• Home  / 
  • Blog  / 
  • Gut Health  / 

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #24 - Dr. Vincent Pedre

Dr. Vincent M. Pedre is the Medical Director of Pedre Integrative Health and Founder of Dr. Pedre Wellness, Medical Advisor to two health-tech start-ups, MBODY360 and Natural Partners-Fullscript, Chief Medical Officer for United Naturals, and a Functional Medicine-Certified Practitioner in private practice in New York City since 2004. He is also certified in yoga and Medical Acupuncture and part of the mindbodygreen collective of influencers with regular, popular blog posts. In 2017, he joined Orthomolecular as the chief Clinical Expert in the Pillars of GI Health Program. And in 2018, he joined the faculty for the Institute for Functional Medicine, teaching the first ever introductory functional medicine courses to practitioners in Lima, Peru, Brisbane, Australia and Mexico City. He believes the gut is the gateway to a better brain and excellent health. As the bestselling author of “Happy Gut—The Cleansing Program To Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Eliminate Pain”—he has helped thousands of people resolve their digestive and gut-related health issues.


LEARN MORE AT:

www.happygutlife.com
FB: DrVincentPedre
Insta: @drpedre
Twitter: @drpedre

SHOWNOTES

2:40 - LISTEN ON HIMALAYA!: Download The Free Himalaya App (Www.himalaya.fm) To FINALLY Keep All Your Podcasts In One Place, Follow Your Favorites, Make Playlists, Leave Comments, And More! Follow The Melanie Avalon 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! 

02:50 - Paleo OMAD Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life: Join Melanie's Facebook Group To Discuss And Learn About All Things Biohacking! All Conversations Welcome!

03:15 - BEAUTY COUNTER: Non-Toxic Beauty Products Tested For Heavy Metals, Which Support Skin Health And Look Amazing!Shop At Beautycounter.com/MelanieAvalon For Something Magical! For Exclusive Offers And Discounts, And More On The Science Of Skincare, Get On Melanie's Private Beauty Counter Email List At MelanieAvalon.com/CleanBeauty!

The Science Of Skincare: Toxin Absorption, Legal Loopholes, Hidden Ingredients, Safe Makeup, And My Honest Beautycounter Experience

04:45 - FOOD SENSE GUIDE: Get Melanie's App To Tackle Your Food Sensitivities! Food Sense Includes A Searchable Catalogue of 300+ Foods, Revealing Their Gluten, FODMAP, Lectin, histamine, Amine, 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!

Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program To Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, And Eliminate Pain 

9:55 - Dr. Pedre's Personal History And Path To Gut Health 

17:00 - What Is A Healthy Gut?

19:15 - The 5 Key Roles Of The Gut

20:00 -  Why People Struggle With Gut Issues Today 

21:45 -  Zonulin And Leaky Gut Cell Structure 

24:50 - How Fast Does The Gut Take To  Heal?

28:00 - Non-Gut Symptoms 

28:45 - The Blessings Of GI Issues

31:30 - When To Stop Attacking  

33:00 - Why Do We Crave Foods That Hurt Us?

34:30 - Yeast Toxins And Cravings 

36:45 - Immune Response To Proteins: IGE vs. IGG

38:30 - IGG And IGE Half Lives 

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #17 - David Sinclair

40:50 - Are Food Sensitivity Tests Accurate?

44:15 - Elimination Diets And Healing Crises

50:00 - PREP DISH: Prep Dish is an awesome meal planning service which sends you weekly grocery and recipe lists, so you can do all your meal preparation at once, and be good to go for the week!  The meals are all gluten free or Paleo, which is fantastic if you're already doing so, but also a wonderful way to "try out" gluten free or Paleo with delicious meals, and no feelings of restriction! Get A Free 2 Week Trial At Prepdish.com/melanieavalon

53:15 - Digesting Proteins 

57:00 - How Digestion Works

59:45 - Pancreatic Enzymes 

Pancreatic elastase-1 (PE1) test: "Pancreatic elastase-1 (PE1) is the best marker for pancreatic function in the stool. It is a protease enzyme, meaning that it helps break down and digest protein. Because it does not break down as it travels down the GI tract, it is an excellent test for pancreatic function."  - Pedre, Vincent. Happy Gut (p. 185). William Morrow. Kindle Edition.

1:01:00 - The Role Of Stress

1:03:00 - Does Taking Enzymes Affect The Gut's Natural Process?

1:06:30 - Other Factors For Digestive Health: Stress, Mindset, Vagus Nerve, Etc.

1:07:15 - Enzymes While Fasting 

1:08:00 - The Role of the CNS, ENS, And Vagal Tone

1:10:45 - Chiropractic Care

1:12:45 - Gratitude  And Mindset To Heal The Gut

1:14:00 - The Longest Lived Populations 

1:14:45 - Gut Microbiome In Shared Households

1:17:10 - DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice)

Vital Nutrients - DGL Powder - Licorice Extract to Support Healthy Stomach Lining and Digestive Tract - Gluten Free - Vegetarian - 120 Grams per Bottle

Dr. Pedre's 3 Day Gut Reboot

1:29:40 - Fasting For Gut Health 

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon:
Hi friends, welcome back to the show. I am super excited to be here today with Dr. Vincent Pedre. This is our first time meeting each other. You are the author of Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program to Help you Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Eliminate Pain. And when your publicist sent me the book, so I know you don't know much about me, but I've had a lot of gut issues myself through my history, and I've done a lot of research. And I was like, "Okay, this is great, another gut book," but when I started reading it, oh, my goodness, it is so comprehensive. It goes into so much detail and it touches on all of the things I have questions about all the time, tied in with a very healthy, amazing mindset and perspective. So I got so excited. I was reading it and I was like, "This is amazing." So I'm very, very happy to have you here. Thank you so much for being here. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Thank you for that. I've heard many compliments for my book, but not one like this. So I really appreciate it and your perspective. Actually, recently I was in London and I did one of those Airbnb experiences, found a chef that showed you how to make your own gluten free buckwheat sourdough bread. And he turned out to have his own gut issues and within a day had ordered my book, read it, and then messaged me back and was like, "Wow," just answered a bunch of questions that I had, that I had not encountered before. So, thank you so much, because that was a labor of love putting that book together. 

Melanie Avalon:
No, I can really tell. And, I mean, I don't want this to come off the wrong way. But there's so many books out there on gut health. So honestly, when I first saw the title, I was like, "Okay, it's another gut book." I'm just so excited to talk to you because I have so many questions, because you really go into the nitty gritty specifics about a lot of things. So I think we'll have a really, really awesome conversation. A little bit for listeners who are not familiar with Dr. Pedre's work, so he is the medical director of Padre and Integrative Health and he's the founder of Dr. Padre Wellness. He's also a medical advisor to two health tech startups. That's a big deal, by the way, startups. I know which is like one sentence like, oh two startups, but...

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Actually, since that bio was written, one of them, MBODY360 actually was sold and bought over by big nutraceutical companies, so it is no longer existing as a startup. It's pretty wild.

Melanie Avalon:
Oh, wow. Well, congratulations. That's amazing. Wow, I'm very impressed. He's also the Chief Medical Officer for United Naturals and he's a functional medicine certified practitioner and you practice in New York since 2004. And then you're also certified in yoga and medical acupuncture. Speaking of, I just moved to Atlanta in the spring from California, and I don't have an acupuncturist yet here and that's like one of my biggest to do lists right now, I need to get on that. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Well, that's a big move from Cali to Georgia. 

