yes. I agree. From there, most people I've coached, they take their health into their own hand, and so they start reading. That's what I did. I heard Dr. Joe Walsh one day, on Alex Jones's program, talk about copper deficiency, and deficiencies of minerals like magnesium, and how that can contribute to poor health. Stuff like that. I was like, “I've never heard that.”, so I started doing more and more research. That's when I discovered I have adrenal fatigue, and that's because Lisinopril from a few studies depletes zinc. That explains why my low testosterone, because zinc and testosterone are important. That's why they're thinking about using Lisinopril or ACE inhibitors as male contraceptives. The reason why my wife never got pregnant, was because I was taking this medication with all these side effects that was not disclosed to me. It'd contribute to my problems.
It wasn't until years later – because every H. Pylori test Id ever took was negative – I came to the conclusion that seven years ago when I had got sick initially, was because I had become infected with H. Pylori. It caused my body to be in an inflammatory state, constantly. That's the problem with all this. The main problem with most doctors, is that they get the schooling that they have, and they don't do much as far as keeping up to date with medical journals, and medical research that is going on currently. They only go on established protocols that are given to them. It's funny when you ever see a doctor walking around with a computer. More than likely they're just looking at that computer to get information on the diagnosis and test results that you've gotten. Heck, that's what a lot of us do. We memorize. We learn. We read. We all do similar things to that in learning our own education.
Doctors don't pay attention to a lot of these newer studies and everything.
That's why, for example, H. Pylori is so funny, because microbiologists have known that H. Pylori was the cause of ulcers since the mid nineteen eighties. They never wanted to believe that as such. It took the Australian scientists Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, in the late eighties. Forever they were misidentifying H.Pylori as Cyanobacteria Pylori, for one, which it's not. It took Barry Marshall to literally drink a culture of H.Pylori to self inoculate himself, and then show to the world that “Hey. I drunk this, and I got ulcers. This is the cause of gastric ulcers for most people.” It took him to infect himself with it, to get them to accept it. Doctors did not start treating H.Pylori mainly as a cause of ulcers, until the early two thousands.
Nick Earl: Just for people who are not aware, John. H.Pylori is basically a type of gut bacteria. Is that right?
John Brisson: Yes, but it can reside whole different places to the gut. It's main area with which to live in is the mouth, the esophagus, the stomach, the first part of thee small intestine, known as the duodenum. It can effect the liver, and gall bladder, and possibly the Vangus nerve in the brain. Usually the upper gastro intestinal track is where H.Pylori live. It's a grand negative, endotoxin producing bacteria.
Nick Earl: Okay. That kind of leads well into the next question. My next question, John, is really just a kind of general question.
John Brisson: Yes.
Nick Earl: How prevalent do you think gut issues, general gut issues like leaky gut, and all these things like dysbiosis issues, where you have too much of a certain bacteria. How prevalent do you think these issues are?
John Brisson: Very prevalent. I just think for most people it's asymptomatic, but it's still occurring to some degree. All of us, even the healthiest person in the world who has the healthiest gut health, is going to have some amount of leaky gut. It's inescapable. It's the degree of what someone has, that becomes a problem as far as the amount of overgrowth they have. The type of overgrowth they have. The state of their immune system. All those are what matters. Leaky gut's kind of a broad term. Dysbiosis is kind of a broad term, that a lot of people in natural health use to explain certain things.
I would say that I would agree, that I do believe that you feel the same way Nick, that majority of people do have, what I would say inadequate gut health. For most it could be asymptomatic. I'm sure my gut wasn't perfect. I had asthma. I had allergies. I had histamine issues [inaudible 00:14:18] positive overgrowth from being a C-section child. My mom having Lupus, which is an overgrowth of Staff, so she probably gave me some of that from her microbiome. It doesn't surprise me that it was probably always there, and it took, maybe [inaudible 00:14:38] stress, maybe Lisinopril reducing my immune system and eliminating my zinc. Maybe I got infected with H.Pylori on the day. It took something for it to tip it over the edge.
Nick Earl: Many of us have a lot of stress that happens in some part of our lives that is the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back. The next thing, is we're dealing with all these different health issues.
John Brisson: Yes.
Nick Earl: It's kind of like it triggers all these things. Absolutely. It's pretty common from what I've heard. This will probably be quite a hard question, but let's see how it goes anyway. What would you say if you could widdle it down, to say, the top three main causes of gut issues? Would you say it would be things like early upbringing, whether you're born by natural birth versus C-section, or those kind of things? Do you have any main culprits that you….
John Brisson: I would say early upbringing would be one out of the top three. It has a big difference between, like you said, C-section delivery, or vaginal birth. Children with C-section generally have more handicapped immune systems because they're given more greater staff and strep, because they're being handled first, instead of going through the vaginal tract which would give them a healthy dose of Lactobacillus.
Nick Earl: Right.
John Brisson: Instead you get handled by hands, which you have staff and strep living on your hands. It's one of the places that it lives in with your body. Also, being breast fed, or being formula fed. There's a difference there. Breastfeeding is excellent for the microbiome, good source for the GOS, which is one of the safest probiotics that most people can take. It generally feeds probiotic bacteria, without feeding the opportunistic bacteria so much. Not saying that some people could have bloating or issues with using it, like any prebiotic, but most people see the most benefit from taking it. Breast milk is a huge source of it.
