[02:47] Four Sigmatic
[05:51] Dr. Zach Bush
[11:26] Carbon-Based Redox Signaling Molecules
[24:53] How The Bacteria In Soil Were Communicating
[31:32] What Restore Does
[35:36] Why You Would Want The Bacteria To Communicate Better
[39:48] Quick Commercial Break/Ample
[41:19] Blue Apron
[42:46] Continuation/What Bacteria Do When Communicating In The Gut
[56:04] Scientific Evidence Behind The Glyphosate Mediated Tight Junctions
[1:00:06] Why Drink Restore
[1:03:29] Using Restore Via Enema
[1:07:02] The Use Of The Nasal Spray
[1:13:34] When To Take Restore
[1:17:09] The Importance of Hydration
[1:25:11] End of Podcast
Ben: Hey. What's up, guys? Let's talk kids. People ask me what things my kids shove into their gaping maws for supplements, and the fact is there's not much that they take. So last year, my son Terran started to get a little bit of a tooth cavitation, which I think is just my fancy word for a cavity, and I put him on fermented cod liver oil, vitamin D, vitamin K, remineralizing toothpaste, and then I got him a little reward chart so that he could do coconut oil pulling every day. And he's actually reversing his cavity, which is really cool. That's one thing that both of my kids do. But the other thing that they do is every morning they take a little shot of this liquid stuff called Restore because what that does is it completely protects their entire gut lining from glyphosate. I did the same thing. I've been doing it for the past month. I decided to get the doc who invented the stuff on the show, and today you're going to get a chance to hear about how you can protect your own gut from glyphosate. Unless you live in like freaking Europe where they don't spray the crops, in which case you can eat bread to your heart's content. So, enjoy that.
In the meantime though, speaking of tooth cavities, today's podcast is actually brought to you by this new company called Quip, which is refreshing the way people brush their teeth. No, seriously. It's like this little vibrating electric toothbrush with a built-in timer, meaning that it automatically vibrates when you're supposed to switch to a new part of your mouth in case you're that person who can't remember if you already brushed the back right side or if you forgot to do this. It's kind of like Apple designed a toothbrush, meaning that it looks really slick. It doesn't have the price tag of a laptop, but it actually is so cool looking that Time Magazine named it one of, not the best invention of 2016. I think that would be silly if they named an entire toothbrush as the best invention of 2016. But they did name it as one of Time magazine's best inventions of 2016. It also won the 2016 GQ Grooming Award. Who knew GQ had a grooming award. And it was on Oprah's 2017 New Year's O List, which is of course something that I personally follow and make all of my own personal care choices based upon. ‘Cause if Oprah does it, then I should do it. Anyways though, this Quip actually is pretty cool. It starts at just 25 bucks, and it's spelled Q-U-I-P. You get it by going to getquip.com/ben. That's at getquip.com/ben. And when you go to getquip, that's getQUIP.com/ben, you get your first refill pack, 'cause they send you these cool refill packs, for free with a Quip electric toothbrush. So enjoy your Quip.
This podcast is also brought to you by spores. Dun-dun-dun. Spores are not to be confused with the little aliens from World of Warcraft, a game I used to play all day long. Instead, spores are actually part of mushroom. And there's this stuff called Reishi spores. Now I put a little bit of Reishi spores in a cup of tea or a glass of water prior to eating lunch, and then I settle down for an afternoon nap after lunch. And what they call the triterpenes in Reishi spores do is they balance your endocrine system, which means they act very much like an adaptogenic herb, and they found that Reishi mushrooms increased the amount of and enhance the quality of deep slow wave sleep. How cool is that? And you can get Reishi spores, you can also get any of my other favorite mushroom products from this company called Four Sigmatic. And you get 15% off. Here's how: go to foursigmatic.com/greenfield, that's FOURsigmatic.com/greenfield. And when you go there, you can use coupon code BenGreenfield for 15% off. That's foursigmatic.com/greenfield and use coupon code BenGreenfield to get 15% off any other mushrooms. And you got to try some of these Reishi mushroom spores before you hit the sack some night. So check it all out. And on to today's podcast with triple board certified physician Zach Bush, wicked smart dude. You're going to enjoy this one.
In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“Get out on a hike near the waterfalls, get down into the swamps, get out into the ocean. Get into as many different environments as you can and breath. And that's how you can really repopulate that system.” “This is perhaps how bacteria are having an impact on human health is that they actually are building some sort of communication network that is not just for them, it's actually that interspecies communication network that's helping one cell talk to another cell with a human, or bacterial, or otherwise.” “It almost feels to me when I wake up in the morning that Mother Earth predicted our insanity, predicted, they say, atrocities we would commit on her soil.”
Ben: Hey, folks. It's Ben Greenfield. And my guest on today's show, I do believe, is the only, what is called, triple board certified physician who I've ever interviewed. As a matter of fact, he's is one of the few triple board certified physicians in the country with expertise in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism, and hospice and palliative care. I really knew nothing about this dude until my friend, and I guy that I really respect, Dr. Joseph Mercola, reached out to me and told me about him.
His name is Dr. Zach Bush. Dr. Zach Bush. And in my discussions with him, I have found out that he's brilliant when it comes to especially optimizing gut health using some pretty cutting-edge and relatively unknown strategies, and then also kind of fighting the uphill battle that we all face against constant exposure to many of the toxins in our environment, most notably glyphosate, god bless Monsanto, that we breathe in and eat in our foods, even if we are trying to live a relatively clean lifestyle. He's got some pretty cool ways to mitigate that. Back in 2012, he made a pretty cool discovery that we're going to talk about on this show when it comes to something called carbon-based redox molecules. And if you're scratching your head about what exactly that is, don't worry, we'll fill you in on today's show. So basically Dr. Bush, I believe, are you actually practicing? I know you live in Virginia, and by the way, do you mind if I call you Zach?
Zach: Go ahead with Zach. And I do you live in Virginia and still practice. I've got a clinic at Revolution Health Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Wave Clinic is our other clinic that is our technology center and it features a lot of technologies, including one that you've featured recently which is the GainsWave technology.
Ben: Oh, really? You guys do the [censored] shocking, huh?
Zach: Yeah. We use the same technology for treating tendonitis and everything from the bunions of the feet, to the plantar fasciitis, to tendonitis. So it's a really cool noninvasive technology for reversing those chronic injuries.
Ben: Yeah. I'm sure most of my listeners know about that technology by now, which basically involves these painless high frequency acoustic waves that, in my case, I got blasted into my crotch to assist with blood flow, and size, and feel, and some of those things. But I didn't realize you could use it on bunions too.
Zach: Yeah. The whole gamut. So you're just targeting inflammatory centers with that. Pretty exciting technologies.
Zach: Yeah. So I get to see patients still, and that's definitely a bit of a touchstone for me in my life. I just love the contact with patient care. I think I've learned more from my patients than any medical school ever trained me.
Ben: Yeah. Interesting. That's pretty cool. You can target your big toe and your genitals. Now you're a triple certified board physician. What does that actually mean?
Zach: Yeah. It mean that I took a long time to find my path, I guess. So I went through a lot of training. Internal medicine as general adult training, and that's three year residency program there, and then went on to faculty here at the University of Virginia as a chief resident and teaching that year, and then moved on to fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism which is another three year specialty, and I was practicing endocrine, which is kind of hormone medicine, and metabolism, which is kind of the management of fuel in the bodies. So I was seeing a lot of obesity and metabolic conditions around that clinically. And then over that same three year period, I was doing basic science in tumor and cancer research.
Ben: Okay. Got it. So did you have to go to school for an inordinately long period of time to actually do that? Is that something that kind of involves jumping through far more hoops than a physician would normally need to jump through, or how's that work?
Zach: Yeah. A lot more clinical experience, a lot more research, a lot more publications. It was a 17-year journey. So that took 17 years of post-graduate work. (laughs)
Ben: Holy cow. That's actually one of the things that kept me from getting into medicine because I actually was pretty keen on becoming a doc back in college, and that timeline was one thing that turned me off a little bit. So seventeen years. That's crazy. That's a long time. That's…
Zach: Don't discourage your listeners. You don't have to be as crazy as all that. You can become a doctor for a lot less than that.
