The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #92 - Dr. Steven Gundry
Dr. Steven Gundry MD is one of the world’s top cardiothoracic surgeons and a pioneer in nutrition, as well as medical director at The International Heart and Lung Institute Center for Restorative Medicine. He has spent the last two decades studying the microbiome and now helps patients use diet and nutrition as a key form of treatment. He is author of many New York times best selling books including The Plant Paradox, and The Plant Paradox Cookbook, and The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age and released The Energy Paradox: What to Do When Your Get-Up-and-Go Has Got Up and Gone in March 2021. He also is the founder of GundryMD, a line of wellness products and supplements.
20 years ago, Dr. Gundry decided to prevent health issues. He retired as a cardiologist to teach patients how to eat, guiding them on how to get ahead of the problem, not fixing it after the fact. He shifted towards a more proactive approach to health through food and diet changes. At his waitlist-only clinics in California, Dr. Gundry has successfully treated tens of thousands of patients suffering from autoimmune disorders, diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases with a protocol that detoxes the cells, repairs the gut, and nourishes the body. He is also host of The Dr. Gundry Podcast.
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8:30 - The Energy Paradox: the beginning
10:15 - fatigue & malaise
11:15 - the myths surrounding fatigue
12:25 - Adrenal Resistance
14:30 - Cellular Energy Crisis; How do we generate energy
20:25 - Coupling In ATP
21:45 - The warburg effect
23:10 - The origin of Mitochondrial DNA
27:25 - what is the mitochondria's preferred fuel?
30:00 - Processed and ultra Processed foods
31:30 - Fuel processing in the mitochondria
32:25 - Mono-Diets
34:40 - failing at mono-diets
35:20 - the drinking man's diet
36:35 - the ketogenic diet
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41:00 - postbiotics
43:15 - Hydrogen Sulfide
47:00 - Deuterium depleted water
48:40 - gas in the gut vs the blood
50:00 - damage to the gut & Autoimmune disorders
51:35 - Antibiotic Usage
52:50 - glyphosate
54:55 - plant based meat products
55:30 - vitamin d deficiency
56:10 - UVB exposure from tanning beds
57:10 - the hadza energy paradox
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1:04:00 - Inflammation and overwhelming the mitochondria
1:05:25 - percentage of energy need met by ketones
1:06:00 - exogenous vs endogenous fuel
1:08:00 - free fatty acids converting to ketones
1:10:45 - studying calorie restriction and longevity
1:15:50 - the benefit of a short eating window
1:17:40 - the literature on lectins
Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends, welcome back to the show. I am so incredibly thrilled and excited about the conversation that I am about to have. It is a long, long time coming. I'm going to tell a little bit of my personal story to give some context for today's conversation. I've been, as you guys know, involved in the whole health diet sphere for a long time, and a long time ago, before the whole carnivore diet or anything like that was the thing, I had a little discovery where I realized if I cut all plants out of my diet and just ate chicken and coconut oil, [laughs] I experienced a lot of health benefits. I had a growing suspicion of plants. That said, that was not maintainable in the long term, and I got a more nuanced opinion of plants as I ultimately brought them back in.
Needless to say, I was at a really good place to receive a concept known as The Plant Paradox that became very, very popular a while ago by the fabulous Dr. Steven Gundry, and it really, really tapped into what I had been suspicious of for a long time, that there were potentially compounds in plants that may or may not be causing a lot of health issues for a lot of people. Since then, I even developed a top iTunes app for people with food sensitivities, which includes lectins, which Dr. Gundry talked about. That enough would make me ridiculously excited to talk to this man.
On top of that, he just released a new book called The Energy Paradox: What to Do When Your Get-Up-and-Go Has Got Up and Gone. Friends, oh, my goodness, words cannot describe how excited this book made me. It basically takes the concept of something that a lot of us experience all the time, and that's this idea of chronic fatigue. Often, the idea of fatigue, even in the holistic health world, it's seen as a symptom or something that goes along with some other underlying health condition. It's rarely addressed as the source condition. By that, we'll go into the science of all of that in this episode, but basically, fatigue as something in and of itself, as it involves the mitochondria, the gut microbiome, so many things, I was thrilled to read The Energy Paradox. I'm so excited that I get to talk about it now and ask all my crazy questions. Dr. Gundry, thank you so much for being here.
Dr. Steven Gundry: Melanie, thanks for having me. I appreciate it. Thanks for the nice introduction.
Melanie Avalon: I'm really, really looking forward to this conversation. My listeners are probably super, super familiar with you, but for those who are not, I will let them know that you are one of the world's top cardiothoracic surgeon, a pioneer in nutrition, you're the medical director at the International Heart & Lung Institute Center for Restorative Medicine, and your New York Times bestseller, I mentioned some of the books already, but The Plant Paradox, The Longevity Paradox, which I also read, and it was incredible, and now The Energy Paradox.
All of that said, [laughs] to start things off. I already mentioned this already, but this idea of chronic fatigue that so many of us struggle with on a daily basis as a part of our lives. I'm super curious, because you really posit really interesting concept in the book that the root source is in the mitochondria of our bodies. Did you have an epiphany one day about that? Or was it something that you came over the years to discover? What led you to this thesis that you have right now about fatigue and the mitochondria?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Each of my books, I don't write a book just to write a book. “Oh, you have a deadline to write your next book.” This book actually came about, as I talk about in the introduction, from an episode with a young woman basically not being able to show up for a taping that we were going to do for public television. She actually called in and said she didn't have it in her to come to the studio today to do the taping. We got things cobbled together, and we did the taping without her, but the idea that a millennial just didn't have it in her, resonated with me for many days. I thought back I've been doing practicing restorative medicine for over 21 years now. Some people like to call it functional medicine, but restorative medicine I think sounds better.
When I first started, half the people I would see, we would have a diagnosis of fatigue and malaise. That's an ICD-9 code. Half the people I saw were for fatigue. As my practice evolved, about 70% to 80% of my practice is autoimmune diseases. Invariably, one of the complaints for almost everyone with an autoimmune disease is tiredness or fatigue. One of the consequences of getting rid of the autoimmune disease is that people's tiredness and fatigue went away. I guess I put two and two together, I said, “I've never talked about this, I've never written about this, but I'm an energy doctor, and I think it's time to tell people what are the underlying factors that show up as fatigue, chronic fatigue, tiredness, just not having get up and go.” That's what prompted the book.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and speaking to that, you talk about some of the different myths that surround fatigue, and this blew my mind, because a lot of people think that they have adrenal fatigue, or that their cortisol is all out of whack. You talk about how in your patients, what do you find with cortisol levels?
