In this fourteenth episode, Dr. William Davis shares his view that healthcare is not primarily concerned with our health. Instead it is concerned with profit, even at the expense of our health. He explains that the best way to protect our health and our finances from healthcare is to take our health under our control. And in doing so we can achieve “magnificent health”.
Lee: Hello, and welcome to the show, Dr. William Davis.
Bill: Hi Lee. Glad to be here.
Bill: Yeah. I’ve said some pretty controversial things, but I pride myself, Lee, on saying things many other people have not said before. I value uniqueness and delivering a message, but all based on this idea that we can empower people in health. Because as you know, I think that’s the whole philosophy of your podcast, that people in healthcare are not doing their jobs. They are doing the work of big pharma, the medical device industry and the healthcare industry. And lost in that conversation is just simple, plain old, getting people healthy. And so, when you’re talking to a doctor, the most ignorant person in that room about health is the doctor. And we can’t accept that anymore.
Lee: So, what do you think the purpose of a doctor is in these times?
Bill: I think the doctor is good at dispensing drugs, doing acute and catastrophic care, critical care, doing procedures. That’s what they’re good at. But if you asked a doctor about how do I improve my immunity, let’s say, against a virus, they’re going to say stupid things like, move more, eat less, get lots of sleep, all that stuff that any kindergartener knows, but won’t have genuine insight into augment the immune response. And that’s a big deal.
Or how about, how can I be stronger, younger, healthier without drugs? So, the doctor does not know what health looks like even if it hit him in the face. And this is why I wrote the Undoctored book, because I had so many thousands of people say, “You know what? I went to my doctor and I said, ‘I’m going to do this wheat belly lifestyle. I’m going to eliminate wheat. I’m going to address the nutrients that are missing from modern life.’ And the doctor says, ‘Well, if you do, I’m going to put you on Lipitor because it’s going to give you a heart attack. Don’t do it, it’s stupid.'”
So, what I saw was people doing it on their own. They’d come back to the doctor, 57 pounds lighter, no longer a pre-diabetic, off four hypertensive drugs, no longer suffering IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, rosacea, joint pain, joint swelling, leg edema, a whole long list of problems. And the doctor says, “I don’t know what you’re doing. Just keep on doing what you’re doing.”
In other words, willful ignorance, willful indifference to what real health looks like and how it’s achieved. And so, I’ve decided to no longer try to work this into the medical system, because if you take the ophthalmologist, for instance, making $2 million a year by doing those ridiculous injections into the eye that hardly do anything, he’s not going to stop and say, “Hey, I better start educating my patients about how to preserve eye health early in life.” They’re not going to do it.
So, health is never going to come from the healthcare system. Healthcare industry will deliver the products and procedures that yield revenues for healthcare insiders, but they will never engage in health. Because I tell people, if you want to be free to the healthcare system, just be healthy. Because they don’t like healthy people. I’ve seen this happen too, Lee. People come in, who are genuinely healthy, to the doctor. The doctor’s flustered. He doesn’t know what to do. And then they try to force things on to bully you into taking statin drugs or some other garbage drug that hardly does anything.
Lee: I’ve not been to a doctor in two decades. And it was for a checkup. And I think if you want to be rebellious, two greatest acts of rebellion are:
1. Avoid junk food, processed food of all kind. And,
2. Take care of your own health so you do not get sick.
Bill: Absolutely, a hundred percent.
Lee: Those are the two greatest acts of rebellion-
Bill: Yeah, I agree.
Lee: … in modern times. How do you think healthcare went so bad? You describe a very sick population in that list. Like you mentioned, rosacea, joint pain and so forth. So, you seem to be alluding to the population has got sicker. It hasn’t always been as sick.
Bill: Yeah. I think there’s a whole collection of factors that has created this monstrosity we now have because it’s worse in the U.S where healthcare is a $3 trillion industry, despite the fact that Americans are fatter and unhealthier than ever. If you throw more money at health, it doesn’t make you healthier. In fact, the evidence is quite clear, the more you spend on healthcare, the more the mortality rate goes up. And that’s because doctors are hell bent on getting you engaged into procedures and procedures have complications. So, this is well sorted out in the literature.
But I think that a number of factors have been identified that led to this monstrosity. One is the increasing exploitation of people for money. So, I was in cardiology. I practiced interventional cardiology, which is the practice of doing angioplasty and stents and atherectomies in the body and heart attacks and that sort of thing.
That was among the most predatory of specialties ever, where people were put through procedures as much as a third of them. Even with LAX criteria, a third are unnecessary. Now it’s become clear that much more than that are completely unnecessary because there’s no benefit to most procedures. But the financial incentives were big.
Then in the U.S, there’s the tendency for patients to sue doctors, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not. And I think that soured doctors on the doctor patient relationship, and they saw it more as a business transaction with legal implications. And so, it tended to have doctors treat people as just customers as opposed to patients they cared for. And the pressure to see volumes of patients narrowed visit times to just minor 15 minutes, often with a different doctor every time.
So, the old notion of a doctor knowing you, and your mom, and maybe delivered you and then delivers your children, and he knows your family’s history, he knows where you live, he knows how you eat, et cetera, all that’s gone. It’s been reduced to a financial transaction, 15 minutes long, and following guidelines like everybody takes a statin drug, everybody has to have a blood pressure drug, everybody take these ridiculous one-size-fits-all type guidelines. But lost, as you see, in the conversation, is the whole notion of teaching people or helping people understand how to be healthy without drugs.
Lee: Do you have any hope that healthcare will change? Because there’s all this talk of revolutionizing healthcare, and transforming healthcare and digital health. And I personally don’t think such an oil tanker will turn. I see a second system emerging, which is very decentralized and coming from computer science. So, I’m just wondering if you have any hope in healthcare, the present system turning, or do you have hope that something else will arise?
Bill: I’m extremely skeptical that healthcare insiders will give up what they do because it’s all about money. And I don’t see them giving up the rich incomes they have by doing procedures and dispensing drugs. And by healthcare insiders I don’t just mean doctors. There’s healthcare executives, hospital executives, big pharma executives, and even worst of all, medical device executives. These are the people properly placed to receive the wealth transfer from your and my pocket to their pocket.
So, that $3 trillion is not well spent money. It’s horribly spent money, but it’s going to the pocket of a lot of people. And they’re going to protect that franchise come hell or high water. So, I agree with you. The solutions will not come from within healthcare because they’re still working on ways to monetize each and every disease. That’s why when there have been discoveries that lead to treatments or ways to deal with a condition that were essentially free or low cost, they’re often suppressed because there has to be a patent, there has to be some means of monetizing that solution. And that’s what healthcare is really good at.
