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‚ÄčThe Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode # - Dr. Ken Brown

Dr. Ken Brown received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical School, and completed his fellowship in gastroenterology in San Antonio, Texas. He is a board certified gastroenterologist and has been in practice for over 15 years with a clinical focus on inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. With his approach of never being satisfied with the status quo & combined with the knowledge that there is always a better answer, Dr. Brown has declared that his mission is to bridge the gap between medical & natural science.

For over a decade he has been conducting clinical research for various pharmacologic companies. After treating and conducting research with thousands of patients, he easily recognized an unmet need for something natural that could help his IBS patients find real relief. After starting his own research company, he developed the only all-natural & clinically proven answer for IBS & bloating:ATRANTIL(ahh-tron-teel). For Dr. Brown the research has only just begun. Putting together a sensible approach for real health is why Dr. Brown loves to say: “Let’s build a bridge between natural and medical science!

LEARN MORE AT:

Go To Lovemytummy.com/MelanieAvalon  And Use The Code MelanieAvalon For 10% Off Atrantil!
kbmdhealth.com

SHOWNOTES

2:40 - LISTEN ON HIMALAYA: Download The Free Himalaya App To FINALLY Keep All Your Podcasts In One Place, Follow Your Favorites, Make Playlists, Leave Comments, And More! Follow The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast In Himalaya For Early Access 24 Hours In Advance!  You Can Also Join Melanie's Exclusive Community For Exclusive Monthly Content, Episode Discussion, And Guest Requests! Use The Code MELANIE To Get Your First Month Free!

03:30 - FOOD SENSE GUIDEGet Melanie's App To Tackle Your Food Sensitivities! Food SenseIncludes A Searchable Catalogue Of 300+ Foods, Revealing Their Amine, Histamine, Glutamate, Oxalate, Salicylate, Sulfite, And Thiol Status. Food Sense Also Includes Compound Overviews, Reactions To Look For, Lists Of Foods High And Low In Them, The Ability To Create Your Own Personal Lists, And More!

04:15 - BUTCHER BOX:  Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, And More, All Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended! Buthcer Box Provides Access To Nutrient Rich, Affordable Meat And Seafood Shipped Straight To Your Door! Go To Butcherbox.com/Melanieavalon And Use The Code Melanieavalon For $20 Off Your Order, And Free Grassfed Fed Ground Beef For Life!

‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč
#112 - Dr. Ken Brown: Polyphenols, Fasting Mimicking Diets, Time Restricted Eating, Circadian Rhythms, Polyphenols, Skipping Breakfast And Heart Attacks, Dirty Keto, Carnivore, Atrantil, And More!

#079 - Dr. Ken Brown & Atrantril: Fixing GI Issues Fast, IF & The Gut Microbiome, Plant Polyphenols, Fasting Mimetics, Stress, Seratonin & The Gut, IF In A Pill, And More!

8:15 - Dr. Ken Brown's Background And Mission 

10:20 - why do So Many people Today suffer with GI Issues? what would be the perfect GI state?  ‚Äč

11:50 - The Role Of Intestinal Inflammation And The Immune System 

13:30 - The  Connection Of Emulsifiers, Increased Sugar, And Decreased Fiber In Processed Foods  To Gut Health

Association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and all cause mortality: SUN prospective cohort study 

Ultra-processed food intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: prospective cohort study 

17:10 - How fast does the gut microbiome change?

19:50 - The Role of Inflammation with The Microbiome and leptin

23:00 - the Diet Paradigm And uniqueness of the gut microbiome in the individual

25:15 - How do probiotics affect the gut?  

27:10 - The role of spore-forming probiotics

28:50 - DRY FARM WINES: Low Sugar, Low Alcohol, Toxin-Free, Mold- Free, Pesticide-Free , Hang-over Free Natural Wine! Use The Link DryFarmWines.com/melanieavalon To Get A Bottle For A Penny!

Red wine benefits linked to better gut health, study finds

30:30 - Paleo OMAD Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life: Join Melanie's Facebook Group To Discuss And Learn About All Things Biohacking! All Conversations Welcome!

30:50 - Using peptides (BPC 157) To Heal The Gut And Increase Growth Hormone 

38:15 - Low Dose Naltrexone 

40:30 -  5HT4 Agonists to Improve Motility 

41:50 - should you take pharmaceutical motility drugs? (Intestinal Mobility's Relationship to Bacterial Overgrowth) 

44:50 - Recovering From Dietary setbacks - The role of gasses and polyphenols in IBS 

50:15 - CBD for Remission Of Gut Issues

58:20 - How Atrantil Addresses GI Issues Naturally

59:50 - Go To Lovemytummy.com/MelanieAvalon  And Use the code MelanieAvalon for 10% off Atrantil!

1:00:10 - Get Dr. Brown's Member Subscription Box! Click Here To Get A Monthly Delivery Of The Products And Supplements Dr. Brown has Found In His Clinical Practice To Be Actually Effective, and Support Your Health Journey! You'll Get A Hand-Curated Selection, Along with Some Fun Surprises And New Products Along The Way, To Support Your Best Gut Health! If There's ONE GI Doc I Trust For This Sort Of Thing - It's Dr. Ken Brown!! (Plus, You'll Actually Save Money With The Box To Boot!)

