Kiran Krishnan, the Founder of Microbiome Labs, joins me today for the first part of a two-part series on how a healthy microbiome impacts longevity. Kiran is a pure genius and unpacks a lot in this series!
Today, in Part 1, he provides in-depth examples of why gut health translates into full-body health. He gets into what spore-based probiotics are and where they come from, and he also shares about psycho-biotics for mental health.
Ways in which spores change the terrain in the gut:
- They modulate the immune response against other microbes
- They produce compounds that target certain organisms and modulate certain aspects of the immune response
- They increase the monitoring, scope, and understanding of the microbial environment for your intestinal lining cells and immune cells
- They directly impact the presence of pathogens
Listen to the Episode
“When you are thinking about formulating a probiotic, it is not just about numbers. It has never actually been about numbers. It has always been about the specific capability of the microbe.”
– Kiran Krishnan
About Kiran Krishnan:
Kiran Krishnan is trained as a research microbiologist. He left academic research to help bridge the translational gap between research and commercial innovation. He has held leadership roles in international health and wellness companies.
He has also founded and scaled research and technology development companies including, most recently, Microbiome Labs, the preeminent microbiome therapeutics company in the US integrative medicine market.
Kiran has published numerous studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals and holds international patents in his name. Kiran is a frequent lecturer at nutritional and medical conferences and is a sought-after expert on the human microbiome for health programs.
Kiran is currently the General Manager of Novozymes OneHealth North America and is a science advisor to 5 other companies in this market.
“We have a system to regenerate the mitochondria, to fix the broken engines, and that requires this compound called urolithin A. The thing is, we can’t make urolithin A, and we can’t get it from food. This critical compound that fixes the engines of our cells comes from certain microbes in your gut converting polyphenols into urolithin A. We outsource that critical function of survival to microbes in the system.”
In This Episode:
- Why does your gut health matter? (4:36)
- The connection between the gut, the brain, and the immune system. (6:27)
- Kiran exposes some of the myths surrounding traditional probiotics. (13:07)
- How the majority of conventional probiotic strains amplify the inflammatory responses in the immune system. (15:02)
- Why a single stressor first thing in the morning can keep you in an anxious state throughout the day. (20:33)
- The benefits of bacterial spores. (21:20)
- Why most microbes in the environment will not function as probiotics. (22:55)
- How spores create lasting change in your gut terrain. (24:48)
- Where the spores come from. (28:34)
- How you will benefit from using spore-based probiotics daily. (32:14)
Links & Resources
Kiran Krishnan’s Social Media Links::
Kiran Krishnan on Instagram (@Kiranbiome)
Relative Links for This Show::
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Kiran Krishnan 0:05
The functionality of each individual microbe is critically important. It's not just about numbers. It's always been about the specific capability of the microbe.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:17
Welcome to Your Longevity Blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie Gray. My number one goal with this show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Koran Krishnan, who was the founder of microbiome labs. This is part one of a two part series. I'm telling you, this guy is a pure genius he's unpacking so much in these episodes. In part one, he provides in depth examples of why gut health translates into full body health. he unpacks what spore based probiotics are, where they come from, and he shares about psycho biotics for mental health. Let's get started.
Welcome to another episode of The Your Longevity Blueprint podcast. today. My guest is Kiran Krishnan who is trained as a research microbiologist. He left academic research to help bridge that translational gap between research and commercial innovation. He's held leadership roles in international health and wellness companies. He has also founded and scaled research and technology development companies, including most recently microbiome labs, the preeminent microbiome therapeutics company in the US integrative medicine market. Iran has published numerous studies in peer reviewed scientific journals and holds international patents in his name. Khurana is a frequent lecturer at nutritional and medical conferences and he is a sought after expert on human microbiome for health programs. Khurana is currently the general manager of novos IMEs One Health North America and is a science advisor to five other companies in this market. Hopefully I pronounced those All right. Welcome, Karen.
