GUT-BRAIN AXIS PREP
So, what I wanted to talk about today is a way to think about the prep phase slightly differently than the way that we’ve actually been talking about it up until now. We’re all familiar with we’ve been talking about prep in terms of gut prep and neuro prep and MCAS prep. And, I think that’s really helpful breaking it down that way does make a lot of sense but when it really comes down to it, all of this is gut-brain axis prep.
And, when we think about it as prep involving the entire gut-brain axis, it also really helps us to think about why each of the components is so important and how they actually work together? But, a lot of us don’t really understand why the gut-brain axis is so incredibly important. So, I just wanted to go back and sort of touch on a bit of the physiology.
We have our central nervous system of course, we have our brain, we have our spinal cord and we have all of these microglia, astrocytes, brain cells. We have a very similar set of cells in our guts. We don’t have the white matter and the gray matter. We don’t have a brain in our gut but the tissue that is there is actually composed of the same types of cells that exist in our brains. So, we have microglia in our gut, we have astrocytes in our gut and we have sensory cells in our gut. And, the reason the gut-brain axis is so critical is because there’s actually more neurosensory cells in your gut than there is in your spinal cord. Like, this is almost the epicenter of your nervous system. So, the vagus nerve is the highway that’s going sort of from the gut to all the different organs and then to the brain. But, we really need to start thinking about the gut not as a place where food is digested, but as sort of one of the first places in the body where the nervous system is being activated. And, we’re always coming back to diet in this piece. I actually read today that throughout our lifetimes we eat between seven and ten tons of food. And so, you know, the story of you are what you eat becomes just unimaginably important when you think about that. And, one of the things that we’ve really done with Remission Biome is, our goal is to trigger these remission events and then make sure that we get these baseline increases in recovery. We figured out that there are certain things that block remission events from happening. And, these seem to be related to pathogens, they seem to be related to lipopolysaccharides and they seem to be related to SNS overactivity and problems with vagus signaling and that can be due to many different things. The gut prep, the neuro prep and the MCAS prep even, is all designed around this gut-brain axis prep. And, each element really works together in an incredible whole. Even MCAS, because, you’re aware now that our mast cells interact with our microglia. And they don’t just interact with our microglia in our guts, they also interact with our microglia in our brains. And this is a bidirectional relationship. And it’s one of the reasons why we assume that everyone who’s doing Remission Biome has MCAS at least to some degree. We know some people don’t seem to have extreme symptoms. But, there’s some physiological element of mast cell activation that really is tied to ME/CFS and Long Covid even in particular in some reason.
So, if we start to think about MCAS prep, neuro prep and gut prep as a set, we really start to get a sense of like, “OK, this is every single piece of this is essential, every single piece of this translates from system to system”. So, let’s talk about butyrate. It’s one of the supplements we’re using. We’re using a product called Tributyrin- X from Healthy Gut. And, butyrate has been shown to impact the type of gut bacteria that we’re trying to increase. It also helps heal leaky gut. It helps lower inflammation. It helps to do a lot of other things. But, butyrate is an acid. It’s related to other types of acids, propionic acid and these acids are actually created by gut metabolites and they’re shunted to the brain. So, really it’s like what this preparatory phase is about. It’s about thinking about your gut as the factory that’s going to produce the medicine that’s going to get to the brain. And, during the gut phase, we’re essentially trying to get that factory operating as efficiently as possible to create this really strong metabolite reaction. And, healing leaky gut is really the first line um, is really the first line here. And so, when you do your mucosal array 14, if your leaky gut markers are equivocal or higher, putting a ton of energy into healing leaky gut and probably increasing your gut prep by about a month is going to be incredibly critical. If you’re in the green for all of your leaky gut markers, you’re going to be able to go forward on the normal time scale. But, if you’re not, you’re really going to have to spend some extra time. And, even if your leaky gut markers are normal, we still want you to go through the gut prep. Because many of us may be in a stage of decline in terms of some of our parameters. So, um, so, I think this is really sort of helpful to deal with. It’s like leaky gut is one of these really insidious processes that increases over time initially. We have the epithelial cells and we have the breaks between the epithelial cells in the gut lining. The food that we eat, bacteria, mold actually starts to get through those little breaks into the bloodstream. And we start to get autoimmune reactions. And, this is really what we’re worried about. It’s not leaky gut per se. It’s the consequences of leaky gut. Because, when you have leaky gut, all of the toxins that are in your environment are getting into the body and your body actually starts making a lot of mistakes. And, it starts to mistake the food that you’re eating for things that should be fighting like viruses and for some reason SARS is incredibly good at causing this problem specifically in terms of creating these mistaken reactions to foods in our gut.