Melanie Avalon:
It is. It's a very, very different world. But I'm definitely enjoying it. So, okay. So many things that we can talk about. But I thought to start things off, would you like to tell listeners a little bit about your personal health history? I mean, what made you so interested in gut health and what brought you to where you are today? 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yeah, I mean, there's actually different answers for that. I used to suffer from severe constipation when I was between seven and 10 years old. Honestly, I thought as a child that that was just my makeup. And then later on, I was getting sick. And back in the 80s, they would give kids antibiotics for throat infections, sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, you name it, I had it, and I was on two to three rounds of antibiotics every year of my teenage years all the way through 17, which is, looking back and knowing how I practice medicine now I know how horrible that was for my gut microbiome. And what that led to in retrospect was leaky gut syndrome. And I became sensitive to the top two food groups that were the primary macronutrients in my diet, which was wheat, and dairy.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And I was eating way too much bread sandwiches, pastels, ice cream, cereal with milk in the morning, a milkshake after school. And little did I know and little did my parents know that pediatricians back then in the 80s, no one made the connection and we were going to standard western doctors where there was a complete discord between what you eat and what your body reveals to you or how your body behaves, your immune system, whatnot. So I grew up this way and a big motivation for me as I went to medical school was to hack why I got sick so often, why if someone was sick around me, I would pick it up so easily, and how I could make that better, under the guise of the fact that I had grown up with a dad who was a bit obsessed with health. And he was obsessed with his own nutrition and took a bunch of supplements. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And we always as kids thought that it was funny and kind of made fun of our dad for it. I mean, at one point, he did a food allergy test, and he had a whole list of foods that he couldn't eat and what he could eat and it was just so humorous at the time. And it's crazy that I ended up in that field almost by accident, because the other part of the story is that, I'd gotten to a point where my gut, I guess, became more of like an IBS situation and very sensitive and if I ate the wrong things, or eating out or eating at school, didn't disagree with me, running to the bathroom. And I just figured that it was my normal, but it was when I discovered functional medicine, which wasn't until after I had finished medical school. I had done extensive training in internal medicine. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
I had also trained in acupuncture. That's when I came upon functional medicine and started learning about the microbiome and the role of the microbiome and started thinking, "Wait a second, is what I have really normal? Or is it a consequence of what an accumulation of things that happened to me throughout my life?" So at the same time that I became fascinated with kind of using myself as a guinea pig, I was also always really fascinated with gut patients, because if you look at them from the western model, if someone comes in and you diagnose them with IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, as a Western doctor, you're thinking, what drug can I give them? Am I going to give them something for constipation? Am I going to give them something for diarrhea? Am I going to give them something for spasms? But it's really not getting to the root cause, and it was through functional medicine that I started looking at root cause and what was really under the hood, what was causing these symptoms for my patients. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And to be honest, they were amongst my most challenging patients, because when people would come in and complain of gut complaints, at first I thought, "God, it all sounds the same to me. How do I differentiate what's what with all these patients?" So it sort of became a passion just trying to figure things out. But also when I started experimenting with patients and changing their diet and taking dairy away and taking gluten away, and then using probiotics and seeing that people started getting better. It was a big aha moment, but also, I think, I had been looking for the part of medicine that really drove me that I felt passionate about and I was a generalist, and I still consider myself a generalist because the gut to me is the foundation. It's part of the interconnected web of health but I think it sits in the middle because it's so important with nutrient absorption but also in controlling the immune system and body wide inflammation. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
So it was kind of out of joy. I was working with these gut patients and really paying attention to them and making a difference. And one would refer a friend and a friend would refer another friend and friends referred friend. And next thing I knew I had accidentally become a gut health specialist. This is what I want to focus on. And that's what led to the birth of my book because I just kept getting more and more people coming through the door and realized they don't know what to do. There're so many people out there that have gut health issues, and they have no clue what to do. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And yet, it can be so simple, and it was around that time that I was also getting to my late 30s. And I had always felt for years that I had a book in me. And it wasn't until I came upon this topic that the book felt holy and truly authentic to who I am, because it started with my own story with gut issues and I how I was able to heal myself through using functional medicine and diet, nutrition, probiotics and supplements, and then working with patients. So, that's where it all evolved from.

Melanie Avalon:
I love that so much. And I feel like that's such a... I see that story a lot in myself as well, it starts with your own personal struggles and challenges and trying to figure it out and then just builds from there. And it's such an interesting concept that you touched on a lot just now is, it can be very overwhelming for people because I kind of hinted at this when we started talking at the beginning is that, there's so many things discussed in your books, and you go into the details and the science. But I think that's one of the things that is so overwhelming about the gut situation is that there are so many things you can research and try to tweak and finesse, the gut microbiome, immune reactions, enzymes, how are you digesting things, what foods are we reacting to. There's so many factors. And then like you said, though, at the same time, the answer is seemingly so simple. 

Melanie Avalon:
So it's like quite a paradox in a way. And I think that's one of the reasons it can be so confusing and convoluted for people to navigate the waters of getting your gut health back. So here's a good question. Is there a "healthy gut"? So, does somebody have a healthy gut or they have an unhealthy gut? Is it black and white like that? Or is it more gray? Are there more shades of a healthy gut? 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
I think if you look at what would be the composition of the gut microbiome in a healthy gut, and you expand that and you look throughout the world, you're not going to find the same exact signature if you did some sort of PCR DNA whole genome analysis on the gut microbiome from a stool analysis. Healthy People around the world might have slightly different gut microbiomes. But we do seeing and we think, is that the more diverse the gut microbiome is, the greater the representation of different genus and species of bacteria and phyla that the healthier the person is. And the narrower it is, which is something that happens most likely from antibiotics but there's also a lot of other insults to our gut health, then the sicker the person is. And I've seen this over the years by doing gut microbiome testing on patients in all spectrums of health from just mildly sick with IBS to patients with an inflammatory bowel disease, all sort of colitis, or Crohn's.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And you see a lot of differences in the gut microbiome between these individuals and the sickest individual have the narrowest diversity, the least diverse gut microbiome. So I can kind of say a blanket statement with that. But if you're just looking at what makes a healthy gut from the perspective of the gut microbiome, which is the summation of all the bacteria, yeast, viruses, parasites, worms that live within the gut, there is a lot of variety, almost the same way as you could say that there's a lot of different ethnicities throughout the world. You could be Indian, you could be Chinese, Japanese, African, or American, British. So same way, there's variety in what might be that composition of the gut. But I think we know, I think somebody knows what it feels like to have a healthy gut, right?

Melanie Avalon:
I definitely agree there. So the gut microbiome is a key factor in the health of the gut. And that's one of the things that you touch on because at the beginning of your book, you talk about the five key roles of the gut. So I'd love to go through those a little bit because I have a lot of questions about them individually. One of them was the symbiotic relationship with your gut microbiome that we just touched on briefly. The first one you mentioned was the ability to digest food. So the whole digestion aspect, also absorbing nutrients, maintaining the immune barrier and then detoxification. And I do think that is a nice overview of a lot of the topics that people often look to address their gut issues. 

Melanie Avalon:
So as far as just digesting food in general and absorbing nutrients, what do you think are some of the common factors that come into play and some of the reasons that people struggle so much in that department when it comes to properly digesting food, reacting to food? You were talking to the beginning, you mentioned a lot of things. You mentioned the Airbnb guy with his buckwheat sprout, what was it? The sprouted buckwheat pancakes? Was that what you're saying?

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Sourdough.