Then, you also got taking antibiotics as a child, through sickness, reducing the microbiome. Being the problems that we have growing up as a child, it greatly affects our microbiome because that's when it starts. Heck, it even starts in the womb, because the microbiome that we get from our mothers, and stuff like that. It even starts there. It's tough that we never get a proper break in today's world, from the very beginning. How could it not affect our overall health, starting all that basic point.
Nick Earl: Yes.
John Brisson: I definitely would elude that as one, for sure.
Nick Earl: Right. Yes. Quite often is like a [inaudible 00:17:37] or a very healthy microbiome. It gets passed down generationally, in some way.
John Brisson: Yes. Yes, I believe that. Through either epigenetics that make you more susceptible, or genetically that make you more susceptible to certain infections. Maybe weaknesses to gram negative, or gram positive bacteria, or weakness to parasites. There are certain genes that could associate with that. I definitely believe a lot of that has to do with it's the luck of the draw. It effects some more than others.
I'd say next I'd probably go with diet. Diet has a huge effect on the microbiome. Microbiome shifts on a day to day basis from our diet. It's one of the strongest controllers. It's one of the strongest things that can help someone curtail issues with their digestion, or with their microbiome. It's also one of the biggest things that if done incorrectly, someone can destroy their health, or their microbiom. Diet is extremely important. Not every diet is perfect for everyone.
Nick Earl: Absolutely. It's a very personal thing. In my case, not sure about yourself, but it's involved a lot of tweaking to find…
John Brisson: Yes.
Nick Earl: Actually, seeing as we're talking about the gut. Hopefully no one's shy about a little toilet talk.
John Brisson: No. Not at all. People that I coach send me pictures of their poop and stuff like that. The more diagnostic the better, Nick.
Nick Earl: Wow. Okay. I was just going to say, I think that's a great way. It's a very simple way to see how your diet is impacting your digestive health, obviously. People kind of, I think they maybe overlook that a bit. That's something I've been, just more aware of, since I've gone through this whole journey. I found that I had gut parasites, and things like that. Just being aware of how my diet is affecting my motility.
John Brisson: Yes.
Nick Earl: I think motility is huge, maybe a little bit underrated for a lot of people.
John Brisson: I definitely agree with motility. The better your motility level, it's likely you won't have digestive issues. You don' want to have too much motility, but you don't want to have under motility too. You generally want to have between one and three good bowel movements with a dark brown color, a day. Two to three would probably be better.
Nick Earl: Two to three sounds crazy to me, because I've always been a bit slow.
John Brisson: Usually once you get that, as long as it's not too loose. As long as it's a decent firm. One is the bare minimum that most people can get away with. Everybody's different. One could be perfect. Every other day would probably be stretching it. If I had to choose a third one, Nick. It would probably be circadian rhythm.
Nick Earl: This is going back to, as in causes of gut issues?
John Brisson: Yes. Poor circadian rhythm. Lack of Melanin production at night, because our gut microbiome produces a lot of melanin, and melanin is a signaling hormone for our gut as far as digestion is concerned. It's more than just sleep. Melanin has antioxident properties, reduces inflammation. It helps a lot with gut health and so forth and so on. It closes the lower esophageal sphincter. It helps with immunity. It has a lot of good things coming with it. A majority of us do not have proper sleep, and we do not have proper sunlight exposure, which is adamant for gut health as far as increasing endogenous vitamin D production. Reducing inflammation and histamine overreactions. Increasing hydrous oxide. Increasing dopamine and serotonin, which are also important gut signaling. Neo transmitters. It's all important.
I think that's probably, if I had to say, is the biggest detriment to our modern lives, to our gut health, and to our overall health, is poor circadian rhythm. Overexposure to blue light from our TV screens, and our monitors, and our fluorescent lighting at night, and everything else. Not getting proper sun. Making sure that it's dark when we go to bed. Our ancestors did it for how many years before us. How arrogant of us to think that we're any better, that we could fix it in the modern lives that we live, and it would have no effect to our health what so ever.
Nick Earl: Yes, well that's it. I think a lot of it is just about going back to living as naturally as possible isn't it, really,
John Brisson: Yes. Some of it we can't give up the modern conveniences that we have. I'm sitting in front of a computer right now talking with you on Skype. It's not optimal, but I do have flux on my computer screens right now, which is reducing some of the blue light. I'm wearing my blue light blocking glasses on top of that. My body is signaling that it's time to produce melanin when it should be, at eight o'clock in the evening in North Carolina, where I live. It's about doing these hacks, these certain things that we can improve our circadian rhythm so that we can live in our modern world, hopefully. Some people have to give up more things than others. Their weakness to EMF, for example. I don't want to go back to living in a cabin out in the woods.
Nick Earl: No. No.
John Brisson: I do think there are problems with modern life. I think there's problems with both paleo life, and modern life. They both have their good and bad.
Nick Earl: Yes. Yes.
John Brisson: We could make modern life a lot more healthier.