And so, you know, when we do the Array-14, it’s specifically focusing on the mucosal immune system. And, we really have two different immune systems. We have the mucosal immune system, we talk about oral tolerance. It starts with the mouth, it ends at the anus. And then, we have the systemic immune system. The mucosal 14 is really focusing just on this mucosal immune system and whether the mucosal surfaces along that entire system are intact or not. And so, you’re really going to want to um, I just lost my train of thought there. So, the Array-14 for the mucosal is really going to show whether there’s any damage to that system. And, yeah, it’s diet. So, it’s going to show whether you’re reacting to dairy, casein, corn and a bunch of other food sources. But, what I want to talk about is I want to talk about cutting out dairy and wheat and gluten even if you don’t get an equivocal or an abnormal result on the Array-14. Because, the Array-14 as I just said deals with the mucosal immune system. It doesn’t deal with the systemic immune system. So, you could actually have a normal reaction based on your mucosal immune system to some of these dietary antigens such as the casein which is related to milk products, um, or the gluten. But if we did a serum test for you, you could have that reaction. So, I think for pretty much everyone, if it’s possible we would like you to cut out dairy and gluten for a week and just see how you do. If you experience any type of change, well, this gives you your answer. And, I know it’s overwhelming thinking about doing these eliminations but it’s just such an incredibly important piece of this story in terms of creating the environment where Remission Biome won’t work if you’re having active food sensitivities. And it’s really hard to identify these food sensitivities. You know, I think about my own situation and for years I had constipation that I just thought was normal. You know, it was a normal part of aging. Everyone seems to be constipated all the time. It’s actually not normal. And, my bowel movements now are actually good. I had no idea what a good bowel movement was up until a couple of months ago. You know, we really need to look at the bowel movement chart, make sure that we’re actually getting tight for bowel movements. And if we’re not, our first question that we have to ask ourselves is what are we putting into our bodies that is causing this problem. So, cutting out dairy, cutting out gluten, try it for a week. It actually takes just days to actually start seeing corrections. And this is one of the incredible things about the mucosal lining in our body is that it heals very very fast.
You know, given the right stuff you can really heal even quite severe leaky gut in only a couple months. But, you can make really big changes in a couple weeks. And, cutting out these basic foods, you know just to try them is really important cutting them out even if they say that you’re safe on your Array 14. So, that’s the point.
Isabel: Quick question. So, one of the things that came up in the question channel was that the Array-14 states that if people are not consuming those foods that it would be of potentially false negative. And, the thought from the rest of us was that you know, we really want to look at the other markers and if the other markers are not where they want to be that cross reactivity is going to be highlighted anyways. And, we don’t want people who are already off of gluten and dairy and other things to go reintroducing and creating problems and having worsening symptoms just to take the test. So, just wanted to see if you agree with that.
Dr.T: Absolutely! That is totally the right approach. This is not the purpose of the Array-14 here is not to figure out our food sensitivities it’s to figure out the leaky gut piece and to figure out if there’s any other environmental triggers that are causing breakdowns in the gut brain access. Because this is really what it is. The Array-14 is the baseline of your gut-brain access. This is where, if you have a pathogen that turns out to be a trigger in Array-14, that’s something that’s impacting your gut brain access. It’s also impacting leaky gut. If you have chemicals that are turning up in the Array-14, if you have the mycotoxins turning up. But, it’s very important to remember that just because you get a normal result for one of these environmental triggers in the Array-14, it does not mean that you don’t have a systemic autoimmune reaction to that trigger. And, if you did a blood test, you could get a different result. So, these are two different systems in the body. And, this is one of the reasons why we’re suggesting to people that if you have the funds, you do additional testing. And, the Array-12, the pathogen test is a really good idea and there’s a combination of tests. It’s the Array-22, 20 and 2 that deals with blood-brain barrier, intestinal permeability and SIBO and that can be a really helpful array to do as well if you have the the additional funds to do it. I was actually talking to Dr. Elroy Vojdani yesterday, one of the creators of the Cyrex panels, and he said that when they develop the Alzheimer’s link panel which is called the Array-18, they actually developed it to be a gut-brain axis panel. But, at the time, I think it was like 2016-2017, people weren’t really talking about gut-brain axis. They decided that if they actually labeled it a gut brain axis panel, no one would really understand what they were doing. So, they decided to call it the Alzheimer’s link panel.But, I think it’s an incredibly important and interesting panel for us to consider at Remission Biome. You know, I mean, you all know that one of the biggest things that I want to get for us right now is about 20000 dollars worth of funding per person to do additional testing. And, Alzheimer’s link would be one of the tests that I would absolutely have done. Because, it will actually give us information on the autoimmune reactivity in our entire gut-brain axis and that is just incredibly important. So, consideration of additional testing if you have the funds to do it is sort of the bottom line here. But, one of the additional testing pieces that may be is less important right now is the food sensitivity panel. Initially we were thinking that we were really wanting people to do that. I think it might be important long-term but right now one of the things that many of us are experiencing is an increase in food sensitivities that we never had before. So, we’re essentially having these polyreactive reactions. They’re triggered in part by the viruses. our immune systems are making mistakes. They’re mistaking foods we’re eating to toxins that they’re fighting. And so, the results that we’re getting from some of the food panels wouldn’t be incredibly helpful overall in terms of the picture we’re looking at.