Melanie Avalon:
Sourdough, yeah.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yeah, it was cool. I mean, he had started developing gluten free recipes because one thing he had discovered in the last year was that he was sensitive to gluten. And gluten is definitely worldwide become problematic for people with gut health issues because of the effect of the glute protein or gleatin on the brush border of the small intestine. We know that gluten triggers the release of a chemical signal called zonulin, and when zonulin is released, these tight junctions, which are like Velcro that keeps the cells that line the intestines together, they loosen up. So zonulin tells the cells, hey, let's kind of loosen up these connections, let's increase permeability. And that is not necessarily a good thing, because the more permeable the pieces of protein that haven't been completely broken down into their component amino acids can get through. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And those really potent activators of the immune system, and as I explained in my book, that's one of the key roles of the gut is immunity and 70, and 80% of the immune system lives right on the gut border. I mean, it's almost like our Afghanistan if you use an analogy of surveillance and battlefield, making sure that what gets through is not harmful to your body.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay, some follow up questions there. So zonulin, being released by gluten. So I know that we really zonulin naturally anyway, I mean, it's there for a purpose. But it's overstimulated in the presence of gluten. And then at the same time, it's being stimulated by something which is letting in something that could be creating an immune reaction like those wheat proteins. Some questions, though, so when with the gut and this leaky gut situation... So the gut is designed to be permeable when it becomes "a leaky gut situation", do the cells themselves become more permanently open? Or is it just that when we're eating, they're opening more and letting things in? Is the structure of the cells of the gut actually changing and becoming more open and rigid?

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yeah, what you have to think is that a cell is a cell. So unless the cell is damaged by some sort of inflammatory cascade, the cell membrane is going to be intact. And that's where nutrients get transported between glucose and all sorts of minerals, vitamins. So where permeability is controlled is by the tightness of the junction between the cells. So imagine they're like blocks that starts to develop holes, and those holes then allow more things to get through. That's where the permeability is increasing when we talk about increased permeability. And then the other aspect of this, so we can use the disease as a great example.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
In celiac disease, what we see is loss of the microvilli which are kind of like comb like projections into the gut. So imagine multiple little fingers projecting inwards, and what they do is they increase the surface area for absorption of nutrients and that's really key and important as food is passing through the small intestine to have a giant surface area of the absorption. They say it's bigger or about the size of a tennis court in surface area. But when you develop celiac disease, you get blunting of the villis, you get almost flattening, so you lose the area of absorption through the cells, but you have leaky guts, so then other things can get through but we don't have active and controlled transport for certain nutrients.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
You can actually develop nutrient deficiencies, because there's no way to easily get them through because we need healthy cells to do that. But then you see other things get through them. You see inflammation get triggered, especially for many reasons, including influx of lipopolysaccharides, mostly from the large intestine, from gram-negative bacteria. That's a potent instigator of the immune response. So the gut border then becomes kind of like the fuel, the source for body wide inflammation.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay, you're one of the few people that probably can understand. I feel like I live in constant fear of LPs just personally, I'm like... This is far as the whole gut microbiome thing goes, because I've often heard that the cells of the intestine or the gut are some of the fastest to heal. They'll say that the turnover rate is like three days or so. I think I'm trying to get a better picture of it now. Is that at all related to the villi or the space between the cells that is involved with leaky gut? Because my question is, we hear that the gut heals so rapidly, but does that apply to leaky gut as well? So can this cells heal but it's still leaky? 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
That's a great question. I think what you have to define here is the ability to replace versus true healing, and it depends on what's going on with a person. Let's say someone discovers that they have celiac disease, and they've been eating gluten and it's been making them sick, and they stop eating gluten. Are they going to be healed within one month, given that the cells can replace themselves every seven to nine days? And that's not the case, it takes much longer to rebuild the architecture that has been lost because there's almost like a flattening of those internal finger like projections get all flattened, so almost as if they get chopped off, so the body has to rebuild that and that takes longer. So it can take a celiac anywhere between six and 12 months to process out all of the gluten and heal the damage from the gluten from the exposure. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Setting the right tools, the right atmosphere, the right nutrition, the gut can heal itself. And a lot of that healing can happen within the first four to six weeks. That's why my program in Happy Gut is a 28 day program, which to me is the minimum in order to really get to the point where you're starting to see a big difference in gut health. But depending on what the foundation of the person was, and what their systemic effects of inflammation were related to the gut, it could take anywhere between six months a year, sometimes even longer to achieve full healing of the body. So even though the gut cells can replace themselves quickly, the signaling and all that between the cells and the signaling that controls permeability, that can take longer to get fixed.

Melanie Avalon:
I'm trying to think of an analogy. So is it sort of like the difference between a brick building falling apart and true, you could go in and replace the individual bricks, but it would take longer to go and restructure the whole building? Like, get the mortar in between and get it all back to looking amazing rather than just changing out a brick. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yeah, even like thinking the three dimensional structure of the building has changed when there has been damage to the gut wall, and that needs to be rebuilt. That will happen over months. That's not necessarily something that happens within days. But the cool thing is, is that you can start to see a lot of changes, the person can sense changes because not everyone that presents with gut related health problems is complaining of a gut issue. So they may come in and they're complaining of joint pain, joint swelling, mental fog, headaches, the skin rash is hived, trouble breathing, maybe some asthma, but I have had patients where they have had no gut issues whatsoever, and I have discovered parasite yeast or Candida yeast overgrowth, and leaky gut. And these things were causing systemic problems in other parts of their body. And once we focus on the gut and heal the gut, then the other symptoms quiet down and eventually disappear, never to come back. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, I think that's a very common thread. And in a way, it's like you can almost see gut issues as a blessing because they are making you more aware of what you're putting in your mouth and how that may be affecting you. I see that so often. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
That's how I think of my IBS is I've looked back and thought this was such a great blessing because not only did it take me to my life work, but it really forced me to look at the way I was eating and to change my diet and really analyze what I was putting in my mouth. In my 20s, I was already experimenting, but really in my 30s is where I really started to pay more and more attention and when I got in my 40s even more so. So I look at it as a gift. And I try to get people to see those things because I think a lot of times we have a negative connotation with disease in our body and I like flipping it around and thinking, what is this disease here for? What is it meant to teach you that could actually be better for you in the long run? 

Melanie Avalon:
I love that. I was actually listening to another podcast yesterday and they made a comment. And it's like, clearly, in one experiment, but they were saying that there was a patient who had cancer, and it was when he decided to love his cancer, that he actually healed. I just think that perspective and mindset makes such a big change. And we even see that epigenetically, the changes that are made. So yay, so guys, audience, we can embrace our IPS, work through it and come out all the brighter on the other side. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
As you mentioned, that's a big part of what I talk about in my book. And I feel like you took that away from it is that it's not just a diet plan, or a supplement plan. It's a whole mindset plan. It's how you live off the amount of stress that you hold in your body, all of that affects your gut health and your microbiome. 

Melanie Avalon:
It is so true, because when I started having chronic health issues myself, one of the first doctors I saw did very comprehensive testing, which I'm grateful for. But the mentality was very much like let's fine every single thing that's wrong. It's good to see what's wrong, but the mentality was definitely one of what is wrong here. And I think in me, it created sort of a fear type mindset. Whereas I think, honestly, the most beneficial thing could be, especially when working with doctors and practitioners, are ones looking for what is right, how can we make things better, how can we heal and understand the body's natural intuition to heal. Yeah, so I think the mindset is huge.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
I agree looking for what's wrong, but being really careful to not blame everything for how the patient is feeling. Where are the main areas that we should work on, but we don't have to go after every single thing that's wrong? When I see the crossover patients that have been taken care of by other practitioners, and yes, sometimes I'm actually pulling back on treatment, and creating pauses to allow healing to happen. Sometimes the body under constant attack, or it could be antibiotic therapy, it can be too much for the body. So there's a fine line between knowing how much to do and when to actually just allow time for healing to happen. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yes, you are speaking to my heart so much because just looking back at my own timeline, I feel like I've gone through so many chapters of like, "It's mold, kill all the mold. It's Candida, kill all the Candida. It's my microbiome, fix the microbiome. It's Mercury, get all the mercury out." It's like so intensely focusing on one thing when maybe a more comprehensive healing picture like providing your book could be key. And this is ironic, because I'm talking about how important it is to have not one answer, but I do have a lot of very specific questions about some things you discussed. So one of the things you talked about, and we touched on that briefly is our immune reactions to foods. You were speaking about how 80% of the immune system is in the gut. Some questions about that. 