Kiran Krishnan 1:50
Thank you so much for having me. You pronounce all of it perfectly. So thank you. Well, thank
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:54
you, when chapter one of my book, Your longevity blueprint, I'm comparing that foundation of the home to the gastrointestinal system in the body. And I'm sure you would agree that the gut is our foundation of health. And so today's show, I really want to focus on that improving gut health, for whole body health. So tell us your story, kind of before we get into that, specifically, why did you start microbiome
Kiran Krishnan 2:14
labs? Yeah, I was been a bit of a megalomaniacal thing courageous, always thinking big in terms of anything I'm interested in. And so I've always been a big science nerd as well. I've had a deep curiosity to understand the world that surrounds me and the way things work. And so science going into the science was a very natural reflex. For me, my parents are both scientists in one way or the other. My dad is a micro electronics engineer, my mom's a medical doctor. My dad, as it turned out, had over 200 US patents in his name. So almost anything electronic you have, He's invented something in it, you know, so it's so he's got that kind of hard science, mathematical, innovative thinking, My mom has a soft science of biological sciences, clinical thinking. And I feel like I got a little bit of both. And I like thinking out of the box, I like systems biology, same similar to in engineering view on things. But then I'm very clinically oriented, because I'm very keen on impacting people. And that's why I left academic research and all that to do what we do. We, we started microbiome labs purely because there was so much happening in the world of the microbiome. And there were things that were being discovered that are so that could be so impactful to humanity. But what tends to happen in academic research is that most of the research is carried on for research sake, and goes, it goes deeper and deeper and deeper into the subject. Not a lot of it gets translated into things that actually impact people's lives,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 3:49
like clinical practice, and how do I how do I apply that as a provider? Yeah, exactly. Right.
Kiran Krishnan 3:53
So that's actually called a translational gap in science, you know, because research and academic and research institutes are done for research sake. And then there's some companies and some people that come along that bridge that gap by taking understandings and technologies and creating real world tools and products out of it. microbiome labs existed for that reason, because of my Megalo maniacal thinking, my view of being able to help large masses of people was about modulating their guts. And if you can modulate the gut in the right way, you can help tons and 1000s upon 1000s of people in a relatively short time. So that's where that's where we started.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 4:31
I kind of leads to my next question, because I kind of want you and your words to explain what the gut brain immune connection is like, Why does gut health matter when you're saying I can impact 1000s Millions of people by improving their gut health? How Why can you kind of share with our listeners break that down more simply? Yeah, absolutely.
Kiran Krishnan 4:47
So there's a couple of different perspectives on this right. And I'll give you the first and the most kind of one dimensional perspective, which is correct, but it's that it goes deeper than that. So number one, it's the gut being The digestive system, right, that's where we break down and assimilate and utilize nutrients that are coming into the body, there's very few nutrients that are produced outside of the gut. You know, Vitamin D is a good example of that that's through the skin, right? But there's very few essential nutrients and all that that are produced outside of the gut. So at the most fundamental level, you need a healthy gut to be able to access nutrients from food, and then feed the rest of the body, these critical nutrients, that's the most one dimensional way of looking at it. Here's the more the more three dimensional and four dimensional way of looking at it, that actually is much more profound, right? Number one, is the microbes in the gut, constitute the largest component of our genetic capability, right, we have 150 times more microbial genes in our body than we have human genes. And our human genes are wholly inadequate to function, right? We have somewhere around 22,000 functional genes, which sounds like a lot if you don't know about genetics, but an earthworm has about 22 or 23,000 functional genes, right? So we're not that much more sophisticated than an earthworm when it comes to our own capabilities. And yet, in your gut, you've got over two and a half million microbial genes in the system. So you have 150, plus times more microbial DNA in your system, and that DNA codes for proteins and enzymes and peptides, and all these things that we need to function to be human. So our gut is the largest reservoir of capability of being. And this is the treasure trove, right? This is what our ancestors went through hell for to preserve, and build, to pass Don pass on to us that we are stewards of. And we're harboring this amazing ecosystem, that over hundreds of 1000s of years, we've developed a symbiotic relationship with right and a mutualistic relationship with that provides this functionality, we now know you can look at even at the at the lowest estimate, if you pull out a sample of your blood right now. And you look at all the compounds that are in your blood, that are important for cellular function and immune function and brain function and all that more than 50% of those compounds are derived only from the microbiome, right? Meaning you can't get them from food, we can't make it ourselves. We can only make it in the gut microbiome. And if you don't have the organisms in the gut that make that compound, then you're in trouble. You lose that functionality.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:35