So, healthcare will continue, but I’m trying to find ways to opt out, to help people opt out of that ridiculous system. We need it for catastrophic care. If you get coronavirus and you can’t breathe, you’re going to need the ventilator. If you break your leg, you’re going to need an orthopedic surgeon to fix it for you. So, if you’re in a car accident and you crack your head open, you’re going to need a neurosurgeon to stitch it back together.
There are times and places where you need those kinds of things, but what you don’t need is some idiot telling you, you need Lipitor for coronary disease prevention, or that you need to have a colonoscopy to surveil you for colon cancer or to follow a diet rich and healthy whole grains and low in saturated fat. The mistakes being made in conventional healthcare time and time again are being proven wrong, yet the healthcare system gets bigger and bigger and better at delivering its mistakes because it pays well.
Lee: Would you go as far as to say healthcare is actually a danger to your health?
Bill: It absolutely is, Lee. I have no doubt whatsoever. So, I was a healthcare insider for many decades, and I practiced cardiology included 25 years. I was privy to the back room talks, to the closed door meetings with hospital executives in at least a dozen hospitals. And I can tell you, healthcare has nothing to do with health. It has to do with building the bottom line.
So if I had a meeting, say, with hospital executives and the cardiothoracic and cardiology practitioners, the question was not, “Are we getting any better at helping people not have a heart attack, or heart failure, or atrial fibrillation?” The conversation always was, “How do we increase revenues this year for 18% by increasing coronary bypass grafting volumes, how do we increase cath lab volumes by at least 10% this year?” Has nothing to do with healthcare. There’s quality measures of course introduced, but the bottom line was always money.
Lee: That’s the way the system is organized and it’s not to, and at least for myself, to attack medical workers, I greatly appreciate them. But there is something systemically catastrophically broken. And I cannot see a way that it could suddenly fix itself. I think a new model has to emerge.
… the evidence is quite clear, the more you spend on healthcare, the more the mortality rate goes up.
Dr. William Davis
Bill: When people are given some basic guidance on how to achieve health, people can achieve spectacular health that is far superior to the kind of health a doctor would have achieved. So, the approach I’ve been taking is this. We don’t treat things, we address the factors that allow disease to emerge in the first place. Now, that doesn’t work for everything. It doesn’t work if you have a genetically programmed disease, for instance, or an injury.
But for the vast majority of modern chronic health conditions that everybody’s familiar with, hypertension, high cholesterol, fatty liver, high triglycerides irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, the long, long list of common chronic conditions. So, if you go to a doctor and you have a high blood sugar in the diabetic range, he tells you to cut your fat, eat more healthy whole grains, go to a diabetes educator who tells you the same, increase your carbohydrate intake, your blood sugar goes higher. They put you on Metformin, then Byetta injections and FARXIGA, and then insulin injections.
And by the way, when you get to the insulin step, you gain an enormous amount of weight because insulin is the hormone of fat deposition and an inhibitor of fat mobilization. And so, you get fatter and more diabetic, being taken care of by the doctor who’s treating your blood sugars. The path I would take is say, let’s eliminate the food that raise blood sugar and cause insulin resistance, grains and sugars. Let’s address the common nutrients that are deficient in a modern life like vitamin D because we live indoors.
Magnesium because we drink filtered water. Iodine because we’re often not coastal. Address the disruption of the microbiome, which is everywhere now. And what you see is a type two diabetic become non-diabetic and thereby no longer exposed to the excess risk for blindness heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, amputations, kidney failure, gastroparesis and early death.
So, we in effect add eight years of life, on average, to a person by making them non-diabetic. No diabetic treatment can make such a claim. In fact, even if you have good control by their standards on multiple drugs, you are still exposed to lots of risk for heart disease, kidney failure, et cetera. So, that’s the kind of stark distinction there is between treating a phenomena of a disease and addressing the factors that allow a disease to emerge in the first place.
I think the doctor is good at dispensing drugs, doing acute and catastrophic care, critical care, doing procedures. That’s what they’re good at. But if you asked a doctor about how do I improve my immunity, let’s say, against a virus, they’re going to say stupid things.
Dr. William Davis
Lee: Yeah, you are making the point that when you are sick, healthcare often comes in and gives you an extra kick off the cliff. It waits until you’re at the cliff edge, then intervenes and then it gives you an extra kick. And then once you have one chronic disease, you tend to get another chronic disease and another chronic disease because, I don’t think they’re actual diseases, if we could blueprint the molecular level, I think they’re just manifestations of the same underlying root cause pretty much of a chronic disease.
Bill: And use of drugs leads to use of more drugs because you have to use more drugs to treat the side effects or consequences of the other drugs.
Lee: Yeah. My mother was on 40 pills per day. And I remember one of the pills she was on was to stop her being sick from the pills, 40 tablets a day. And actually, I’ll take a sigh here because it’s emotionally stressing, but I’ll share with you something personal. And one of the reasons I switched from telecoms into this domain and now this podcast and community I’m building is because of what I witnessed with my parents. And in this case, I’m describing my mother who was on 40 tablets a day.
With an engineering mindset and computer science mindset, I’ve been going back over the years and analyzing what took place with her after hospital and visits to health care and what was done. And wow, she was definitely pushed off the cliff. And as soon as she got rheumatoid arthritis, I would have recognized something was not going right to begin with. And then she go HRT, which was a disaster and then a hysterectomy, another disaster. It was just one thing piling against another.
Similar with my father, but I’ll leave that for now. Earlier you were saying that you can throw more money at healthcare, but mortality will actually increase, if I understood what you correctly. And it reminds me of a previous guest Travis Christofferson, whose latest book is Curable. And in that book and on the podcast, he mentioned that if you look at data, places where you had more healthcare per capita, when the spending went up, actually the more people’s lives became shorter.
So, it backs up what you said, throwing more money at it. And that’s the other thing curious about healthcare, all other industries achieve more efficiency over time, but healthcare is the only one that spends more, and adopts more technologies but doesn’t seem to have any efficiency gains.
Bill: Absolutely. Part of the problem is healthcare insurance is inserted into the space between a patient and the healthcare system. So, if we had that same system, say, for your car where the auto mechanic could just jack up prices because it was covered by insurance, you wouldn’t have to pay, but you wouldn’t pay, say, $200 for a tune-up. You’d probably pay several thousand dollars for a tune-up. Because you would say, “I only had to pay my deductible. I didn’t have to pay the full $2,000.”