Dr. Steven Gundry: I suppose out of 10,000 patients I've seen over the last 20 years, I've maybe seen five people with low cortisol levels. Similarly, I do see people with elevated cortisol levels, but that's by far the exception rather than the rule. One of the things I talk about in the book is that, interestingly, a lot of people are beginning to realize or understand the concept of insulin resistance, where cells become resistant to the action of insulin, delivering sugars and proteins through the wall of the cell. If you want to call it prediabetes, that's fine. What's interesting I talk about in the book is, no one talks about having adrenal resistance, and that is the adrenal glands are perfectly normal, but the receptors for the adrenal hormones, like cortisol, like adrenaline, just bring a couple to mind are being blocked by various substances. You actually develop a resistance to the action of the adrenal hormones.
What I've found in, certainly my practice, is that this is not the adrenal fatigue, just the opposite. You've been blasting out so many adrenal hormones through the years that your cells, your receptors build up a callus to block the effects of that. I see people spending literally thousands of dollars on adrenal supplements when that's not the problem, let's just call a spade a spade. 90% of type 2 diabetics don't have a problem making insulin, they make too much insulin. You don't treat a diabetic by giving them insulin, that only makes the matter worse. Yet, we see so many people who have been told they have adrenal fatigue, who we try to get their adrenals to make more adrenal hormones, and that's not the problem. You have to get the cells to listen to the adrenal hormones in the first place.
Melanie Avalon: Wow, I think that's already going to help people breathe a sigh of relief, because-- it's still a problem, obviously, having this resistance and not correctly reading the hormone, but I think it's a lot more approachable. The idea of fatigue that your glands are just not producing it or that it's not there is very overwhelming. The idea that there are these hormones, but we're just not reading them correctly, I find that a lot more hopeful [laughs] for making change. Going to this idea of this fatigue, it's ironic, because-- and you talk about this in the book, but we live in a state of seemingly ample access to energy. We have a plethora of food, we take in a lot of energy, but we experience fatigue still. You talk about how-- I mean this is so interesting that it actually still is, abundance of energy aside, a cellular energy crisis, because the cells are not getting the energy they need. I was wondering if we could dive a little deeper into that about what is actually going on. I guess a foundational question to start with is how do we generate energy, just in general?
Dr. Steven Gundry: In general, most of our energy currency is ATP, adenosine triphosphate. It's literally the currency that we spend. For most of us, most of our ATP production is compliments of our mitochondria. The mitochondria story is marvelously interesting, in that we're pretty sure now that two billion years ago, bacteria were swallowed by another cell, and in exchange for having a nice, warm, comfortable place to live inside the cell, almost like I guess, Jonah getting swallowed by the whale, the bacteria said, “Look, if you let me stay here and give me something to eat, I'll pay you in the form of making ATP, and I'll give you the currency.” Mitochondria are actually engulfed bacteria. There's all sorts of important implications on why that is, and if we want to get really nerdy, we can go into how mitochondria talk to their bacterial sisters in the gut.
The mitochondria produce ATP by taking the carbon atoms that we ingest, and oxygen and some hydrogen atoms and basically run them down a gauntlet called the electron transport chain. The electron transport chain basically energizes electrons and stuffs protons where they don't want to be. Long story short, everybody's trying to get out of this electron transport chain, and at the last second, protons push through a revolving door to get out, and in the process of going through that revolving door, the revolving door almost like water going over a waterwheel generates ATP. This was so complicated that when it was first proposed by Dr. Peter Mitchell in 1961, it was not accepted as how this happened until 1978. In fact, Dr. Mitchell was just laughed at and worse that his idea of how this happened could possibly be true. When he got the Nobel Prize, I guess things got better. [chuckles] There you go.
Melanie Avalon: What did they think was happening before that?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Oh, we can get really nerdy if you want. Chemists, I really hated organic chemistry. I like physics a lot more, because physics, you get to fudge, but in organic chemistry, organic chemists are exact. You basically have, okay, two plus two equals four, and there's no way that two plus two can equal three or two plus two can equal five. When they started to look at, for instance, the number of carbon atoms that were being eventually turned into ATP, tons and tons of tons of researchers, most of who got the Nobel Prize like Dr. Hans Krebs, Dr. Veech, kept coming up with a different number of ATP molecules when they plugged in carbon atoms into mitochondria. That just drove chemists nuts, because, “Wait a minute, you're doing the experiment wrong, because you only get 32 molecules of ATP out of this thing you weighed and I got 34, and this other guy got 30, and everybody's wrong. You're doing the experiment wrong.”
It was actually Peter Mitchell that said, “I figured out why everybody's answer is wrong, and it has to do with this isn't a perfect system, and these are living organisms. They're actually bacteria that have been swallowed, and they're producing energy in their own way.” Everybody said, “Don't be ridiculous. Energy is energy.” That's why he was ridiculed for so many years, and he was right.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow. Is it they wanted it to be just at the dollar system, but really, there’s exchange rates and there's all different currencies?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, what they didn't understand is that this process of basically, coupling the amount of carbon atoms and oxygen atoms to produce ATP, is actually not a perfect one-to-one coupling. It was the discovery of the first mitochondrial uncoupling protein, that finally people said, “Son of a gun, Peter Mitchell was right, he thought that this is what was going on. The guy's a genius, give him a Nobel Prize.” [giggles]
Melanie Avalon: The cells that don't have mitochondria, like red blood cells, is it just red blood cells?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, primarily, it's just red blood cells. There's a few other cells that don't, for instance, your cornea doesn't have any mitochondria in general. They use just fermentation, glycolysis to do the job. We could get really nerdy and talk about cancer cells to--
Melanie Avalon: That’s because they like cancer.