Can you give an example of one of those? Yeah,
Kiran Krishnan 7:37
absolutely. So the most basic one is something called short chain fatty acids. So butyrate propionate acetate, those are the most well known short chain fatty acids, let's just take butyrate as one of them. As an example, if you don't have enough microbes in your gut that make butyrate for you, then some of the things that start to get dismantle in your gut are your metabolic response to food, right. So for example, when you eat food, and one of the key things that's supposed to happen is the food starts getting metabolized in your gut. And some of the microbes metabolize components of the food like the carbohydrate components, and produce butyrate, the butyrate binds receptors in the lining of your large bowel. And the binding of those receptors sends a signal to your brain that says stop producing the hunger hormone, we've got enough food start producing the satiety hormone called leptin. Right, so now you're done with food, you can go okay, I'm satiated, and finish eating. And at the same time, that signal binding of the butyrate to the cell, the receptors in the gut, are also turning on metabolic pathways like cycling game P, which actually stimulate all the cells in your body to start burning fat for fuel. Right, and they start telling you your your brain to start reading the blood sugar levels, and controlling blood sugars by balancing insulin, and glucagon, and so on. So all of the metabolic processes that are supposed to happen in your body in response to food is dependent on the production of butyrate. And if you don't have butyrate, being produced adequately, what happens is you get something called leptin resistance, which leads to obesity, you get insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes. And then both of those things lead to chronic low grade inflammation, which lead which leads to hypertension, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer's, everything else, all from not having enough butyrate in the system. So that's just one example. Another great example, something called your listens, your lectins have these very unique compounds that actually help turn over dysfunctional mitochondria in your cells. Right? So all the cells in your body have these little engines in them called mitochondria, except for your red blood cells. Of course, they don't have mitochondria, they have hemoglobin to bind oxygen. But outside of that every other cell in your body has mitochondria. And depending on the cell, it can have anywhere from you know a few 100 mitochondria to a couple million In mitochondria, but if it's your heart cell, for example, or your glutes or your quads, these big muscles that have a lot of energy demand, or your brain cells, you're gonna have a lot of mitochondria. Because those cells demand a lot of energy. The mitochondria is what produces ATP, which is the energy source, right? One of the most clear definitions of aging. And this program being the longevity program, right? This becomes really critical to your audience. The most one of the most clear definitions of aging is something called a mitochondrial free radical theory of aging, which shows that age is defined at the cellular level by a by the number of dysfunctional mitochondria in your cells. If those engines in your cell start to break down, and they used to produce 27 ATP from one glucose molecule, and now they're producing 14, the functionality of that cell becomes compromised, the organ that the cell makes up becomes compromised, eventually, both die off. And that's where you get degenerative conditions, which is what aging is right? It degeneration your skin looks like wrinkling and softening of the skin degeneration in your liver means you're not producing enough bile and you can, you know, digest food and absorb fat soluble degeneration in your heart means your cardiac output is going down, that means your heart can't pump enough blood to your system. All that is aging degeneration in the brain means your memory slows down your capability slow down, right? All that is defined by the mitochondria being compromised, the cells dying, and thereby the organ system dying. Now we have a system to regenerate the mitochondria to fix the broken engines. And that requires this compound call your role within a, the thing is we can't make your within a we can't get it from food. So where in the world is your within a come from this critical compound that fixes the engines of our cells, it comes from certain microbes in your gut, converting polyphenols into your listening, we've outsource that absolutely critical function for survival to microbes in the system. And it's mind boggling when you think about it. But if you think about evolutionary biology, and the fact that we only have around 22,000 genes, you start to understand that, okay, we can't we don't have the capacity to do half the things we need to do to be human. So we have to outsource that those functionalities to our ecosystem are microbes. And that was a critical part of the development of mammals was the incorporation of a large number of fermented microbes in the digestive tract. And that became a key step in us moving up the evolutionary ladder and up the food chain, because that allowed us capabilities and resilience that most other animals in the animal kingdom did not have. So that's why the gut is so important.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:50
Yeah, long, awesome answer. But we need short chain fatty acids, we need butyrate we need this year lithium a from poly phenols. That sounds like is that I hear you right? That that we convert? Okay. Let's simplify thanks for just a moment. Or maybe we're not going to simplify things. Let's talk about probiotics. So can you expose some myths, most of the listeners have heard of pro and prebiotics. But can you expose some myths kind of surrounding traditional probiotics? And I know a highlight of your company is spore based probiotics. So can you kind of differentiate the two and kind of explain when we should use spores? If there's any times we shouldn't use spore based probiotics just kind of go down that?