So, there’s a lot of other intermediaries in this process. But once again, the bottom line here is, the doctor is not telling you, the hospital is not telling you, the big pharma executive is not telling you, that magnificent health is achievable with little to no drugs. I used to be a type two diabetic myself, Lee, about 25, 26 years ago.
I did that because I went low fat on a vegetarian diet while I was jogging three to five miles a day and I didn’t understand why in the world I became a diabetic. Well, I’m no longer diabetic on nothing. And I have perfect blood sugar values, hemoglobin A1C, et cetera. The vast majority of people with… I pick on type two diabetes because that is a driver of growth for big pharma and for the healthcare industry. Because, as you know, just in the U.S alone, there’s 103,000,000 type two diabetics and prediabetics.
Big Pharma hears ka-ching, ka-ching because it’s a growth industry, double digit growth. And that’s why they’re coming out with all these new drugs when the reality is, 90% of type two diabetics can be non-diabetic if given the right information. And that information, by the way, will not come from the American Diabetes Association.
Lee: I was glad to see Virta Health raise so much money fairly recently.
Bill: Yeah. Using the ketogenic diet for type two diabetics. Yeah. There’s some issues in there.
Lee: It definitely is a good intervention when people are quite within the first few years into type two diabetes. I mean, you can get a great majority of those out of type two diabetes with a ketogenic diet.
Bill: Yeah. I would go farther though, Lee, because a ketogenic diet works upfront. There is indeed a drop in triglycerides, there’s at least partial, not total reversal of insulin resistance in the liver, reduction of fatty liver, there’s reduction of VLDL particles, reduction of small LDL particles that lead to heart disease. There’s a rise in HDL, there’s a reduction in blood pressure. But then, several months into it, there’s a shift in microbiome composition. There are good things like [inaudible 00:17:56] Akkermansia and Parabacteroides, but there’s also narrowing the species diversity.
And then you may remember this with the Atkins diet. There’s a parallel experience. People with the Atkins diet, very low carb, did great, lost weight, et cetera, had all those metabolic improvements. But then typically a year, 18 months into it, there was a drop in HDL, rise in triglycerides, return of fatty liver to some degree, return of insulin resistance, constipation.
Now we know that there’s a massive disruption of the microbiome and there’s also very good data to tell us that people who stay on long-term ketosis are exposed to kidney stones, a very high likelihood, occasional cardiomyopathies, heart muscle diseases, osteoporosis, osteopenia, and probably diverticular disease and colon cancer risk, not to mention a dysbiotic-mediated changes in pancreas, gallbladder, et cetera.
So, ketosis is a physiologic phenomena that’s natural like stress. But just like stress, unremitting long-term ketosis is asking for a lot of trouble. I’m seeing that now. People are coming to me with long-term complications of ketosis, just as you would with long-term complications of unremitting stress. So, I’m trying to tell people that a ketogenic diet is a nice start, but you’ll be paving a path to disaster long-term. You can’t stop at diet in the modern world because we have vitamin D deficiency that’s rampant. We have magnesium deficiency from drinking filtered water. We have lack of iodine. We have lack of Omega-3 fatty acids because no one wants to eat brains of animals anymore.
And then we have a massive problem of SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, that I thought, Lee, was a rare thing now that we have been looking for it. And there’s also a consumer device called the AIRE device that you can use at home. And it talks to your smartphone via Bluetooth. And it tells you whether you have SIBO or not. What we’re seeing now is an epidemic of SIBO on a par with the obesity and overweight epidemic.
We’re talking about two thirds, three quarters of Americans, that’s just U.S, have this condition. It’s much larger worldwide, of course. This disruption of bowel flora with proliferation of unhealthy species that have ascended up into the ileum, jejunum, duodenum and stomach, and increase intestinal permeability and release their byproducts from cellular turnover into the bloodstream, the process called metabolic endotoxemia. And that’s why we see now SIBO expressed as the aches and pains of fibromyalgia, skin rashes and rosacea.
Lee: I didn’t want to divert there so early, but because you’ve went into it quite a bit, I will jump in on this topic. So, when it comes to SIBO, my previous girlfriend, young, she must have been, I don’t know, 21 at the time. I said to her, “I think you’ve got SIBO.” And I said, “Hey, I’ll order a test for you.” And I think it was like $200. “And I’ll order a test for myself as a reference, because I don’t think I have SIBO. We ordered the two tests, blew in eight test tubes.
Bill: Sorry about that.
Lee: No problem. We blew in eight test tubes, if I remember correctly. And yeah, right enough came back, she has SIBO and I don’t. And that’s someone who’s just 21, had a very healthy lifestyle. So, if you think that there’s been a rise in SIBO cases, do you have any idea what’s behind them?
Bill: I think it’s, once again, a whole long list of factors, even in young people, Lee. So, exposure to antibiotics as infants, fewer babies being breastfed, which is a huge problem. More babies being delivered by C-section and C-section is accompanied by peri-procedural antibiotics, over consumption of sugars, the grains, taking PPI drugs like Aciphex and Protonix and Prilosec that causes SIBO. Taking the nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and Naproxen that causes SIBO.
There’s probably many, many other causes, herbicide, pesticide, residues in food, residues of antibiotics in animals given to accelerate growth. So, there’s probably several dozen causes that can spiral all the changed bowel flora. But the end result is this perforation of species like E. coli, Campylobacter, pseudomonas, Citrobacter and many others that are colon organisms. They’re normal residence of the colon, but they proliferate, they out-muscle the healthy bacterial species and then they climb up the gastrointestinal tract.
But I think that one of the biggest revelations over the last few years is that there was always an uncertainty. How could 30 feet of bacteria, SIBO, export their effects to the skin, or to the joints, or to the brain, or to the heart, to the coronary arteries, to the pancreas, to the gallbladder. But it’s now becoming clear that one of the big drivers is this process of metabolic endotoxemia.
I hate that name and I wish it was called something more like microbial endotoxemia, but all it means, so bacteria only live for minutes to hours, they don’t live 70 years like us. And so, there’s huge turnover of these trillions of organisms who live and die, reproduce and die. When they die, many of the bacterial species release their byproducts into the bloodstream. They’re absorbed into the bloodstream. And you can record many fold higher level of these byproducts in your bloodstream, such as lipopolysaccharide. And this is enormously inflaming. Another process occurred, and it’s not quite clear how.
Lee: Are you meaning leaky gut?
Bill: Leaky gut, uh-huh. So, the two most common causes for so-called leaky gut would be SIBO by an uncertain mechanism, and the gliadin protein of wheat and grains. That science is well sorted out. So, the combination is a very, very bad combination to have SIBO and to consume grains. And that’s the conversion, the perfect storm we now have in modern people. And that’s why we have rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Parkinsonism, Alzheimer’s dementia. It’s not to say that these are the sole cause, but they’re major contributors.