Ben: That's a lot of tuition. Just not a triple certified doctor. So anyways, I guess back in 2012, and this was what Dr. Mercola was mentioning to me when he told me I needed to interview you, you found something I mentioned earlier in the intro, carbon-based redox molecules. But can you go into that story? Like what were you looking for when you made this discovery that you found back in 2012 and what exactly is it that you found?
Zach: Yeah. The journey started in my cancer research at the University of Virginia. I was studying these, as you say, these molecules called redox molecules, which is the contraction of the words reduction, which is any compound that basically can contribute a negative charge, and oxidation, which is any compound that will absorb that negative charge with a net positive. And so the communication network inside your cells it turns out are really not made by the human cell itself. The vast majority of this redox communications system has made by these little tiny guys called mitochondria that live inside your cells. And the mitochondria are vital to fuel production, fuel management, resource management at the cell level, but they also really run really critical features of how to turn on and off cell death in the event that the cell's becoming cancerous or how to do cell repair in the event that large scale damage has been done. All of that relies on these little redox negative charge signalling system. You can actually picture these guys as kind of like dominoes, tiny little domino which stack a bunch of them next to each other and you can trigger an event many meters away by tipping these little one inch blocks.
Same thing with a redox molecule. They're tiny, tiny little molecules with a negative charge that when in the cell, might last a millionth of a second, but they trigger these events that can travel across cell systems so that one cell that's now become damaged can communicate with a distant cell that needs to come respond from the immune system come do repair, or clean up mechanisms, or sending the signals down into the nucleus to say, “Hey, I need more proteins to rebuild this part of the cell,” or whatever it is. So this is a communication network. And so that redox molecule system was my backdrop to the discovery of 2012 that you referred to. And in 2010, I had left the University of Virginia to start a nutrition clinic. And that was a pretty big departure from designing chemotherapy in 2008 to launching out of the pharmaceutical model and getting into nutrition in 2010. And the pieces that lead from one side of that to the other was really my research in cancer again was around vitamin A compounds. And I was starting to realize that vitamin A, as a molecule, was way more powerful than a lot of other kind of toxins that we tried to kill cancer cells with and stuff like that. So it was an exciting [0:13:53] ______ realized that nutrition maybe had a lot of secrets to hold.
So at the same time, there were some very successful movement happening in the plant-based food science. And so Dr. Neal Barnard, dating all the way back into the 1970's with Gabe Mirkin, and then Dean Ornish. And then more recently here with the work in Virginia, you see this transition of understanding of how plant-based diet, and eating low on the food chain, and getting a lot of nutrients in the body can reverse chronic disease. So that was my transition that was happening under the microscope, vitamin A, and in the clinic seeing diabetes and other things managed nutritionally very successfully. So I launched out of academia in 2010 and started a nutrition center. And after two years, I realize that there was some major limitations that weren't really being talked about in the nutrition industry. And the limitations came around the fact that here we are feeding enormous amounts of health food to our patients. So we're kale juicing and super foods all day long, and doing all kinds of fantastic things, and there was a significant portion of my patients that were getting sicker and not better.
I had to get over one major hump that when we see patients behave or their health behave in such a way that we don't understand as doctors or it's going the opposite direction that we would expect, we often blame the patient. And so we say, “Well, you must not be eating the right things.” “You must not be as compliant as you say you are.” But after two years of watching this happen, I finally had to come to terms with, it a lot of my patients, and it seemed to be some of my most compliant patients were the ones that were having poor outcomes. And so we started to really ask some tough questions about, “Is the food what we expected it to be?” “Is the food really delivering the science that was reported 20, 30 years ago in the plant-based science industry?” And so we're looking at the plants and it was starting to become obvious that if you look into kind of the nutrient quality of our food, it's dropped dramatically in the last 30 years. We've really suddenly elapsed in what we're actually eating. A piece of kale or a tomato doesn't have the anti-cancer and other effects that these nutrition things used to have. So that was kind of the next step in the transition of saying, “Okay, what happened to the food?”
And then the obvious next step of that pathway which took me to a place I had never been before was down into the soil. As physicians, even as pharmaceutically minded as we are trained, it's not outside of the realm of imagination that plants, herbs, et cetera have a history of health. Health and medicine have been tied into the plant world. Some of the most common diabetes medicines that we used to use like Metformin, these come from roots of plants and things like that. And so it's in the pharmaceutical model to think plants as maybe a source. And so my vitamin A obviously sources from carrots and other colorful vegetables. But this was a whole new paradigm. Let's look past the plant for a second and look down into the soil and figure out what the heck's going on there. Is that answering the question as to how our plants are changing.
Zach: And that was the 2012 event. So a colleague of mine brought in a soil science, white paper, 90 pages long. A typical white paper's often 5 to 10 pages long. Just to see somebody write 90 pages on soil science was startling.
Ben: Yeah. That's good bed time reading.
Zach: Yeah. It's riveting dirt talk. And so you've got this story unfolding around dirt, and on page 40 of that white paper is this huge molecule with this carbon backbone with this big cluster of oxygen, hydrogen molecules that look to have the same redox, or negative-positive charge potential as I had been using in my chemotherapy effort. And so it was a [tire screeching noise] stop, reverse, paradigm shift kind of thing where it's like, wait a second. What's down in the soil making that and what the heck is it doing in the soil? And that lead from one thought to the next basically, but the interesting thing about the bacteria that make your soil, or perhaps more important to you as a listener, the bacteria that makes your gut ecosystem, the organic garden of your gut, that bacterial ecosystem has no mitochondria. It's only multicellular organisms like the human that have these mitochondrial mechanisms to build this communication network. And so suddenly realizing, “Oh my gosh, the bacteria, if they're going to build an ecosystem of some 50,000 species, they're going to have to talk. And how would they do that? They would have to build their own kind of redox signaling system. The caveat is that a bacteria sitting out in soil, or in the acid of your stomach, or in the alkaline environment of your intestine is going to have to have a pretty robust communication system that is resilient depending on its environment. The mitochondria don't have to deal with that. So they basically just make these little oxygen molecules that have different amounts of hydrogen or chloride attached to them. And those…
Ben: Okay. So could I interrupt you for just a second on that? So what you're saying is that mitochondria communicate in a way that does not use these redox signalling molecules, or they do communicate in a way that uses redox signaling molecules?
Zach: Mitochondria, really if you read any literature on redox, it's all going to be on mitochondria. The new shift is, “Oh my gosh! I wonder if the bacteria would have to make the same kind of family of molecules.” And so that was the sudden connection of, “Wow. In medicine we may be missing some massive portion of how cells talk,” which is really important because cellular degeneration, the aging process itself, injury repair, all of that is totally reliant on one cell's ability to talk to another cell, and one portion of the cell to talk to the nucleus or other parts of the cell. And so intracellular, inside the cell, and extracellular, outside the cell, communication is the whole hallmark of peak performance, anti-aging, anti-cancer, the whole thing.
Ben: Okay. So to interrupt you again, when you say cells talk to each other, I mean I think a lot of people will think of nerves and how you have like a signal travelling along a nerve, and then there's a neurotransmitters released, and they cross a synaptic cleft, and go on and propagate that signal to another nerve. It sounds to me like what you're discussing is an entirely different form of communication or talking between parts of your body in terms of cells actually sharing communication with one another. So this is a completely different mechanism in the way that nerves might talk to one another, right?
Zach: Yeah. Or my field of endocrinology is hormones, which can talk…
Ben: Right. So what you're saying, if I understand correctly, is the body uses molecules, or the cells use molecules as a way to communicate, both between cells or within a cell, and these molecules would fall into categories, like reactive oxygen species for example, or reduced species, or what would generally be called redox signalling molecules. And a redox signaling molecule would be basically how these cells are actually talking to each other. They're releasing these molecules based on reduction and oxidation reactions, and then whatever cascade, whatever physiological or biological cascade that occurs after that is occurring, but ultimately it comes down to redox signaling molecules being what a cell would release for a cell to talk to one another.
Zach: Perfect. And what we can do is just tie this to the…
Ben: I could be a triple certified board physician.