Kiran Krishnan 13:24
Yeah, absolutely. One of the biggest misnomers about probiotics is that it's just the more is better, right, more strains, more Cfu counts. That's why I started seeing the industry going where they're going 50 billion 100,000,000,200 billion. And in fact, there's zero science behind any of that. There are many, many, many cases where a single well researched strain that does something specific, is going to be far more powerful for your system than 15 strains that you don't really know what they do, let alone know what they do in context of one another development of probiotics have occurred in kind of a vacuum of information, where the idea is that let's just throw as many things together as we can. And the volume is the key. When it's not what we've come to know, as we got more sophisticated in researching probiotics and understanding what these microbes do. You come to figure out that the functionality of each individual microbe is critically important. When you're thinking about formulating a probiotic. It's not just about numbers, it's never actually been about numbers. It's always been about the specific capability of the microbe. Now the numbers game can actually be a detriment. There's something we've been discovering over the last year and a half in the in the research we're doing with the AAPC, which is the biggest microbiome research institute in the world. And that's based in Cork, Ireland. There's this concept that microbes that probiotic microbes are either quiet or they're loud. And what I mean by that is it's quiet or loud in context of your immune system. And what we're finding out is that the vast majority of conventional probiotic strain You're testing, amplifying inflammatory responses in your immune system. And it makes sense because you think about the vast majority of probiotics people have access to none of those strains are native to your system, which means that if you consume them, your body recognizes them as foreign. And because it recognizes them as foreign, your immune system is going to mount a response against them when they come in. And the response is going to be bigger, the more of those strains there are, right, so the 100 billion Cfu probiotic product is going to elicit a bigger immunological response and a 10 billion Cfu. Probiotic. The thing is, the innate immune system is the first part that responds and the innate immune system up regulates inflammation. So you can actually measure and see each of these strange when you introduce it to the system, inflammation goes up. Now, in a healthy individual, if you're perfectly healthy, and all you're trying to do is stimulate your immune system a little bit, you know, it's cold and flu season, you know, like, I want to irritate my immune system, so they're more active in case I encountered a cold or flu virus or whatever that kind of approach may be fine, because what you're doing is you're amplifying immune response, but you're amplifying an inflammatory response. If your condition is that you are already inflamed, meaning you have a primary gut issue and immune issues, autoimmunity, you have obesity, you have diabetes, you have IBS, or SIBO, any of those things, the last thing you want to do is amplify inflammatory responses. So getting into that kind of specifics into the functionality of the strains becomes incredibly important for how you use probiotics. And that hasn't happened at all for the vast majority of the industry. And so I would distinguish probiotics more so not as much between spores and non spores, and I'll talk about why spores are so useful. But I would, I would, the bigger distinction is researched and non researched probiotics, because that is really the key. You know, like, if you don't have studies on this 15 strain combo, you have no idea what that's doing in the body. And we know that many of these strains can cancel each other out or in fact be antagonistic to one another. We saw that in a study we did we have a Bifido longum strain that's in our product called Zen biome. This strain is incredibly powerful, has eight published studies on it right? And we show that it dramatically reduces stress. It dramatically reduces cortisol response when you encounter a stress stressor, it dramatically improves sleep
Dr. Stephanie Gray 17:32
it I need to email about this.