Melanie Avalon:
So when the immune system does experience reactions to foods, and you talked about how it can be on high alert with certain proteins. Some questions. So say our immune system has, for some reason or another become on high alert for certain food that we're eating, and so we're experiencing an immune response, experiencing inflammation. Cutting out that food, A, you talk about how we can experience detox reactions because the brain actually will crave that food. I've heard that before and I've heard that it does relate to IGG or the antibody is still around looking for this food. Do you think there's science behind that, that the body really is looking for these foods, and that's why we're craving them or why do you think people crave the foods that are hurting them that are related to an inflammatory immune response?

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yeah, I mean, if you look at all a lot of the foods that end up being bad for you from a gut health perspective, but also body wise perspective, these foods have a very strong effect on dopamine signaling in the brain. Because the common thread through a lot of these foods, including wheat and dairy, sugar is a big one, but the common thread is that they breakdown into sugars. And we know that there's also some metabolites from gluten, which is from wheat and kasane, which is from milk, dairy, that become morphine like substances and takes pain away, at least temporarily. So these things can have powerful effects on neural signaling in the brain. I also know that if you have yeast overgrowth in the gut the yeast secretes toxins that go to your brain and make you crave more sugar. It's like the yeast is hijacking your brain and telling your brain to eat more of what it needs to grow. It's pretty wild how that happens. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
So I think that that is probably the case. The remarkable thing, though, is when you break the cycle, and you get the person to focus on, not the immediate hit that they get from eating the food, whether it's like a cupcake and they're getting the sugar hit, but then to really focus on how they feel. First even understanding, how do you feel immediately? How do you feel 30 minutes later? How do you feel 60 minutes later? How do you feel two hours after you ate that to break these cycles? And then once you get people off of their sugar craving to really focus on health promoting behaviors or how they feel, not crashing anymore, not feeling like I'm an emotional roller coaster, not having those highs and big lows or getting shaky, or being irritable and biting off your partner's head for some silly little thing. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
These are things that we think are due to, well, we're just moody, we're having a bad day. But it can be that the foods we're eating ...we know that sugar is a depressant. So is alcohol, probably because of the sugars in the alcohol. So does that answer your question? 

Melanie Avalon:
It does. It makes sense to me, the craving for sugar and things like that, and how it affects the brain. And then what you said about the yeast is so fascinating. I actually was reading the other day that the bacteria can actually have an effect on our limbic system through signaling and I was like, "Wow, that is mind blowing." So it's like, who's in control here? Are we in control or our gut bacteria? And I often sometimes myself feel like I, and this may sound kind of crazy, but I feel like sometimes I get these feelings and I don't feel like it's me even. I feel like it is things... It's like a reflection of my gut microbiome in a way. The one thing I'm still a little bit unclear on is the immune response in relation to proteins specifically. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yes. So let's go back to that. There can be different types of immune responses. We know that there are different immunoglobulins, so these are almost like football goal shaped molecules. They're almost like a Y shape that have two binding sites on each tip for the specific antigen that they're made for. And we create different ones there's IgMs, there's IgEs, there's IgAs, and IDGs. When it comes to allergies, the important ones are IDEs, IgAs, and IDGs. The typical allergy, a pine nut allergy, the type that can lead to anaphylaxis or leads to a rash, those are usually IgE mediated allergies. They're really quick, they can be life threatening, but IGEs don't last very long in the circulation. They only last about half life of two to three days. 

Melanie Avalon:
Quick question. You're saying they only last a few days when they're sparked, when they're activated, or do we always have an IgE reaction to... Because aren't we born with IgE reactions to foods?

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
You basically develop them. I mean, when we're born, our immune system is completely naive. And then it's learning the world, you might have a predisposition, genetic predisposition to developing some things. And it's still kind of complex because we're... We've had animal experiments where they've reversed peanut allergy by using a specific probiotic bacteria in the gut. So there's probably some interplay with what happens with the gut microbiome and the effect of allergies. We know that infants that were not breastfed have a higher incidents of allergies later in life. There's a lot of complex factors that result in whether you develop allergies to certain things or not. And certainly, certainly, IgA and IgE allergies are ones that can be acquired later in life. 

Melanie Avalon:
Okay, so that quick turnaround that few days that you're talking about... I guess I'm confused because whenever I've done IgE testing for myself years apart, I don't know, substantially amount of time apart. After following a diet which eliminated foods I tested positive IgE reactions for, so wheat, I know it's everywhere but I always test positive for IgE to wheat even though I've been "wheat and gluten free for a decade", sesame that I don't take in. I think those are the only two foods, but when not taking in those foods, you can still have a positive IgE blood test for them. Is that possible? 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yes. So your question, why does it persist? So once you've created the reaction, it's almost like the genetics have been imprinted, and that's really important for the immune system, has memory cells that we just keep the information of this and continue to produce some level of IgEs for the rest of your life. So these, a lot of times are persistent and never lost even though the IgE molecule itself has a half life of two to three days. So it's very short lived. But the body's mechanism of survival is to retain a memory of these things and to produce them in even small amounts when there is an exposure. That's just how the body has evolved. I mean, the other extreme is an individual that medically has no immune system, and they're not going to survive because the bodies can protect them from invaders. 