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, cancer cells. One of the things that your listeners probably know about is the Warburg effect. Otto Warburg who also got the Nobel Prize for medicine, he was one of the first people to postulate the electron transport chain, and figure out some of the pieces of it, but Warburg is most known for the Warburg effect. He thought, what he thought he knew that cancer cells choose not to do what's called oxidative phosphorylation, using oxygen to create ATP, which is remarkably efficient, but instead choose to use glycolysis or fermentation to produce ATP, which is incredibly wasteful and inefficient. He thought, back in the 1920s and 1930s, that cancer cells had a defect in their mitochondria, that they were unable to use oxidative phosphorylation to make ATP. Subsequently, we learned that he was mistaken about that. We now know that cancer cells choose to use fermentation to make ATP, even though they could perfectly use oxidative phosphorylation and use the electron transport chain, but they choose not to. That's a whole another wonderful ball of wax to go down.
Melanie Avalon: For listeners, I'll put a link in the show notes. I recently had on Dr. Jason Fung for The Cancer Code, and that's when I first learned about that about the choosing, blew my mind. There's just so much there. Going back to the mitochondria, and one of the things you talk about in the book is how the mitochondria actually have their own DNA, and the importance of that and how we actually inherit it from our mother. What are the implications with all of that, why does that matter in us?
Dr. Steven Gundry: I had a mother, thank you, mom. I have a wife and two female children. I have mostly female dogs. I'm very empowered by the female side of the family. You guys should know that, and you suspect that the males are basically drones, and that's basically all we're good for. You contribute-- the mitochondria has its own DNA. Its bacterial DNA, and that has two really exciting implications. Number one, mitochondria can reproduce and divide and make more mitochondria independent of the cell is living in dividing. Let's suppose and hopefully we'll get into this, you want or need to make more mitochondria in an individual cell, you don't have to wait for the cell to divide, you can stimulate the mitochondria to make more of itself, make lots more little mitochondria, and it's called mitogenesis. The implications for that are really profound. That's number one.
Number two, you only inherit your mitochondrial DNA from your mother. Male contributes no mitochondrial DNA. Interestingly enough, the mother contributes the initial microbiome or the holobiome, as I like to call it, to the baby. There is, I think, very good at least theory that because the initial microbiome is maternal, that the maternal microbiome talks to the maternally derived mitochondria, which, after all, are ancient bacteria. Like sisters, they're constantly talking to each other. It's this talk that actually forms quite a big piece of The Energy Paradox and its implications. Not to bore your readers, but usually pre-COVID over a year, I presented at the World Congress of Microbiota in Paris, and the organizer of that meeting, years ago-- not years ago, maybe eight years ago. I was talking to him, he says, “You know, the microbiome talks to the mitochondria.” I said, “Well, I believe that, but why haven't we discovered the language of this talk?” He says, “Well, we will. It's their text messages. I know they exist, and we'll discover it.”
Part of the excitement in The Energy Paradox is that this language, the talk between the microbiome and mitochondria has been discovered. It's postbiotics. Maybe, we'll take a breath there and let that sink in, because post biotics is the communication system, what's called the trans-kingdom language where our microbiome talks to our mitochondria and to our DNA. Whoa.
Melanie Avalon: So much there. I want to dive deep into that. I have a few more lingering questions to clarify the picture of the mitochondria still. Okay, this is a super random question, but so, with the implications of inheriting the mitochondria DNA from the mom, as far as that actual DNA, does that determine-- because you talk in the book about how nobody is technically carbon tolerant. Obviously, you're talking about things like metabolic flexibility with burning carbs versus fat versus ketones. Do the mitochondria have a genetic preference to burn carbs versus fat versus ketones? Or is it really all epigenetics?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Mitochondria could care less what fuel you give them. We have to remember that our great-grandparents, they ate food whole. There was no such thing as processed food. I use examples in the booklet. Let's suppose we have a piece of salmon and some spinach or asparagus and some olive oil that we poured on top of it. What normally happens in digestion is carbohydrates as a general rule are broken down first into simple sugars, glucose, or fructose or lactose, and then absorbed. Those get transported to the mitochondria first for processing into energy.
Second, that piece of salmon, which has protein and also some fat in it, it takes a long time to break down protein into amino acids that can be absorbed. Protein actually arrives second into the mitochondrial processing arena. By then, quite frankly, most of the carbohydrates have been gone. Protein arrives next in the form of amino acids. Finally, most fats are absorbed, not directly through the wall of intestine, but they have to ride on chylomicrons, and the chylomicrons don't go into the bloodstream, they go into the lymph system. They get sloshed around in the lymph system and eventually, enter the bloodstream up near the top of the heart and the vena cava. Then, and only then do what they arrive for processing.
There would be a normal order for processing to mitochondria, but that all changed beginning actually a little over 100 years ago with the Kellogg's cornflake company. Fun fact, Kellogg's cornflakes were advertised as the first fully predigested meal. Now, you think about that, and you go, “Wow, how great. I don't have to do any work of digestion. Isn't that super?” Little did we know that that was the start of the beginning of the assault on our mitochondria. Now, most food that sadly we eat is processed or ultra-processed and companies have figured out how to break large starch molecules into individual sugar molecules, how to break large proteins into individual amino acids. Look at your bar and say, “Oh, protein isolates. Hmm.” Break fat molecules into little tiny fats that can instantaneously all be absorbed very high in your small intestine.
Like I talk about in the book, all of a sudden, we have rush hour traffic coming into our mitochondria. The mitochondria has to use slightly different methods for making energy out of all three of these different sources, but never would have had the problem of trying to do all three things at once. What we literally have is mitochondrial gridlock. That gridlock starts early in the morning with our first meal, and I take people through the day's events and rush hour traffic is literally happening, oh, 16 hours a day. No wonder, we have no energy, because we literally have ground to a halt as anyone who lives in the LA area knows.
Melanie Avalon: You're just speaking about the order of fuel processing and how it would hit the mitochondria normally. I'm assuming that if you ate a mixed meal containing all of those macros.
Dr. Steven Gundry: Correct.
Melanie Avalon: Maybe this is getting too granular, but if you were to eat the macros over-- so like for me, for example, I tend to practice a one meal a day type situation, and I usually eat over around four hours, but I segment my macros, so I eat a lot of protein first, and then I actually eat a lot of fruit, which I know you're not a huge fan of. I'm just wondering the actual timeline of a mixed meal compared to if you did segmented, do you think that that affects the timeline of how these different macros are hitting the mitochondria?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, actually, if you notice, it's actually part of my program. In actually all my books, I have mused over the fact that there are a lot of diets that I call mono diets, where they tend to use one of the macronutrients as the mainstay of the diet. Whether that's the Duke rice diet, where you basically only eat rice. Whether that's a carnivore diet, where you basically, primarily protein, maybe there's some fat involved, or a keto diet, where 80% of the traditional keto diet is fat. Well, interestingly enough, all of these mono diets work, and they work well.