Zach: You're 80% of the way there, I can tell. We'll call you a three quarters board certified physician right now. You're on target. So let's think about telephones as a good corollary. Like your landline at your house is the nerves, and now you've got a pipeline or a wire that runs just like a nerve to connect one person to another. The redox system is your wireless cell phone. And so we're talking about cellular communication here in the last few minutes, but let's now think of cellular communication by your cell phone. The machine of your cell phone has a computer in there that works all the time. It's always capable of reception and transmission. However, if you're too far away from a cell tower and you're lacking that wireless communication interface, that computer that's fully functional as a machine cannot make any impact on some distant cell phone. And so it loses its capacity for communication. And if you've ever traveled for a long period of time or you have a situation where you don't allow your phone to update, you realize that it starts to degrade. The computer system itself, the software within your computer starts to degrade. It develops errors and it's not repairing itself. And so as you pull yourself away from the source of the information and its ability to communicate across systems, the cell starts to degrade, in this case your cell phone. So what we found in 2012 is really the system by which this wireless communication works. And so it's been a very exciting four years to watch all of this unfold and what happens to cells when you put the wireless communication back into play.
Ben: Okay. God it. So you when I interrupted you to clarify what a redox signaling molecule actually is, or how cells talk to each other, you were saying that human cells basically use redox signaling molecules, and that's how the mitochondria, for example, would communicate with each other. But what you were looking into was whether or not bacteria communicate in the same way?
Zach: Yeah. In fact, a little more exciting than that for the listener in the sense that, to give you some backdrop again in the literature that I was working at University of Virginia with is that UCLA and UCSD started to come out with some amazing observations in their publications that were, in 2006, 2010, starting to show that as they were decoding the genome of the intestinal environment, so the genome of the bacteria themselves, we suddenly realized that patients with prostate cancer, or colon cancer, or lung cancer, they were missing elements of the genome. So they were missing a few species of bacteria, and then they were developing a cancer. There was no connection between how one would correlate with the other at the time, but these correlations were being made. And so when we found this communication system in 2012, I was like, “Oh my gosh! This is perhaps how bacteria are having an impact on human health is that they actually are building some sort of communication network that is not just for them, it's actually the interspecies communication network that's helping one cell talk to another cell, whether human, or bacterial, or otherwise.”
Ben: Okay. Got it. So these bacteria are communicating with each other. And did you actually discover the mechanism via which the bacteria in the soil were communicating with one another?
Zach: Yeah. Working on it in the last four years, and every time we would put these carbon-based molecules into play, it changes the way we understand human biology. It's pretty stunning. If you take a look at Western medicine, we have built a $3 trillion a year industry just in the United States alone, and worldwide $7 trillion or something like that. So we've got this multi-trillion dollar industry that's built around science that was always been studied in the sterile environment. So a petri dish by which we do all of our big studies to understand the mechanisms of vascular physiology, or cancer physiology, or whatever it is. Our understanding of human health has been human cells in isolation. The implications are that now that we start to realize that the ecosystem, the bacteria around us are actually coding for the mechanisms by which repair might happen or the mechanisms by which cell-cell communication can happen. If the bacteria are in play and they change everything from the way in which our genes work to the way in which our cells repair, we literally have no idea what optimal performance looks like. We don't actually understand cardiovascular physiology because we've always studied it in a sterile environment without the influence of bacteria.
Ben: Okay. Got it. So basically did you find that bacteria communicate using redox signaling molecules in the same way that mitochondria do?
Zach: That's what it looks like. The big difference of course is that they're in an unprotected space. And so those bacteria have to talk in an environment that can be very adverse, can be very acidic, can be very alkaline, it can have a lot of different osmolarities, which means the ability to absorb or excrete water or substrate. And so that's where this carbon backbone of this molecule that we've found in 2012 becomes, I think, very important because it keeps the redox elements stable despite its adverse environments.
Ben: Okay. So it's basically like a carbon-based redox signaling molecule.
Zach: Yeah, it's a redox signaling molecule that's got a backbone to keep it intact so it can travel through adversity.
Ben: Okay. Got it. So once you find a way for bacteria to communicate like this, what do you do with a molecule like that that you find in the soil? I mean did you isolate it, or did you figure out a way to start feeding people dirt, or what exactly do you do based on what you find in the soil? Like what's the connection between that and the nutritional deficiencies that you were studying in the first place when you found this redox signaling molecule?
Zach: Cool. There's couple questions there. We'll start with how did we get them out of the soil, and the answer of course is dirt, like you say. So you've got to get some good dirt has a really complex ecosystem that made a lot of these communication network. And so the more species you have available in that dirt, the better your communication is. Our problem that we have on Earth right now is most of our soil is highly damaged because the amount of chemical we've dumped into our soil systems through chemical farming of the last 60 years. And so we're lucky to find 8 to 10 inches of good quality topsoil on Earth right now. There's an occasional farm, especially up in the Midwest, where you might find a few feet deep of really rich topsoil. But by and large, we are pretty deplete. So what we did…
Ben: Unless you go into my wife's garden where she's got goat poop and eggshells. She's been frigging composting out there for years. So I'm pretty sure that soil out in the Greenfield-raised garden beds is pretty good.
Zach: I was wondering how you stay so good looking. Your wife's…
Ben: That's right, baby. It's basically kale with goat poop particles on it.
Zach: Hey, that's as good as life gets right there. And so you've got that environment in your wife's garden that's getting close to you, hopefully what we had 50 million years ago. But that's how far back we went. So we went back into the fossil record 50 million years by simply digging down in the desert. And so you go down a few feet in the desert, and pretty quick you're hitting fossil layers of soil that are 50 million years old. And what we didn't want was bacteria. We didn't want the bacteria themselves. We wanted their communication network. And so when you go into fossil soil, now you're pretty sterile and we can extract a very high quantity of these carbon molecules out of that fossil layer of soil and we bring that then to our labs in Virginia. And the inert substance that we pull out of soil doesn't do anything as far as a communication network. It doesn't actually have active redox potential to it. And so we put it through a normal process of getting oxygen-hydrogen binding correct, and we do that by simple mechanical features as well as adding in enough of the mineral amino acid substrate from soil sources to get that oxygen-hydrogen binding correct. And so the finished product, a dietary supplement that's out on the market now called Restore, that dietary supplement has now got this balance redox system in play in a liquid supplement. And so that's how it…
Ben: Wait. So what you're saying is you take that redox molecule that you found that these bacteria in the soil were using, this carbon-based redox molecule, and you isolated that and turned it into like a supplement?
Zach: That's right. And the exciting thing is there's not one molecule. Each species of bacteria or fungi that's out there in soil, you can picture all those fungi and mycelium, some 5 million species over probably 100,000 species of bacteria, so this massive ecosystem is out there. And each species within that macroecosystem is making its own set of the words within this communication language. And so, we're not just isolating one molecule. We're actually pooling and isolating millions of different vocabulary within this incredible language. And so that's the excitement of this situation, whereas when you go out into your garden, you're getting the bacterial intelligence of maybe a couple thousand species. You go back 50 million years ago, we think you're ten hundred, maybe a thousand fold more complicated and complex than that ecosystem. And so you're getting a bacterial and fungal intelligence out of fossil soil that just simply doesn't exist in human history.
Ben: So this is like a liquid that you drink?
Zach: Yeah. This is a water-based liquid supplement that's just a couple teaspoons a day.
Ben: And does it is actually have bacteria in it? Or is it just like this molecule that has in it, this carbon-based molecule?
Zach: Totally sterile. No bacteria in it. And so instead, we're really, the excitement about this supplement is that it doesn't do anything. It doesn't fix any damaged cell, it doesn't…
Ben: That's not a good way to sell a supplement, Zach, to tell me it doesn't do anything.
Zach: Well, what it's going to do is going to put back in the wireless communications. So the question is does the cell phone tower ever talk to you? No, it doesn't. Your friend is talking to you, and your friend is going to give you the information you need to live life. Well in this case, we're giving back the wireless communication network, the wireless communication isn't the thing giving you the instructions on what to do. Instead, the cell that's damaged and has that information can now talk to some other distant cell, that's where things start to become magical is the fact is the healing is actually intrinsic in you. You are not broken, you just don't have enough communication going on. And so when we throw a communication network back in, all kinds of magic breaks forth because you're not trying to micromanage a system of 70 trillion cells. So this is what we do all the time in medicine.