Melanie Avalon:
Okay, that makes so much sense. Are you familiar with the work of David Sinclair with genetics and epigenetics? I had him on the podcast recently, and we're all discussing the role of the epigenome and epigenetics and the information that's stored there, that memory and where's that stored and that's so fascinating. So, that's IgE. So, IgG, and I know people get food sensitivity tests all the time especially when people are in a "leaky gut state", they'll be like, "Oh my goodness, I reacted to every single food." And then they heal their gut and they might retest and they find that these IgGs have gone down. What are your thoughts on food sensitivity testings for IgG? I know it's very debated as far as what does it actually mean? Is it a sign of your body is tolerating a food? Is it a sign of negative immune reaction? Does it even matter? So, what are your thoughts on the IgG aspect, which listeners are more likely to have tested or will be interested in testing? 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
First, let me answer by contrasting that with the food allergy testing. IgE food allergy testing is standardized across all labs. So if you go to one lab versus another, you're going to get pretty much the same results because the methodology has been standardized throughout. That is not the case with IgG food sensitivity testing, there's all sorts of different ways that labs do it. Some of them are looking for IgG-4, some of them are looking for IgG-4 activation of complement. And they all have their reasons for doing that the ones that are using IgG for testing plus compliment activation, say that this method is more of a way to verify that the IgG that is found is actually having an effect in the body. So it's activating complement, which then activates inflammatory cascade and part of the immune system.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
But I think the main takeaway that I want listeners to know is that IgG food testing is not standardized in the same way food allergy testing is. So you could get different results depending on which lab you send it to. So the way I explain it to people, is in terms of one of my favorite painters, Claude Monet. When you look at his paintings of Big Ben or the water lilies, you know what you're looking at, but it's blurry. And to me IgG food testing is kind of a blurry test. It's giving you an idea of what's going on. I always tell my patients and sometimes I do do them because people need a little bit more concrete help. And sometimes they have been really helpful to do these types of tests or immune activation tests. I have found, for example, a patient that was eating cinnamon in their oatmeal and they were reacting to cinnamon and the cinnamon turned out to be a trigger for her migraines. We took the cinnamon out and the migraines frequency dropped by 50% just by doing that.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
So sometimes they can be really helpful, but at the same token, I tell them, "Look, this is not Rosetta Stone, it's not set in stone, you have to be really careful about being super dogmatic about it. And especially if you come back with a bunch of food reactions." Really what the message is, is that your gut is leaky and that needs to be healed. Because if we can heal the leaky gut, we know that we can tone down the food reactions because you don't react to amino acids and things that have been properly broken down. And the difference between the IgE and the IgGs is their half life, a half life is the amount of time it takes for half of, in this case, the immunoglobulins to decay and be removed from circulation. So their half life is 21 days, so much longer versus the two to three days for an IgE molecule. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
So that's why then you see a lot of elimination diets are three weeks long. And there's theory that this partially explains why someone might get more reactions when you take foods away initially in an elimination diet, they think that they're getting sicker. But really, they're going through "a healing crisis". So if you have, in the beginnings, you're eating, say a lot of wheat, gluten, dairy, there's a lot of these proteins getting through, through a leaky gut. We have what we call antigen excess. And when you have antigen excess, then all the binding sites on the immunoglobulin molecules are occupied. So in some way, you're actually avoiding stickiness between the IgG molecules. So imagine if it's a Y, and one tip of Y can bind to the tip of another Y through an antigen. But if all the sites are occupied, they can't connect with each other. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
But now you start avoiding the food so the antigen load starts to drop and antigens start to disappear off of binding sites on IgG. So now the IgGs can start to form rings, where they're all binding antigen but they're forming a circle and those are called immune complexes. Immune complexes are potent activators of the immune system that can cause a swelling in joints. They cause inflammation, they activate the immune system, the white blood cells, so that can account for the reason that people might feel a little bit sicker in the early stages of an elimination diet and then as antigens continues to drop, then the body can start to break down these immune complexes. And that's part of the theory as to why a lot of people, you put them on elimination diet and within the first seven days, they might tell me, "Oh, I feel horrible." I've had patients with migraines doing my program and they're getting more migraines and headaches and they feel mentally foggy, and that might go on for the first seven days. And then it flips and it's almost like a fog lifting. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And by the end of the second week, their energy is up. Their mental clarity is up, they're feeling the headaches are gone, and they're feeling completely different. And it's because the body is cycling out these immunoglobulin molecules. And that's partly why I did my program for 20 days for four weeks, because I theorized that if it takes three weeks just to get to half life, so half of these IgGs out, I really want to get another week in after that to fortify the changes. And also they say that it takes about four weeks to create a new habit. And I found that a lot of people when they're changing their diet, if you can get them to the four week mark, I've had patients who were so resistant to changing their diet, and they get to the four weeks and they see how well they feel that at that point, they're making a pro-health choice. And they're not going to go back to eating those foods because they know what it's going to do to them. 

Melanie Avalon:
Oh my goodness, I'm so happy right now. I've been dying to understand this more. So this is amazing. Okay. Okay, that makes so much sense. So basically, to recap. So the IgG is when we're eating these foods that we're reacting to, they're filled with antigens and they're just like doing their thing. And then, I'm sorry I'm making this really casual, I just want to see if I understand, then we cut out the foods, the antigens go away, they start clumping together instead of having the antigens to fill that creates these immunoglobulins, immune complexes.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
So there, it's like you have an equilibrium between antigen and immunoglobulins. That's why they theorize that people get worse. I'll give you another example. I had a patient who was breaking out in hives, we determined that it was actually wheat that was causing that. And when she eliminated the wheat, her skin cleared up. I think six weeks, four weeks after the elimination, she was at a party and had pasta and she broke out in severe hives and a lot of times when that happens, people freak out. They're like, "Wait, now I'm sicker and I'm reacting even worse to wheat than I did before." But you have to remember that there's still those IgGs hanging out. It takes a while for them to all circulate out. The first half life is 21 days, but takes longer. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And if you suddenly have an influx of a lot of antigens and the gut isn't completely healed yet, then you're going to get a lot... You have a lot of open binding sites on these immunoglobulins. And what I tell people is, look, your body is speaking to you now. When you do an elimination diet or you do a 20 day happy gut cleanse, what we're doing is we're creating a blank slate for your body, we're going back to zero. And now your body can speak to you clearly in a way that wasn't able to before. So when you reintroduce this food, if you have a really strong reaction, what your body is telling you is, I'm not completely healed yet. And guess what? This is what this food was doing to you, you just didn't know it. So now you know. And now you can make a patient power decision. When someone says, "It has happened to me," I'm like, "Good," because now this is teaching you how to better care for yourself. And it's showing you what this food was doing to your body, it's causing severe inflammation.

Melanie Avalon:
I do have one more quick follow up question to what we just discussed. So you mentioned that the body does not react to completely broken down proteins, does that apply even to allergenic proteins? Like, if in theory, you are completely breaking down wheat that is a problem for you seemingly, would you not react to it? Or are there still proteins that will likely create an inflammatory response? 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yeah, so say, we completely hydrolyze the wheat protein into all of its amino acids. I mean, they say that we don't react to anything that is less than six to eight amino acids. So anything smaller than eight amino acids in length, our bodies can't detect and form an immune response to. So it's these proteins that are a little bit longer, so it could be 12 amino acids long. Every protein, for people who are listening, is basically a chain. It's like a choo-choo train. It's a chain of amino acids that are then formed in one line. And once the protein is formed, it has sort of an innate intelligence based on positive or negative charges and whatnot, position of amino acid that it knows how to fold itself into a three dimensional structure. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
So I'll give you example, it may not be the case for someone with celiac disease who is extremely sensitive to wheat. But for me, for example, I can drink a wheat beer that has had enzymes added to it to break down gluten into just some... What's left is like one to two parts per million in the beer itself. And because one of my guilty pleasures is having a beer on occasion, that was one of the big things I missed when I went gluten free. And I was so happy when these artisinal companies came out and started making... Because a gluten free beer made with non-gluten grains is not as good as a wheat beer that's made with regular grains. But once the gluten is broken down, if you're a little insensitive, so there's people like me who are non-celiac gluten sensitive, it's about eight to 10% of the population, it doesn't create a reaction for me. Whereas wheat beer, I know me because I will get congested. And that's one of my telltale symptoms of having been exposed to wheat is that my nose will get congested. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And that's another really great point to point out to people when it comes to these food subsidies is there can be threshold levels. So you might be able tolerate a certain amount of exposure. Once you're healed up and once your gut is healed, and I notice this over years and with patients that once you heal the gut, you don't want to go on a binge and go back to how you were eating before, but you may be fine with here and there indiscretions in your diet where you might have a piece of bread when you're out or something. I don't personally do it even though I could, because I just feel so good eating a certain way that I'm not willing to break it just for a temporary pleasure most of the time. Thus, I was in London, baking gluten free buckwheat sourdough bread instead of having regular bread. And I was able to take that back to my hotel room and have it for breakfast the next couple of days.