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon:
Hi everybody and welcome to the show today. So I am here with, I don't think I've said this but quite honestly, my favorite gastroenterologist on the planet. I officially decided that is the case. I'm here with Dr. Ken Brown. Welcome Dr. Brown. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
No, thank you so much Melanie and it's an honor to be on the Melanie Avalon Show. And I was really expecting you to say I'm here, quite honestly, with my favorite gastroenterologist on the call right now. So the planet was much bigger than what I was thinking. 

Melanie Avalon:
No, definitely the planet for sure. So for listeners who aren't familiar, I've had Dr. Brown on my other podcast, The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. We've had him twice on that podcast because the conversations were just so amazing and listeners responded so well to it. So when I decided to start this new show, I was like, "I've got to get Dr. Brown on ASAP," because he is a wealth of knowledge for honestly everything about gut health, digestive issues, IBS, fixing your gut health, really supporting your gut health. 

Melanie Avalon:
And then going beyond that, he stays really current on all of the new studies and all the research. So there are so many different tangents and rabbit holes we could go on. We were talking before the podcast trying to decide what we should actually talk about because there's so many things. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
You're setting the bar awfully high. If you have new listeners, they're going to be expecting a lot. I hope that I can produce. 

Melanie Avalon:
I feel confident, I feel very confident. But I guess to get things started, would you like to just tell listeners a little bit briefly about your background so they know where you're coming from and why you are where you are today? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Absolutely. So as you mentioned, my name is Ken Brown. I am a board certified gastroenterologist. I'm still practicing. My mission is to try and bridge the gap between traditional medicine and natural solutions. And that's how kind of I'm always trying to learn some new things, trying to integrate different aspects. It was about 10 years ago when because of this journey, I realized that the pharmaceutical industry was missing several aspects in health, which includes gut health and I went on to develop a product called Atrantil which is a natural solution for bloating. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
And since then I've knocked down a bunch of barriers and I'm meeting all kinds of new researchers, all kinds of people, and I'm starting to question a lot of what I learned back in medical school and a lot of what is going on in health today. My goal is to try and with your listeners, see if we can come together as a community and share this kind of knowledge. I'm always trying to find new studies. I have scientists call me up all the time with a lot of animal data that really hasn't been released to the general public quite yet. And that's my goal is to start sharing all these different aspects of health, including gut health. Primarily gut health because I'm a little bit biased. I believe that all health and ends in the gut, but that is my mission. 

Melanie Avalon:
Well, I think that mission is clearly materializing. I originally came to dr Brown's work because through his supplement. I guess it's how I first found you. I'm trying to remember if I was taking Atrantil before I listened to some podcast interviews with you or if it was the other way around. But in any case, I've been taking Atrantil, which is Dr. Brown's supplement for quite a while to tackle my own IBS issues and it's absolutely amazing. So we can circle back around perhaps at the end to that, but foundational question to start things off. Why do you think, Dr. Brown, people suffer so much today with GI issues, with GI distress and then in the perfect world, what would be the perfect GI state? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
It's a really good question because clearly we're not becoming healthier as a nation. As a whole, we may have lifespan extended, but we don't really have the health span extended. And I see in my practice, just tons of people that are coming in. I got a really busy practice, all my partners are busy. We're not seeing less digestive issues. We're seeing more and more and more. There's a lot of different reasons why I think people speculate as to why it's happening. I think that diet is everything, 100% diet is everything. And unfortunately as Americans we tend to have a diet which is ultra processed, which have a lot of refined sugars in it. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
And the whole concept of spraying our crops with glyphosate is this big hairy monster over here off to the side. We're just starting to see some of the effects of that. So as a whole, we're seeing more autoimmune disorders, we're seeing more gastrointestinal issues like IBS, bacterial overgrowth is something that I did quite a bit of research on. Those kinds of things are only increasing in numbers. So if we take a step back and go, "What's actually going on?" There is lots of information that intestinal inflammation leads to intestinal permeability, which turns on your body's immune system. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Once that is turned on, then inflammation can happen anywhere in the body. So since 2004, we've known that you can have cardiovascular disease, dementia, you can have basically arthritis, everything starts from inflammation. So how do we stop that? I think that is the biggest thing. How do we take a step back and decrease the amount of inflammation that we're having? And I know that we talked about that on The Intermittent Fasting Podcast because that's what I think fasting does, is it decreases, at least temporarily, intestinal inflammation, which can help your body kind of recover with that. So in my practice, we're just seeing more and more disease and it's really upsetting as a doctor to watch people try to get better, but they're not. 

Melanie Avalon:
The inflammation thing is definitely huge. And you were talking about intermittent fasting. I think for me that's one of the reasons I love fasting the most is because of the reduced inflammation. So that's a little bit of a dreary picture. With that said, do you think there is potential to fix the gut despite where somebody may be starting from and how would somebody go about doing that? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
100%. If you don't mind, can I geek out a little bit with you here?

Melanie Avalon:
Please do. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So we were talking about how ultimately people are getting sicker. Two recent studies that came out of the British Medical Journal looked at people that ate ultra processed foods, they had higher cardiovascular deaths and then they looked at a different study which had all caused mortality that had higher deaths. And they looked at three main things that can actually do it. In ultra processed foods, you have emulsifiers, you have increased sugar and you have decreased fiber. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So they theorize that in these two studies that the emulsifiers actually affect your own microbiome. So one of the things that we can do for proper gut health is to feed our microbiome. When you eat, even if you think it's healthy, if it's shelf-stable, there's going to be some emulsifiers in it. That can actually disrupt your microbiome. So that's tip number one there that if possible, don't do that because even if it's low in sugar or whatever, those emulsifiers can be bad for you. 