We say, “Well, take vitamin D. Vitamin D looks to be important, and vitamin D hits vitamin D receptors, which then triggers the protein synthesis from the DNA and all these different targets.” Well, vitamin D is doing something very specific there, and it's doing something that no other vitamin is going to do the same thing of. And if you're vitamin D deficient, you're vitamin D is only going to do what vitamin D does when you give it back. In contrast, this is the first supplement on the market here where you put something into play that it's going to affect everything in the body instantaneously because the body knows what it needs to do, it just needs to communicate to its neighbors. And so it's a really profound foundation so that whatever you're doing in your life, whether it's trying to eat healthy, whether it's taking other supplements, whether it's exercising, everything you do is about to become more effective.
Ben: Okay. So I usually ignore about 90% of the supplements that I hear about 'cause I get random packages of like white anthrax-like powders sent to my house, and weird coffee chocolate bars people have made in their garages, and all manner of strange things sent over to me. But when a guy like Dr. Mercola, and then Dr. Dan Pompa, who I've also had on my show multiple times before, and he and I just lead over 200 people through a three month detoxification protocol, he's a brilliant guy when it comes to healing the body as well, they all told me I had to talk to you and I had to try this liquid. So the bottle of this stuff showed up at my house, and I have it here, and there's also this option for a spray that you just spray up your nose, and the ingredients do just say here purified water, and then the other ingredients in it is Terrahydrite. Is Terrahydrite the actual molecule?
Zach: Terrahydrite is the family of molecules, yeah. So Terrahydrite…
Ben: Okay. So that's the carbon-based redox molecule, this Terrahydrite.
Zach: You got it.
Ben: Is that the name you gave to it or is that like the scientific name for it?
Zach: That's the name we gave to it, and the roots are scientific as to where those come from. But we did create that name. We were the first supplement on the market to have that…
Ben: Underneath where it says Terrahydrite, it says stabilized lignite extract. What's lignite?
Zach: Fossil soil.
Ben: Okay. So lignite is the soil. So I'm basically drinking the extract of dirt.
Zach: Yeah. You're drinking dirt water.
Ben: Okay. Got it. I'm drinking dirt. Where is this dirt coming from?
Zach: Southwest United States in the desert, from Arizona.
Ben: Okay. Gotcha. So you dig down, you get this dirt, you get these carbon-based redox molecules, I drink them, and aside from feeling really good about myself for having drank something that a triple certified board physician found, what's happening? Why am I drinking this stuff? The general message I've gotten so far is that it's helping bacteria within my gut to communicate, or I guess from spraying it up my nose, bacteria within my nasal passages to communicate. But what's actually happening? Why would I want them to communicate better?
Zach: Perfect. So let's start with just the bacteria, then we'll talk about the human cells and the impact. So on the bacterial front, one of the main problems we're having right now as a population is in regard to our ecosystem is we are getting too many of a family of bacteria that are called firmicutes, these are the fermenting bacteria. And we're losing the, bacteroidetes which are now kind of reclassed as bacteroides. And those bacteria are kind of ones that rev up metabolism, really deliver a lot of micronutrients, reduce inflammation. And so that family of bacteroidetes is under represented. And when you put the communication network back in, we have a clinical trial that's about to publish, but the preliminary data is already showing that within just two weeks of putting the communication network into the bacterial environment, you get over 25% of the entire ecosystem of more than 1.4 quadrillion bacteria. You get quarter of that.
So you're looking at 250 trillion bacteria shifting from this firmicute, kind of acidic fermentation process to this more bacteroides, big metabolism burst, speed metabolism proof fuel usage, reduce acidity in the gut, all of that. And so when you put the communication network back, we get this really beneficial shift back towards a beneficial biome, much different than a probiotic. A probiotic just keep adding the same three species or five species and you're really never going to shift a 30,000 species ecosystem with three species every day. And so instead…
Ben: Wait. So there's 30,000 species in your gut. When I use a probiotic, there's like three?
Zach: Yup. Three, five, seven.
Ben: Yeah, I guess. So whatever's listed on the back there, usually I think like a good probiotic, you've go like 7 to 10.
Zach: Yeah. There's a couple on the market with 24. But one of the things they always brag about is, “Well, we have 35 or 50 billion copies of those bacteria.” Well, if you think about that for a moment, is that really a good thing? And the answer is probably not. You don't want to be taking 50 billion copies of the same species day in and day out because you're to create a monoculture.
Ben: Right. That's why I tell people to switch their probiotic brands that they use and to primarily use fermented foods like kimchi, and sauerkraut, and even like dirt. Like I was joking about goat poop on the kale, but really like I even, out of my own land, do a lot of wild plant foraging with my kids and will eat stuff without washing it just to make sure we get some of the soil-based organisms too.
Zach: That's exactly right. And even just walking through your garden, the fact you're taking your kids out into a garden, you're getting beneficial flora right there before you ever put anything in your mouth. One of the unrecognized truths about the environment is we're breathing more bacteria than were eating. Well, think about how you started from it. So if you're going to make your own sauerkraut at home, you take salt water, you put it in a crock, you throw a tallow over the top of it, and you let it alone for a few days. Well the bacteria and fungi that are now going to digest that into a sauerkraut, or sour Reuben, or whatever you're making, all that's coming from the air, you're [0:38:43] ______ literally just breathing in those hundreds of species from the air itself. Well you're the same way. Every breath you take, you're going to seed your nasal passages, your sinuses, the back of your throat, ultimately your portions of your lung, ultimately swallowing those bacteria down into the whole system, you're going to repopulate your gut with the air you breathe.
And so one of the first steps when we get people on to Restore is, “Okay, now you have the substrate for communication. Now you have the opportunity for balancing an ecosystem where you're going to go get those bacteria.” The product is sterile by intention. We don't want to micro-manage, we don't want to narrow your experience by giving you just a few species. So to blow the doors off and say, “Here's the communication network. Open yourself now up to your environment.” So get out on a hike near the waterfalls, get down into the swamps, get out into the ocean. Get into as many different environments as you can and breathe. And that's how you're going to really repopulate that system.
Ben: Right. Okay. Got it.
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Ben: So you've got this redox-based signaling molecule that you drink that allows the 20,000 to 30,000 different type of bacterial strains that are naturally in our gut to be able to communicate with one another. But what is it that happens in your gut when bacteria are communicating better with one another? I mean why is that someone would actually even care about something like that?
Zach: That's right. So let's pretend that this huge shift in the bacteria biome isn't terribly important. So we'll say, “Okay, well let's agree that that's cool. That's awesome, to shift your biome.” But what does it actually…
Ben: When you say shifting your biome, you're talking about like shifting from firmicutes to bacteroides. Is that what you mentioned earlier?
Ben: So you're basically shifting, and by the way, I've had my gut, via The Human Gut Project and also via WellnessFX analyzed, and one of the things that you get back is your firmicutes to bacteroides ratio, and there's all sorts of evidence about how imbalances in that ratio are responsible for everything from like obesity, to chronic disease, to neurotransmitter issues, et cetera. So you're saying that it shifts that into balance so that someone might address some of those issues. But what else is going on? What else is it doing?
Zach: The next step that, and this is all discovered retrospectively. We were nowhere near intelligent enough to plan all this out until the eloquence that it turns out to be. But what we found is the antidote to one of the biggest problems we have right now as a population, which is gut permeability. And so gut permeability is supposed to be a very highly regulated situation where your gut is this massive membrane the size of two tennis courts and surface area, and it's one cell layer thick. So you have like this fraction of a sheet of cellophane that covers this huge two tennis court area made out of trillions of tiny little microscopic cells that are all bonded together by like a velcro-like protein called tight junctions. And that velcro, it turns out, is being weakened by the lack of presence of bacteria.