Nick Earl: Yes. I think it's just we're coming to kind of a tipping point now, where we've realized, or we're finding out because of our health that we just need to kind of tone it back a bit. Maybe get more balance. Obviously we're not going to go live in caves, Most of us, anyway. Although I would like to camp in a cave, just for a week.
John Brisson: I'm not saying that occasionally being out in nature… Grounding, and being with nature. Of course it's excellent for your health. Don't disprove what I'm saying. Don't go say “John Brissom says technology's the bees knees.”, because I'm no trans humanist. There is a comfort in the modern world. It could be perfected in a way where it doesn't harm our bodies, and harm us as much. That's all I'm saying.
Nick Earl: That's it. That's it. Now John, I remember reading your book, and there was a part of that book where you talked about you went through a period of kind of anxiety, and OCD even from your health issues.
John Brisson: Yes.
Nick Earl: Now, I've kind of read a little bit into this. Obviously you've talked about the gut, and it's connection with mental health. This is something that I find really interesting, because I've kind of dealt with this a little bit recently myself. Just increased anxiety, and things like that, for no real reason in terms of environment, or just what's happening in my life. I kind of think it has to be biological. Because I have gut issues, I kind of tend to think there's a connection there. I guess I'm just sort of wondering, how often do you see a connection?
John Brisson: All the time. Even in my own personal life. Nick, years ago when I was a kid, and I had histamine issues with asthma and allergies. Th2 dominance is what they call it. The anxiety I had when my gut was better was different. I'd worried about a test that I'd have the next day. I'd have anxiety. The standard anxiousness that would come from that, but it was always different.
When I had my gut issues, and I developed chemicaphobia that I never had before. I was afraid of synthetic chemicals touching me. When I developed OCD. When I developed anxiety. It was different. It was weird because it was like my gut was triggering anxiety. I'd feel the epinephrine go shoot though me, in most random times. I could be watching TV, and just feel the adrenalin surge through me, and anxiety hit me like a brick wall. It was different than me worrying, and causing anxiety to happen. It was almost like my body was triggering the anxiety.
Now whether that was from gut issues, and gram negative overgrowth, and the toxins causing inflammation and that of my Vangus nerve. Possibly my brain and that was what was causing all the anxiety, and the increase of adrenalin and so forth and so on. It's a possibility.
There's a recent study that came out, that I blogged about on Fix Your Gut, that showed that for some, gut problems do cause depression and anxiety that people did not have in their life previous. It can even worsen them through this study. There's some people who did have anxiety and depression before their gut issues. When they had the gut issues, the majority of them, their issues got worse.
For example, Toxoplasmosis Gondii. It's a parasite that most of us come in contact with through cats. You might find this interesting, that it evolved to be an in host for human beings. Originally, mice were it's host. It would literally cause the mice to go up to cats. Of course, a cat is a mouses's natural predator. It would cause the mouse to go up to a cat, and literally lay down in front of it an play dead, and cause the cat to eat the mouse, so that the Toxoplasmosis Gondii could move to the cat. There is a question as to whether or not the domestication of cats came from the parasite driving for it to find another host, which would be human beings. Maybe the reason why the cats are domesticated with us, is because T Gondii controlling the brain, over years of evolution.
Nick Earl: That's pretty crazy.
John Brisson: Then, it goes to humans. For us, we're pretty much the end host. There's nothing that eats us. For example, human beings got it not because we ate cats, but it's because T Gondii is shed in feces. We would be around it's feces if we had cats. If we moved their feces to get them out of our house, we'd come in contact. That's how we became infected with it. For us, human beings just generally don't leave their crap lying around. We had somewhat sanitation, even in the ancient world. We try not to crap openly, and stuff like that. It kind of couldn't go any farther than us.
The sad thing is, is when you have T Gondii, it kind of sits around and you can develop a chronic infection with it where it kind of either causes inflammation in the brain, or it actually infects the brain. When it happens, over years and years and years and years, it causes schizophrenia. Now you might find this interesting too, is that women have a natural defense to T Gondii, because if they did not, it would kill the infant in the womb. That might be why there are a lot more male people with schizophrenia, than female people with schizophrenia. Females have a natural strength against T Gondii.
Nick Earl: That's pretty fascinating. Obviously, there's a lot of connection between different types of bacteria, whether or not in the gut, and mental health. I think we're going to see more of that as well. I think we're going to see more and more of a connection, and being proven in studies, as well.
John Brisson: Yes. You are right. The microbiome. A lot of people don't realize that when you think of neurotransmitters, for example, the majority of them are produced in your brain. That's not true. Actually, a majority of them are produced, as far as Saratonin, for example, Melanin, which is a hormone which causes neurotransmitter gaba, or even dopamine. A lot of it is produced by the probiotic bacteria that is in your gut. For example, with motility. Saratonin is used by the gut to contract your intestinal walls. Your intestines are very very very lengthy, so there's a lot of seratonin that needs to be produced to contract those intestines so you have proper motility to use the bathroom.