Kiran Krishnan 17:35
Oh my god, it makes such a difference. Right? It changes brainwave activity, where it puts you more in a theta wave band, which is the meditative state, when you encounter a stressful situation, right? It's a phenomenal strain. And it's so powerful. It what makes it so unique. And why it's not loud to your immune system is because it's got this exopolysaccharide covering to it. The exopolysaccharide covering actually gives it a recognition by dendritic cells that will actually engulf it in your gut. And then it'll metabolize part of the strain and spit out something called peptidoglycan. And it's these little Pepto glycans that modulate all the inflammatory response, the cortisol response and all from stress and anxiety that we have depression studies, low mood studies, anxiety, stress, and new studies and so on. And it's so powerful, we mixed this strain with one other different bacterium string, a commonly used probiotic strain, and it knocked out the activity of the of the EPS strain, you would think, Oh, we'll just mix more by throwing more right and good for you. Right. And it's better to have more Nope. In fact, when we added other strings to it, it completely knocked out this trains activity. Right. So interesting. Yeah. Well, don't look at that stuff. Because companies aren't doing the research.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 18:50
Can you say what strain this is? Again? I missed that. So this Zen biome is the name of the product in which Bifido what what strain is,
Kiran Krishnan 18:57
it's called Bifido longum 1714.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 19:00
So would you is that a psycho biotic then?
Kiran Krishnan 19:02
It's a site that I liked. I liked the gesture with that. It is like biotic. Yeah. And I love that term. In fact, the research and the clinician that came up with that term, his name is Ted Dine, and he's a, he's a psychiatrist, but probably one of the most innovative gut brain researchers in the world, one of the most celebrated and publish, and he worked with us, he developed this strain with us. And he came up with the term psycho biotic, but it's a very, very powerful strain. And when you think about how it impacts our ability to modulate stress, you start to see that in certain cultures and certain types of groups of people that are living more native lifestyles than we do, they tend to have high levels of these types of organisms in their gut, because they live a lifestyle that is actually more risky than we do. We have abundance of food. We don't have predators chasing us. We still have hunter gatherer tribes in a pie New Guinea and in, in Tanzania, and in the Amazon that live a life where they could be eaten by a predator, they have to go hunt and forage and gather food on a regular basis. And these types of groups of people have very high levels of these types of protective psycho biotic strains, because it's key to be able to modulate stress response in these environments, right?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 20:23
That's really cool. Yeah,
Kiran Krishnan 20:24
we've largely lost it. This is why a single stressor first thing in the morning, for example, can keep you at an elevated anxious state throughout the day, because you will go through this elevation of the fight or flight response from that external stressor, but it becomes really hard to come down from it. Because you don't have enough of these microbes in your gut. These microbes are the things that bring you down from the flight or fight response. That's an example of a well studied, well understood and characterized probiotic. And with this probiotic vector, I will use it just by itself, because there's no benefit to adding a bunch of other stuff to it. Like other strains, I mean to it, because it by itself is so powerful. And so that's where the research comes in. Now, let's talk momentarily about spores. So why we went to bacterial spores is because what we were trying to do is mimic our interaction with microbes in the natural environment, if you got a probiotic product, and I looked at a lot of these, and we studied, we tested a lot of these products, that common ones you see in you know, even sold or the practitioner marketplace. You know, you take one of these, it's 50 billion CF fuses got 15 strains in it. My question was always were in nature, do we encounter this on a regular basis, right? Is this a natural type of exposure. And if it's not a natural type of exposure, then you have to understand and believe that your body's not going to react naturally to it, the reaction and response to 50 billion of these strains coming in at once is going to be an unnatural response. And that unnatural response is likely not going to be favorable over time. And so we saw that and we see that now to the inflammatory responses that you get from certain probiotics. So we said, Okay, what is our natural relationship with bacteria. So once we're born, right in in utero, we get some exposure to microbes, once we're born, we get a huge inoculum through the vaginal canal, hopefully, if you came out of the vagina, if you didn't, then of course, you're already on the backfoot, right, because you didn't get that large exposure when you're in birth. And then breastfeeding breast milk contains lots of different microbes, skin to skin contact early on with mom and dad. And then from that point on, it's the environment, right, the environment is where we encounter the vast majority of microbes. Now, most microbes in the environment aren't going to function