Melanie Avalon:
Is that things like guar gum and carrageenan, I don't know how you say all these words, those types of things? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
And I'm not an expert on emulsifiers, but it's what makes things shelf-stable by having like a salad dressing allow vinegar and oil to stay kind of together instead of completely separating like it would in a natural environment. So I'll have to look up specifically the chemistry of the emulsifiers. But the other thing is, is that the sugar in these ultra processed foods, if you're going to buy something off the shelf, that's going to have higher sugar in it, that sugar also feeds the bacteria and those bacteria that love the sugar will start producing more of the type of bacteria that want more sugars. So you get yourself into a very vicious cycle.

Dr. Ken Brown:
And then they also theorize one thing, the decreased fiber. Most of these foods have decreased fiber. And we've got our soluble fibers, insoluble fibers. The soluble fibers, what happens is they nourish our microbiome. They work like prebiotics. You've heard the term probiotic. These are prebiotics and what these bacteria will do is break down these prebiotics and they will produce very beneficial things, which I'm going to throw another term out called post biotic. But one of the things is like short chain fatty acids. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
And what they do is those short chain fatty acids are used as fuel by the colon but they have shown that those molecules go around the body and they decrease inflammation throughout the body. So the bottom line is if you don't feed the bacteria what it wants, it'll start breaking down what it can, which is processed foods, the emulsifiers, the mucus layer in the colon. So it's really interesting to think about this because we have changed how we've been eating. This is not how our great grandmothers ate and we're seeing people get sicker. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
And now we're starting to get down to a molecular reason as to why this is going on. Ever since we shifted from when the FDA decided to say that a low fat, high carbohydrate diet is a better diet than a high fat diet, we've just become sicker, companies have started processing a lot of foods. And I think that is the real trend. And these two studies that were just published this month summarize that really well and that kind of explains how this is all happening and how our microbiome is tied into it. 

Melanie Avalon:
That is completely fascinating. It made me think of a question about the microbiome. So it changes based on what we're eating and if we're eating these processed foods, we're seeing a really detrimental effect having more cravings for those foods. So it's self perpetuating. How fast do these changes happen? So when somebody switches their diet, either starts eating processed foods or stops eating processed foods, is it a long time to change those bacteria populations or can it happen rather quickly? 

Melanie Avalon:
Because I know that one of the ironic things or one of the things that I've struggled with just from my own research is that we see on the one hand that apparently you can do these lifelong damage to your gut microbiome from things like C-section births or antibiotics. But then we also see studies showing that the microbiome changes super rapidly with dietary changes. How is that both the case that it can change so fast and yet have life term detrimental effects at the same time? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Well I think it's a really great question and it's very complex. I'm not a microbiologist, but what we can see is that first of all, the microbiome bacteria adapt very, very, very quickly. So I'm going to naively say that I remember talking to a microbiologist that said within 24 hours you can start to see a shift. I was speaking with Kiran Krishnan who is the medical for MegaSporeBiotic, and we got into a discussion about this where he has evidence to show that even after just a few doses of a spore based biotic, you can start changing the middle view of the microbiome. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So on the short end your microbiome changes extremely rapidly, which is how we can see that if you do a prolonged fast, and I mean three to five days, the diversity of the microbiome increases significantly. So even in a short period like that, we know that you're making a difference. To get back to your question as to, well, then how do we have these lifelong changes and why doesn't the microbiome recover from a C-section or antibiotics? I think it's exactly what we were talking about. If you damage your microbiome and you continue to eat a typical Western diet, you're continually assaulting your microbiome. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So the good news is that probably you can make rapid, significant changes and it all comes down to diversity. You have to have a very diverse microbiome. That's the genome within your genome to help you live an anti inflammatory life. And I go back to the inflammatory process because everybody keeps circling back to this. All these scientists come down and go, "The inflammatory markers." If you continue to eat and you eat these different things that both disrupt your microbiome so you have less diversity, and you also end up having a microbiome that is being assaulted, meaning bacterial overgrowth or emulsifiers that produce an inflammatory process. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
It's been shown that when you have inflammation starting in the gut, you can increase your cortisol, increase your CRP, which tells you to eat more. And there's some new evidence to show that one of the reasons why is that when you're inflamed, a hormone called leptin, which tells you when you're full gets blocked. 

Melanie Avalon:
I did not realize that. That inflammation plays a role with leptin.

Dr. Ken Brown:
There's some new evidence to show that. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you that you're hungry. So everybody's been focusing on that. Like, "How do we keep ghrelin down?" And bio hacking that and trying to figure out how to decrease ghrelin because that's what everybody thinks is making you hungry. But leptin is equally important because leptin tells you that you're full. So if inflammation blunts the leptin response, you are actually thinking that you're hungry when you're probably not, or you probably don't need to eat. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
And then you eat and you create more inflammation. So now let's circle back to, I'm eating all these processed foods, I'm producing a narrow microbiome that wants more of the processed foods. So now I'm just on a hamster wheel. So this makes sense, that that British Medical Journal was describing how all cause mortality is worse when you have processed foods. So looking at that, imagine if you're eating a lot of processed foods, you decrease your microbiome diversity so that you're producing more of the type of bacteria that wants that process food.