The Duke rice diet gets rid of diabetes, the Atkins diet gets rid of diabetes, the carnivore diet gets rid of diabetes, the keto diet gets rid of diabetes. People spend their entire careers denigrating somebody else's diet, but the fact is, they all work. You're allowing in general mitochondria to have one fuel process. As long as you give them one fuel process, they do extremely well with that, and they become very good at doing that particular thing. Now, the problem with most mono diets, unless you develop a religious fervor about that diet, is that you eventually give it up. There's lots of reasons for that. I like the idea from eat like the animals that we do have sensors for protein, we do have sensors for carbohydrates, and we do have sensors for fat. Eventually, those sensors will override our willpower to seek out the other macros that you're cutting out of your diet. It's very nicely described on how that happens, but that's why in general mono diets fail.
Melanie Avalon: The amount of excitement I got when I read the mono diet section, I was so excited, because it's a concept I'd been using over for years. Just from my own experience, I had realized that when you're on a mono diet situation, it's pretty hard to experience an overwhelm of energy toxicity or even fat gain in that situation, even with apparent calorie overconsumption. The first crazy diet experiment-- well, not the first, but [laughs] one of the first ones and I'm not proud of this, and I'm not suggesting it, but I basically realized that if you ate just protein and alcohol like wine, [laughs] there wasn't really pathway for fat storage from that, and I was like, “This is an epic weight loss diet,” not advocating it.
Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, believe it or not, that was the drinking man's diet.
Melanie Avalon: I saw that recently. I was like, “Yes.” [laughs]
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, from Robert Cameron. That diet in the 1960s sold two and a half a million copies. He was labeled by Harvard nutritionist as a “Mass Murderer.” It was called The Drinking Man's Diet. He says, “Hey, steak and martinis, and go for it,” and he actually, hilariously lived until 98 years of age on The Drinking Man's Diet. It was actually his diet, success that prompted Atkins to write the Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution.
Melanie Avalon: It's crazy that it's not more well known, because I read that and I was like, “I have never heard of The Drinking Man's Diet.”
Dr. Steven Gundry: Two and a half million copies.
Melanie Avalon: Wow. That's crazy. Needless to say, I'm very much on board with this mono diet concept. Listeners, you're just going to have to get The Energy Paradox, because it's got everything that you need to know for the specifics of how to actually implement all of this, because like Dr. Gundry, just said, he's not advocating mono diet all the time, but he has a very nuanced way of integrating it into the diet, which is honestly, just brilliant. One last question about the mitochondria, and I'm not sure if you know the answer to this, but are you familiar with the Inuit as far as how they have like a genetic predisposition to not create ketones, I think?
Dr. Steven Gundry: They don't create ketones very well. Interestingly enough, surprisingly, hibernating bears don't create ketones. Surprise, surprise.
Melanie Avalon: Is that something that would be genetic information in the mitochondria, or would that be somewhere else?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, we can-- and I touch on ketosis in this book, let's just say that the current concepts of how ketones work and how ketogenic diet works, and I write about the ketogenic diet in all my books. The current concepts are probably 180 degrees wrong as most people conceive of them, but that's probably a story for another day. We'll leave that teaser out there.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. I was just wondering with that, if it was in the mitochondria, would that mean that-- and this is just not even probably worth discussing. Would that mean that people, like the Inuit, if you were Inuit, but your mom was not Inuit, would you not inherit that genetic ketone adaptation? [chuckles]
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, you'd probably get that from your mother rather than from your father.
Melanie Avalon: That's crazy. Does that also imply, especially with inheriting the microbiome and the mitochondria, that the health of a person from day one from birth is largely influenced by the mother more than the father?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, there's clearly epigenetic changes that have been shown to occur, because of even what the father was eating. The father is not just merely standing by as a sperm donor, his chromosomes are epigenetically changed by the food’s he eats. That's what's actually fascinating, the dad can screw things up, just by eating the wrong way before the kid even is made. It's frightening how much epigenetics is really what drives almost everything rather than genetics.
Melanie Avalon: That's frightening and exciting, because you're not genetically destined, but you can be set up for great success, and it could just go all wrong, or you could be the opposite. There's a lot of potential. Going back to these postbiotics that you teased, you dive deep into the role of the gut microbiome, and it's so thrilling and so fascinating, like you said, that we now understand a little bit more about how the microbiome is communicating to us. I think a lot of people-- because a lot of my audience is very familiar with microbiome and fiber and all of that, and even things like I think butyrate, but you go into something I was not really familiar with. I was familiar with gases as a byproduct of the microbiome, mostly as being a negative, like with methane slowing down intestinal transit time, but it blew my mind learning about hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, methane, and actually they're very vital, important role in communicating with the entirety of our bodies. Would you like to [laughs] tell listeners a little bit about that?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, I actually got interested in this when I was writing The Longevity Paradox. I've been fascinated through the years with the naked mole-rat. Those of your listeners who don't know them, the naked mole-rat lives, almost in ant like colony, beehive like colony in the Sahara Desert in tunnels, and they have a queen. They're rodents, and they live 20 to 30 times longer than any other rodent. Naked mole-rats can live literally 20, 30, 40 years, as opposed to a normal rat that has a lifespan of about two years. They fascinated longevity researchers going, “Well, how do they do this?” In fact, for most of my career at Loma Linda University, I had a huge psychedelic purple poster of a giant naked mole-rat in my office from the San Diego Zoo. People would come in, famous heart surgeons, “Why is there a naked mole-rat as your only picture in here?” I said, “Oh, no, it's just a fetish.”
Anyhow, naked mole-rats eat tubers, and eat mushrooms and roots. One of the things that fascinated me about naked mole-rats was that they produce a lot of hydrogen sulfide gas. Getting really back to basics, most people think lifeforms started at hydrogen sulfide vents, deep in the ocean in hot hydrogen sulfide vents, and rather than being an oxygen species, we lived on hydrogen sulfide. It turns out that mitochondria are really good at using hydrogen sulfide to produce energy and actually to repair themselves. I knew that this happened in naked mole-rats. I said, “Oh, this is so cool. This is why they live so long is because they're making all this hydrogen sulfide.” Humans make hydrogen sulfide, that's the rotten egg smell, and I'll bet you, I can find evidence that hydrogen sulfide gas in naked mole-rats in the blood and hydrogen sulfide gas in humans is very high, and that'll prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we and naked mole-rats are long-lived animals, because we use hydrogen sulfide.