Lee: With the Undoctored book, you opened it with, you quote with a quotation of Steve Jobs, “I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning.” Why did you open the Undoctored book with that quotation?
Bill: What I was getting at, Lee, is I’m seeing this wonderful thing called collaboration online. If this was 20 years ago and you had lupus, systemic lupus, and you wanted to talk to other people with that condition, good luck. In your town, you’d probably find nobody or one person, the doctor wouldn’t help you, and you’ll be on your own.
In this day and age, you can find support groups, you can find Facebook pages devoted to that condition. You can find wikis on this. So, it’s the age of collaboration. And what I’m seeing is, when people collaborate without the doctor, they come to conclusions, and answers, and solutions far faster than the doctor does.
Lee: I’m sure you’ll agree that health is a spectrum that can be extended, that can be optimized, and it can have a big impact. What I find surprising was I thought I was well, and then I would reach a new level and go, “Well, I don’t know why I thought I was well.” And then another level beyond that. And I tell you, it might seem really simplistic, but the two biggest changes and simplest that made me feel more well many years ago, was supplementing with D3 and magnesium, two supplements.
So, you agree we can be more well. In fact, it seems that many people have become really used to feeling lethargic. For example, before taking magnesium, I spent 10 years where I would always, if I sat down, I would say, “Oh, give me a minute. Give me a minute before getting back up again.” If somebody wanted something, my daughter wanted water, it’d be, “Oh, just give me a minute, give me a minute,” and then I would eventually get up.
And once I started supplementing with magnesium, I’ve never had lethargy again. I don’t even think about it. I just don’t have it anymore. And also going to in the last 15 months or so is aging, anti-aging and longevity. And I’ve came to see how much vitamin D3, zinc and magnesium is needed for anti-aging properties. So, it’s not just to feel more well.
Bill: Absolutely. Yeah. I also see synergies among these things by addressing the factors deficient in modern life that when you correct them, wonderful things happen as you experience with the magnesium, say. But when you correct as many as you can, there’s also a synergy that develops, a synergy I don’t fully understand. But you’re right, it gives you a level of health that you didn’t think was possible anymore. And you wonder how in the world you got along all those years before you knew these things.
There’s a bacteria, Lactobacillus reuteri, named after the German discoverer, Gerhard Reuter, that was present in most Western people up until the mid or late 20th century. But all the things that have changed our bowel flora, antibiotics, failure to breastfeed, C-section birth, other prescription drugs, chlorinated water, all kinds of things have changed bowel flora.
One of the casualties of all those changes is this species, Lactobacillus reuteri. Now, you can get Lactobacillus reuteri from a company called BioGaia. They’ll sell you two strains in a tablet meant for infants because they have good evidence to show that when children, infants, get these two bacterial species and strains, it’s strain-specific, children experience less infantile colic. They experience less regurgitation of formula or breast milk.
And so, these tablets are meant for children, but they’re very low counts, a hundred million of each species, which sounds like a lot, which is trivial when it comes to bacteria. So, I made yogurt. It’s not really yogurt. It’s really a bacterial count amplification system. And I tweaked the process. So, unlike conventional commercial yogurt that they ferment for four hours. And so, fermentation yields an exponential rise in bacteria. But one bacterium becomes two, becomes four, becomes eight, and the doubling time of this species is three hours.
So, after four hours, you’ve got almost nothing. So, I ferment it for 36 hours at a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, this bacteria likes human body temperature, in the presence of prebiotic fibers. We have a small clinical trial plan which has been postponed because of the pandemic. We can’t be having participants in the trial, but we want to see how far some of the observations made in mice include a quadrupling of testosterone in elderly mice, and a tripling of growth hormone.
So, I want to know if that applies to humans. So we have a small trial plan, but we’ve just been delayed. But I believe it does because we’re all experiencing these effects by consuming this yogurt.
Lee: The species that you mentioned of, that’s a lost species, correct?
Bill: That’s the species that most modern people have lost. What’s not clear, Lee, so there’s many strains. When we’re playing with bacteria and trying to get these very specific effects, we have to be very mindful of strains. So, for instance, you have, E. coli, your listeners have E. coli, I’ve got E. coli in our guts. But what if you eat lettuce that’s contaminated with cow manure with another strain of E. coli? You can die of kidney failure and sepsis, same species, different strain.
So, strain can actually be a life death difference. So, when you’re playing with something like Lactobacillus reuteri or any other bacterial species for that matter, you want to know the strain. In this case, the strain is from BioGaia, these are cumbersome names, but it’s the DSM 17938 and the ATCC PTA 6475 strains.
Lee: Okay. And I think that that strain is used in industrial farming. I’m not sure if you’re aware, because animals face a lot of stress in industrial farming, and I believe they give them the strain and it helps them overcome this stress and keep gaining weight in those harsh environments. Are you aware of that?
Bill: Yeah. Isn’t that cool? This organism is endlessly fascinating. Another aspect, I don’t mean to make this all about reuteri but-
Healthcare has nothing to do with health. It has to do with building the bottom line.
Dr. William Davis
Lee: It’s maybe not what we’re “supposed” to cover, but it’s interesting. So please.
Bill: One of the other aspects of reuteri is that, so most healthy bacteria prefer the colon. They prefer the liquid, the pH, et cetera of the colon. Reuteri, oddly, prefers to colonize the ileum, jujenum, duodenum and stomach, the upper GI tract. Where it takes up residence and is an avid producer of what are called bacteriocins, which are natural peptide antibiotics effective against the organisms, the species of SIBO.
We can only speculate. We don’t have the data to prove this yet. Is the loss of reuteri that may have been part of the cause of social isolation, et cetera. Is it also part of the explanation for the huge uptake in SIBO? And should it be part of the SIBO prevention efforts because of this capacity colonize the upper GI tract and produce bacteriocins? I think it is, but we have yet to prove that.
Lee: In the face of COVID-19, well, have you made any changes to your regime in terms of supplementation, or testing, or anything to boost your immune system?
Bill: You know, Lee, in my programs, where we eliminate all wheat and grains and supplement vitamin D, anecdotally though on a very large scale, many millions of people, we find that viruses, including the flu, are virtually nonexistent. We almost never get sick. Even if everybody around you is coughing, sniffling, and has fevers, you almost never get sick. Or if you do get sick, it’s minimal. It might be 12 hours, 24 hours, just feeling a little bit off.