Melanie Avalon:
I love it. One more last follow up question for that. I didn't know that when they're below a certain size with a protein set, there's not the potential for immune response, does that require you speaking about that happening with enzymatic breakdown or modalities like that? So is it only possible through external breakdowns? Or can our gut itself break down proteins into small enough size? 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Of course yeah, of course. And it depends on the health of the gut. It starts with so many levels if we want to... Let's talk about digestion for a moment. Digestion begins in the mouth by chewing your food. And most of us including me, guilty as charged, sometimes I don't to enough, because you're rushed, you're at work, whatever it is, but that is a big problem because if you don't first break down the food and start to mix it with the saliva, which has amylase, which is an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates. That's the first important step. For example, if you're a meat eater or a protein eater, and you're eating a grass fed steak, if you don't chew that properly, well, now that piece of meat that hasn't been completely chewed down is going into your stomach. And it's harder for the enzymes to get to every piece of the meat to break it down and depending on how your acid production is, which is so key, the very first step in breaking down protein is activation of acid secretion in the stomach. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And sadly, anti-acid medications like proton inhibitors are the second biggest class of medication prescribed worldwide, multi billion dollar industry. I mean, and now in the US over the counter, they can be found over the counter in other parts of the world. So you don't need a prescription to get started on these medications that disrupt your natural digestive process. So acid in the stomach is really, really key for many reasons not only to activate the ability to break down protein into its component amino acid, people who are having allergic reactions to food, food sensitivities, you now have to think, are they having a problem with their ability to digest food? Not just leaky gut. Do you see how we start to kind of logically build what's happening with the person? 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
So if someone came into me and all they had was a food sensitivity tests that they showed, like they reacted to 20 foods, I would already be thinking leaky gut, is their low hydrochloric acid or hypo or hydro in the stomach? So what type of enzymes do I need to supplement with this person? What type of nutrients Do I need to give them to start healing their gut barrier? What types of changes in their diet do I need to make? Then the next important step is when that food gets into the small intestine. If that brush border is unhealthy, if it's inflamed, then it's not going to secrete a very important hormone that signals the pancreas to secrete its enzymes which include lipase, more proteases, and amylases to break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins. And that signal is called CCK or Cholecystokinin. And it's not usually the fault of the pancreas it's that the small intestine is not signaling the pancreas properly. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And you already have to think, if they have low pancreatic function because on a stool study, they have had a low pancreatic elastase-1 which is an enzyme, you can measure stool. It's very stable so it's not going to get broken down through transit in the gut. So it's actually is a really great measure of pancreatic function. If that's low, then already I have to think okay, the gut barrier is affected. There's leaky gut, there's inflammations, we got to focus on... You see how this starts to build upon itself, and we're really thinking, how does the person eat? What are their stress levels? The biggest insult to gastric acid secretion, aside from taking over the counter antacid medications is stress. Stress leads to malfunction or dysfunction of the vagus nerve. And the tone of the vagus nerve controls digestive enzyme secretion throughout the digestive tract. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Pretty fascinating how this starts to... You start with something that is quite simple and then you start to build upon it and becomes like this scaffold and then you seeing me put together a whole building and painting the outside walls. That's why I think the gut is so, so fascinating because so many things are interconnected. If you're eating your lunch rush at work, which so many people do... I don't know. I'm thinking you don't because maybe not.

Melanie Avalon:
Well, I do intermittent fasting so I don't eat lunch. So it fixes that problem. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Which we can talk about. But I see a lot of people rush to their lunch and they say you have to rest to digest. So if you're rushing through your meal, you're affecting vagal tone, the food in going to sit like a rock in your stomach, you're not going to produce the right signaling to create the cascade of events that are necessary for digestive enzyme secretion. And then you're setting up a problem. All you need is just another little piece of stressed, like overflow your plate and get you really amped up and now you're also attacking your gut. And those stress neurotransmitters, epinephrine, norepinephrine also affect the permeability of the gut. 

Melanie Avalon:
Major, major question about that enzyme in the process that you just discussed. Like you said, it's so complicated. There are all these different enzymatic processes that happen naturally, we interfere with things like antacids. Well, what about the flip side, is taking supplemental HCl or taking supplemental digestive enzymes, does that at all... Isn't that sort of like fiddling with our body's natural digestive process? I'm always on the fence because taking digestive enzymes for me I know it really benefits my digestion. It seems to help me really break down things, but then I'm like, oh, am I trying to interfere now like I'm trying to digest things myself with these supplements rather than letting my body naturally do it? So how does one find the balance? How do they know if they should be taking enzymes, how many to take, when to take? 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
I hear you. Let's say you injured your knee and you need to walk with a cane or you broke your ankle and you need one of those roley knee support things to give your foot arrest and get around. They are tools, and they are tools for healing. So if your stomach is not producing enough hydrochloric acid, taking hydrochloric acid is going to help you break down proteins better so you're able to extract the amino acids from those protein and thus then those proteins are not going to continue to aggravate a leaky gut by instigating an immune response. And as time passes, and you do all of the pieces of the healing that are important, which are not just diet and supplements, but also mindset and stress management, then eventually you get to the point where you don't have to be so dependent on enzymes, and that is an individual thing. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
So a lot of what I do is I teach my patients to be their own doctor or in other words, to really listen to their bodies and what their bodies are telling them. So you might get to a point where you feel fine. And the only time intuitively you need enzymes, if you know you're going out to a dinner and it's going to be a big dinner with friends, you might end up eating more than usually would, then you might take some enzymes with you for that evening. But I've had patients, I've taken patients off of proton pump inhibitors, transition them by giving them betaine hydrochloric acid supplements. And as they got better, they noticed that they didn't need them as much and eventually they start forgetting to take them because they just feel fine. And they've completely over that time, kind of reworked their whole lifestyle and their life and their way of being and whatnot. So I hope you see that it's much more comprehensive, but the enzymes are a tool. They're basically a tool to get you from point A to point B.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay. Yeah, I love that. Because I think for me, I used to be similar to what you just said, where I would actually just take enzymes when I went out to go eat, just to kind of deal with, if there were anything problematic that slipped through. Then I started using them more therapeutically, and I don't say became addicted to enzymes, but I realized, oh, I could get rid of gas and bloating completely. And so now it's like I'm at this point where I find them so beneficial, but I'm like, I don't want to be on these for life. But every time I try to like titrate down, I'm like... But, what if?

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And that's the question too because maybe the question there is what other healing has to happen in your digestive tract? Or maybe is there something that needs to change in your life or is your vagal tone affected and you need to work on some legal nerve stimulation, some gargling, some humming, singing? Yeah. So it's always like looking again and seeing, okay, what is missing? What needs to be put together? And of course then, there's the whole use of enzymes. I know your podcast is about bio-hacking. If you take enzymes when you're not eating, enzymes can have an amazing anti-inflammatory effect in the body as well. 

Melanie Avalon:
It's my favorite. Serrapeptase is like my love in life.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yeah, and I've actually used that even in patients to break biofilm in the gut where I suspected that maybe there was biofilm that was getting in the way of healing or getting rid of yeast completely using some Serrapeptase.