Dr. Ken Brown:
Now we realize that the processed food creates inflammation, which leads to cortisol and CRP, C-reactive protein increase. And that blocks leptin, which is the hormone that tells you that you're not hungry ultimately leading to wanting to eat more. So you get into this hamster wheel of just running, craving certain foods, leading to inflammation, leading to wanting more of the same foods. So it makes total sense why we would have this all cause mortality increased because it's a monster that's feeding itself. So this whole, when we shifted from natural foods and we shifted from healthy fats to low fat, high carbohydrate, which really encouraged processed foods, we've become sicker as a country. 

Melanie Avalon:
So it's a really self perpetuating cycle. And I mean it sounds like the answer, dare I say, is to consume a whole food space diet, but then also having the understanding that also it matters what foods digest well for people, what foods might be inflammatory for some and not for others. So it sounds like to me there's not one right diet, but there is a paradigm in eating the whole foods to support gut health. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
That's what's fascinating. We're going to learn eventually that ultimately what makes us healthier isn't so much how you feel, but really healthier for a health span will be to feed your particular microbiome what it actually wants. And I just got emailed from a friend while I was waiting to log on for this an interesting study where they looked at the microbiome of twins and they're showing that that's different and zonal regions, people have different microbiomes. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So if you look at the microbiome in somebody in Greece, you're going to have a, even if they eat the same type of diet or try to, different microbiome from somebody that's here. And the reality is we have the ability to test and look, we don't really understand what to do with the information quite yet. So we can do these very complex DNA and PCR stool analysis and say, "Look, Melanie, it looks like we need to increase the diversity of your microbiome based on these stool studies." 

Dr. Ken Brown:
But we don't really have a protocol on how to do it quite yet, but we'll get there eventually. And it would be fascinating to be able to say, "Okay, if we can improve your microbiome, then we know that these different genetic things that you're at risk for, you can decrease the propensity for developing that." Just like you said, but what diet is that? That's where we have to figure that out. 

Melanie Avalon:
That's fantastic. And then I think also there's the whole probiotic world and that whole aspect. I think that's also misunderstood a little bit because I think people think, "I'll take probiotics to change the population of my gut health." And you can correct me if I'm wrong or I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, but it's my current understanding that most probiotic supplements are more of a transitory immune modulating effect or that's what they have, whereas actually changing the population of your gut likely does more involve your dietary food choices environment. That's an understanding I've reached. What are your thoughts on probiotics? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So probiotics are a really complex topic and I will sum it up with this. I was at the American College of Gastroenterology and I had the honor of bumping into somebody that I've known for years and years. His name is Eamonn Quigley. Dr. Eamonn Quigley is one of the very first gastroenterologist to start discussing probiotics. And I went up to him and said, "Hey, I'm going to be going on the show. We're going to be talking probiotics. Is there something new novel that I need to hear?" And he summed it up best. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
He said, for the last 40 years, these things do amazing, incredible effects on intestinal tissue in a Petri dish. We have not been able to replicate it in randomized controlled trials in the human body. So the human body, and in a Petri dish we call that in vitro and in vivo. So in vivo is in life. So when somebody that's been studying it for 40 years is still kind of going, "Yes, they do really good things." What I tell my patients quite simply is, "Look, if it's helping you, that's awesome. If it's not, let's move on."

Dr. Ken Brown:
Most of my patients will come to me and they've been on 20 different kinds and so they've tried them all. Looking at that, when I was speaking with Kiran who is a microbiologist and we got into a deep discussion on spore based biotics, now I'm starting to realize where we can actually do this. I was working with a PhD who developed a probiotic that actually gets rid of a type infection called C. diff. And in animal models it would not work unless he injected it directly into the colon. So they would go into the ilium and inject it, which tells me that many of the probiotics that we're taking probably are being destroyed before they get to the colon. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So when you talk about your immune modulating effects, if it can help with the upper gastrointestinal system where you can have some leaky gut, that kind of thing where it helps heal that area, that's awesome. But it probably is not changing the diversity of your microbiome. So when you take a spore based one, it actually goes through and in a spore form it is resistant to both acid, bile and proteases. So it can go to what I think is going to be the future of probiotics, which is surviving the whole way down getting to the colon. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So in your response to it's a temporary immune modulator, you're exactly right. In a local effect, it probably can do a few things, but we're not getting it all the way to the colon to change the microbiome. And I think in overall health we need to have a diversified microbiome. One way to do it is to use spore based biotics. 

Melanie Avalon:
Switching tides a little bit. Do you see where I'm going with this? Maybe?

Dr. Ken Brown:
I don't. 

Melanie Avalon:
You don't. We were talking, for listeners before this, about what all you're going to talk about and Dr. Brown, apparently you've been looking into peptides. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Switching tides. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yes. I am so glad that you brought this up when we were speaking earlier because I keep hearing the word peptides and admittedly I have a tendency to go on crazy research tangents and research all the things all the time. I know nothing about peptides, nothing. I keep hearing it though. People keep saying, "Have you looked into peptide therapy?" Or, "Have you looked into peptides?" So I am a completely novice interviewer and listener here asking you what's the deal with peptides? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So admittedly I am not a peptide expert. I'm new to this as well and I'm just starting to look at it. And one of the reasons why is because I have people come to me and they've tried everything and they're very sick. I have to continue trying to find new and interesting ways to try and treat people because ultimately my job is to try and bridge this gap like we talked about. And peptides were brought to my attention by somebody you should have on your podcast by the way, Gabrielle Lyon.

Dr. Ken Brown:
She is a doctor in New York. We're part of a healthcare entrepreneur group and she brought to my attention, have I ever considered using peptides before? Then I recently was going to have someone on my show who's a former bodybuilder and he was like, "Man, peptides have been around the bodybuilding era for quite a while." So I started to think about that and look into it. Ultimately, this is the level one knowledge base. So you and I are almost equivalent to this, but peptides can be thought of as just small proteins. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
They're usually less than 50 amino acids that they will typically act as highly specific signaling molecules that will help our body function in better ways. So you can imagine hormone production, cell signaling, cell to cell communication. So what makes them really interesting is that these are just amino acids put together in certain sequences. So in my world, the reason why I started getting into it is that there is a peptide which is based off... it's a synthetic partial sequence of a compound in our body that our body naturally produces called body protection compound, BPC. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
This protein is naturally produced in the gastrointestinal tract and that helps your intestines heal. So it's fascinating to think that as all health begins and ends in the gut, we may be producing less of this BPC. So it was brought to my attention that it is possible that something called BPC 157 can actually help my patients that suffer from gastrointestinal issues. So just like you said, I started looking into this and it really looks like that this BPC 157, it's not really fully understood how it works.

Dr. Ken Brown:
But it does suggest that the peptide may be involved in the activation of something called vascular endothelial growth factor, which means that blood vessels can grow and it can actually enhance growth hormone as well. So Eric and I have a show called Gut Check Project and I was looking into this and one of the fun things, and you're doing this right now where you have a show, but you also get the opportunity to learn a lot and you can bring people on or if you have an interest then you go research it so you can talk about it.

Dr. Ken Brown:
So a few shows ago, I actually looked into this BPC 57 and what they have concluded on numerous rodent studies, the particular study I looked at was one that decided to look at specific things outside of the gut, which I found really fascinating. So it's been shown that BPC 57 is known to help with ulcers in the stomach and intestinal damage. It helps with joint healing and a few other things. So what they did in 2016, these researchers out of Croatia, they looked at how BPC 157 and the brain gut access actually interact. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So they looked at how it affects depression, alcohol withdrawal, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, opioid withdrawal. And they had these rodent models where they were looking at it. I remember listening to a professor that was taped at the bio hacking conference in Canada last year discussing this very particular thing. It's so wild that I'm stumbling on this and I'm like, "Why don't I know about this yet?" Because if this does half of what it says, I could be helping tons of patients.

Dr. Ken Brown:
So it's just peptides are something very, very interesting and BPC 157 is an easy transition for me because there's lots of data in the gut health and I'm going to be collecting data and trying to figure out with my patients if we can make a difference and I'm going to find out if it does make a difference in humans with depression, opioid withdrawal, all these different things that I still deal with. So it's a little bit like bio hacking. I think that we're going to be getting to the point that peptides and stem cells and things like that are going to transform our lives, but it won't mean anything if we don't transform our diets first. 

Melanie Avalon:
I feel like this is the universe speaking because people have been mentioning this whole peptide thing to me and I just pulled up an email I'd received and they said, had I heard about peptide therapy, they said that it was basically changing their gut health and they said specifically that they are doing thymosin alpha1 and BPC 157 so that rang a bell when you were saying that. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
BPC 157, I think is one of the ones that has been used more readily. And the fact that it kind of decreases, once again the same thing, it decreases inflammation. And so if we're decreasing inflammation, we're improving our health span. I think one of the problems with peptides according to my friend is it's kind of unregulated. So there's a lot of people out there on the internet selling peptides, which may or may not be on the up and up. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
And a lot of doctors are not getting involved with it. A lot of the functional medicine doctors are, if you go to a forum, people do talk about peptides. I would love to come back on, give me six, eight months and we can sit down and talk about my clinical experience with it because I'm going to start using it a lot and seeing what happens. The same thing happened with low dose naltrexone and... 

Melanie Avalon:
What are your thoughts on that by the way? Because I take that.

Dr. Ken Brown:
You do?

Melanie Avalon:
I love it. I do. Yes. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
I think it's really good for preventing autoimmune disease. I'm very biased. Only because my practice right now is just people that have failed everything. So a lot of people have been to five or six functional medicine doctors, they've tried stuff. So my experience with it is very biased because I only get funneled to people that nothing works on. But if you look at how it can actually work, I think it's fascinating. I've talked to other functional medicine doctors who say that they have amazing effects. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So I suggest staying on it. I've put a handful of people on it and had pretty good results. That being said, once again, I would love to start seeing it. It's that whole treatment naive group versus the ones that have tried everything. So the beauty of BPC 157 in my patient population is that none of them have tried it because it hasn't trickled down to them yet. That's why I'm pretty excited. But I would totally encourage you to stay on it. I think that the side effect profile's super low, it's not very expensive and there is a lot of data to show how much it can help with autoimmune disease, leaky gut, that kind of thing. 

Melanie Avalon:
For listeners who aren't familiar with low dose naltrexone, basically I always say that it's the one pharmaceutical I passionately can get behind. But basically it works by temporarily blocking your... is it opioid or opioid receptors?

Dr. Ken Brown:
Opioid receptors.