Rarely do people in my programs actually get the full blown virus. That’s one thing. So, vitamin D is a big part of that, but I think the reduction metabolic endotoxemia from elimination of the gliadin protein of wheat and grains is another big factor. But then another thing to know about is when you eliminate grains, you eliminate the phytates that bind all positively charged minerals in your gut and you poop them out in the toilet.
One of those minerals is zinc. So, by going grain-free, you, in effect, double your zinc absorption. And so, a lot of people are taking zinc hoping to force their immune system or prevent zinc deficiency. But I think the best way to prevent zinc deficiency is by not being exposed to grain phytates, in which case the zinc is really of marginal benefit in this lifestyle.
But then we’ve taken it further. There are several bacterial organisms in the Lactobacillus genus that can augment the immune response, but the evidence is especially strong for a strain called Lactobacillus casei, Shirota, strain Shirota. This is an old strain. It’s been known for almost a century, but the evidence has accumulated. If you get exposed to a large number of these casei Shirota bacteria, you cut your potential for respiratory infections, viral respiratory infections by about 50%. This has been shown in several clinical trials, randomized clinical trials.
And if you do get a respiratory virus, it cuts the duration by 50% or more and it reduces a number of inflammatory markers. So very good evidence. The twist in this is, once again, it’s patented and the patent is held by a company who sells it to as a little wacky product called Yakult. It’s from Japan.
Lee: Have you done any testing, microbiome testing, for example, the Viome, to see if these yogurts do increase the strains?
Bill: So, not that specific kind of study, but they have been done.
Lee: I mean, if you eat it, does it actually stay in the gut?
Bill: It does, but only about no longer than three weeks. So, you’re hitting on a very fundamental uncertainty in the whole world of probiotics. So, if I take Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, which is an excellent strain known to have all kinds of wonderful effects, including acceleration of recovery after antibiotics with diarrhea. If I take Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG at high counts, it will colonize the lower GI tract for only a few weeks and then it disappears.
Likewise, reuteri will colonize the upper GI tract for only about three weeks at most, it’s undetectable at three weeks. And likewise, virtually all strains we now use as presumptive probiotics. So, there’s something fundamentally missing here. Why can mom give you a bacterium like Bifidobacteria infantis and it stays in your gut for life, unless it’s eradicated by antibiotic or something else, yet we take it as a probiotic and it only takes up residence temporarily. So, there’s something we don’t know.
My opinion on this, though, is that what we’re not doing is giving people a collection. I don’t know how many there are, 7, 10, 25, what I call foundational species. These are bacteria that the mere presence of these foundational species supports the presence and life of other bacteria. It makes their persistence more likely. I think one of those is Akkermansia muciniphila and there’s-
Lee: Maybe spell [crosstalk 00:36:40].
Bill: Akkermansia muciniphila, mucin-loving. That by the way, is the species that proliferates in ketonic diets, ketogenic diets. And oddly over-proliferates on ketogenic diets, because if you, or I should say, any diet in which you’re not taking in a lot of prebiotic fibers, including ketogenic diets. Having a lot of Akkermansia 4 or 5% of your total microbiome is a good thing. That’s what reduces seizure potential, probably in kids who have intractable seizures.
It reduces blood sugar and insulin on a par with diabetes drugs. Very powerful, reduces fatty liver, it supports the intestinal lining. But when you deprive your bowel flora of prebiotic fibers, a lot of healthy species dropping numbers are die off. Akkermansia has a survival advantage. It’s Akkermansia muciniphila. It loves human mucus. It starts to feed on the human mucus instead. And then it increases because it’s able to survive, and has less competition. And when it reaches about 8 to 9% of the total microbiome, it causes colitis because it’s eroded your mucus lining.
So, it’s an example of something that’s good at a moderate count, very destructive at a high count. That’s one of the things that happens with prolonged ketosis. But I think that Akkermansia is one of those, what I call, foundational species that when present in good numbers and supported by such things as polyphenols, prebiotic fibers and not allowed to over-proliferate, it supports the growth, probably of dozens of other bacterial species. And I think that’s the key missing-
Lee: And hopefully positive species rather than opportunistic.
Lee: Would you agree that most people have gut dysbiosis?
Bill: Absolutely. In fact, I think we’d be hard pressed to find anybody who’s got what we might regard as eubiosis or healthy bowel. We don’t know what that looks like. If we compare our bowel flora, of course, and this has been done, to the Hadza of Tanzania or the Matses of Peru, or the Yanomami of the Brazilian rain forest, or some other primitive cultures who are untainted by antibiotics and modern foods, et cetera, our bowel flora looks nothing like theirs does.
And oddly, their bowel flora being on separate continents look very similar. So, the presumption is, by people who do these studies, that their bowel flora may represent what bowel flora is supposed to look like, or at least what it looked like in the stone age is the paleolithic era. And that we have this, perhaps, adaptive, but also maybe maladaptive type of bowel flora. So, nobody really knows.
Lee: Do you do any kind of functional medicine type testing of the guts, because I’m really big on measurement and seeing things and seeing things change? And I know we have uBiome, but as you know it’s no longer in existence.
Lee: But there’s other companies doing testing of bowel flora at different levels, and Viome is quite a popular service. And then you’ve got your classical functional medicine labs for checking for gut dysbiosis. Do you do any testing yourself?
Bill: Only infrequently just because of costs that is to my audience. So, we have used the Genova, we have used Viome.
Lee: Yeah, I’ve done that also, the Genova. I think the Genova is very good.
Bill: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think there’s advance that need to be made in clarification on the meaning of some of these things. But I think we have to do these things because the more we do, the clearer the picture becomes. The one objection I have to some of these testing is the advice they give you. The advice they give you is pretty bad.
For instance, my son’s girlfriend has horrible celiac disease, took 11 years, 13 years, something like that for diagnosis. She finally did it. Of course, she went on a gluten-free diet, which is a disaster because no one should be eating the gluten-free processed foods. But anyway, took a long path back to health. She submitted a specimen for Viome and she had narrowed species diversity as you’d expect.
She had proliferation of a lot of SIBO type organisms and a lack of healthy probiotic type species. But the advice was, eat lots of healthy whole grains. So, there’s still lots of advance that need to be made in what these things mean. But I agree with you. We’ve got to start somewhere.
Lee: And what other tests do you do yourself, blood tests, et cetera?
Bill: Well, a lot of my background, Lee, came from this idea of trying to stop or reverse coronary atherosclerosis from the perspective of coronary artery calcium scores. So, after my mom died of sudden cardiac death, after her two vessel successful angioplasty, I started to look for ways to identify the risk for heart… I was doing angioplasty and all that stuff myself, but I wanted a way to identify somebody at risk for those kinds of things, heart attack, et cetera, a year ahead of time, 5 years, 10 years.