And then, the last thing I just wanted to mention with the Cyrex panels is, you know, what it would look like if your panel ended up being polyreactive? And, this is a panel where every single one of your markers or most of your markers is equivocal or red. And, in those situations, we want you to contact us and we’re actually going to have to do some further work to get those numbers into line. We have not included a few things in the gut prep that I think will be very important for certain people. And, these are the BPC-157 which is also really helpful for some people for helping with the loss of oral tolerance, getting that back on track. And, TUDCA, I can’t remember Nick. What is the full name of TUDCA again?
Nick: It’s Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid.
Dr.T: …Tauroursodeoxycholic acid, yeah.
Nick: Tauro as in taurine. And then urso as in bear. Cholic as in codeine.
Shelley: Can you type that?
Nick: Yeah, I can do that, yeah.
Dr.T: Yeah and the acronym is T U D C A. And, I think that this is a substance that’s going to end up in the official gut Remission Biome protocol. It’s going to be a companion to the Tributyrin-X. It seems to have some incredibly interesting properties in terms of healing leaky gut. But, it also seems to have some pretty miraculous and positive side effects on the nervous system, as well. And, some of the people in our community have been getting really an enormous amount of healing from it. I started using it about a month ago now and I just doubled my dosage in the past week. And, I am feeling like it’s one of the few supplements where I notice the change, a positive change just within a very short period of time. So, for any of you…
Dr. T: Yeah
Isabel: I can’t remember if I said this in the group or on Twitter, but that was one of the supplements I was on when I had a big remission with antivirals. I actually ordered some and have it in my closet and haven’t used it but that was instrumental yeah during that time, as well.
Dr. T: Yeah, that’s great. I really have a good feeling about this one and BodyBio makes the version that I’m using. They also make a really great version of phosphatidyl choline. Many of us really need that for the health of our cellular membranes. And, this kind of just merges me into, oh, dosage on TUDCA. You’re going to have to start slow and increase just to really see what your tolerance level is. But, I am now taking four caps of the BodyBio a day. I don’t remember what the dosage of those caps is. But, it’s definitely something to look at and that’s just kind of…
Nick: I think they have 500 each. Dr. T: They have 500 each, okay.
Dr.T: Great. and then really like
Nick: 250, Andrew is in the chat, he said 250.
Andrew: Yeah, I’m just googling it as you’re talking about it a dose is two caps and that comes out 500. So, it’s 250 per cap.
Dr.T: Yeah so, I’m taking four a day now and that seems to be my sweet spot. So, I think that’s something really worth trying. And, you know, leaky gut is not going to be something especially if yours is severe that is going to be dealt with just with the things in the Remission Biome protocol. So, that’s another just sort of important thing to remember is that you’re probably going to have to include things like L-glutamine, zinc carnosine. But, for most of us, hopefully we’re going to be in the green or in the equivocal and we won’t have to do massive amounts of gut prep and I think really this is one of the areas where this is going to separate out by cohort where the people who’ve had Long Covid for shorter period of times just aren’t going to have to do as extensive gut prep as the people who’ve had longer term and ME/CFS.
So, we’re talking about you know, gut brain axis prep and the gut and then of course, the next thing that really we’re trying to affect is you know we’re creating the best, the most efficient factory to create these gut metabolites that get to the brain. But, if they’re getting to a brain which is totally inflamed and the microglia are all highly activated, we’re also not going to trigger the response that we’re looking at. So, neuroinflammation prep starts in the gut but the the product specifically the PEA, the apigenin, the rephyll, the glia that’s really targeting the brain.
And then, when we talk about the vagal prep, this is where we’re talking about getting this highway into what they call vagal tone and using the Nurosym I think is a phenomenal idea. But, please start yoga nidra if you can manage it. I think for most of us behavioral changes actually end up working a lot better than biomedical devices. The biomedical devices help obviously but really to me so much of these protocols work because we stack different interventions. And, they hit sort of different areas of our physiology. Learning to calm down our sympathetic nervous systems, learning to breathe properly, you know, these are things that yoga nidra gives us. And, it also starts to give us access to actually understanding how our bodies feel and not just being terrified of them. Because, a body pain that’s doing weird things is terrifying and so you start pushing away all of the feeling related to your system. And you really need to start bringing some of that back in a little bit. So, you know this is a little bit of a change of perspective gut prep, neuro prep, MCAS prep, vagal prep. They’re all important in and of themselves, but they’re much more important as a whole and as working on a system.