And so, as we kill the bacteria in our gut through the use of antibiotics from our doctors, or the use of antibiotics in our food chain, meat production industry is responsible for the biggest quantity of antibiotic usage in the environment, second only to the amount of antibiotic we use on our feed, on our plant crops. And so on the plant crops, we use an antibiotic called glyphosate. And you mentioned this early in your show here today, glyphosate is the single chemical that was initially put into play by Monsanto for their product Roundup. It's the active ingredient not only in Roundup now, but in every weed killer on the market essentially. And that came off patent in 2007, so now China actually makes most of the glyphosate in the world rather than Monsanto. And so we have one chemical that we're dumping into the environment at a quantity of about 2 billion kilograms. 2 billion kilograms of this toxin into our soil systems would be a problem. But unfortunately, it's a water soluble toxin, which means it gets into our waterways. And so now it can evaporate into our clouds, some of the rainfall, 75% rainfall in the Southern United States is contaminated with this compound. The air samples that we pulled from the United States, 75% contaminated with Roundup. So…
Ben: Actually, the more I study up on glyphosate, the more kind of pissed off I get because I've got a nice deep pristine well. But since I live on a north facing slope up above me, I've got people who are spraying their crops. So I even have to like filter the hell out of my well water, which you'd think would be pristine clean well water, so that I'm not getting exposed to the glyphosate. But then, and I'll let you finish what you were saying about air, I find out based on all the latest research that when it comes to the tight junctions in my gut, or my kids' gut, or my wife's gut, I'm still breathing this stuff in when I'm driving past a farmer's field with my windows rolled down or when my neighbors spraying it on their lawn.
Zach: Exactly right. At 2 billion kilograms worldwide, you're really hard pressed to get away from this stuff. And so we've put this stuff into play not really understanding what it did, but one of the most profound things that it does is it disrupts that velcro system. And so as the velcro weakens in your gut lining from constant exposure to glyphosate…
Ben: The velcro system, by the way, being the tight junctions that you're talking about?
Zach: That's it. The tight junctions that hold one cell to the next cell to create a cohesive membrane. That's a protective membrane from the outside world. And sitting right behind that gut membrane, and when I say gut, we're talking everything from the nasal sinuses all the way to the rectum here, so a massive environment. So every time you breathed or every time you eat, that cell layer that should be a membrane is now at risk 'cause you've got this vulnerability essentially there in the cell system. And sitting right behind that membrane is 80% of your immune system's ability to make antibodies. At least 60% of your total immune system is sitting right behind that membrane doing damage control. And so when you start to get leak and when you start to get this high gut permeability, your immune system is very rapidly overwhelmed. And when we lose the ability for acute inflammation, that's when we start to dip into other problems.
And so longevity, again, and peak performance is really around “can you maintain that tight junction system so that you have an intelligent barrier that's going to keep the bad stuff out and let the good stuff in, and are you protecting your immune system adequately”. And if the answers are no on both of those, and you're starting to leak, and you're no longer keeping the bad stuff out, and you're starting to overwhelm your immune system's ability to maintain this kind of acute inflammatory management system, now you start to accumulate damage. And so that tends, as we look at the science, we're seeing more and more that glyphosate is playing a huge role in this global epidemic that we have of inflammatory shift. And so we've got all of these conditions that are in rampant in our children, in adults, and everything else, and it's all going to tie back somehow, someway tight junction systems. And the science that we're now teasing out from the bacterial world is, “Oh my gosh, the bacteria have always been trying to protect us by strengthening these velcro molecules.” And by…
Ben: So bacteria are what actually keeps those tight junctions closed?
Zach: That's right.
Ben: So that's why kids who are born via C-section versus being born via vaginal delivery, when they're not getting all mom's, kind of gross to think about, but like all her fecal particles and all the bacterial diversity in mom's vaginal canal as they're being born via vaginal delivery, the kids who are born via C-section who don't get that, part of the reason that those kids have weaker immune systems, I believe until they're like seven years old, is because they're not getting those bacteria so their tight junctions aren't closed, so their immune systems are more susceptible.
Zach: Precisely. And it doesn't even take a C-section anymore, right? You get born into a hospital, a wholly abnormal bacterial environment, then you get taken home to a dry wall cube that we call a house, and you have no contact with a garden often in the first year of life. So we're hardly touching the environment anymore. And so we're raised on carpets that are off gassing, and we're raised in cardboard houses and plastic vinyl siding. There's just so much weird environment that we've created, and so whether you're C-section, I think, is a huge disadvantage from an immune system standpoint, but the reality is I don't know that it matters that much. I think almost nobody is being born into a natural ecosystem anymore.
Ben: Yeah. So you basically figured out a way to introduce the support for bacteria that are already into the gut into the body via these carbon-based redox molecules that allow the bacteria to adequately communicate. That allows tight junctions to close, and theoretically as a result makes your gut less susceptible to all the effects of glyphosate that we're eating, that we're breathing in, and that we're drinking you know in our water and via all sorts of other environmental toxins exposure?
Zach: Perfect. That's exactly right. And so if we tie back to the concept of here's a dietary supplement that doesn't do anything specific, it simply gives you back the communication network. And so when that tight junction proteins system of the extracellular matrix around the cells that are the velcro protein holding the gut lining together, nasal sinuses all the way to the rectum, when that is threatened by glyphosate or another compound that we can see frequently that can do the same kind of pattern is the gliadin compound, which is a breakdown product of gluten. So we have this passive rash of gluten sensitivity, and that turns out to actually being tied right into the glyphosate again. We've got a publication coming out shortly as to how glyphosate is sensitizing our guts to gluten. But gluten has the same ability to kind of open up that Velcro system and cause leak. What we're showing though is if you've got this huge bacterial communication network in play, my gosh, the rate at which you repair is nearly faster than it enters to the point where minutes after introduction of gluten or glyphosate, if you have enough bacterial communication network, you're actually stronger, not weaker. And so that's a pretty exciting message that, “Wow, we can put the system right back into this really healthy acute inflammatory response system so that when the injury occurs, you actually get stronger, not weaker.
Ben: That's interesting what you say, by the way, about gluten, because I believe it was John Douillard who I interviewed who wrote a book called “Eat Wheat”. We talk about two things. Number one, how like a weak lymphatic system, poor lymphatic drainage, and poor care of lymph fluid is one of the things that makes you really susceptible to like an allergic or a deleterious reaction to the consumption of the gluten in wheat, and it's not the gluten itself. But then another thing that he mentioned was if you've got this extremely leaky gut because the gluten that you are eating is safe from wheat that's been sprayed with glyphosate or you've got other glyphosate exposure going on, even if it's something natural that our ancestors could have eaten like thousands of years ago, bread, our ancestors weren't sucking down copious amounts of glyphosate along with the gluten in their bread.
Zach: Spot on. Exactly right. And we don't even have to go back that far. I mean 1980's, we had almost no gluten sensitivity.
Ben: Oh, yeah. I guess 'cause Monsanto hadn't really developed glyphosate at that point, huh?
Zach: Glyphosate came into play in 1976, but it was just a weed killer. We had to be very careful not to put it on our crops 'cause it would kill the crop. And then in 1992, Monsanto brought out the concept of desiccation so we could dry wheat quicker if we sprayed it with a Roundup before it was ready to harvest. And this helped farmers who, in the northern climates, were at risk of losing a crop because snow was coming early or whatever. Suddenly they could spray prematurely a crop before it was ready to be harvested, kill it in three days, and then harvest it. And so that started in 1992. And every year since then, we've increased the number of acres worldwide of wheat sprayed with glyphosate. And so suddenly when we put glyphosate, which can damage that velcro system tight junctions and the gluten in the same bite of food.
And what we are showing with this publication that's coming out is that glyphosate, not only is there kind of an additive effect where, yeah, the glyphosate damaged the velcro, the gluten damages the velcro. What we're showing is that glyphosate actually up regulates this receptor called the CXCR3 receptor. This receptor up regulates as soon as glyphosate touches the gut membrane, and that's the receptor that makes us susceptible to gluten sensitivity. That's the receptor that binds the gluten breakdown products that will then loosen the tight junctions. There's actually a synergy happening where glyphosate moves in, has a direct injury to the tight junction, and upregulates CXCR3. And so now you have this situation where every bite of gluten is like a triple threat. And it's not because the gluten changed, it's because the glyphosate became present, upregulated the receptors of gluten, and now things are really damaging.
Ben: Okay. What you're saying kind of makes sense as far as like allowing the bacteria to communicate so the tight junctions can close so we can fight off some of these effects of glyphosate and gluten. It's one thing to say it on a podcast, but I'm curious, like when it comes to glyphosate mediated tight junction issues or gluten mediated tight junction issues, has this stuff actually been studied? I mean has anybody actually looked at like what happens when you drink down like a carbon-based redox signaling molecule? Like is there actually stuff happening or is this just all theoretical? Like have you actually studied this?