And the only device then and now, this was 25 years ago, was a CT heart scan that generates a coronary calcium score, because calcium occupies 20% of all plaque volume. And so, if you have two cubic millimeters of calcium, you have 10 cubic millimeters of total atherosclerotic plaque. So, calcium is a very reliable index of total atherosclerotic plaque volume. The more plaque you have, the more potential you have for plaque rupture, that’s heart attack.
The naysayers, they say things like, “That doesn’t show you have blockage,” but blockage is what monetizes coronary disease. And most heart attacks have nothing to do with progressive increase in blockage. It has to do with rupture that just requires moments, like a little volcano in your arteries.
And so, the CT heart scan, I went up in Milwaukee where I am, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And we started scanning people. We were one of the first scanners in the Midwest, one of the first scanners in the country. We were scanning people left and right 20 something years ago. And lo and behold, heart diseases everywhere. You get results as a coronary calcium score, zero is normal up to thousands. So, I’ve got teachers, businessmen, engineers, housewives coming in with scores of 300 to 500, which we know to be moderate to high risk.
We help contribute to these data. If we do nothing, those scores go up on average 25% per year. At that time and today, what my colleagues call optimal medical therapy, if you put somebody on optimal medical therapy, aspirin, a high dose statin drugs, statin cholesterol drug, a beta blocker, and a low fat diet and exercise program, we help publish these data. Heart scan score goes up 25% per year, has zero impact on the rate of increase in coronary artery calcium scores.
So, I’ve got people freaking out on me because they’re having score of 500, becomes 650 or 700. And progressive rise you’re a step closer to heart attack and death. When you get to about a thousand, by the way, your risk for heart attack and death is about 15% per year. So, it’s a very scary thing. My colleagues, many of whom are unscrupulous would say, “Let’s do the real test, a heart catheterization to see if you need a stent or bypass surgery.
And I saw many, many people put through unnecessary procedure. And that goes on even today, even though the science is clear, you’re not benefiting that person at all. But it took some years to try to figure out how to gain control over the progressive increase in coronary calcium scores and thereby risk. But one of the major causes is an excess of small LDL particles as revealed by lipoprotein testing such as NMR lipoprotein testing. So, while people with coronary disease almost always have bland LDL cholesterols, they virtually always have a very scary excess of small LDL particles like 1800 or 2,400 nanomoles per liter particle count per volume.
And so I asked, what foods cause small LDL particles? Was only two groups of foods: Grains and sugar. So, we took grains and sugar out of the diet. Small LDL drops from say 1900 to zero or other low number and all these other metabolic transformations occurred. And that’s when I also learned that people get rid of the rheumatoid arthritis, lost weight and had all those other benefits of going wheat and grain-free.
But then I added vitamin D, it was the first time I actually saw a heart scan scores plummet, actually drop. Heart scans who were at 900 becomes 600, something like that. And then added some other components. Of course, fish oil, magnesium, because it’s absent from most people’s drinking water, correction of the microbiome. And now we see people left and right reducing their heart scan scores.
So, the testing we start with and that kind of approach is NMR lipoproteins, a lipoprotein(a), at least once, a genetically-determined factor. We check for all factors relevant to sugar, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, hemoglobin A1C, 25 hydroxy vitamin D to see your vitamin D status, thyroid measures, because thyroid dysfunction is another epidemic problem.
We check a TSH, check a free T3, free T4 thyroid antibodies and reverse T3. And just that simple menu gives you enormous insight, not just to coronary risk, but into metabolic risks. There’s plenty more you can do. You can do an IL-6, IL-1 beta, TNF alpha. You can do all kinds of things, but if you just do the basic things and interpret it properly, you have given people huge control over health.
Lee: I wonder if you agree here. I spent significant sums of money. I mean, it’s in the many tens of thousands running over tests I never needed. And after playing for many years, I came to the conclusion that you could infer most of it, the great majority of it, simply by testing triglycerides over HDL, that ratio, and testing A1C. That was the only three measures I needed.
Bill: Absolutely. Huge insights into those numbers, which as you know, most physicians pay almost no attention to except insofar as to say things like, “Your hemoglobin A1C is 5.6. You’re good because you don’t need insulin or drugs yet.” But never asked, “Why do you have a high hemoglobin A1C? What are you eating? What’s your blood sugar like? What’s your insulin resistance? What can we do to address your insulin resistance? Should we address vitamin D, magnesium, Omega-3 fatty acids and your SIBO to correct your insulin resistance?” So, you’re right. Those three simple values are packed with a huge amount of information.
Lee: So, cheap to perform. And so, what you hadn’t said explicitly is, first, you’re not a follower of the heart diet hypothesis, you eat fat and it clogs your heart and makes you die. So, okay. You’re not subscribing to that. In fact, you’re going the other way. You’re saying it’s actually the processed carbohydrates and sugars are driving heart disease, correct?
Bill: Absolutely because that’s how you get provocation of small LDL particles. So, small LDL particles, Lee, are odd. They’re poorly recognized by the liver so they’re not cleared very effectively. So, they persist for about five to seven days in the bloodstream as opposed to 24 hours of a large LDL particle caused by fat consumption.
It also is a source of the whole landscape of other abnormalities such as what are called postprandial after meal abnormalities. It’s the carbs that get to the liver and are converted to triglycerides that enter the bloodstream so people who follow low-fat diets have high triglycerides, low HDL, small, ineffective, non-protective HDL. They have large VLDL particles that cause heart disease. And they also have fatty liver, because some of those triglycerides produced by the liver from carbs never make it out of the liver and they stay stuck in the liver.
By the way, one of the newest insights in the fatty liver is that SIBO, huge contributor to fatty liver because when the portal circulation drains the intestines, that’s the part of the circulation draining the gastrointestinal tract, it drains directly into the liver. So, there’s about an 800% increase in the bacterial breakdown products by the lipopolysaccharide being delivered to the liver. And that is a huge insult to the liver and it’s one of the drivers of the inflammatory component of a fatty liver.
Lee: So, you mentioned the NMR cholesterol test, which is a high resolution cholesterol test. In Europe, you tend to get LIPOPRINT more, although I believe it’s available in the U.S. And so, I was testing, doing standard cholesterol panels up to five times per day every day, which might sound a bit crazy. And this went on for years. And I noticed that if I consumed even a quality bread, a sourdough bread, I noticed that my LDL, on high resolution panel anyway, I noticed that the LDL would actually go down, but the volume of damaged of small dense LDL would shoot up just by adding bread into my diet.