In archaea overgrowth, methadomenet overgrowth, or symbo with constipation, you see a drop off in the seratonin production because the hydra bacteria that would normally produce the seratonin, they die off, or they're not as they once were. Also, the archaea has a way of paralyzing the bowel, by deregulating the saratonin production, too. There are a lot of neurotransmitters that are produced in our gut by our own bacteria, which would help play a role when our microbiome is healthy, and giving us good mental health. When it's not healthy, and causing anxiety with low gaba, or depression with low seratonin and low dopamine, or trouble sleeping with low melanin. It does play a lot with the whole brain gut axis.
Nick Earl: Absolutely. I've heard there's something like eighty – you would know the stat probably – something like eighty percent of the seratonin in our body is in the gut.
John Brisson: Yes. It is produced by our gut bacteria. That is correct, around seventy-five to eighty percent.
Nick Earl: Wow. THat's a lot. That's a high percentage.
John Brisson: They use it for circadian rhythm signaling between one another, and then our body also uses it for its own need as well. It's a mutual beneficial.
Nick Earl: Yes. Right. Gut health is pretty crucial for mental health. I think that we can kind of say that.
John Brisson: Yes, very much so.
Nick Earl: Another thing you mentioned in your book was that you had asthma. I'm not sure if you still suffer from that now.
John Brisson: I do not. I have not for years.
Nick Earl: That's really awesome by the way, because I've had asthma since I was baby, pretty much.
John Brisson: So did I. Except for the past five to seven years.
Nick Earl: There you go. Was that a gut related connection, or was that something else?
John Brisson: Yes it was. It was very much so. I believe I had Th2 dominance, which is a histamine increase. In the immune system, as far as Th1 and Th2, you might hear me use those terms. Simply put, it's how our immune system, as far as our helper cells, relate to either inflammation, which is Th1, or histamine, which is Th2 histamine responses.
Nick Earl: Okay.
John Brisson: When I was a kid, I had up-regulation of Th2 of histamine. I had asthma. I had allergies. I got bronchitis a lot. I was sick a lot. I probably had gram positive overgrowth from my mother who had Lupus. I probably got staff from her. I was also C-section. I was very premature. I took antibiotics a lot. I had a lot of step infections, too. I could have strep in my microbiome. I had a lot of sore throats. A lot of that probably played key in me having asthma and allergies. Now, when I did mention earlier that I got gastritis seven years ago, that's when I believe I fell ill to H.Pylori. H.Pylori, in some people, can cause Th2 dominance issues or histamine issues. For me it did not. It shift my immune system completely to Th1, which is inflammation. Around that time period, my asthma and allergies completely disappeared.
Nick Earl: Wow.
John Brisson: Completely gone in a blink of an eye. I always thought it was because I supplemented with magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids, but I don't think so. I would lean more towards it was because of a shift to Th1. All the allergies that I had t dust were gone. My allergies to cats completely disappeared. I was not stuck in an inflammatory state of inflammation. Asthma can have Th1, Th2, and even Th17 issues with cytokines. For me, as far as exaggerated Th2 that I had with asthma, and allergies, and histamine, that was gone. My histamine levels normalized, and I haven't had a problem with them since. In that respect I'm thankful.
It doesn't still mean that Th1 and having inflammation doesn't cause it's own host of problems either. If it's not from any type of overgrowth that shifts you into a Th2 state, or something that you caught previously that leaves you in a Th2 state, asthma and allergies, I would look into histamine intolerance. I'd look into Th2 dominance. I'd look in to making sure you have proper magnesium levels in your body, which most people do not, which is important to help with reducing lung inflammation. Make sure they have a proper omega 3 fatty acids. Make sure their circadian rhythm's good, because melanin is important as a strong antioxident against asthma.
I do believe for most, that asthma is a completely reversible condition. I do believe a lot of it does have to do with a proper gut health. I do believe a lot of it does have to do with improper gut health, and improper issues with the microbiome.
Nick Earl: That's actually the first, when I read in your book, the first time I've heard of the connection between asthma and the gut. That's something I'll be looking into myself, and probably if I get a bit of coaching with yourself.
John Brisson: Yes.
Nick Earl: Definitely something we'll focus on. Very inspiring to know that you've been over it. You don't have any wheezing or anything like that?
John Brisson: No. No wheezing. No breathlessness. I used to use an inhaler every day. When I was a teenager, I used [inaudible 00:36:11] steroid inhalers which stunted my growth.
Nick Earl: I still use them occasionally, yes.
John Brisson: Depending on your age, it might not stunt your growth now. That being said, it does hinder your immune system, and that's not good. We'll talk about that more later through coaching and everything like that. Hopefully one day we can [inaudible 00:36:34] off, and get you off of them. It's funny how it was just like night and day when my immune system shifted. I stopped using Albuterol. I just didn't need it. These allergies that I used to have, the pollen, were completely gone. Get this, I never got sick anymore. If I ever got sick, which was maybe once out of every two to three years, I never got a fever. Well that's weird. That's good, but at the same time it left me with horrible brain fog, chronic fatigue, silent reflux, inflammation. All these other host of problems that I didn't have. I traded in the asthma and allergies, and post nasal drip, for the Th1. I traded them.
Nick Earl: So you're basically looking to get a balance between Th1 and Th2.
John Brisson: Correct. Yes. That's what I've been doing recently for the past couple months, with the most success I've ever had in my entire life.
Nick Earl: That's awesome. I'm glad do have found you at this time in your life.