Zach: We've actually studied it. So you can go to our website and look at this in real time. You can see on the small intestine, we grew up small intestine membranes and then expose them to different environments. And so we can expose it to the amount of glyphosate you get in a typical beet or something like that, a root vegetable where in 10 parts per million of glyphosate. Or you can take a look at the amount of gliadin or gluten breakdown that you would get from a single slice of pizza. And so you can see the effects of that on the tight junctions. And then on the same slide, you can see the effect of if the Terrahyrite is in play. If you've got the spectro-communication network in play, there's no damage. In fact, you get stronger, not weaker there.
And so, it's a cool story that the body is able to protect itself beautifully as long as it's got enough communication going on. And so it's a very beautiful thing where the bacteria are making this communication network. They are nurse aiding our environment by putting into play the communication network that's going to let the body know, “Uh-oh. Here comes a potential threat from glyphosate or gluten. Let's upregulate the tight junctions. Let's get more of this protein into play. Let's get the velcro tighter and get ready for this injury. It's a very cool response relationship that we have to the bacteria that they're putting into play this foundation for health.
Ben: Okay. So I'm on your website now. So these studies like “Protective Effects Of Lignite”, that's the same as this Terrahydrite, right? Lignite extract supplement?
Zach: The lignite extract.
Ben: Okay, “Protective Effects Of Lignite Extract Supplement On Intestinal Barrier Function In Glyphosate Mediated Tight Junction Injury”. And then you've got another one here, “Protection Against Gluten Mediated Type Junction Injury With A Novel Lignite Extract Supplement”. These are actual studies that have been done on this compound on the communication between the bacteria and the protection repair of the gut from things like glyphosate and gluten?
Zach: Precisely. And in those studies, you can read both small intestine, and colon data there, and everything else. So very profound effect. And we've done this many, many times, hundreds of times, and we've got a situation now where university laboratories have backed this data up as well. And so we have third parties that have executed the same science. And so it's an exciting reality that these peer-reviewed journal articles are starting to bring into the public sector the reality that if we are in touch with our ecosystem, we become pretty bulletproof. And it's pretty extraordinary to me. Here we are as humans, executing what could be probably the largest genocide of species that's ever happened through the introduction of glyphosate, this potent antibiotic chemical, 2 billion kilograms a year into soils worldwide. We're annihilating the complexity of our soil, we're annihilating the bacterial and fungal environment, and yet Mother Earth had the grace to plant an antidote to this toxin in her fossil soils some 50 million years ago. I've been in this soil mines for long enough now where it almost feels to me when I wake up in the morning that Mother Earth predicted our insanity, predicted the atrocities we would commit on her soils in the future, and she planted the secret in there that was going to be revealed right when we most needed them.
Ben: Now why couldn't you just get the same benefits by like getting out in nature? Like I have a friend, for example, it's kind of crazy, but he does this. Like whenever he goes to a different part of the world, he'll like kind of reach down, and stick his finger in the soil, and lick a built little bit of the dirt to start to introduce his gut to that localized microbiome. I was talking earlier about how you can eat dirty plants and wild plants and increase your probiotic diversity by eating kimchi, and sauerkraut, and things like that. Why can't we just do that? Why do we need to drink a supplement?
Zach: Perfect question. And the answer comes down to biodiversity again. And so you can travel the world right now and you're going to see a fraction of the amount of biodiversity we had 50 million years ago. And the reason is largely because there's been a couple of geological events or kind of massive events that have happened globally to dumb down our soil, 50 million years ago, 55, 60 million years ago, we're looking at a situation where we had dinosaurs roaming the earth, and these dinosaurs were massive. And they and the largest among them just ate plants. And so we had a soil that was growing plant life that was so nutrient dense that a brontosaurus could grow to the size that it would. And so we have a really, really rich ecosystem that existed. And then suddenly there was a massive asteroid that hit and it buried those soils in a layer of dust that I think killed off a large amount of the biodiversity that been in the soil moments before.
And so we've had some catastrophic events that happen around the world that are naturally occurring. But then you now start to think about the last 60 years of human history. Nuclear testing alone, the amount of nuclear bombs that have been blown up in our oceans, in our deserts, and in our atmosphere up in the stratosphere, we've been blowing up nuclear weapons just for weapons testing. And that didn't get outlawed until the late 1990's really. And so we have a situation where we have been annihilating our environment through everything from our weapons development to our farming practices with spraying an antibiotic which is this glyphosate spraying an antibiotic all over everything. And so now when we travel the world, I think your friends are doing exactly the right thing, get as much bacteria as you can. But I am confident that when you back up in the fossil record 50 million years, you're going to get a biodiversity and communication network out of that soil, that fossil soil 50 million years ago that simply does not exist on Earth today.
Ben: Okay. Got it. And plus when you add in the glyphosate and the gluten, I would imagine we also, even if we are eating a lot of kimchi and sauerkraut, we're still getting exposed, again even if we're like buying organic foods via wind, and water, and all sorts of we can't control to pretty high levels of something completely unnatural. I mean like that's honestly like one of the battles that I fight working on a computer all day you with like a ton of LED exposure, and fluorescent light exposure, and all these forms of light that my retina would have normally been exposed to during the day. People ask me why I do things like blue light blockers, and red lights at night, and things that our ancestors wouldn't have needed to have done. It's because I'm fighting an uphill battle against modern technology. Our guts are fighting an uphill battle, it seems, against stuff like this glyphosate and gluten. So it makes sense. You mentioned the colon. It was kind of funny because when you sent me this bottle, you told me you can actually, in addition to like spraying it up your nose, this little sinus spray that you sent me, instead of just drinking a shot of the stuff before a meal, that you could also use it as an enema. So does it do the same thing to your colonic bacteria when you do it as an enema? Is that more efficacious than drinking for the large intestine?
Zach: It depends on what your situation is. By and large, I think oral's going to be good for 95% of the population. If you really have a situation where the bacterial balance in your colon is extremely off due to antibiotic exposure or other things, then I do have clinics around the world that have used it as a long-term enema to help speed up that balancing effect of the bacterial biome. And so those are, I'd say, the minority of consumers out there, I think the vast majority of your listeners are going to have a fantastic result using the sinus and oral approach.
Ben: Yeah. The reason I asked, by the way, is I interviewed Matt Cowan about his probiotic formula. He does like this really cool bacterial formula called, what's it called, P3-OM, and we did a big show on that. And he mentioned how a lot of folks will just like reverse a lot of like large intestine issues, and constipation, and issues with the colon by taking it as an enema. I mean he actually showed me. We talked about it on the show. Like how you kind of break open the capsules, and you put 'em in coconut water on the counter at room temperature for like four hours, then you just use like a enema bulb or whatever, and you put them up your butt. It sounds to me like if you were to add a little bit of carbon-based redox molecules into the mix, you might have an even happier colon.
Zach: I believe you would, yeah. I think that that definitely puts to play a whole different spectrum, but the exciting thing is this oral use has a profound effect on the colon. So we again and again see people really correcting bacterial imbalance and issues of the gut within minutes, to hours, to days of use when they've tried every probiotic on the market, they've tried digestive enzymes, they've tried all of the go-to “gut health supplements” out there, and they've never seen anything work like this before. And that's because, again we're not trying to micromanage the gut environment, we're not trying to say, “Here's some more pancreatic enzymes.” Human pancreatic enzymes don't do much of anything in the larger scheme of gut digestion, 90%, 95% of the enzymatic work that's done in the gut is done by bacteria, not by human digestive enzymes. And so we've built a $30 billion gut health industry out of probiotics and digestive enzymes with almost no science behind that. There's only a handful of studies that have ever looked at short term use of probiotics. There's not any studies that have looked at the effects of long term probiotics.
So I have a lot of concern that here we are telling consumers to spend thousands of dollars a year on probiotics, when in reality we may be hard pressed to show that anything other than maybe very short term usage after an antibiotic, or after chemotherapy, or some gastrointestinal viral infection. There may be some benefit in the short run of those, but that's even unproven. So really we've got a bunch of anecdotal evidence that's out there, but this is a good example of where we made an important leap forward in science to start to embrace the possibility that bacteria were good for us. For a hundred years we just thought that bacteria are bad and we tried to kill them every time we saw 'em. So I think the probiotic industry's played a very important role in the scientific as well as just the general public dialogue of saying, “Okay, bacteria are good again. We need to start thinking about how we're going to take care of these guys.” But now in contrast to that, you start to look at what we've done with the probiotic industry, and we were definitely just scratching the surface of health if we're inducing health at all.
