Dr. Justin Sonnenburg: How to Build, Maintain & Repair Gut Health | Episode 62

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My guest this episode is Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University. Dr. Sonnenburg’s research focuses on how microbes in our gut impact our mental and physical health and how diet and your environment shape your gut microbiome. We discuss the architecture of the gut microbiome and microbiota variability in different regions of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and how these can change in response to diet, environment or genetics. We explore the early establishment of your microbiome and how your mode of delivery into the world (C-section or not) shapes your gut. We also discuss lifestyle factors that can alter your microbiome and the integral role the gut microbiome plays in communicating to other organs, including your brain. Dr. Sonnenburg details his recent clinical study, which found that diets rich in fermented foods (but not fiber) increase microbiota diversity and reduce signals of inflammation. Additionally, we examine how foods typical in Western Diets (e.g., high fat, low fiber, processed foods) can negatively impact the gut microbiome. Throughout the episode, we discuss actionable tools from peer-reviewed clinical findings that anyone can implement, regardless of budget, in order to optimize their gut microbiome and health.

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For the full show notes, visit hubermanlab.com.

Timestamps

(00:00:00) Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Gut Microbiome

(00:02:55) The Brain Body Contract

(00:04:16) AG1 (Athletic Greens), ROKA, Helix Sleep

(00:08:30) What is the Gut Microbiome?

(00:12:49) Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract & Microbiota Variability

(00:16:00) Breast Feeding, C-Sections & Pets

(00:21:56) The Human Microbiome Project at Stanford

(00:26:30) Traditional vs. Industrialized Populations

(00:28:58) Resilience of the Microbiome

(00:35:10) Regional Differences Along Your GI Tract

(00:42:04) Fasting, Cleanses & Gut Health

(00:51:19) Dietary Differences

(01:01:24) Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrates, Processed Foods

(01:07:03) Artificial & Plant-based Sweeteners

(01:12:44) Cleanses: Useful? Harmful?

(01:14:50) Your Microbiome & Your Immune System

(01:20:17) Dietary Fiber & Fermented Foods

(01:32:13) High-Fiber vs. High-Fermented Diet; Inflammation

(01:41:33) Ripple Effects of a Healthy Diet

(01:45:00) Does a High-Fiber Diet Make Inflammation Worse?

(01:47:22) Over Sterilized Environments

(01:50:15) The Gut Microbiome’s Effect on Physiology

(01:56:45) Gut-Brain Connection

(01:59:30) Probiotics: Benefits & Risks

(02:04:20) Prebiotics: Essential?

(02:07:00) Tools for Enhancing Your Gut Microbiota

(02:11:12) Dr. Sonnenburg’s Research, Zero-Cost Support, YouTube, Spotify, Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Patreon, Thorne, Instagram, Twitter, Neural Network Newsletter

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac

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