John Brisson: Yes. Yes.
Nick Earl: That's knowledge that you can pass on to your clients. That's amazing. Awesome. I haven't really heard that many people who've overcome asthma. That's pretty awesome.
John Brisson: Mine was mainly by mistake. I hope for most people I can help them overcome their asthma without shifting Th1 inflammation.
Nick Earl: Yes.
John Brisson: I have coached people with asthma since then, and a lot of people have made a lot of recoveries and improvements from it. I definitely do think it's possible. One of the best ways of doing it is to make sure that you try to work on your gut health.
Nick Earl: Okay. That kind of leads well into the next question. You said before, about diet obviously being one of the main factors in gut health.
John Brisson: Yes.
Nick Earl: In this day and age, where we're not really able to get as many high quality nutrients from our food as we used to be able to, because of over farming and all these kind of things.
John Brisson: Correct.
Nick Earl: Supplements come in as a very important factor, I think. In terms of supplements for healing the gut, and gut health in general. Obviously, in your book you talk a lot about it, a lot of different supplements. Again, I don't want to sort of say top three or anything, but what are the most important supplements if you had to pick a few.
John Brisson: It's a tough question. It's a tough question because I can make some generalized statements, and I do a lot with Fix Your Gut as far as my supplement recommendations. There's always caveats of why certain supplements don't work for certain people, or why they can make their symptoms worse. There are a few supplements that I've seen across the board, that made the biggest difference with people's health, as far as their gut.
The first one would be zinc carnosine. It made the biggest difference in my health. Without it, I probably would have lost my mind and given up years ago. It was what made the difference and kept me in the fight. It does help a lot of people that I've coached. Zinc carnosine seems to greatly reduce Th1 and possibly Th2 inflammation, like inflammation and histamine in the stomach. The cytokines and stuff like that that cause problems for a lot of people who have upper gut overgrowth.
For example, if you have Th1 dominance like me, zinc carnosine would be the difference between brain fog, if I didn't take it, and feeling completely fine for the most part as far as brain fog, for example, being mostly gone when I did take it. It does help a lot with gram negative upper growth that you see in the upper gut, like citrobacter, tervactor, H.Pylori. All of these bacteria that live in the upper gut, which is the stomach, the dual abdomen, the esophagus, and the mouth. It helps a lot too with the healing of [inaudible 00:40:37] buy a prescription in Japan, for that. For alter treatment.
You have to make sure that you specifically get zinc carnosine, because the carnosine chelation aspect with the zinc, slows down the absorption, so that it works strictly in the stomach. It doesn't increase systemic zinc. For example, if you had low zinc, or a zinc metabolism issue like Pyroluria, you would not want to use zinc carnosine as your only source, because it wouldn't work out very well. As far as anybody who has gastritis, or ulcers, or upper gut issues, or gastroparesis, I would definitely recommend zinc carnosine to see if that helps your issues.
Another supplement? Back in the day I would recommend Glutamine, but not so much anymore. I'm finding people that are having more and more problems with Glutamine. You're going to have to make me think for a minute, Nick.
Nick Earl: That's fine. Glutamine is something that I've looked at a little bit myself.
John Brisson: Yes, but so many people have negative reactions to it. Especially if they have upper gut overgrowth, or TH1 dominance, or anything like that. More and more people seem to have negative reactions than its helped.
Nick Earl: I actually noticed and increase in anxiety from it. I probably need to give it more a test.
John Brisson: If that's the case, you might have some gad 1 issues. It might be contributing to inflammation in the brain, as far as it might be a little reduction of gaba. With gad 1 mutations, you're not having a proper glutamine metabolism pathway facilitated by your genes.
Nick Earl: Is that something you would find out via twenty-three and me?
John Brisson: You'd have to do Livewello through twenty-three and me, or Prometheus, or some other program to determine that through your twenty-three and me, but yes that is something that you could determine from that.
Nick Earl: You take your 23andMe.com results, and you put it through another system? Is that right?
John Brisson: Yes.
John Brisson: Glutamine is not something I really recommend anymore. I guess if I had to recommend a second supplement, it would be Galactooligosaccharide, or GOS, as a prebiotic. That's another supplement that I've seen the most benefit from, for people. It is the prebiotic that is least likely to cause any issues as far as bloating, or flatulence, or any digestive problems. It seems to be well tolerated. It is the prebiotic that is primarily given to us through our mother's breast milk, as a child.
It seems to increase Lactobacillus Acidophilus bacterium, and it seems to not really decrease very much the opportunistic bacteria, like opportunistic strands of e coli, opportunistic strands of clubciella, which is the cause of alkalizing spondylitis and rumatory arthritis, or clostridium. It does favor the good clostridium, which are the clostridium like Butryate Canada, for example, that produce Butryate, but not the negative clostridium like C. Difficile, or other strains that namely produce purpuric acid as a short chain fatty acid.
Generally GOS I recommend, and most people seem to have positive results with that, without having any issues. It seems to affect the microbiome better than probiotics.
Nick Earl: Just to repeat, GOS stands for?
John Brisson: Galactooligosaccharides.
Nick Earl: Okay. It's known as the supplement GOS?