as probiotics, because they're gonna die in your mouth, in your, in your, in your upper gastric system, or even in your small bowel, right, bile acids, and so on will kill them. But as it turns out, there are some microbes that live in that exist in the environment, that don't live in the environment, they exist in the environment, that can actually survive through this anti bacterial gauntlet that we have in our system, to make it to the intestines alive. The ability to do that is a very unique ability for these microbes. This is an ability that nature has provided these microbes for a reason. So we started looking at these microbes and what they actually do, as it turns out, they are incredibly protective of the microbiome. One of the key things that the spores do, which is why I love them, they're so fascinating to me, is they go into the gut. And then they do quorum sensing, which means that they read all the microbial signatures, and they can identify pathogenic or dysfunctional organisms. And when they identify these organisms, they'll actually sit next to them and bring down their levels, then they can actually produce compounds to grow your good and beneficial organisms. So they can completely modulate your microbiome in a way that even we can do it. That's another exercise and a very important exercise that we have outsourced to microbes in the environment and our microbiome that we can do ourselves. So we're doing that that's happening constantly in your gut, if you gain exposure to these microbes. So that's just one functionality of spores that I really like that's completely different from most other probiotic bacteria.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 24:19
And is it true that spores can kind of change the terrain in the gut versus other organisms that lasts maybe maybe one to two weeks, and then they're gone?
Kiran Krishnan 24:27
They do? Absolutely. And they change the terrain in a few different ways. Number one, because they can modulate immune response against other microbes, right. For example, if they can identify a pathogenic or problematic organism in your gut microbiome, they can sit next to that organism and actually flag your immune system to recognize and deal with this organism, then your immune system can produce antibodies, antibodies, like Secretory IgA, for example, or antimicrobials against that organism to control the growth of that problematic organism in your terrain. But they can also produce compounds themselves that target certain organisms. And they modulate certain aspects of your immune response, especially something called toll like receptors, toll like receptors are these receptors on your intestinal epithelium cells and your immune cells that help these cells identify problematic organisms, right? So they're increasing the monitoring, they're increasing the scope and the understanding of the microbial environment for your own intestinal lining cells in your immune cells. And they're directly impacting the presence of pathogens. You know, I'll give you one one cool example of that we did a study with Cleveland Clinic on C Diff infection, right? And we know that C diff is a very difficult pathogen once it's established itself. People go through multiple rounds of antibiotics and are bloody diarrhea and all kinds of messy things. We started looking at whether or not our spores and megaspore can actually identify the presence of C Diff bacteria and what they do about it. And so sure enough, we would in the study, we saw that the spores in megaspore can identify C Diff in the gut. So you have these areas of infection of C diff, or spores can actually figure out where the CDF is and go to it. Now, Clostridium is a spore bacteria as well. So normally, our our bacillus spores will make antimicrobials to bring down the growth of these problematic organisms. But the Clostridium is probably more resistant to that than other organisms, because its ability to form spores. And so the bacillus have found a new mechanism to go after them. And this is the fascinating part about it. Right? They surround the Clostridium, and then they produce chelating agents to steal minerals away from the Clostridium, especially iron clostridia. And many pathogens require iron in order to stimulate their metabolic functionality and produce toxins, which is what they do. This is why bloody diarrhea exists with Clostridium infection is because they're eating past the mucosa to try to get to the blood supply. And they're making, they're causing bleeding in the gut for that reason. So these spores are so intelligent that they sit around it. And they key like the iron away from the cluster, Dr and starving to death. It's fascinating, my lord. This is nature at its finest. You know, if you gave me all the money in the world and the smartest scientists in 100 years, we couldn't design a microbe that does that. Right? This is an illustration of how amazing and complex nature is. We just have to be smart enough to know what's happening. And take advantage of it. Right? We can't engineer this.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 27:40
So since we're not engineering this, where are these coming from? And just for the listeners, I just want to point out so again, mega spore biotic is kind of your main probiotic that is spore based. So when you're referring to the bacillus strains, so those those are the strains and specific product from microbiome labs, just trying to clarify this because it can be kind of confusing, but where do the spores come from? Like, what's the source?