Now, if I eliminate all grains and so forth, all processed carbohydrates, then my LDL would go up but it would be the larger particles would go up and the small dense particles would go down. And if you look at the lipo print reports, it would say that it was not likely to be a cause of heart disease. The profile I would achieve on a high fat diet versus a diet which had healthy whole grains in it. So, I’m feeling support there. You might want to mention inflammation, because it’s inflammation that I understand it damages the particles. And so, what about high sensitivity C-reactive protein?
Bill: That’s useful. TNF alpha is useful, IL-10 is useful, IL-6 is useful. What you see though is so much of this is dietary and microbiome-driven. The conventional answer which is to me, it’s hard to believe that most of my colleagues believe that a high C-reactive protein mandates prescription for a statin drug like Crestor. That’s because of the corrupt Jupiter Study, sorry, in which was shown that people who have high levels, typically 3.0 milligrams per deciliter of C-reactive protein were at higher cardiovascular risk.
Well, the solution for that, of course, is not to administer a statin drug in this study that was funded by GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Crestor. The answer is to adjust the factors that cause inflammation. We know that grains are highly inflammatory, we know that sugar is highly inflammatory, we know that most fats are anti-inflammatory, except for the Omega-6 fraction. We know that dysbiosis and SIBO is hugely inflammatory. Lack of vitamin D is inflammatory, lack of Omega-3 fatty is inflammatory.
So, we address the factors that cause inflammation. So, in my several thousand patients, this anecdote though, C-reactive protein is typically zero or a minor value, 0.3 or something like that, by following these very natural logical anti-inflammatory health strategies.
Lee: And when it comes to magnesium, I remember, I think it was in the Undoctored book, you said you were on about 500 milligrams of elemental magnesium. And I don’t think most people know what elemental magnesium is. Do you wish to quickly introduce elemental magnesium? Because when people hear 500 milligrams they think, “Oh. Well, that’s what the tablet is. It says 500 mg on it.”
Bill: Right. So, I can’t recall the numbers precise, but let’s say you have a magnesium citrate tablet of 400 milligrams, only a little bit of that is magnesium. I fear exactly how much. It might be something like 30 something milligrams, something like that. The point is, you want to be mindful of the magnesium intake, not of the total weight of a tablet.
So, if it says magnesium malate 1,250 milligrams, that’s the weight of the magnesium plus the malic acid. You just want the weight of the magnesium. And they should specify that for you on the label. If they don’t, just don’t buy that product. So, getting a healthy intake of magnesium as you’ve experienced has wonderful effects. It has metabolic benefits like a reduction in blood pressure, it amplifies insulin sensitivity, it subdues heart rhythms, a whole bunch of great effects.
The challenge as you know with magnesium is absorption. So, in the hospital, if you came in with an unstable heart rhythm and you had a low magnesium, we could give you megadose intravenous magnesium, 3 or 4,000 milligrams because you don’t have a GI tract and diarrhea to deal with. When you take that kind of dose orally, you’d have flagrant diarrhea. So, we have to take these very low doses orally. But the problem is, most forms of magnesium are better laxatives than they are sources of magnesium. So, magnesium oxide is a lousy source of magnesium, but most people take that form.
So, one of the things, by the way, Lee, I’ve been doing is encouraging people to make their own magnesium water. This might be tough in Europe because of the availability of some of the products. But we do a reaction between the carbonic acid of carbonated water like Seltzer and the magnesium hydroxide of what we call in the U.S milk of magnesia, unflavored.
And you mix these two things together, you get a chemical reaction which yields water and magnesium bicarbonate. Magnesium bicarbonate is, by a long stretch, the most highly absorbed form of magnesium. I learned this lesson years ago when I had several people in my practice who had something called magnesium-losing nephropathies. And all that means is something happened to their kidneys that erased their ability to retain magnesium.
So, one woman, for instance, had it because she got exposed to the cancer drug, Cisplatin, that wiped out her kidney’s magnesium-retaining capacity. And she would lose so much magnesium that if she didn’t go to the ER or acute care every five to seven days, she would die of low magnesium. And so, this poor woman and these other people were tied to the healthcare system every five to seven days to get an intravenous infusion of magnesium.
Well, I wanted to get these people away from that. So, I used every form of magnesium and monitored every couple of days their magnesium levels. What I saw was no rise in magnesium on these magnesium supplements until I showed them how to make magnesium water. And it was the only thing that essentially got them free from intravenous magnesium. It kept their magnesium levels much higher.
I’ve seen that play out now in people who have migraine headaches, hypertension, heart rhythm disorders, or other conditions that are highly responsive to magnesium. That taking a tablet or capsule can take two years to raise your body level of magnesium. Magnesium water does it within weeks to months, much faster.
Lee: And there’s so much to ask here and so little time. I’ve heard you mention magnesium bicarbonate a few times in various places. And I think you’re the only person I’ve heard using the phrase magnesium bicarbonate. So, by magnesium bicarbonate, this is the magnesium water that you speak of that you’re saying you can make yourself?
Bill: Yes. So, recipes I’ve posted everywhere, in my Wheat Belly books, my Undoctored book, my Wheat Belly blog, my Undoctored blog. I put it everywhere I could. The challenge in Europe and Australia and elsewhere is I’m told that you don’t have access to this product called milk of magnesia. So, I’m not sure if there’s a workaround for you. If you can somehow get it shipped in. It’s an inexpensive product. It must not be flavored because the flavoring they use in that product blocks-
Lee: I remember [crosstalk 00:57:05] you could get hold of it. I don’t know about nowadays. I’ll take a look and I’ll provide all links in the show notes. So, one of the tests I do is magnesium RBC. My intracellular magnesium is virtually always low, and yet I’m taking three magnesium to four magnesium tablets a day, half a gram each of different bindings, be it threonate or oxide or citric or glycinate. I have a mixture. And I burn through magnesium, for some reason. Now, you mentioned other people burn through magnesium. Apart from the pill issue, remember I’m popping four a day here, what issue did they have? I’m just asking for free diagnostics.
Bill: I think a lot of the problems with magnesium come from, not in you but in people in general, from grain consumption, we’re once again back at that phytate question. So, what’s happened in the U.S and most of the parts of the world is, farmers and agricultural scientists are very mindful of pest resistance in their various strains of wheat and other grains, so they’ve chosen strains that have greater phytate content. Because it’s great as a pest-resistant maneuver.
But it’s also a very potent binder of any positively charged mineral. We’re told that of course you must eat healthy whole grains for fiber and vitamins and nutrients. But the actually opposite is true. Grains actually reduce your nutrition. Your magnesium level goes down, manganese, calcium, iron, zinc, and some others are actually substantially reduced. I’ve seen many, many people with iron deficiency anemia that are profound from eating grains.