Ben: Now what happens when you spray it up your nose? Why do you have this nasal spray?
Zach: Yeah. So the gut lining starts at the nose and goes all the way to the rectum. So when you take oral you're missing the opportunity to affect the bacterial biome of your nasal sinuses, which is one of the most critical environments to work with. And so you really want to be working in that environment to create this constant regenerative effect 'cause the ecosystem of your sinuses are going to become the ecosystem of your gut. At night we have a lot of post-nasal drainage, the bacteria transit from the sinuses down the back of the throat and start to seed the gut. And so you can take oral and have an immediate effect on the intestinal biome, but you don't want to forget the nasal sinuses up there.
Ben: Okay. Got it. So a lot of what we've talked about so far has been in relation to gut health. In terms of like healing up the tight junction and allowing bacteria to grow and flourish in the gut, or the colon, or the nasal cavities more readily when you introduce these carbon-based redox signaling molecules into those areas. But I'm curious if there is more to this than just like gut health. Like let's say I already have a pretty rock solid gut, or let's say I happen to be pretty lucky and I'm not getting exposed to a lot of glyphosate, or GMO crops and stuff like that. Is there anything else that this can do? I know Joe, Dr. Mercola, like he's very, very keen on like mitochondrial health, and mitochondrial signaling, and optimization of mitochondria for things like cancer prevention, or sports performance, or things of that nature. He seemed to indicate that he liked this as an option for improving the health or the capability of the mitochondria to flourish as well. Is that true and are there other things of this can do for one in addition to just gut health?
Zach: It is. It's a direct impact on the mitochondria, which is fascinating. ‘Cause mitochondria are also non-human, so we've been talking about the bacterial biome that's an incredible ecosystem of non-human species of bacteria, and fungi, and all this. And the human body has somewhere around 70 trillion, for the sake of math, maybe call it 100 trillion human cells. The bacteria biome is 15 times more complicated and is up around one and a half quadrillion. One and a half quadrillion cells. In contrast to the bacteria, one and a half quadrillion, there are 15 quadrillion. Again, 10 times as many mitochondria as bacteria. And the mitochondria look a lot like bacteria. They're little organisms that live inside your cells instead of outside your cells, and they digest food just like the bacteria do. So the bacteria will break down all of the stuff that you have on your dinner plate, they're going to break it down into some micronutrients that are bioavailable, and then it's going to break it down to the fat and sugar combinations. And so the fat is going to be, and sugar, are going to burned then, or digested further by the mitochondria. So the bacteria pass macronutrients of fat and sugar into your bloodstream. That enters a cell, but the human cell can't use those. So it has to then enter a mitochondria, which is going to digest your fat and sugar into the very single fuel that you run on, which is ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. And so your entire dinner plate has to be processed by the bacteria that handed off the mitochondria and burn twice through the system before you ever get a useful piece of fuel out of that plate of food.
And so, it's not surprising perhaps that what we've now been able to show, and you can see examples of this in some of our publications there on that website, that when the bacteria communication network, when the Terrahydrite hits the mitochondrial environment, we see an immediate shift in the mitochondria. We're used to studying mitochondrial effects of compounds, dietary supplements, and otherwise, and what you see by and large, whether you're looking at something like vitamin C, or Vitamin A, or any of these compounds that we're putting in a plate, they do the same thing to the mitochondria no matter what cell you put them into. The mitochondria rev up, or they turn off, or they do whatever it is.
Restore, this Terrahydrite compound, is the very first time we've seen something that goes in with such an intelligence that it can actually figure out which cells are challenged and which cells are thriving. And they can actually do the opposite thing, they send the opposite signal to the mitochondria as such that if you have a very healthy cell that's thriving and it sees Terrahydrite, it's going to decrease its production of ROS, or the reactive oxygen species. You're going to take the stress off of that mitochondrial signal. In contrast, if it's a cell that's challenged, it's going to upregulate ROS and call in help, going to call in assistance for more transformation to happen in that cell. And so it's a very exciting compound where we're getting differential effects, and so it takes the stress off your healthy cells that ramps up the support system for your challenged cells and you get this really cool Yin-Yang effect as the bacteria talk to the mitochondria. And the mitochondria are becoming more intelligent.
Ben: Okay. So basically, this would be a good, for people who are trying to optimize their air, their light, their water, their electricity, this would be something that you could use as yet another way to improve the health of the mitochondria, and we've done a lot of podcasts on how important it is for things like cancer prevention, and exercise performance, and cognitive performance, and it sounds to me like this would be like just something simple that you could throw into the equation for something like that.
Zach: Something simple to support this natural communication network between the mitochondria, the human cell, the bacteria of the human cell, bacteria of the mitochondria, you've got these three big populations of cells. You got the bacteria of the mitochondria and the human cells all talking back and forth now. And with that coordinated signaling, I think you really do reach the potential for optimal performance, optimal longevity, and all that. So very exciting concept of we are not alone as human. As human, you are plugged into an ecosystem of mitochondria, and bacteria, and fungi. And when all of those are revved up and talking, man, exciting things happen in the microscope and in life itself.
Ben: Yeah. Can you take this stuff every day? ‘Cause the bottle you sent me, I just started throwing back a shot every day, but I probably should've asked. Is it like a daily deal, is it twice a day, is it once a week, or how does it work exactly?
Zach: These compounds are very stable. So when I first developed this compound in 2012, I thought, “This is exciting. Once a day is going to be plenty. We'll put this into play. It's really going to do its trick.” I was thinking too much about the mechanisms of how I thought this was going to work and all of this. I wasn't really thinking about human biology on the grand scheme. And so when we started working with our kids who are using this supplement to help support health for gut health with children with autism and other things, when you're supporting gut health in children that have very sensitive intestinal environments, we started to realize, “Wow, this is very short acting.” And then we had to kind of dial back to why is it so short acting if the compound is so stable and should be around for many, many hours. And the answer has to do with the transient nature of the intestines themselves. And so your gut lining from your nose to your rectum actually turns over completely every three days. So every 72 hours, 100% of the cells and the tight junctions, the velcro that tie those cells together have been completely replaced.
So if you take a shot in the morning and then you wait until the next morning before you protect that gut again, you've got at least 25% of the cells of your gut by dinner time that are unprotected in tight junctions that have never seen the Terrahydrite. And so we started to see real benefit clinically if we started dosing more frequently, increasing the frequency of usage of the supplement. And so, right now the bottle says three times a day as kind of optimal. Frankly, I'm in the habit of just carrying my little travel bottle around with me and I spray frequently throughout the day, anywhere from three to probably seven times a day if I'm going to eat a snack and I'm like, “Okay, there's probably some glyphosate hidden in there. I'm going to take a squirt right beforehand.” I'd rather take a small dose seven times a day than a big dose once a day because of that biology of the human gut always turning over.
Ben: Okay. Got it. Cool. This is fascinating. In terms of getting this stuff, I mean I'm keeping notes as we're talking about everything that we're discussing, and if you're listening in and you want to go check out Zach's website, or more of what he does, as well as look at this Restore stuff and how it's using the different formats in which you can get it, like the nasal spray or this like bottle of liquid, and there's like a little travel one too. I think you sent me one of those. I've got covered somewhere, but it's like the TSA-friendly version…
Zach: Yeah. It's a bottle that'll go with you on your luggage and all that.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. I'm keeping notes. You can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/restore. That's bengreenfieldfitness.com/restore to check this stuff out. And again, there's a lot of people that have vouched for Zach for me and so I trust him. Plus he's a pretty smart cookie as you can hear. So go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/restore. If you want to go straight to Dr. Bush's website, it's just restore4life, Restore, the number 4, and then life, for life, restore4life.com. And he set up a code, the code is Ben15. That gets you a 15% discount on the Restore if you want to just like grab a bottle of that, or the sinus spray, and try it out for yourself. So you can use code Ben15 at restore4life.com. Zach, this stuff is fascinating. I could probably talk to you for a long time about it a lot more when it comes to glyphosate, and mitochondrial health, and bacterial balance but we're running short on time. Anything else that you want to throw in that you didn't get a chance to fill people in on?