John Brisson: Yes. The supplement that I usually recommend is galactomune by Klaire Labs. In England, you have Bimuno, but I don't recommend Bimuno as much because they add stuff like lactose to it that some people might have issues with. It has a lot of kind of iffy inactive ingredients. GOS is something I greatly recommend as a prebiotic. Is there any way, the third one, can I list?
Nick Earl: Do you just want to talk about it later, or do you want to add it in later or something?
John Brisson: No. Could I list something that I think that everybody thinks is a good thing to do, but I disagree and think it's a bad thing for most people to do?
Nick Earl: Absolutely.
John Brisson: That would be supplementation with probiotics. Some people have excellent results with probiotics, and some people have the absolute worst. A lot of it has to do with histamine issues, because some probiotics produce histamine in the gut. D'lactate issues, because some probiotics produce d'lactate. C Difficil lactate. Some react to lactobacillus. Could be Th1, Th2 issues. For example, I could never understand why lactobacillus plantarum made me feel so bad, because it's such a great probiotic. That's because it greatly increases Th1 cytokines. It was causing my inflammation to be worse. That's why I actually developed joint pain on lactobacillus plantarum. I never really had joint pain very much. It was inflaming my joints from increased Th1 reactions.
With probiotics I do recommend it to some of my clients, but you have to be smart about it. You can't just go, say “Oh, well somebody said for me to take this probiotic.”, and not research how it may effect you, and just go and take it. Probiotics should be treated as medicine. They are that powerful. Whether it's because they're alive and the colonize our microbiome, or if it's because the immune responses that we have for ingesting these micro organisms. They do make a difference. That's why I've spent a lot of my time blogging about the pros and cons of probiotics, because everybody talks about the pros of probiotics, very few people ever talk about the negatives.
Nick Earl: I'm glad you added that John. Obviously that's a common belief, is that probiotics are good, and if you have gut issues you should be taking probiotics.
John Brisson: No. Nope. Nope. Nope. I'm not going to say that they don't help. There are plenty of people that they have helped, but there are just as many people that they have caused problems.
Nick Earl: Sure.
John Brisson: Trust me, I coach a lot of people that have become sick from taking probiotics incorrectly.
Nick Earl: Yes. It's another case where you need to actually know what's happening in your body. Get some tests done. Thanks for adding that. That's actually more important than your third top supplement, is to say that. Cheers for that, on the supplements. Just wondering, while were still on the topic of supplements for leaky gut, and the gut in general. What's your opinion on Colostrum? I've used that a bit and it seemed to help, but as you probably know it's so hard to self quantify with a lot of these things.
John Brisson: With the Colostrum, some people see great benefits to it. There is controversy of whether or not some of them being peptides, might be inactivated by stomach acid. Years ago, I wasn't a huge fan of Colostrum, but it seems the past year or two I've kind of warmed up to it more. I've been recommending it off and on. Some people have great results with it. Some people see no benefit to it what so ever. I do think that Colostrum itself does have good amount of lactapharoen in it, which, for a lot of people can help reduce overgrowth, help with their immune system, help to try to balance it out a little bit. Even though it may favor Th1 inflammation a little bit too much, but that's been, kind of – question mark on that – contradictory in a way. I do think Colostrum, for most people, it should be tried if they're having issues. If you see benefit from it, continue using it. If you don't see any benefit with Colostrum, or it doesn't seem to help, or if seems like it's making your symptoms worse, I would discontinue it.
I'd usually recommend some sort of grass fed Colostrum, or even goat Colostrum if possible. A lot of people…
I do think Colostrum, for most people, it should be tried if they're having issues. If you see benefit from it, continue using it. If you don't see any benefit with Colostrum, or it doesn't seem to help, or if seems like it's making your symptoms worse, I would discontinue it. I'd usually recommend some sort of grass fed Colostrum, or even goat Colostrum if possible. A lot of people…
Nick Earl: Personally, I've been using the Surthrival brand. Do you have any comments on them?
John Brisson: Yes. It's a good brand. A lot of people recommend it. Colostrums's one of those things where most people see benefit. Some people see nothing at all. Some people see a negative. I wouldn't say it's the greatest arsenal that I have, as far as supplement recommendations that I can make, but I do believe that for a lot of people it did make huge differences in their health.
Nick Earl: Okay,
John Brisson: I don't see negative from a lot of people for taking it. I see mainly positives. Most people I've recommended, I've never known anybody to have a negative reaction to it. I just think it's something that can help most people, but I do think a lot of people with a lot of supplements, for example, or even medications. People make it seem like it's the end all be all of supplements. I still think that a lot of supplements, if any, really fit that for everybody.
I to think Colostrum's very important, and it does help a lot. I'm not trying to take away from that fact or anything. I know yourself that you saw great improvement on it. I know when I took it, I saw a little bit of reduction in my brain fog. I did feel better when taking it. It is good for the gut. The peptides are, the lactoferrin is. It does help to reduce overgrowth, and maybe help to balance the immune system.
Nick Earl: Yes. When you said I saw positive results. It's hard to day. That kind of leads really well into my next question. Do you think that people who have got issues, they know they have got issues just from their symptom, do you think they should be using regular lab testing? For example, stool testing to find out dysbiosis issues, etc. Do you think that's an over hyped and over expensive tool, or do you recommend people use that?