Lo and behold, it turns out there is data and naked mole-rats and humans have the lowest amount of dissolved hydrogen sulfide in our blood compared to any other animal. Initially, I was crestfallen, and I was like, “Ah, so much for that smart idea.” But then I went, “Wait a minute, there's no hydrogen sulfide gas in their blood and in our blood, because we're using it, and of course, it wouldn't be there.” It turns out that these gases are now called gasotransmitters or gasomessengers. It's literally how our gut microbiome talks to our mitochondria, tells our mitochondria what to do, repairs our mitochondria in the case of hydrogen sulfide, and our mitochondria can actually use hydrogen sulfide gas. Same with hydrogen gas and the story of hydrogen is just unbelievably, almost Star Wars spooky, and if you want, we can talk about the Parkinson’s study, which is really cool.
Melanie Avalon: I would love to talk about the Parkinson's study.
Dr. Steven Gundry: Japanese researchers looked at the microbiome people with Parkinson's versus normal people, and lo and behold, they found that the microbiome of people with Parkinson's don't produce hydrogen gas, and hydrogen gas is the flammable gas that the Hindenburg was made of. The normal people had hydrogen gas producing bacteria. They said, “Huh, what would happen if we gave hydrogen water which is literally water that has hydrogen dissolved in it,” and I happen to make a product for Gundry MD H2 Restore which does that, but they gave the Parkinson's patients hydrogen water, and lo and behold, their symptoms improved.
You can actually show how that happens at the level of the mitochondria with hydrogen being an incredible, important proton donor in making ATP and salvaging mitochondria. Lo and behold, one of the best places to get hydrogen is to have your bacteria make it for you. It's like, “Wow, what a sophisticated system, who knew that farting is good for you,” and so, in the book, I delve, “Come on everybody, let's step on the gas.”
Melanie Avalon: I love it. Speaking of hydrogen, for the past two months or so I've been drinking deuterium-depleted water. Do you have thoughts on deuterium versus protium with hydrogen?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, I've been asked this question before, I found that's really not way up there on my list of things to worry about it, I’d much rather have my bacteria mix my hydrogen for me or if not drink my hydrogen water every day, a lot easier to do.
Melanie Avalon: I'm super grateful that the company is sending me the water, but it's not a very accessible, like affordable route [laughs] for people to go. Other animals, you said humans and naked mole-rats, we have less hydrogen sulfide, because we're using it. In other animals, if they have hydrogen sulfide in their bloodstream, will it just gunk up, like it won't be used?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, interestingly enough, you actually have to have the basic building blocks for hydrogen sulfide. Those are in general the sulfurous vegetables, the cruciferous vegetables, a lot of for instance mushrooms have some really good sources of sulfur. It probably is one of the reasons that cruciferous vegetables in general or other sulfur-containing compounds, and quite frankly, animal meats have a lot of sulfur. You can generate hydrogen sulfide, and maybe that's one of the reasons that humans are incredibly long lived is because of our hydrogen sulfide gas production.
Melanie Avalon: It's just so fascinating. Is there any correlation between the perception of experienced gas in your bowels compared to the actual levels in the bloodstream? Are those correlated?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, hydrogen gas is the smallest molecule there is. It's instantly diffusible through your bowel wall. Although, fun fact, back in the good old days, boy scouts on camping trips, tend to eat a lot of beans. We would in the dark, take out our big lighters, and we would fart and light our farts. We would get this phenomenal blue flame, and that was hydrogen gas. Fun fact, probably shouldn't have shared that, but that's what boy scouts do.
Melanie Avalon: I read that in the book. I was like, “Wait, you can do that?” [laughs]
Dr. Steven Gundry: Oh, yeah, it's actually really funny. [laughs] Amaze your friends.
Melanie Avalon: It's just the hydrogen sulfide that lights on fire?
Dr. Steven Gundry: No, it's hydrogen.
Melanie Avalon: Hydrogen.
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, it's the Hindenburg. Hydrogen sulfide won't light, and neither will the methane.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness. Okay, this is crazy. Also, in this world of energy generation, there's this idea that-- this is tying into the gut, and everything that's going on. A lot of people feel they experience leaky gut or that their gut is damaged, their microbiome is off. Something that has haunted me for a long time, and you talk about this in the book, is just how fast the gut wall actually regenerates, and also how fast the microbiome changes. Why is it that if it does happen on such a fast timeline, that it can seemingly take months or years to make changes?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Great question. Back when I first started doing this 20 odd years ago, I was pretty naïve, and I thought that we could repair the gut wall in a couple of weeks in most people. Lo and behold, people with an autoimmune disease in general, it may take us three months, six months, nine months a year to repair the gut. I've also found sadly, particularly in people with autoimmune disease, that any cheats usually almost put us back to square one in trying to do the repair work, which is sad, but true. That's number one.
Number two, I talk a lot about this in the book, in the Seven Deadly Energy Disruptors, that we're constantly battling an uphill battle to have a normal microbiome. Most of us have taken antibiotics or given antibiotics for a sore throat, runny nose, a scratchy throat, and a urinary tract infection, for instance without realizing that that could decimate this dense tropical rain forests for up to two years after a single round of antibiotics. We also feed the animals we eat antibiotics. Sadly, because of a loophole from the FDA, if you have 100,000 chickens in a warehouse, and the veterinarian who is on the employ of the big food company thinks there is one chicken that might be sick in those 100,000 chickens, then he's allowed to give antibiotics to the entire flock, and you don't have to declare it. You can still say it's antibiotic free. It's a wonderful loophole. In fact, there have been tests that I talk about in the book that up to 60% of these chickens tested are positive for antibiotic residue.