Melanie Avalon:
So that your body basically thinks momentarily that you don't have enough endorphins naturally so then it rebounds and creates more endorphins. And as a result it has a very antiinflammatory effect and it seems to help a lot of people with immune problems and just a lot of things. And I've been taking it consistently for years now and whenever I stopped taking it, I definitely notice a difference bringing it back. It seems to have a very antiinflammatory effect for me. I was prescribed it as a pro kinetic after rifaximin but I kind of kept it in for the health benefits. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Now since we're just sort of talking on new things all the time, recently the FDA just reapproved Zelnorm. It's a 5-HT4 agonist that was approved by the FDA for constipation. What is awesome with it is that 5-HT4, that's a serotonin receptor and it actually improves the motility of the stomach and the upper small bowel. So it's a pro kinetic agent. And when Dr. Pimentel did his original Xifaxan studies, he did it with giving people Zelnorm at night to increase the housekeeper phenomenon, otherwise known as the phase three contraction. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So whenever you go to bed, one of the reasons why a lot of people have persistent SIBO or bacterial overgrowth is because their intestines don't do what's called the housekeeper phenomenon where they flush the small intestine. We try and trick it to do that using different pro kinetics like low dose naltrexone or erythromycin at night. But FDA just recently re-released Zelnorm. So we're going to have another little weapon there. Motegrity was also approved by the FDA recently, which is a 5-HT4 agonist as well. But I think we have better results with Zelnorm. 

Melanie Avalon:
I know you come from a conventional background, but you have the natural approach as well. So are you seeing with these motility drugs that they are... Because it sounds like with Zelnorm you're saying it actually improves the overall GI state. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Well, what it does is when you go to bed, so a lot of people that have bacterial overgrowth or suffer chronically, one of the problems is that you go to bed at night and there is a portion of your intestine that doesn't move very well. That's where bacteria can grow when you go to sleep. So let's say you take Xifaxan during the day, or you take Atrantil during the day and you're trying to get that bacteria to go back to the colon. Well then when you sleep, there's this little sewer pipe there that just allows it to regrow. That's the theory.

Dr. Ken Brown:
So that's why how come 20% of people that have a gastrointestinal infection will develop antibodies to the cells that allow the electrical current to go down. So what you're doing is forcing the body to clean itself at night. It's like calling for maid service on demand. Think of it that way. That's one of the reasons why we talked about using a pro motility agent. I want to be able to have you go to sleep.

Dr. Ken Brown:
If I'm treating you, I'm going to treat you during the day, but then when you go to sleep at night, I'm going to call maid service to make sure that you continue to clean out the small intestine like it should so that when you wake up and take the anything that's left, you're going to have less bacteria growing, a better response to the medications that you're on, herbal, antibiotics, Xifaxin, Atrantil, whatever it is that you're taking. That's probably the main reason why SIBOs become such a tough issue. It's not so much a bacteria thing, it's more of a motility thing. If we can improve that motility, then we can help a lot of people.

Dr. Ken Brown:
Let me explain why I said re-released. So what happened in the pharmaceutical industry is that it got FDA approval for constipation. Then they just flooded the market with this product because there's very few products for constipation at the time and they went after family practice doctors, internal medicine doctors, gastroenterologists, everyone, gynecologists. So they just give it to anybody with irritable bowel syndrome. Well if you happen to have diarrhea predominant, well it made it worse. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
And so in the older population there were multiple episodes of strokes, heart attacks, electrolyte deficiency and death. So the FDA pulled it off the market because of that. There is a great example of a very good drug and they were going after a way too big of a market, trying to make way too much money way too quick and we ended up having it pulled off the market completely. They have lobbied and lobbied to get this back on there. And due to a lot of patient advocacy groups, it is now coming back and I think we're going to be able to make a big difference. 

Melanie Avalon:
That is very exciting. I'm going to be looking into this for sure. Does that also explain partly why as long as things are moving and flowing, things can be good and then people will have the go off plan of their diet that works? People often say that they'll have a slip up or something and then it just takes days and days to recover from it. So could that be the case in some situations that some sort of dietary choice or whatever created a blockage and that just self perpetuates itself so it's hard to get things moving again and flowing? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Well, I think some of that comes down to at least the types of gases that are being produced. Let's look at the two types of gases produced in bacterial overgrowth, hydrogen sulfide and methane. We know that methane works as a local paralytic. We know that hydrogen sulfide actually moves things along a little bit. So there's a lot of data coming out that these different gases could be in relation to, they can be produced some of it on a temporary level to protect the body from different metabolites. So you asked at the very beginning of the show, how soon will you see a change in the bacteria? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
It is quite possible that even within hours the bacteria could be reproducing in a way, and they could be trying to get rid of toxic compounds like sulfite. And this gets into a lot of microbiology, but it's really cool to sit there and think that maybe a lot of this is an adaptive process to try and combat, like we had talked about, all these processed foods. So we now know that if you produce hydrogen sulfide, what happens is that you increase the oxygen consumption in your intestinal cells.