John Brisson: Can I take a middle of the road answer on that? That's why people hate me so much. The reason why I get negative …. For vaccines, maybe a few vaccinations may be needed, but most of them, like the flu vaccination, or gardasil are definitely not needed. For an anti vaxxers, I get called “Well, your a natural health field, you should be against all vaccinations.”, and for pro vaccination people, me taking a middle approach also gets me scathed and everything. It's the same for testing. Not every testing is perfect. For H.Pylori for example, with myself and people that I've coached, there've been many people who've had biopsies that were negative. If you don't test the right area for H.Pylori through a biopsy, it might not show up as a positive, especially if the H.Pylori itself is buried deeply in the vacosal barrier. Testing isn't perfect.
I mainly go based off a person's reactions to certain supplements, or medications, or diet that they're on. The symptoms themselves, more than strong test results. Most of the time the test results will back that up. For example, breath testing for cybo. I used to recommend it. Now I'm not so keen on recommending it, because it seems not to be as through the studies, as accurate as we once thought it would be. Lactose, for example, depending on the person, could speed up bowel transit time. We could get a lot of people without knowing someone's bowel transit time. The test results could give them a lot of false positives.
For stool testing, some are better than others. Genova stool testing are great plain stool tests. It might be better than uBiome. It might give you more information, but it's not perfect. None of these tests are perfect. That's the problem, is people treat them as such. They're not. A person's microbiome changes from day to day. If you take a test, and then to take some anti microbial agents, you greatly change the test results by the time you get there. Your gut's not the same, so what's the point of having the test results?
Nick Earl: Right. It's a fast moving dynamic system, which is constantly changing I guess. I don't know how much all these tests are, but I know the test I got just to find out the bacteria levels was about three hundred US dollars, something like that?
John Brisson: Yes. A lot of people are paying… They're expensive, and insurance doesn't always cover it. For organic acids test, for example, it's supposed to show gut dysbiosis, but a lot of the markers can be influenced through diet or environmental. For example, Bins Away. If you use sodium products with Binz Away as a preservative, in food products or products that you put on your skin, your Binz Away levels on an organic acid test would be elevated. It has nothing to do with your gut microbiome. The same with Arabinose, or
The same with Arabinose, or tartaric acid, which would be found in grapes. With the Arabinose it would be coconut, or stuff like that. A lot of the uric acid tests for dysbiosis markers, they could be modulated through environment to diet. They don't necessarily have to be changed by having gut overgrowth. I take a lot of the uric acid tests with grain of salt, because of that. A lot of people don't talk about that, Nick. It's concerning to me.
You have to go more based on a person's medical history, symptoms that they're having, and the reactions to everything. A lot of times you take the test results into account of all that, but they should not be God. That's what a lot of conventional medicine does, is they take test results, as, “This it is. There's nothing wrong with you. Your tests are fine.”
Nick Earl: Yes. I want to be careful not to side track massively here, but I also want to point it out, because I think it's interesting, mainly. It's like the whole quantum physics thing, the observer effect. It's possible that something so delicate, like the microbiome thing. It is changing so much all the time. I'm just hypothesizing here, but it might be the case that the tests are really just capturing a glimpse.
John Brisson: Correct.
Nick Earl: That is such a dynamically, and hugely changing system that's changing all the time. I don't know what I'm saying there.
John Brisson: I'm not going to say they're useless, and I agree with you.
Nick Earl: Yes.
John Brisson: I'm not going to say they're useless, but I'm going to say they should not be taken as a hundred percent verifiable proof either. You have to combine all variables, not just take it as a single variable.
Nick Earl: Exactly. It should be a small part of your over all diagnostic tool box. Before, we touched a little bit on EMF's. I was just wondering, could you very quickly say something about, what do you think the connection with EMF's and gut health is? Do you think because the microbiome is such a delicate, fragile system of all these extremely small organisms. It seems to make sense to me that even a little bit of the EMF's – electromagnetic frequencies for those who aren't familiar – would impact that system in a big way.
John Brisson: Correct. I do think it's differing between someone's microbiome. We all generate our own EMF frequency from our heart. We are electrical beings as a counter signal to an EMF that we come in contact with. I will say that it does, no matter how strong our own EMF field that we generate our self, no matter how strong it is, it has to affect us in some way or another. I do believe that maybe it can confuse some of the signaling with the neurotransmitters, or the quantum sensing, that bacteria do. It could confuse that, so that it could cause shifts to the microbiome in a negative light. More opportunistic bacteria take dominance through improper signaling.
That's always a possibility that could happen. Inflammation could also stem from inflammation from the EMF, and the gut junctions themselves, which can make more prone to leaky gut.
EMF itself, I'm not going to say that it's a hundred percent inescapable in this modern world, especially depending on where you live. I do think for most people, they should try to limit it to the best of their ability, because it would have some negative detriment to our gut. It's kind of a big head we have as humans, to believe that this extra EMF that wasn't there twenty, or thirty, or forty years ago. How arrogant are we to believe that it would have no effect on out body, or that it would have no effect on the microbiome, or no effect of the micro organisms that live around us. It has to have some either negative or positive effect. I think for most cases it would be a negative effect. I have known some people who are more EMF sensitive, that exposure to EMF triggers BIS like symptoms for them, and worsens their gut health. It doesn't surprise me in that regard.