The third thing, which I think is probably the saddest thing, is the widespread use of glyphosate in roundup in almost all of our food supply, including since you have a red wine glass on your cover, it's in most California wines. Glyphosate was patented as an antibiotic, and it was not patented as a weed killer. It actually interferes with bacterial replication just as it interferes with plant replication. Glyphosate, in and of itself, it changes our microbiome. Glyphosate in and of itself can actually cause leaky gut. And glyphosate may be one of the big troublemakers in terms of us sensing our adrenal hormones. I go into that in the book on how that can happen.
Glyphosate is everywhere now. People don't realize that not-- glyphosate got associated with GMO, but now glyphosate Roundup is sprayed on almost all conventional crops, almost all wheat, corn, oats, soybeans, canola to desiccate it, that means kill it and dry it, because quite frankly, it's much easier to harvest a crop if it's dry rather than wet. You actually save a lot of money. Now, all these crops are sprayed. They don't wash the Roundup off of this. It not only goes into our cereals, into our energy bars, into our wine, but the same grains are fed to our animals. We get a double dose of glyphosate. Every time we eat these things, and several of our new healthy plant-based meats test positive for glyphosate, and why I would want a glyphosate burger is a little beyond my comprehension.
Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you address that. I asked for questions for you. One of the questions I got was they wanted to know your thoughts on new vegan products, like the Beyond Burger and Possible Burger and things like that. Speaking of the glyphosate, I actually will only pretty much drink organic wine from Europe, because of the glyphosate specifically, and how it interacts with glycine, and everything is just really, really, really terrible. It seems in theory, you'd be able to heal your leaky gut and microbiome really fast, but in actuality, in practicality, it can be a lot slower for a lot of people.
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, the other thing, so many of us have a vitamin D deficiency, and vitamin D is essential to activate the stem cells in the wall of our gut to divide and fill in the missing gaps. That's why when I see patients with autoimmune disease, one of the striking features is that most of them have a low vitamin D. Vitamin D is really one of the missing links in repairing your gut.
Melanie Avalon: How do you feel about, especially if you live in a location or during a season when there's not a lot of sunlight, very short, minute UVB tanning bed exposure for vitamin D production?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, even at maximum sun exposure, like my buddy Joseph Mercola, we joke that he walks on the beach for an hour and a half every day in his Speedo in Florida and he can only get his vitamin D level up to 60 to 70. All of my patients, I got to have them from 100 to 150 nanograms per milliliter. I've been running my vitamin D greater than 120 for the last 21 years and I'm not dead yet.
Melanie Avalon: You recommend supplemental vitamin D for that?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Oh, yeah. Almost everybody's got to have supplement with vitamin D to D3, and take some K2 with it.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, perfect. I do that daily. Actually, on this show. I think the episode that aired last week was actually with Dr. Mercola about EMF, which you talk about in your book as well. Something fascinating you talk about in the book as well, is Hadza and this fascinating paradox to use one of your words about how they actually burn less energy per day than we do?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, it's fascinating study. Actually, these researchers are on my podcast recently, they're from Duke. They went to study the Hadzas, which are one of the last surviving true hunter-gatherers in Tanzania. These are very fit individuals, very lean individuals, the men walk 10 miles a day hunting with bows and arrows, and the women walk three to five miles every day gathering berries and digging up tubers, and they're very active, and they're very healthy. The supposition, they wanted to compare the energy burned by these very active people to the energy burned in desk workers. Their supposition was that the Hadzas are so skinny and so healthy, because they're obviously burning lots of energy, and the desk workers are obviously not burning any energy, and that's why they're so fat and dumpy and sick.
Lo and behold, they found that the amount of energy being burned was identical between the Hadzas and the desk workers. We in research have a hypothesis that doesn't work out the way we want, we usually have to say, “Okay, we were wrong, so much for that hypothesis,” and that's okay. We like to prove ourselves wrong. Well, these guys said, “No, this is really interesting, because what this means is that all human beings have the exact same energy expenditure, and it's fixed, and that's the conclusion.” When I read that article, a few years ago, I went, “Wait a minute, that does not pass the sniff test.” Okay, they are burning equal amounts of energy, where the heck is all that extra energy going in the desk workers? That gets us to the point that the vast majority of us have leaky gut and Hippocrates was right. All disease begins in the gut. 80% of our immune system, all of our white blood cells line our gut or down in our abdomen, because that's where mischief comes across.
War occurs as our immune system attacks these foreign proteins, attacks these bacterial particles, and so there's literally an ongoing war, and that war is inflammation. As anyone who's ever gone to war or know about wars, troops require huge amounts of supplies, producing inflammation is incredibly energy costly. These desk workers were burning up with the fire of inflammation, like I talk about. That energy was being diverted from their muscles, from their brain to feed and fuel the troops on the frontline. It's no wonder that most of us are tired of fatigue, because so much of our energy is being diverted to inflammation. That explains why the Hadzas were using their energy to walk and be active, and the desk workers were using their energy to fight a fire.
Melanie Avalon: This is so, so fascinating, because basically, with the inflammation-- because you think, okay, if we're a desk worker, and we're burning all these calories, how are we not losing weight? But the energy is going towards inflammatory processes, not fat burning per se. I've been haunted by two things for quite a long time. Two words, inflammation and LPS. I often say that they're the bane of my existence and [laughs] I work with my therapist, she’ll be like, “Melanie, everything is not inflammation.” I'm like, “But it is.” [laughs] In any case, with the inflammation that people experience, so this ties into the inflammation and the overwhelm on the mitochondria. The burning of the energy and this whole inflammatory state, is burning energy or using energy always inflammatory? In the inflammatory process, like we just talked about, sickness or viruses or attacking things like is compared to just burning energy in the cells. Is that inflammatory as well? Is there such a thing as clean burning energy? People often say with keto diets that it's clean burning energy like, “What is that?” Is there clean burning energy? If there is, I want it.
Dr. Steven Gundry: No, I get such a kick out of hearing people say that the ketones are clean fuel and that glucose is dirty fuel. I think Hans Krebs and Dr. Veech would roll over in their graves if anyone ascribed ketones as a clean burning fuel just to put that to rest. Even at full ketosis, work by Dr. Owens out of Harvard showed that only 30% of our energy needs can be met by using ketones. 70% of our energy needs are met by using free fatty acids or glucose, not ketones. Please, folks, let's just put that to rest, and don't worry, I'm going to put it to rest soon.