Dr. Ken Brown:
And so one way that we can combat that is to actually bind the sulfide molecule and we can do that using polyphenols, is a great example. That's one of the reasons why mother nature, if you give your body what it wants and polyphenols are the colorful molecules on vegetables and fruits, your body will use those polyphenols in a way wherever it's necessary. We talked a little bit about the decrease in fiber if you have a processed food diet, well fiber is just a prebiotic that then allows the bacteria to produce postbiotics very, very similar with the polyphenols. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
What they are is they do not become digested until they get to the colon and then the colonic bacteria will actually feed on that. And when they feed on that, they release anti-inflammatory molecules and they will soak up different toxic things being produced by our diet. So everything comes back to diet. If we can get polyphenols to the colon, your colonic bacteria will break them down into a lot of different molecules which go all over your body, not just the short chain fatty acids, but a lot of different molecules that decrease the inflammatory process. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So sometimes when people eat and they go way off their diet and they have this kind of reaction, it could be a reaction to get rid of and get you back so that you don't have a chronic situation. I'm gluten intolerant and whenever I eat gluten, I end up having a pretty rough day. If I take Atrantil with it, we now realize that there's some science behind that, that it probably binds up the gluten. So my body doesn't digest the gluten as well and I just kind of get rid of it. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
If I don't, then I ended up having a whole lot of issues. I even get joint swelling and stuff like that. So when patients talk to me, when they go off their diet, they'll have all kinds of stuff, not just GI issues, but they'll say, it's really weird, like, "I'm achy. My joints, I feel like I'm in a brain fog." I think it's all related, it's always moving constantly. Our intestines are always moving, we're always regenerating cells, our bacteria are always changing. So it's a moving target. Bottom line is if you go off, just feed your bacteria what they want and you'll be able to get back on track. 

Melanie Avalon:
So there's always hope.

Dr. Ken Brown:
There are so many interesting things going on. And I don't want to say this in a bad way because I try not to bash traditional medicine too much because I'm a traditionally trained gastroenterologist. There's a lot of really good things that we do. I do use a lot of drugs that are very effective in people. I have a graduate student that works for me and she finds me articles where it's mind blowing that these articles exist and nobody's talking about it. There's animal studies, there's human studies, there's all kinds of stuff. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
And the reason why nobody's talking about them is because number one, they're not monetizable. So you don't have drug companies showing up at doctor's offices explaining it to them. Number two, they're not exotic enough to be talked about in the news and it gets buried right away. A great example is the endocannabinoid system. I'm doing a lot of research on that and a lot of people don't understand that at all, certainly medical doctors don't. So as we sit there and see the effects, how CBD is kind of a little bio hack, how does it work? Molecular.

Dr. Ken Brown:
When I talk to my colleagues, they're like, "There's no science on it." Let me whole up. We share something. So she is an avid researcher and I use this program called Mendeley where we can share articles. And if I type in gastrointestinal health and CBD, these are just articles that we've downloaded that when I find the time, I need to slowly chip away. 2400 different articles in the last two years. So people are posting stuff, there's researchers out there doing some really cool stuff, but we're just inundated with information. We're not getting out there. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So what I mean by hope is there's so much hope. There's so much stuff that we haven't even gotten out to the general public, that's ultimately my goal. I'm the biggest nerd you've ever met. I can nerd out all day long. This stuff is so exciting. When I start reading articles I go, "BPC 57? How did I not know about this?" I get mad at myself but the reality is there's only so much time in a day, you only have so much bandwidth and I still have to make a living by doing colonoscopies and doing rectals. 

Melanie Avalon:
Well minus the colonoscopies, we are very similar.

Dr. Ken Brown:
Minus the colonoscopies and rectals?

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah and that too. No, but one of my favorite moments is when I have a question in my head about something I want to know how fast it relates to something or CBD relates to... I have an idea and then I go to Google Scholar and I try to find a study, that moment when there actually is a study that looks at exactly what you were wanting to know, it's the best moment ever. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So let's try this. Give me a topic you'd like to know. I'm on Mendeley right now, which these are actual articles that we have. 

Melanie Avalon:
I got one for you.

Dr. Ken Brown:
All right. What you got?

Melanie Avalon:
Because I was glad you brought up CBD because I've started taking and experimenting with it for about two weeks now. Obsessed. Just saying. Is there anything about CBD and fungal overgrowth or candida? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
That's interesting. So what I'm going to be shooting here later today is actually a series of educational videos on CBD. 

Melanie Avalon:
This will be helping you a little bit too. The reason I'm asking is because I've been experimenting with a few different products or suppliers and I have what I think might be related to yeast in my mouth. I'm not quite sure. But I've been swishing around the CBD, so this is very anecdotal, just me, but I don't know, I feel like it's doing something. So I had on my to do list to research the... 

Dr. Ken Brown:
I will find this for you. In fact, you know what? We'll just email her right now. So I will find that for you. So one of the reasons why I got into this is that a lot of my patients, unfortunately there's lots of brands out there which the regulatory status of CBD right now is not very good. I found a company called Elixinol and they actually approached me. We already have a physician line called KBMD CBD. So this is why I'm really getting into it, a certificate of analysis. 

Melanie Avalon:
Awesome. What are you going to use, if I can ask really quickly, as your carrier? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
We're using MCT oil, medium-chain triglycerides.

Melanie Avalon:
Perfect. So will it be just the MCT and then the extract? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
It's just the MCT and the extract. It's a full phytocannabinoid spectrum. And what that means is right now CBD, there's a lot of marketing hype. People are trying to say this and that. I truly believe once again, it's mother nature does it best. Quit trying to mess with it. There's a new drug that has recently come out called Epidiolex, it's horrible name to say, Epidiolex. FDA approved CBD isolate for severe seizures. I found an article that's buried in the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases journal where they tried to look at the use of this and ulcerative colitis. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
They had a 68% dropout rate, I think. So the side effects from it were really bad and the results were... Now I'm going to publish a small case series where I'm treating people with ulcerative colitis with this CBD, but it's a full spectrum CBD I made. And we're looking at ulcerative colitis and I've scoped them and then I put them on CBD for 20 days and then re-scope them and biopsied and I showed complete remission.