I do believe that there's a connection between EMF exposure, and it causing issues for gut health, for people that live in a modern world. The degree of that exposure, of how it effects the gut. I think it differs between person. I'm not saying that you should bathe yourself in EMF, and be “Oh, I feel perfectly fine. I can strap a cell phone with blue tooth and GPS sensing directly on my belt, close to my intestinal tract, and I'll have no problems what so ever.” Don't take that away, that's not what I'm saying.
Nick Earl: Basically it's an input, and every input is going to have an effect your system. Even just saying from that level, it's obviously having an impact. I think we'll find out probably a lot more about that, I don't know if you agree, in the next few years.
John Brisson: I hope so, yes.
Nick Earl: I know your time is precious John. I know you've got to shoot off here, so just kind of wrap it up. I've got one last question for you.
John Brisson: Yes.
Nick Earl: This has been a really great call, and thank you.
John Brisson: Thank you Nick.
Nick Earl: I think there's so many things in the gut health world, that we could probably do another ten calls and not cover it all. What would you say to someone who's learning about this whole gut thing? For myself, it's only been about six months since I started to look into it, or maybe twelve months. What would you say to someone who suspects that they have some sort of level of gut issues? Where would they start? Obviously you website “Fix Your Gut” is a great resource. Is there a particular category that someone should start off with?
John Brisson: I believe that they should I guess start researching how to clean up their diet. Reducing gluten intake, or reducing casein intake. Reducing lectins if they're sensitive to it. I would look into diets, like “The Perfect Health” diet, or ‘The Bullet Proof” diet, or “The Lectin Avoidance” diet if they're having gut issues – Joe Cohen's diet, or the “Fodmap” diet too as well. It just depends on the person. I think cleaning up their diet as far as resources to try to help their diet is very important. I would look into circadian rhythm management, and look through Jack Kruse's work, and stuff like that to try to help with their sleep hygiene, and sunlight exposure, and omega 3 fatty acid intake. I think all of those are greatly important with Jack Kruse's work. I'd look into that as well.
I think that's a lot of underutilized thing is proper circadian rhythm in today's modern environment is very important for the gut. I can recommend one more person as source. It would be Dr. Grace Liu, the Gut Institute. Her and I don't agree on everything, but I do think her heart is definitely in the right place. A lot of her work that she has done is very important to gut health. I can not agree with her more about [inaudible 01:01:33] for example, may cause issues if you have a diet high in resistant starch. I do appreciate a lot of her works. She's good, she is a great ally in trying to shift people's opinion's to have more of a positive light of natural health medicine in gut health, and stuff like that.
I would look in to her work if you're having gut issues. I would look at [inaudible 01:01:57] or to Dave Asprey for diet. I would look into Jack Kruse's work, and also Joe Cohen's work as well if you're having any brain fog, or any kind of fatigue, and so on, I would look into it.
Also one book I would recommend, Dr. Josh Axe is very mainstream, so if you're looking for a mainstream book, his book “Eat Dirt” might point you in the right direction. I don't agree with him as far as homothetic organisms or HSO's are concerned, but his general recommendations for diet may help out a lot of people. If you're a more mainstream approach, a more well known approach, Dr. Josh Axe, his book “Eat Dirt” is very good. As far as resources are concerned to improve your health.
Nick Earl: Excellent. That's a great way to end it. I was actually going to, if I had time, ask you what resources you would recommend. Thank you for that. That's amazing. I've actually gone through a little bit of Dr. Axes video program about leaky gut, and that is quite good as well as a starting point.
John Brisson: Yes.
Nick Earl: John, I just want to thank you again. I've learned a lot myself. I'm going to have to re-listen to this audio about ten times to take in a lot of what you said, because obviously this is so much. If you're up for it, we might just have to have a second call about the gut, because there is just so much to talk about.
John Brisson: No problem, Nick. Anytime you'll have me I'll definitely try to make myself available. Gut health is very important. Hope you guys visit “Fix Your Gut.” We're going to be blogging some more. Hopefully soon we have a big blog coming up about a leaky esophagus. Everybody talks about a leaky gut, but leaky esophagus is a real thing. It might be the difference why some people have reflux problems inflammation, and some people do not. That will definitely be a good topic to discuss in the future. Another program, Nick, would be “A Leaky Esophagus.”
Nick Earl: I'll put that in the schedule. A leaky espouses call will be coming up with John Brisson. John, just for people out there, it's fixyourgut.com?
John Brisson: Yes.
Nick Earl: Okay, that's where you can reach John, and he has a ton of information in that website. Also a wonderful book which I'd recommend for those who want to get a good overview of all his work. Thank you so much again John. I hope to talk to you soon. It's been a pleasure.
John Brisson: Thank you Nick. I hope everybody takes care. Good luck in improving your gut health, and your overall health. Good luck to you.
Nick Earl: Thanks John. Talk to you soon. Cheers.
John Brisson: Bye.