Melanie Avalon: Follow-up question to that. Free fatty acids, overwhelming the mitochondria with fuel. We talked about in the beginning of this conversation, the mitochondria getting overwhelmed with energy from a meal, so overwhelmed. I was wondering, say you're in the fasted state, and you have really high free fatty acid levels in the bloodstream. Can those liberated free fatty acids then overwhelm the mitochondria or is it only exogenous fuel coming in compared to endogenous?
Dr. Steven Gundry: That's a great question. One of the things I talk about in the book is that about 80% of Americans, Westerners in the world have elevated in some levels, have insulin resistance. Since we're talking about ketogenic diet, normally, after about 12 hours of not eating, we begin to mobilize free fatty acids from our fat stores. This is all in the book, folks. They're mobilized with an enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase. Hormone-sensitive lipase is sensitive to a hormone called insulin. We’re a beautiful design, so if we've eaten, insulin rises, and insulin takes the sugars and proteins out of our blood and puts it into our muscles or our fat cells. Then, normally, insulin would fall, and as insulin falls, then hormone-sensitive lipase, which is suppressed by insulin, becomes activated and that releases free fatty acids from our fat cells.
Free fatty acids in turn, among other places, go to the liver, where they stimulate or convert into ketone bodies. Ketone bodies cannot be used by the liver. I really enjoy reading some of the ketone books that ketones are your liver’s favorite fuel, sorry folks, liver can't use ketones. Anyhow, if your insulin level is elevated, you cannot liberate fat from your fat cells, because hormone-sensitive lipase is suppressed. The vast majority of people who try to get into ketosis after say a 12-hour fast, or try to do, like my good friend Jason Fung does and go on a three- to five-day fast, fall flat on their faces, because they can't get to the fat stored. In my book, The Energy Paradox, teaches you how to slowly, but surely drop your insulin level so you can go get your fat cells and get your fat.
Melanie Avalon: Again, listeners, you're going to have to get The Energy Paradox, because it's all in there for the plan for how to properly do that. Something I was dying to ask you about, because you talked about in the book, we can touch a little bit on fasting. You talk about an NIH study first in rhesus monkeys looking at calorie-restricted monkeys in this. Here it is, paradox or conundrum where the monkeys on a diet that was seemingly was more processed and higher in sugar and fat, I think, had more longevity benefits than the monkeys at another institution that were eating more of like a whole foods, fibers type diet, and then a follow up study that was analyzing what was going on there, and it was looking at mice instead and doing a similar setup. I read that section probably five times, and I was wondering, [laughs] and then I went and read the actual studies, and I just went down a lot of rabbit holes.
With that, the takeaway from the mice study, at least was that time-restricted eating in mice, they got benefits if it was in a time-restricted eating window. They didn't get as many benefits as if it was also calorie restricted, but they still got the benefits. I was wondering back with that original monkey study, do you still think it was the low-protein aspect? Or, what do you think was going on there with the monkeys? They weren't time restricted, right?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Oh, yeah. No, they were time restricted.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, they were, okay.
Dr. Steven Gundry: Both groups. One was the University of Wisconsin study, and the other one was the NIH, National Institutes of Aging. Both of the groups, 65% of their calories were carbohydrates. They differed in the UW group actually had a higher sugar content, simple sugars, sucrose, than the NIH group. The NIH group had a higher protein amount, same number of calories, they were calorie restricted by about 30% of calories. Interestingly, the UW rhesus monkeys lived longer than their counterparts that followed regular diet. The NIH group, still had great health span, but they didn't have any additional longevity. This was hotly debated for many years, it's still hotly debated, I came down the side well, it's because of the higher protein that they didn't live as long. That kind of parallels the experience in most of the blue zones where a lower animal protein seems to be one of the deciding factors.
A wonderful researcher by the name of Dr. De Cabo, also at the NIH said, “Let's settle the score with mice. Mice don't live very long.” He says, “I think there's something we're missing here.” Calorie-restricted animals eat all of their calories very quickly, because they don't have much to eat, and they're always hungry, and they're always grouchy, and the calorie-restricted humans are the same way. If you're only given so many calories, you're going to eat them really quickly. De Cabo says, “Maybe it isn't the fact that we're restricting calories severely, maybe it's the fact that these guys eat their calories very quickly, and then have to wait a very long time fasting until their next meal shows up the next day. Maybe it's the time-restricted eating that's having the beneficial effect.”
So, he designed a study and you do have to read this over and over again. My editor fought me, she said, “Oh, this is too complicated.” I said, “No, no, no, no, no. This is so important. I don't care how many times people have to read it. Here's the deal.” What they did is they gave these rats, they divide them into two groups. Three groups of rats got the University of Wisconsin meals, the three groups of rats got the NIH meals. One group of rats got to eat their meals 24 hours a day in each group. One group was calorie restricted by 25%, but they put their food out at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, mice tend to eat at night. The third group got a full day's ration, but they put it out at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, like the calorie restricted guys. They follow them.
Lo and behold, the two groups that the food was put out at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, didn't matter whether it was the relatively higher protein, didn't matter whether it was a relatively higher sugar. They all had metabolic flexibility. In other words, their mitochondria could turn on a dime between using glucose as a fuel and using free fatty acids as a fuel. Perfect. The animals that were calorie restricted, or the animals that didn't have time-restricted eating had no metabolic flexibility, they couldn’t change. The animals that were calorie restricted lived about 30% longer than the normally fed animals. The animals that got to eat their full meals, but started at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, they still lived 11% longer than the regular animals, even though they ate the same amount of food. That's because they ate their food up in about 10 to 12 hours, so that they were actually fasting 12 to 14 hours, which is a really long time for a mouse.
The calorie-restricted guys, they were eating their meals in one to two hours. [rapid eating noises] I think the amazing thing that De Cabo show wasn't so much the time restricted eating, it wasn't so much what they were eating, it was how long they were eating for. Conversely, the longer they weren't eating, the better they did. The really exciting thing, which is at the end of the study, is the two groups that had time-restricted eating, they didn't have any amyloid formation in their tissues and amyloid as in Alzheimer's. What a powerful study. My folks, I don't say this, but it basically says, you might be able to eat what you want, as long as you don't eat it for a very long period of time every day, and that's the takeaway.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, I'm so happy right now, because I read that and then I was thinking, “Oh, is it because with the monkeys--”
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yeah, that was what-- De Cabo basically showed, “You bunch of morons, yes, calorie restriction helps, but maybe what we missed was the fact that when your calorie restricted, and your food is being pulled out, you don't go to the cafeteria to pick it up. You eat that food very quickly.” It was the fasting period every 24 hours, that was probably the big factor.