Melanie Avalon:
Represent. So I love that you tied into the nervous system and that was actually... Because I've read, I don't like to say I know anything, but I've read a lot about the nervous system, and it's off to discuss. But in your book, you actually brought up some things I wasn't even familiar with. And you were talking about the difference between the central nervous system versus the enteric nervous system, and how it communicated, and how it relates to the automatic nervous system. And then you also talk about the lymphatic immune system and I was like, "Whoa, there's a lot of systems going on here." So, is there one system or are these separate systems that are all related? What is meant by the connection between the enteric nervous system and then the CNS, for example? 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yeah, I mean, the fascinating thing is that there are more neural connections in the enteric nervous system than they are in the brain which has billions of connections, which is kind of wild to think. But there is cross talking communication between the two. But we also know that the enteric nervous system and act independently of the brain, and that could possibly be the reason that over the ages, we've talked about gut feelings or the gut as our intuitive center, you feel something there that perhaps your logical mind is saying, "Oh, this is fine," but your gut is giving you a different signal. And a lot of people learn to listen to their gut feeling when the brain is not usually correct. And we know that the vagus nerve, which innervates at least two thirds of the gut has more fibers. We think that there are some mechanisms there even where certain bacteria in the gut can get into, or bacterial products that get into the vagus that are toxic to the brain that might play a role in neurological diseases like Parkinson's disease.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
So it's fascinating that they speak to each other, but also can act independently of each other, which is important for the gut to manage. We have something called the migrating motor complex and that controls the rhythmic movements of the smooth muscle of the small intestines move food down into the large intestine. And that happens independent of the brain, however it is dependent on vagal tone. So you could say that it's still interrelated because if you're under severe stress, you're going to affect your vagal tone, which is then going to affect movement through your gut. And a lot of people will suffer from constipation when they're under severe stress or they might suffer from the opposite. They might get loose stools. Instead, you can go one extreme or the other.

Melanie Avalon:
Quick, really rapid fire question related to that. Chiropractic care, does that influence the enteric nervous system at all, or is that more related to... Could that affect gut health? That's my question.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yeah, I mean, it's affecting parasympathetic tone, or the balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic tone in the body. And obviously, the different levels of the spine are going to affect parasympathetic tone in relation to the gut. So it's one tool out of many that could be helpful. I always find that the most important tools when it comes to the gut is what you're putting in your mouth. And secondly, how you're living and eating. Those are really key and important. In my book, I also include yoga poses that are really helpful for stimulating the gut, to stimulate bowel movements or just stimulate blood flow to different regions of the gut through twists and stuff.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
So I think these are all complimentary things, but it's so important to remember that the biggest influence on gut health is what you eat. And you could say also, what you take in that you're not eating but you're imbibing energetically, it's like the thoughts that you hold, the stress that you hold in your body, all of that is going to affect the state of your gut.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, I cannot agree more. I think people so often get into this perpetuating cycle where things start being a problem inflammatory wise, IBS wise, and then the attention to it comes in, the stress comes in and it just perpetuates itself and gets worse and worse when I often think if I could forget everything I knew and didn't even identify myself as having IBS, and just moved in lived in a state of gratitude. This seems like a big shot, but I feel like I might never react to food again. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
It's really, really important. And I've seen that with my patients traveling, they'll be on vacation and yes, food is different in other countries and maybe it's cleaner, more closer to organic or closer to the farm. But I've seen people on vacation have with the same level of reactivity as they do as soon as they get back to their life, their stress life, at work. Even within those food sensitivities, you're more likely to react if you're under high stress, you're going to be less likely to react if you're in a relaxed state, as you say, of gratitude, which is an important key element that I include in my book as a tool to heal the gut. Because I think it's broader than just diet and nutrition and exercise that the mindset and what we hold energetically within our bodies is so important, whether you identify with disease or you identify with wellness, what is the vision of you that you hold?

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, it's so huge. I mean, even looking at the longest lived populations or centenarians, they think the common factors we see isn't one specific diet or anything like that. It's we see, their sense of purpose in life, their joy, their laughter. What's her name, Jeanne Calment I think who was one of the oldest women in the world, she said, her secret to longevity was, I think it was laughter or something. I think the mindset perspective is huge and they're also, I feel like eating a wider range of foods, often drinking wine, the whole component, I think, is just not...

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
The other thing that's really fascinating about these blue zones, is something that's really collapsing in our current society. And even recently I was in Italy and I was learning that the traditional makeup of the Italian family that was multi generational and stayed within close proximity of each other that even that is starting to get broken down and kids are moving away. But in the blue zones, what we saw is these multi generational households, and there is such thing, and there's a researcher in Canada that is looking at the aging gut microbiome, like what happens as we age, the shift to bacteria in the gut that the more pro-inflammatory. But if you're in a multi-generational house, the older individual is getting exposed to the younger gut microbiome of the grandchildren. And so that itself has an influence on the makeup of the gut microbiome and you wonder if that has some sort of influence on the aging process, which is much more complicated than just what we eat and do but also, there's a sense of community.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
The health gut microbiome is all about symbiosis, but use people who live healthy into their later years, and it's all about symbiosis with the world around them and having valuable, meaningful friendships and family relations. And that itself is a factor in reducing disease. 

Melanie Avalon:
So beautiful and so huge. Actually, one of my goals for 2020 it's like the complete opposite of most people's goals. I personally, I've been trying to fix some lingering issues with my gut and the path that I feel like I have fallen into has been, being more controlling about food, cutting out all alcohol, making sure I'm making my meal and I'm being in control. So honestly, my goal for 2020 is to just kind of lose that mindset and start eating more of the things in social settings, start drinking more wine. That's why I was saying it's the opposite of them, most people's goal for the new year. But just going back to that, that that sense of gratitude and Community and social bonding and I think it's so huge and we're seeing it like you just said with the studies with even the microbiome. I mean, that's fascinating. Thank you so much. I could ask you a million, million, more questions. I will say one quick thing.

Melanie Avalon:
I did start taking, I don't want to say there's one supplement answer, but after reading your book, one of the things I did start doing right away was you mentioned the DGL. What does it stand for?

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Deglycyrrhizinated, say this really fast. I challenge you. Oh my gosh, it took me so much practice to finally get this Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice, DGL. So it's a form of licorice where the glycyrrhizin has been taken out. And there is thought and maybe it's shown in some studies that that can raise blood pressures. So it can be dangerous to just take licorice without observation for long term and you can find licorice extract in health food stores. But DGL is safe and is not supposed to raise blood pressure in that way, indeed monitoring like licorice would need. So it's a safe alternative, but also proven to have healing and time for effect on the mucosa, the mucosal lining of the gut all the way from the esophagus and throughout the gut. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, I'm just mentioning it and I almost didn't want to mention it because I think it's much more important to have a comprehensive picture of everything like we just discussed. But just for listeners who don't know, you've got to get this book Dr. Padre goes into detail about all of these things, the dietary approach that you can follow, how to eliminate foods for the brief elimination diet, how to reintroduce... I mean, there's so much detail there. It's so amazing. And there's also things like the DGL, which its funny because I read about it in your book and then another random person was said that they started taking DGL and it was amazing. And I was like, "It's a sign." This is all happen within one week. But Ive really been actually benefiting from that. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And I want to say thank you, thank you for emphasizing the importance of a... Because we hear stories of this and sometimes, for you, DGL has worked great, for another person, it might not. And that's why I'm so glad that we started with a message of this comprehensive approach. Because really, that's how gut healing should be approached from this multi-pronged, multi-system, way from diet, nutrition, supplements, lifestyle, mindset, all of those pieces are important. 

Melanie Avalon:
I mean, that was really the big takeaway I took from your book was that it is comprehensive. There's not one solution, and it's super appropriate. The last question that I actually asked every single guest on this podcast. And it's just because we've talked about, I'm starting to realize how important mindset is and a sense of gratitude for everything. So what is something that you're grateful for? 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Oh, I've been thinking about that, especially now with the new year just coming around. It can be as simple as the other day I was grateful for being on the beach in St. Petersburg, Florida, with my son watching the first sunset of the year and it was this beautiful golden yellow then red colors over the water, which is my favorite place to watch the sunset. That's one of the things... Sometimes it's just as simple as that moment that I can be grateful for. I try sometimes, I go as simple as possible. And one overriding gratitude to me is having had my own gut health challenges which brought me to this place many years later, decades later, where I'm helping people all over the world learn about how to heal their gut. And I think it's almost contrary and to think, I'm grateful for having had a condition.