Kiran Krishnan 28:03
So they were they were originally isolated from healthy human volunteers. We were looking for actually, we didn't do this work. This was done by Royal Holloway, University of London, preeminent researchers in the spore world, they were looking for human derive bacillus Endospores, right, because you can find bacillus spores everywhere. They're ubiquitous in the environment, you find ones that have specialized to live in the ocean or specialized to live in certain types of soil and so on. But we'll want it to find the gut derived ones, because they have special qualities with colonization, and understanding the gut microbiome. They started sampling lots of different stool and taking actual samples from the mucosa and isolating the spores to figure out which kind of organisms lived in them, what were the healthy versions of spores. And so they isolated these 1520 years ago, probably closer to 20 years ago, once they've isolated the strains from from the source, then they go through and they study them genetically, to understand what they do all the capabilities of the have toxin genes, or they have an antibiotic resistance genes, all these things. And then once they characterize and properly isolate the organism, then they start studying them for functionality, which is where we came in and we started licensing those strains from the University and we said, Okay, well, we'll do the clinical work on them to see what they do in the body actually, and how they react with the microbiome and so on. And so that's where we started building the work now, where they're derived from now we have the original cultures, but we do fermentation. So we grow the cultures. You know, we use a chickpea flour as a base with amino acids and proteins and all that stuff. And it's a giant fermentation tank, like beer or wine. You know, of course without yeast in this case, it's bacteria. So we do we take a tiny bit from the original seed culture that was that was isolated, and then we inoculate a small flask we grow Would up, then we take that flask and inoculate a bigger flask, grow it up, and then you finally put it in the big 10,000 liter tank, and then you grow up a lot of the spores. And then when you get to a certain density of growth, you stop the growth, you shocked them to go into the spore form because spore bacteria in their spore form are extremely robust, right, they can survive in the capsule for 10 years, a million years, actually, it doesn't matter. The oldest spore that's ever been found is to hunt was 250 million years old. It was in salt crystals in a cave in Southern California. And researchers have been going into caves looking at areas that are untouched by man, right, because they're trying to find new antibiotics, right. Most antibiotics, all antibiotics come from microbes. So they're trying to find new ways of developing antibiotics, they're going to cave taking samples, they find these crystals, that they dissolve the crystals and in them are bacillus Endospores, still alive. And they were 250 million years old, sitting there just in the spore form, this waiting for the right environment to come out of the spore form. And so they can sit there indefinitely, they can survive to the gastric system in the spore form. And then when they get into the small intestine, they do like this little molecular handshake with the lining of your gut, they now know they're back in the gut, which is their natural home. And then that breaks them out of the spore state, and they become like a regular functioning bacteria.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:23
Very cool. So is this a product that you would recommend just to the average listener, like as a daily sort of probiotic? Yes, for a couple
Kiran Krishnan 31:32
of reasons. So number one, when we started the company, you know, again, my big thinking was like, what do we want to solve? What's the biggest problem we want to solve? And what we wanted to solve right off the bat was leaky gut, because intestinal permeability is a biggest driver of chronic low grade inflammation, which then is the biggest driver of chronic disease, and the in fact, a 2015 meta analysis paper, which means it's a study of a lot of studies in the on the topic. So it's a conclusive study on the scientific consensus on a topic, they concluded that leakiness in the gut, and the translocation of toxins, meaning the movement of toxins, from the lining of the gut into circulation, was the number one driver of mortality and morbidity worldwide. So number one, killer leaky gut is the number one killer worldwide, because it's the foundation for the vast majority of chronic illnesses. So when we saw that we said, Okay, we need to solve this as a problem and microbes are going to be the solution, because it's microbes that maintain the lining of the gut, we don't do a whole lot ourselves to maintain the lining of the gut, we outsource that another example of outsourcing things, to the microbes that live in the environment. And as it turns out, in the world of Veterinary Medicine, they've been focusing on leaky gut for almost 60 years. And they do it in the context of farmed animals, and so on, because it gets sick and they die. and a high mortality rate in a chicken farm is a really bad economic thing. And so they've been investing a lot of research to understand why the animals are getting sick, what's compromising their growth, why