Melanie Avalon: If we eat predigested Kellogg's really fast--
Dr. Steven Gundry: It may not be as bad as we think it is, but you didn't hear me say that. Again, in the book, I said, “No, this is not say that you can have a pound of M&Ms, and you'll be fine, as long as you don't eat anything else.” That's not what I'm saying.
Melanie Avalon: I'm so happy to be having this conversation though, because that was what I was getting from reading that, but I don't think it ever explicitly spelled it out completely. I was like, “I have to ask him.”
Dr. Steven Gundry: The high sugar and high-fat group in that study that I write in the book. All mice die, obviously, and the high sugar and high-fat guys mostly died of liver cancer. That's why you don't want your pound of M&Ms, okay.
Melanie Avalon: Noted. [laughs] Well, I want to be super respectful of your time, my audience will be so annoyed if I don't even ask you a very basic brief question, and it could be a whole episode topic on itself, but lectins, it's a long, huge topic. I'm just going to ask you one really basic question, and it's, did you actually do studies yourself on-- like I said I developed this app, Food Sense Guide, it compares lectins and all these other compounds in food, 11 different compounds, histamines, glutamates, FODMAPs, all these different things. It's hard for me to find a lot of literature on testing lectins. I was wondering if you’ve done testing yourself and your patients or what work you referenced for how you came up with The Plant Paradox and everything?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, first of all, Dr. D'Adamo of the blood type diet that actually was a lectin removal diet. He probably correctly assumed that you couldn't make a case for a lectin avoidance diet, so he decided to call it the blood type diet, which does have, to his credit, a little bit of interesting science behind it. We actually express lectin-absorbing sugar molecules not only on blood cells, which is how we type blood by introducing lectins, but also on the lining of our gut. Lectins are sticky plant proteins that are looking to stick to proteins on the wall of our gut, on the wall of our blood vessels, in our joint surfaces, between our nerves. This is actually all been worked out. There's multiple books published on those. I actually just read an article yesterday that, believe it or not, the proteins in lentils, 7% of all the proteins in lentils are lectins. Imagine that.
A great deal of the plant defense system is devoted to lectins. You can detoxify lectins with a pressure cooker for the most part. You can't detoxify gluten, which is a lectin, with a pressure cooker. Sorry about that. Yeah, lectins have been incredibly well studied on where they are, how to detoxify them. Fermentation is a very useful way of detoxifying lectins. Bacteria enjoy eating lectins. There's even a bacteria that likes to eat gluten. The Plant Paradox, The Energy Paradox talks about lectins. You don't have to go back and read The Plant Paradox, it's all summarized in The Energy Paradox as well.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I had Dr. Paul Saladino on the show. We were talking about lectins, and he was saying that animal products don't really contain lectins. I was reading a-- I don't know if it was a study or an article, I don't know if I found the actual source study about it. It was saying that dairy, for example, would have lectins because they served as a protective mechanism against, I think, like viruses and bacteria for the newborn. Lectins and animal products--
Dr. Steven Gundry: I can tell you that sadly, I've learned from a number of my mischievous autoimmune patients, that the expression ‘you are what you eat is not’ is so much important as ‘you are what the thing you're eating ate.’ Early on, I found people who, if you feed lectin containing foods to say like a chicken, that you will have lectins in their flesh. I really didn't want to believe that until a few of my autoimmune patients, when we took away their organic free-range chickens that had been fed organic corn and soybeans, when we took that away, that was when we finally got rid of their autoimmune disease. Just recently, we had a young lady who flared her rheumatoid arthritis, and she had started getting chickens from a farmer, who told her that his chickens were pastured and her rheumatoid arthritis, her pain flared, and she couldn't believe it, and she figured something else was wrong. I finally said, “Why don't you find out what he's feeding these pastured chickens?” It turns out that they were pastured but he was supplementing them with wheat and corn and soybeans as part of their feed. When she stopped eating her pastured chicken, her rheumatoid markers went away and her pain went away within five days.
Melanie Avalon: It's insane.
Dr. Steven Gundry: You are what you eat, but you are what the thing you're eating is.
Melanie Avalon: My goodness. Well, this has been absolutely amazing. For listeners, again, you've got to get The Energy Paradox. It goes deep into everything. I still have 20 million pages of notes and things I want to ask you, but listeners will have to get the book to learn all of it. How can listeners best follow your work? Do you have another book in the works?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Yep, almost putting the next book to bed very shortly. It was actually caused by things I learned in The Energy Paradox that didn't add up. When things don't add up, I go down rabbit holes to find out why they don't add up just how when we started this conversation, it didn't add up how different tests on mitochondria came up with different ATP productions. We'll leave it as a teaser for that, but you'll find out why things don't add up in the keto diet.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, I'm so excited. [laughs]
Dr. Steven Gundry: I have The Dr. Gundry Podcast. You can find me at drgundry.com. You can find myself on food company gundrymd.com. I've got two YouTube channels, find me on Instagram, Twitter, and hopefully most of you get an email from me every day, bothering you.
Melanie Avalon: I love it. Well, hopefully you can come back for that new book when it comes out, because oh my goodness, that's really exciting. Last question, I always ask every guest, it's really fast. It's just because I realized more and more each day how important mindset is. What is something that you're grateful for?
Dr. Steven Gundry: Actually, I am grateful for all of my mentors, who just gave me a little bit of themselves and a little bit of direction when I needed it most. I'm most grateful for my wife and my three dogs and my two daughters and their grandkids. That's a lot to be grateful for.
Melanie Avalon: I love it.
Dr. Steven Gundry: It's my wife's birthday. Yay.
Melanie Avalon: Happy birthday. [laughs] That's wonderful. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. Dr. Gundry. I am forever grateful for your work. I've been such a fan for so long. This conversation was everything I was hoping it would be and more and I can't wait to see all of your future work. You're doing incredible things.
Dr. Steven Gundry: Well, thanks, Melanie. I hope we didn't go too deep into Nerdville today, but sometimes it's fun.
Melanie Avalon: It's fabulous. Thank you. Enjoy the rest of your day.
Dr. Steven Gundry: Okay. Take care.
Melanie Avalon: Bye.