Melanie Avalon:
And speaking to that, with all the patients you've worked with, and everything that you've seen, and with yourself as well, do you think anybody can heal their gut even regardless of how dire of a situation they may feel like they're in?

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Yeah, I mean, I think that because healing is accessible to many. Where it's going to be challenging for people is if they've had, for example, like a really big hiatal hernia, which is one part of the stomach sticks up above the diaphragm, or if they've had surgeries for any reason, like surgeries where they've had to have parts of their intestine taken out. So there can be individual circumstances that are kind of out of the norm that can be difficult to achieve full healing. But I think for the majority of people out there who are suffering from IBS like symptoms, or maybe have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or haven't realized that they are dairy sensitive, or even don't know that they have got issues, but they just don't feel well in their body. They're mentally foggy, they're tired all the time. Maybe they're achy, I think it's accessible. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Sometimes it takes working with a practitioner who can really be the captain of the ship and steer you in the right direction. I mean, as you know, and you've read my book, I try to be that as much as possible, in a way that I can reach as many people as I could because I can't possibly see... I would be exhausted if I saw the number of people who would want to come see me. I just don't have the time, capacity or the energy to do so. But, even just starting at that point and seeing how far they can get, and that they realize there's more healing to be had, and then seeking and looking for a health practitioners that is versed in functional medicine or a naturopathic doctor that knows about gut healing or just kind of a more natural approach to looking for root cause effects in the body, that can lead to a total transformation. I mean, what I find for people is that the gut healing journey is only the beginning of a much bigger transformation to happen in their lives.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And often, once you take away certain things, what you realize is there might have been other bigger issues in life. I mean, I had... Can I just go briefly, I know you asked me a brief question and I can go on and on with every question you ask. I had a patient who came in to see me for the reason, got off of anxiety medication and had gut issues and whatnot and had read an article I wrote about an anti-anxiety diet and the role of sugar in anxiety and wheat and whatnot and changed his diet. Eight weeks later, had lost 15 pounds, came to see me, became a wonderful patient. But over the time that I was working with him, we figured he'd have mold in the apartment he was living in and he was extremely sensitive and allergic to it.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
And then we dove into his toxic relationship with family members that needed to be fixed and learning boundaries. We didn't even go into boundaries, but how important a lot of people with leaky gut also have issues with setting boundaries with people around them, which is really key and important. And so eventually this patient, we figured out what was going to make him happy in life. As he was going through his healing process, he became more and more self assured. I was teaching him how to listen to his body, he would come in and ask me what to do and I would just turn it around and tell him, "Well, what do you think?" Because I really wanted him to learn how to listen to his body. And eventually, long story short, two years later moved to San Francisco, found a job that he loves, is living in a city that he loves, became a much bigger thing that led to a complete transformation.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
It took two years, but I never gave up, and there were points on that road when he was ready to give up and I was still holding the torch. I'm not sure why did I get into that tangent. I guess we were talking about the whole process of healing and can you heal your gut? It's so much bigger than just the gut is what I find for people. Sometimes it's the entry point to much deeper healing that needs to happen. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, no, I love that story so much. And I do think that's something people experience as well as that, especially when you first make this radical shift in diet to try to address things. We talked about how you might have detox reaction and things come up. And then I think even our sense of identity can be tied into our current situation with IBS, or whatever it is. And when that starts shifting around, I think we can actually be afraid or scared of a different experience of the world, even if it's a better experience, or experience that's free from these ailments. I think the shift in identity and who you are, I think it's often not quite appreciated in the whole healing journey, and that's why I love what you just said, the importance of working with somebody who's holding the torch for you and championing your you're continued journey forward because hopefully it can be an upward spiral. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
There can be moments that you're going to want to give up and suddenly something happens and you have a setback. And what I've learned over the years is that I know that healing can be there for everyone. It's just the path to healing is different for different people. And sometimes there can be a wrestling that happens in the beginning and then that just allows for other issues that were being dampened because you were distracted by those symptoms, suddenly those come to the surface and you become aware of them. And then those issues have to be healed as well. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
So I think if people can be easy on themselves, be patient, not expect that the healing story has to be just one way if it doesn't live that way in their minds and they failed. I think that brings up these healing journeys with chronic disease, can really bring up issues with self love, with self kindness. That's why I called my program, my acronym in my book for the program called the Gut Care, because I saw that a lot of people who came in with gut issues, were not caring for themselves. And you can't do that you need to put your oxygen mask on first. So you can be the best version of you, then you can bring that version of you forward and relate even better to the world around you. 

Melanie Avalon:
I love that so much. Well, I think both of us could talk on and on about all of this, but thank you so much for everything.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Oh, no, it's my pleasure. Yeah, I totally agree. We could do a whole day event. 

Melanie Avalon:
I know, that 10 hour podcast, but I am super grateful. So you are providing to our audience your three day gut reboot. And so I'll put a link to it in the show Notes, that will be at happygutlife.com/gutreboot. And the show notes for this episode will be at melanieavalon.com/happygut. All the information, links to everything will be there. How can listeners better follow your work? I cannot recommend enough listeners that you get the book. It's amazing. I'll put a link to it. But what are the other ways that listeners can follow you?

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Thank you so much. I would say the two biggest or three biggest ways would be come follow me on Facebook, Dr. Vincent Pedre, I'm very active on Instagram. And that's Dr. Pedre, D-R P-E-D-R-E. And if you visit happygutlife.com, join our mailing list and get our newsletter. We try to put out a newsletter about once a week just on different topics and also on broader health issues. So I do sometimes go into intermittent fasting and whatnot. We didn't even talk about that so it's more we could talk about.

Melanie Avalon:
I shouldn't say I feel like I never focus on it because my other podcast is the intermittent fasting podcast so I'm always talking about it, but then I forget that this audience isn't necessarily listening to that podcast. So yeah, we could have a whole episode on that. It's huge. 

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Sometimes giving your gut a break, just fasting is incredibly healing for the gut. I mean, at the very beginning we talked about lipopolysaccharide and inflammation and the influx of lipopolysaccharide or LPS, which is called endotoxin and how that is the most potent stimulator of the immune system. And the one way to lower LPS influx is to fast, basically just fast. That gives your body a break from inflammatory signals. So it can be incredibly healing. But I was going to say, yeah we also put out recipes, always gut friendly recipes through our newsletter as well. I'd love to hear from people especially on Instagram. I'm trying to be really interactive and answer questions and kind of engage in provocative conversations.

Melanie Avalon:
Well, I love it so much. And for listeners, I'll put links to all of that in the show notes. Again, those will be at melanieavalon.com/happygut. And thank you again, Dr. Pedre for this conversation. It's been wonderful. And I hope to talk to you again in the future.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
My pleasure, thank you again. I mean, this is a great conversation. I feel like I love how you ask questions and kind of... I'm not going to say put me on the spot, but really made me dial down and say, okay, let me really explain this in a way that people can understand. So thank you for that. 

Melanie Avalon:
Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I'll talk to you later.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Talk to you later.

Melanie Avalon:
Bye.

Dr. Vincent Pedre:
Bye.

Leave a comment:


Latest posts