Melanie Avalon:
Really?

Dr. Ken Brown:
Yeah, I'll say that again, because stop and think. This is a horrific disease that costs a ton of money and we may have a solution in this. So this is not a marketing hype. This is not anything, this is my own time and money where we're looking at this, trying to figure out how to help these people. And the main reason is because these drugs, if any of your listeners have ulcerative colitis, they know these drugs can cost an insane amount of money even if you have insurance. And it's egregious because these drugs are old, they're there. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
So when I'm seeing people, I'm seeing the effects, I'm tracking hundreds of patients and I can see how it helps. The whole endocannabinoid system is extremely complex and I'm a gastroenterologist by trade, we're going to end up having endocannabinoidologists because it is that complex. So when you started switching that around, I don't know what's actually in it. Do you have a certificate of analysis and all that stuff? We can talk for hours on that one but this is a little bit more of a gut health show so we can talk again on the whole CBD aspect. But it's super exciting times and I'm seeing really good beneficial...

Dr. Ken Brown:
The reason why I got into CBD is because I found a scientist that explained to me that my molecules and Atrantil actually block the enzyme FAAH which is the enzyme that goes up during stress or lack of sleep, and it actually decreases your own endogenous endocannabinoids. So my goal, once again, is just to bridge the gap. Let's just start making sense of this stuff so that everyone can benefit and let's get this information out there. 

Melanie Avalon:
And for listeners, I do want to clarify briefly about CBD and the endocannabinoids. It's my understanding that though A, the endocannabinoids are very healing and beneficial for the body, and B, that CBD does not create an addiction problem, it doesn't reduce your natural production of them, my understanding is it just basically supplies extra in a way. Is that correct? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Well actually the real belief is that when you take exogenous endocannabinoids, you actually block this enzyme that breaks down your own. So all you're doing is helping your body to help itself. And on our show, I usually talk about CBD at some point. There's science to show that CBD can bind to serotonin receptors and dopamine receptors. Think of it as like an adaptogen. So it's a micronutrient that your body will use where it needs. 

Melanie Avalon:
I love that. And then we keep talking about Atrantil. I do want listeners to actually know what Atrantil is because well, I'll let you talk about it. But it is a natural solution for a lot of GI issues and it has an array of health benefits. Would you like to tell our listeners a little bit about Atrantil, what it is and what it does? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Sure. So just really briefly, it's a combination of three polyphenols, which I did the research to develop to help people with bloating and bacterial overgrowth and IBS type symptoms. Since we launched about, I guess it's four years ago now, since we launched four years ago, we have started to see all the different anti-inflammatory benefits of it. This is how I know about the postbiotics, this is how we know how it affects FAAH and we're just learning a whole lot more. But I'm on it, my kids are on it. I take both the CBD and Atrantil and it's pretty exciting to see how we're helping some people. 

Melanie Avalon:
For listeners, I cannot recommend enough that you try Atrantil, A, if you have digestive issues it can be a wonder there and then just in general... Actually, I'll put links in the show notes to the other interviews that I've had with Dr. Brown because we do go into a lot more detail about Atrantil on The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you go to melanieavalon.com/guthealth there'll be the show notes there for today's episode and I'll put links there to those other episodes so you can learn more about Atrantil. But I cannot recommend it enough. And thank you Dr. Brown for this. If you go to lovemytummy.com/melanieavalon and use the code Melanie Avalon at checkout, Dr. Brown is offering 10% off of Atrantil. So definitely check that out. I cannot recommend it enough. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Right on. So, Melanie, thank you so much for having me on your show. One other thing I just wanted to bring up because I think it's so important to assist people both in their health and to make it affordable. We teamed up with Memberbox and we're launching a subscription box to try and get these kinds of products like the spore based biotic, like Atrantil, eventually CBD and some other things at a huge discount. Just go to kbmdbox.com, take a look at that. We literally are launching that as we speak. 

Melanie Avalon:
I'm super, super excited about that. [Dr. Robertson 00:52:00] talked about it with me and I'm super excited, so pumped for that. So we'll definitely put information in the show notes as well. And I have one very quick, easy last question for you, Dr. Brown. It's something that I'm asking every single guest on this show. It's the last question. 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Fire away.

Melanie Avalon:
It's just because I'm realizing how important mindset is in health and gratitude and all of those things. So what is something that you're grateful for? 

Dr. Ken Brown:
Really quick. I read every single day, The Daily Stoic and I do mindfulness meditation. So my practice is to be grateful. What I am grateful for today is to have a voice to talk to you, to have a platform to extend knowledge and to hopefully change at least one person's life. 

Melanie Avalon:
Well, thank you. I definitely think you are doing that and thank you, no pun intended, thank you, thank you, thank you so much for being here. Thank you for all the work you're doing and I look forward to seeing where everything goes from here. We'll have to bring you back in a few months to talk about the whole peptide thing maybe some more CBD.

Dr. Ken Brown:
Yes, absolutely. And thank you for everything that you do, Melanie. You're putting yourself out there and your listeners that follow you so avidly. I think it is absolutely awesome. 

Melanie Avalon:
Thank you so much. Well, I look forward to seeing what the world brings in future. Talk to you later.

Dr. Ken Brown:
Bye-bye.

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