The Gut Health Blueprint: Dr. Gundry’s Comprehensive Approach in ‘Gut Check’

In the ever-evolving landscape of wellness, the name Dr. Steven Gundry stands as a beacon of innovation and expertise. Renowned for his groundbreaking work in cardiothoracic surgery and nutritional science, Dr. Gundry has continually pushed the boundaries of our understanding of health. His latest literary offering, “Gut Check,” is a sophisticated exploration of the gut’s profound impact on our overall well-being and gut health. As educated and discerning readers, we know that true gut health transcends the superficial; it begins deep within.

In an exclusive interview with The Chalkboard Mag, Dr. Gundry shares his latest insights, unraveling the complex science of gut health and providing elegant solutions for nurturing our bodies from the inside out. Let’s dive into this enlightening conversation and discover how “Gut Check” can redefine your wellness journey.

Gut HealthWhat inspired you to write “Gut Check,” and how does it build on your previous work and research in gut health?
Gut Check is the latest installment of what I’ve learned in the seven years since the publication of “The Plant Paradox” and in the 25 years of seeing patients six days a week practicing Restorative Medicine. Essentially, I am channeling Hippocrates’ teaching that “all disease begins in the gut.” but expanding that dictum to include, that all disease can be reversed or prevented in the gut.

How does inflammation in the gut translate to systemic inflammation, and what are the biochemical pathways involved?
I have learned that inflammation arises from intestinal permeability, aka, “leaky gut.” The intestinal wall is the same surface area as a tennis court, but it has a design flaw, in that it is only one cell thick. Because it is so vulnerable to damage and “leak”, 80% of all the immune cells (white blood cells) in our body line up behind the gut wall to stand guard against invaders, bacteria or other foreign molecules, which they attack, hence, inflammation. Long ago, this process would be very short limited, as the leak would be sealed quickly. Now, because of the the “seven deadly disruptors” that I write about, the wall of the gut is nearly constantly leaky and the inflammation become chronic, not only in the gut, but, throughout the body, as the entire immune system becomes activated and on high alert. All of this is orchestrated by cytokines, chemical signals produced by white blood cells.

In “’Gut Check,” you discuss the importance of diet in maintaining a healthy gut. What are the top three dietary changes you recommend for someone looking to improve their gut health?
In the past, we had a fantastic protective system to protect the gut wall, including 100 trillion bacteria in the mouth and gut, designed to eat and defuse harmful plant compounds called lectins and xenobiotics from molds and fungi; stomach acids to break lectin proteins apart into harmless molecules, and mucus lining the gut wall which would trap dangerous substances. Moreover, certain species of bacteria, called keystone species, not only make mucus, but make key short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are critical for the nutrition of the cells lining the gut and critical to nourish mitochondria. Sadly, all of these systems are inoperable in most of my patients when I meet them.

In order to restore function and heal the gut wall, we need to promote a diverse microbiome that can not only defend against “foreign invaders”, but repair the gut wall, and make the the critical SCFAs. It is inadequate to just take probiotics (friendly bacteria) unless you give them what they need to eat (prebiotics), but research shows that postbiotics (produced by fermentation) is critical to promote the healing process. This is the reason that I invented Bio Complete 3, which combines probiotics, prebiotics, and nanoencapsulted post biotics like the SCFA butyrate. Moreover, it is not adequate to take a few probiotics, but to reseed with keystone species, like PUF-1, a key probiotic in infants, which is in my formula GI Renew, as well as Akkermansia mucinophila, available from Pendulumlife.com.

Second, as I teach my patients, I can repair their gut wall, with my product Total Restore, but if you keep swallowing “razor blades” (lectin containing foods), you will slice the wall open again!

So eliminating or limitiing major lectin containing foods like most grains, beans, peanuts and cashews, and the nightshade family, is critical in the healing process. Indeed, 100% of my autoimmune patients have antibodies to wheat, rye, barley, oats.
Third, eating fermented foods, rather than being a source of probiotics, are a source of postbiotics, critical for promoting biodiversity of the microbiome.

Gut HealthCan you delve into the gut-brain axis and explain how psychological stress translates to physiological changes in the gut environment?
The gut brain axis has now been expanded to be the microbiome-gut-brain axis. As I expand in my upcoming book, the “The Gut Brain Paradox”, the microbiome controls our mood, our desires, what foods we crave, what drugs we seek out, etc. But, stress itself can cause the gut wall to become leaky, which can start the inflammatory process. This inflammatory process can then promote neuroinflammation, worsening the anxiety and depression; creating a vicious cycle.

What recent research findings have most surprised you about the gut-brain connection, and how can individuals leverage this knowledge to improve both their mental and gut health?
Its simple: all disease begins in the gut and all disease can be reversed from the gut.

Your book includes several recipes and meal plans. What are the guiding principles behind these recipes, and how do they support gut health?
All the recipes are designed to starve bad bacteria and feed good gut bacteria, while eliminating or detoxifying major lectin containing food groups.

How can consumers navigate the plethora of probiotic supplements available on the market and choose those that are truly beneficial for their specific needs?
With each day, thanks to the human microbiome project, we are learning the amazing collection of thousands of different species that control everything that happens to us, and how many species are dependant on the products of other species to make important postbiotics. When I learn of or discover such a species, like PUF-1, for example, I try to incorporate them into one or more of my GundryMD products.

Looking forward, what future developments or research in gut health are you most excited about, and how do you see the field evolving?
Daily, we are confirming what Hippocrates taught 2500 years ago: all disease begins in the gut! But the excitement comes from the realization that all disease can be reversed from the gut. And thats why I practice Restorative Medicine.

Bottom banner image
From our friends