their immune systems are so weak. Of course, the horrific conditions in which they're being housed, is a big driver, but they're trying to figure out what about the horrific condition changes the physiology, the physiology of the animal, and what they're finding in these animals is that all of these conditions create leakiness of the gut, their exposure to antibiotics, because animals are fed all kinds of antibiotics and vaccines and so on the poor quality feed that they get the toxic environment that they're in, in a hen house or chicken house, for example, is ammonia everywhere, you know, from the chicken farts and everything they have been building of ammonia in a grow house and chicken is a is an absolute disaster, because it connects actually explode the entire building. That's how much ammonia is built in that environment. Different trying to figure out all this toxicity in the environment, what does it do, it actually creates leaky gut, leaky gut makes the animals sick and weak, and then animal dies. And so they've been using probiotics in the veterinary space to alleviate leaky gut for almost 40 years now. And they can, they can dramatically reduce the mortality rate despite being in those toxic environments. Now, that's not dissimilar from us. We use antibiotics a lot, not only directly, but also through our foods, right? We live in toxic environments, we have gases, and, you know, carbons and all these glues and all these off gassing that occurs from all the things around us. We're surrounded by, you know, electromagnetic flux, and so on. We eat really poor quality food, and everything around us is actually very similar to those farmed animals. And we have leaky gut as a result, and that becomes a biggest driver. So we looked at the analogies then we looked at the types of strains. And that's what we came up with. Another reason why the spores became so important is because they've been using spores in that environment to elevate leaky gut for like 50 years. So we said human derived spores may do the same thing in humans. And sure enough, we published our first was paper in 2017. Showing that yes, megaspore. And the specific spores and megaspore absolutely do alleviate leaky gut in as little as 30 days. So that so that became the important point. That's why spores are so different in that way. They're the only microbes that can do that. Now, I also want to clarify what they not all spores also created equal, right, you're starting to see other spore based probiotics coming out, when we first started, there was not a single spore based probiotic on the marketplace, we created this genre of probiotics. Now, because like in the supplement industry, it's very much a copycat industry. And when companies see something is growing, and demand for it is growing, they kind of jump in and try to do an imitation version of it. So now there are companies that are just calling any distributor buying spore bacteria and throwing it together again, again, without doing any research. You have no idea if those spores actually colonize, can they do quorum sensing? What did they do to the immune system? How do they impact the microbiome, they're not all created equal a 1% difference in the genetic capability of the spore will completely change its functionality. I'll give you an example. Remember that different bacteria, we talked about the 7014 string, with that EPS coating, and how it has all of these fascinating gut brain impacts. And then we tested it with other Bifidobacterium longum strains. And we saw that actually, when you mix them, it actually knocks out the activity. And these strains that don't have the EPS don't have any of those functionalities. The genetic difference between these two strains is one gene. One gene difference makes this strain, super powerful for modulating anxiety, stress, sleep, and all of that gut brain neurological inflammation. We didn't even talk about neuro inflammation, but all the neurological inflammation, inflammatory conditions, that the strain helps with all of those powerful things because of one gene difference to this species that doesn't do any of that, right. So microbes can be profoundly different from one another due to very, very small differences in change in genetics. And so that's another reason why utilization of probiotics of microbes requires a good amount of research to understand what the microbes actually do.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 37:16
I could listen to him all day. I learned so much from part one. I think he's convinced me on why specific spores are so important. I'll definitely be starting that Zen biome as well. Next week, in part two, he will discuss SIBO mentioned what ghost or post biotics are, share how the FODMAP enzyme works, talk about immunoglobulins and even probiotics for dogs. Remember, we carry all the microbiome lab products he mentions in these episodes, so stop on into the integrative health and hormone clinic to check them out. See you next week. You won't want to miss part two. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you've learned on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. This podcast is produced by Team podcast thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting
the information provided in this podcast is educational no information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
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