So, a lot of the problems with magnesium come indirectly through grain consumption, phytates of grains. But then we have, once again, this issue with absorption. I think you’re experiencing this issue where you can take a lot of magnesium but the absorption is not very good. And that’s why I came up with this magnesium water recipe because magnesium bicarbonate is a far superior way to get your magnesium. It still takes some weeks to build up your magnesium, but it occurs much faster than the years required for other forms of magnesium.
Lee: I appreciate that. I’ll take a look at that. So, you’d mentioned CAC scores and I’d been considering getting a CAC score. And then I became concerned because of radiation and thought, “Hey, I’ll hold off on this because it’s quite high levels for the CT.” And to help counteract general everyday EMF stresses, I started to take in molecular hydrogen tablets, which give eight parts per million. And each tablet gives you 80 milligrams, allegedly, of elemental magnesium also. Although I’ve been taking it for some time, and again, I don’t see a rise in magnesium RBC. Are you aware of molecular hydrogen? [crosstalk 01:00:19].
Bill: Never heard of it being used for health purposes, no.
Lee: Okay. I’ll need to send you a link and I’ll put a link in the show notes.
Lee: I see we’re running out of time here, so let me just jump to a few quick questions. So, you did the Wheat Belly book, which was one of the best-selling books in the health space, or if not the best-selling book in the diet category, if I recall. And then you did Undoctored. Are you working on any other books?
Bill: I’m working on a book about the microbiome. The pandemic is not helping things. Publishers are running scared. The microbiome, Lee, I think is so enormously under-appreciated. It’s becoming clear just what a big factor this is. But I think it’s bigger than most people think.
Lee: Okay. And are you able to share any titles at all or give any hints?
Bill: No, because I don’t have a contract yet. Nope. And we’re still negotiating it right now.
Lee: Okay. Okay. And when it comes to, I’m sitting here on the table and I’ve got this molecular hydrogen in my hand, but I also have iodine. So, while I have you here, I take this Detoxadine, but I think you recommend the classic Lugol’s, I think you pronounce it, which is different [crosstalk 01:01:39] iodine is Detoxadine.
Bill: Yeah. I’ve actually discouraged people from using Lugol’s because it’s a very high potency. There’s a weird conversation. There’s no question, we all need iodine. No question. The RDA in the U.S is 150 micrograms per day, but that’s the amount they arrived at by asking how much do you need to not have a goiter and large thyroid gland? I asked different question, what quantity of iodine is required and what form for ideal thyroid health and performance?
And I think, I think it’s in the range of 350 to 500 micrograms. We’ve never seen iodine toxicity, we’ve never seen residual thyroid dysfunction at that level. My preferred form is Kelp because it has a mixture of iodine forms like potassium iodide, potassium iodate, sodium iodide, sodium iodate, and iodinated proteins and molecular iodine. Whereas most preparations like Lugol’s or potassium iodide drops are just that potassium iodide. And it’s served us very well. No toxicity, great effects.
But there’s a peculiar conversation in the U.S where people are taking megadoses of iodine and making all sorts of claims. One, there’s no rationale for it. And two, I think what they’re really doing is inadvertently treating SIBO because if you take megadose iodine that exceeds your gastrointestinal capacity for iodine absorption, it acts as an antibacterial, and you’re treating SIBO. So, I think that’s why they’re seeing some great effects. They don’t know that they’re treating SIBO and they think it’s from the iodine per se, and it’s not.
Lee: Some actually say it ruins their health taking too much iodine. They claim it caused them Hashimoto’s.
Bill: That also. And I’ve seen lots of people who develop hypothyroidism from megadose iodine. It could be as low as 6,000 micrograms. And those people with megadose iodine, they’re taking 20,000 to 30,000, which we know, this is not in question, we know causes toxicity. Like people on the Island of Hokkaido in Japan who eat brown seaweed, Brown Kelp, they get iodine toxicity galore. They have TSH’s of 20 or 30 or 40, and they have massive impairment of their health. They have to stop eating the seaweed. So, we know that megadose iodine is toxic. So, I’m just a bit scared that these people are falling into that silly argument.
Lee: Yeah. I also blood test for iodine and I also take Kelp.
Bill: Oh, great. Great.
Lee: Yeah, because the good thing about Kelp is you don’t have to worry about heavy metals.
Bill: Right. And then there’s this conversation, I think the full spectrum of iodine’s benefits has not been fully charted. We know that iodine is concentrated by the thyroid, of course, but also by the salivary glands, by breast tissue, and by the gastrointestinal tract. And it’s not quite clear if different organs require different forms of iodine. So, there’s a Toronto group that has some evidence to show that the breast tissue prefers molecular iodine, I2, but the thyroid does fine with potassium iodide. So, there may be some differences indeed. So, I think we stack the odds in our favor by taking something like Kelp that has a variety of different forms.
Lee: I agree with you. And it’s like magnesium in different parts of the body prefer different bindings of magnesium, be it the heart, the brain. [crosstalk 01:04:56].
Lee: I take it you also take K2. I just had to throw it in because, I don’t know if we mentioned vitamin K2.
Bill: Oh, I’ve talked about K2. I have some reservations. I think the evidence is pretty good that it supports bone health because it’s used as a drug in Japan, so it does have an effect on bone health. The cardiovascular end is very poor. That is, we have the Rotterdam Heart Study, which is an observational study, which is like saying we have almost no evidence at all, but there is a prospective study being conducted right now, K2 versus placebo. So, we await those to really find out if there’s actually any K2 advantage.
I can tell you, when I tried to help people stop increasing their heart scan scores, vitamin D, huge effects, K2, zero effect. So, I’m not convinced K2 is that necessarily. I also am concerned that, one of the things we’re seeing, Lee, is that bacteria, healthy probiotic species are wonderful sources of numerous nutrients such as B1, B2, B6, B9, B12, folic acid and K2.
So, several species have now been identified that convert K1 in green vegetables like kale and spinach to K2. So, is the apparent need or benefit, if there is any, to K2 really a reflection of dysbiosis or SIBO? So, that’s one of my reservations. But that all said, there’s no harm in taking K2, of course. Like MK-7 180 micrograms a day.
Lee: That’s appreciated, and I greatly appreciate your time.
Bill: My pleasure.
Lee: Weston Price’s Activator X, that was K2?
Bill: So they speculate, yes.
Lee: It’s a speculation. Okay. Thank you very much, and thank you so much for your time.
Bill: Thank you, Lee. My pleasure.