Zach: Yeah. I'd like to just kind of close the loop 'cause we're talking a lot about eating. Now let's think about drinking for just a second. Everybody's kind of increasingly aware of the need for detox. And when we have high gut permeability and we're leaking all the time, obviously we're getting a lot of toxin the environment, so we can get a pretty intense kind of toxic buildup that's happening. And the second piece that everybody seems to be very increasingly aware of is the importance of hydration. And it turns out that that's linked directly to your tight junction function. And so as your tight junctions start to weaken and you start to get permeability and leak, you can no longer hold a negative charge, a high electrical charge across that membrane. It's very much like a copper wire of electricity that starts to lose its insulator, you're starting to now have shorts and you're losing electricity. Same thing is happening in your gut lining. As you start to damage the velcro, you're starting to lose that intense connectivity that's going to allow this insulative effect of the gut to protect this electrical charge.
And it turns out that it's that electrical charge across not just your gut membrane, but your blood vessel membranes, your blood-brain barrier, all of the membranes of your whole body are tied together with tight junctions. We've been focused on the gut, but in reality your blood vessels, the blood-brain barrier, kidney tubules, all of these are reliant on that velcro protein. And so as we're threatened by glyphosate, or gluten, or whatever it is, all the system starts to leak and we lose negative charge, which means you can't get water across the membrane. Without the negative charge, you can't pull water across effectively. And so no matter how much you're drinking, and you all may have experienced this where you feel thirsty all time, you drinking all the time, you're peeing clear water and yet you have a desperate sense of thirst all the time. That sense of thirst is your brain sensing that there's no water getting inside the cell and it's still trying to say, “Hey, we need to get hydrated.” And these two topics of kind of toxification and detox effort, and hydration and the tight junctions all now come into the same mix where if you can pull water across the membrane, if you can get the membrane potential up by supporting it with bacterial communication network. That membrane goes up, you're suddenly going to pull water across a member more effectively than you ever have before.
This can work so well in the first couple days of use that you might actually find your stools to be kind of dry. It's not unusual for some of my clients to have a situation where they're almost passing like kind of pebbly stool because they've been so dehydrated there the last few decades that as soon as they put tight junctions back into play, as soon as they go that electrical charge, it sucks the colon dry and you just need to increase the amount of water you're drinking to leave a little bit of water left in the colon. So if you do see that dry stool effect, you just finally hydrated for the first time in decades. And so drink more water. You can use magnesium as well if you want a magnesium supplement to kind of keep the bowels moving during that couple days of adjustment. But if you leave 'em dry, congratulations. You just finally hydrate your body to its full potential for the first time. Now what does that mean for you? What that means is that you can now detox the cell. There's a lot of detox regimens out in the market, but if you can't get water inside the cell, you're missing your most potent detergent. There's nothing on the plant that scrubs like water. And so water gets inside the cell, and that's going to remove a lot of the natural build-up products that are from cell metabolism, as well as the toxins that are ending up there inappropriately, and the rest.
And so we've been talking nutrition which can't happen without that incredible robust bacterial ecosystem in place. We've been talking nutrition, how do you get the nutrients inside the body across that intelligent gut membrane. Again, depending on the tight junctions. Now when you breathe, you've got to have a good membrane in touch so that when you're breathing, you're not pulling pollen and another stuff in your immune system. Instead, it stays on the outside. When you drink water, you've got to have a tight junction system not just in the gut but in the kidney tubules, in the blood-brain barrier, et cetera so you can get the water to where it needs to get into the system, get inside the cell, scrub it clean, detox the system for sure. So really you're going to find the more you read on this, the more you study it, the more peer-reviewed journal articles, or white papers you want to read, you're going to realize, “Oh my gosh, there's really no cellular function that doesn't begin at this reality. We've got to keep separated at these big micromembrane systems. We got to keep the outside out in the inside in, and keep that ratio or that clarity of self-identity at the biologic level to achieve health.”
Ben: Okay. So if you're using this, basically make sure that you know that you're going to be adequately hydrating yourself, but you should also be drinking a lot more water if you switch to using something like this Restore.
Zach: Especially in the first week or two. You're really going to be sucking water into your cells for the first time in a really effective way.
Ben: Gotcha. Okay. Cool. And of course, the type of water that you use would probably be something you should pay attention to. You don't want to just drink like your local municipal glyphosate-induced water. And honestly, what I do when I'm traveling is I just stop off at the grocery store and buy some good Pellegrino, or Perrier, or Gerolsteiner on my way to my hotel. And then when I'm at home, like I mention, even though I get well water, it still goes through a really good filter, and then through a structured water filter, and then finally winds up in my tap. But even that you need to be careful with. So, yeah. That's really interesting. And it's good to know too that folks might actually find themselves with, I think you talk about this in your website a little bit, how you have to once, you start using this, drink copious amounts of water or at least more water than you're used to because you may find if you don't, you wind up with a little bit of mild constipation.
Zach: Yeah. Dry stools more than anything else. Usually the transit time is similar where you’re having a couple bowel movements, but you'll just find much drier stools. And that's not everybody, that might be 20 to 30% of those that consume the product and you just have to amp it up in that first week. And it doesn't take ton of water. You just might find yourself drinking an extra two to three glasses a day.
Ben: Okay. Cool. Got it. It's good to know. Wow. Well I'm going to put a link to all the stuff, like I mentioned, at bengreenfieldfitness.com/restore. Discount code you can use as Ben15 if you want just like grab a bottle and try it. And like I mentioned, I just started using the stuff and my gut's feeling pretty good. Probably the one weak link in my body typically is my gut, or my small intestine, or my large intestine, and so I'm constantly looking for ways to optimize that and to kind of fight the uphill battle against all the crap in our food supply and our water supply. And this stuff has got some cool research behind it, and again, a lot of my trusted friends and physician friends speak very highly of Zach and of this supplements. So check it out. I'll link to it over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/restore. And Zach, thanks for coming on the show, man.
Zach: Ben, thanks so much. Brilliant conversation.
Ben: Awesome. Alright, folks. Well thanks for listening in. And until next time, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Dr. Zach Bush signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com. Have a healthy week.
My guest on today's podcast, Zach Bush, MD, is one of the few triple board certified physicians in the country, with expertise in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Hospice/Palliative care. He was introduced to me by former podcast guest Dr. Joseph Mercola, and he is an extremely, extremely intelligent dude, especially when it comes to optimizing gut health using some pretty cutting edge strategies.
In 2012, Dr. Bush discovered a family of carbon-based redox molecules made by bacteria, and he and his research team have subsequently demonstrated that this cellular communication network functions as an antidote to the chemical “glyphosate”, and many other dietary, chemical, and pharmaceutical toxins that disrupt your body's natural defense systems.
Dr. Bush points to his own kids as the driving force behind his passion for change. He is fiercely motivated by a desire to have them experience a much brighter and healthier future. His education efforts provide a grassroots foundation from which we can launch change in our legislative decisions, ultimately up-shifting consumer behavior to bring about radical change in the mega industries of big farming, big pharma, and Western Medicine at large.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-Why Dr. Bush stayed in school for 17 years (and what it means to be a “triple certified” board physician)…[10:00]
-The discovery in soil that Dr. Bush made in 2012, and what he was looking for exactly when he found it…[11:10]
-How bacteria, in the right conditions, can “talk” to each other in the same way that your mitochondria do…[18:00 ]
-The method Dr. Bush used to turn carbon-based redox molecules into a drinkable liquid…[26:55 & 29:45]
–How something called “lignite” can assist with mitochondrial health and longevity…[34:40]
-Why the best probiotic strains still contain only 24 of the 20,000-30,00 different kinds of bacteria in your gut…[37:20]
–How glyphosate wreaks havoc on the tight junctions in your gut, and why it's impossible to escape it in water, air, dirt and food…[45:20]
-Why gluten can cause some of the same damaging issues as glyphosate, and why it wasn't until the 1980's that folks started to develop more gluten intolerances…[51:30]
-Why it's not enough to just eat “dirty plants” or fermented foods when it comes to equipping your gut to heal from glyphosate exposure…[59:25]
-And much more!
Resources from this episode: