#69 Moods Issues? Maybe It's In Your Gut - with Lynda Griparic
The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast
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In Episode 69 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas, Kate Callaghan, and their guest, Lynda Griparic (Naturopath & Creator of BetterMe Tea) discuss ways to improve gut health and the links between the gut brain connection.
- How the microbiota impacts our mood
- The relationship between the microbiota and our mood
- What the heck is endotoxemia and LPS and why you need to know about it
- Dietary practices that are potentially negatively impact our microbiota and therefore our mood
- How you can support the gut and brain relationship?
- How stool testing can help navigate treatment for a depressed or anxious individual
- What parameters we want to look out for in the stool
- Are you looking for 1-to-1 support and a step-by-step healing process to overcome your chronic gut health issues? Take a look at my signature program, “Gut Rescue” today.
Naturopath & Creator of BetterMe Tea
Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast where you’ll find the inspiration and answers to how you can become the healthiest, happiest version of you using whole food nutrition, smart supplementation, movement, and lifestyle hacks. Your host, Natalie Bourke and Kate Callaghan, a degree-qualified Dietitians and Nutritionists, certified fitness instructors, speakers, and authors with extensive knowledge and clinical experience in the wellness industry. So sit back and enjoy the show.
Natalie K. Douglas 0:38
Today, we have an interview with the lovely Lynda Griparic. Lynda is a naturopath, nutritionist, podcaster, writer, and yoga teacher with close to 20 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specializes in digestive health, namely, SIBO and constipation. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective, and sustainable bowel care programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of gut disturbance. Lynda has an intense interest in poo which is in great company here, and she’s also the creator of the delicious BetterMe Tea. A tea designed to promote improve gut health and digestion, assisting those who struggle with constipation and sluggish bowel movements to go to the bathroom with ease. I absolutely loved this chat with Lynda and I’m sure you will too. So, let’s jump in.
Hello and welcome back to another episode of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. Today, Nat and I are interviewing the wonderful Lynda Griparic. I’m hoping I got that right. I was practicing for a couple of minutes. Welcome along, Lynda. Lynda is an incredible naturopath. How are you?
Lynda Griparic 1:52
Very well. Thanks for having me on Natalie and Kate. I really appreciate it. And yes, you didn’t botch up the last name, did a good job there.
I did the shoulder shake with it.
You did, yes. The role of the tongue and the shoulder shake.
Kate Callaghan 2:07
Also, my son actually, he had a Czech nanny. So, he is really good at rolling his eyes like that, but I’m not so good and my daughter’s learning modeling, and I’m just the Aussie Bogan in between. Anyway, today we’re going to be talking all about gut health. And everyone who listens knows that we are really really passionate about gut health. So, it’s awesome to have an expert here. We just bought you on the podcast and we have your video on and you had that beautiful diagram of the justice system right behind you. And I’ve had a little look into your blog and that you’re the Pooh Whisperer which is very exciting.
Natalie K. Douglas 2:46
I love that. I am not alone.
Kate Callaghan 2:52
And you know, Nat and I always talk about the importance of digestive health and checking out your poo. So, we’re really excited to dive in deeper. Now, we always ask our interviewees the same question. What did you have for breakfast?
Lynda Griparic 3:11
You know what? During the week, it’s generally a smoothie, but I tend to like my smoothies really thick. So, it ends up being like a pudding that I use with a spoon. I use, I eat with a spoon. I just love spoons. It’s really odd but so in the smoothies just I feel like it’s a bit of a pill in a powder concoction at the moment because I’m doing a preconception care. So there’s a lot of powders and then there’s also the protein base, there’s a fruit of some sort, whether it’s a berry or apple. You know, I’ve got some cacao in there, cinnamon, and your nut butter, and various other things. Yeah, so that’s pretty much my standard Monday to Friday because it needs to be quick and then on the weekends, it’s just something different.
Kate Callaghan 3:54
Awesome. Now, I know that our listeners will be wondering this but are there any specific concoctions, powder concoctions that you put in that are particularly supportive for preconception? I know that’s not what we’re focusing on, but I know that people will wonder that.
Good question and I think you know, this really depends on what’s going on for the person but for me at the moment, I’ve got some shatavari powder in there. I also do a bit of seed cycling too. So, I, at the moment, you know, a different points of the menstrual cycle, you might be having two different types of seeds. And so at the moment, I’m in that first half of my cycle, so I’m having, you know, ground-up flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds. What else do I have in that? I put a bit of magnesium powder in there as well. What else? And yeah, those are the main powders when it comes to my, and cacao, you know, it’s a it’s a lovely prebiotic, and you know, you want to be supporting your gut microbiome if you want to be supporting preconception care as well. But you know, after that comes a big you know, onslaught of all the supplements that I’m taking as well beyond the smoothie.
Kate Callaghan 5:05
Are you rattling around with all these supplements?
Lynda Griparic 5:07
I am and a little bit over it to be honest but.
Natalie K. Douglas 5:11
Isn’t it funny sometime yeah. Sometimes I go through phases where I am doing like a therapeutic intervention for myself and I really appreciate all the recommendations I give to clients because sometimes I forget how like switched on you kind of need to be to take your supplements regularly if you’re not someone that finds that easy. So, it’s kind of like a good reminder sometimes that oh. Actually, it isn’t as just simple as just take it. It’s like okay, actually there is some like thinking about this. So, I often like revisit that and I’m like, okay, must give more strategies to help people get their supplements in consistently. I love pill containers to be honest, they were.
Lynda Griparic 5:52
Well, I’ve got a bloody lunch box. It’s ridiculous. Like I’ve got this because I had a miscarriage. So it’s for me, it’s just me just trying to really prime up my nutritional status to make sure I have a viable pregnancy and everything. And so, I’ve got like a little lunch box, that it’s a stall in there and I take it out after I’ve had my smoothie and pop what I need to pop. But sometimes you just don’t feel it, you just don’t feel like popping the capsules, you don’t feel like taking the powders, you just it just doesn’t suit well. So it’s a, it can be a it is a commitment and it’s a bit of an effort at a time. So yes, it absolutely does make me appreciate my patients and you know, how much am I actually giving them? What’s actually really, really crucial for them to take right now. You know, and and, you know, giving them instructions on how to take them when they don’t necessarily feel like taking them can you soften the blow by putting it in something if it’s got a bit of a sweet flavor or something like that. So yes, it’s good to be the patient once in a while.
Natalie K. Douglas
Now, I think we should start off with our questions, but first before we dive into those awesome questions. Can you tell us a little bit more about how you came to become the Poo Whisperer?
Lynda Griparic 7:04
All right. Well, how do I become a poo whisperer? Well, I guess you know, I was working before, I was in naturopathic practice many, many moons ago, in the early 2000s for about four years and got totally burnt out because I was working some other jobs to support that business as I was growing it. And so then I left that and went to work for a supplement company, which was, which is Metagenics for numerous years. And then I came out of that and back into practice to work for a colleague friend of mine, and then now on my own, and what I found, I was always interested in gut health, but what I found was that constipation was just rife, and people were really, I guess, ashamed and embarrassed to talk about it. It took a lot of prodding sometimes to really drill down, that that was an issue for a lot of people. So, I guess I was just quite passionate with making it a light subject. And I can have a bit of a nature that’s a bit awkward and bit dorky and a bit light-hearted. And so I kind of wanted to infuse a bit of that into the content that I wrote, you know how I delivered it in my, my social media platforms and you know, jumping on podcast and all the rest of it just to really drive home the message of why constipation is not something that we should ignore, and to really look at the consequences of leaving those things unattended. And back in the day, I had many, many gut health issues and one of them would be sluggish bowel movements in my late teens, and so, you know, I can totally appreciate that, you know, the feelings behind feeling toxic or sluggish or constipated. And I was always really shy to even talk about those things. I probably wasn’t even aware of my body back there. So yeah, that’s where the passion lies with that. I just kind of wanted to talk about something that almost feels like a bit of an epidemic at times. And maybe that’s just who I see in clinic because I see a lot of people with those issues but you know, it’s a big issue.
Natalie K. Douglas 9:09
Yeah, definitely. I can so resonate with so much of that story I actually worked at Bioceuticals for a number.
Natalie K. Douglas
Anyone listening that is a practitioner knows that those two are like, kind of the leading Australian supplement companies. At least they were for, I don’t know if they still are in terms of numbers, but definitely the two that most people think of. And similar to you did my own thing burnt out a bit from doing two things at once, and kind of a very similar journey. And yeah, I don’t think it’s just you in terms of what you say I treat. So, I specialize in thyroid health, and I definitely see a lot of gut issues. And it’s funny because I think where there’s not a lot of conversation around what is normal, there’s conversation around what is common, but there isn’t a conversation around what is normal and you’re totally right like some people are just very uncomfortable without discussing it. I mean, some people aren’t and it’s great, but I think, you know, for a lot of clients that I talked to at least, it, they’re not worried if they’re not going to the bathroom every day, whereas I think there’s an assumption that that’s, that’s okay. Like I think constipation a lot of people’s head is like, oh I don’t go for multiple days or weeks. Whereas constipation, at least in my mind is if you’re having anything less than one, you know, complete bowel motion a day, but it’s interesting, isn’t it?
Lynda Griparic 10:33
Oh, totally. And I think, you know, that comes down to a few things, doesn’t it? I remember maybe having a conversation with my parents back in the day and they would say, all my doctor said it was fine to go, you know, three times a week. And you know, and I would sit there and debate with them, but they didn’t really understand the consequences of not going and you working with thyroid health, you would you would truly understand that how much constipation can affect our hormones and impact our thyroid health. So you know, the consequences are far and extending if when our when our elimination channels don’t work well, but I think many people maybe do not understand that. And so therefore they’re comfortable with that feeling of not going every day. Some may feel slightly bloated, some may not have that symptom and may not, you know, recognize that maybe joint pain, or maybe thyroid issues or, you know, resistant weight loss as being an issue or having constipation as being one of its drivers. And so, you know, that’s where the education comes into it, doesn’t it? You know?
Natalie K. Douglas
It’s like me leaving something with the car unattended, because I’m like, well, it still works. To get from A to B. And then it totally crashes because I have no idea why I should have checked on that in the first place.
Natalie K. Douglas 11:48
Yeah, I know, I think constipation is one of those things that, I don’t know. Sometimes I’m like, how do people ignore it? I mean, because I had a lot of gut issues growing up myself and I was chronically constipated at one point like, I went it and I’m totally have no filter but and got an abdominal scan and there was like fecal impaction up in like, like up towards my ribs almost and it was like horrible. I ended up having a parasite H. pylori at that time. But it’s just crazy like how much constipation can make you feel sluggish and you kind of don’t realize how amazing you can feel when you are having regular bowel motions and everything digestively is functioning well. It’s kind of like this newfound liberation when it happens.
Lynda Griparic 12:35
Yes, absolutely. Yeah.
Kate Callaghan 12:38
That was a really good point that you just touched on then Nat in terms of our gut health when things are working well, we feel really good. And we really wanted to pick your brain a little bit more Lynda about how our gut health impacts our mood and how the bugs in our belly, the microbiome, impacts our mood? Can we talk a little bit more about that in the relationship between the two, please?
Lynda Griparic 12:58
Yeah, absolutely. And if I go on a tangent please just rein me back in.
We like tangent.
Well, there’s many ways that the gut microbiome communicates with the brain and vice versa. It’s not a one-way street, you know, the brain communicates with the gut as well. So, the ways in which they communicate with each other, and I’m going to break some of these down, but in a nutshell, it’s through your microbial metabolites, like B vitamin production because your microbiome or your bacteria produces B vitamins. And then you’ve got things like butyrate, which is the short-chain fatty acid, and again, I’m going to go through all these specifically in a moment. So, a butyrate is one way that they communicate with each other. The vagus nerve, which many people have heard about, is a way in which they communicate with each other. And that’s basically that long wandering nerve that, you know, starts in the brainstem and then moves all throughout the organs and into the digestive system. You’ve got other, other things like intestinal permeability, so that when that’s compromised, for example, that is one way in which the gut can communicate with the brain because we’re looking at LPS and that’s another thing that I want to get into in a moment. LPS being Lipopolysaccharides, otherwise known as endotoxin. The production of neurotransmitters, so our bugs, our gut bugs produces neurotransmitters like GABA, and serotonin, and dopamine, and noradrenaline. Insulin resistance is another way that it communicates with the brain and also, what we, what people may not be familiar with is this pathway called the kynurenine pathway. So, our gut microbiome and production of things like LPS, again, which I’ll get into in a moment, which is probably what the hell is that those things can compromise the way in which tryptophan is broken down. Tryptophan is broken down generally. We want it to be broken down to 5-HTP and then serotonin. So, making serotonin more available to us and you know creating more production of serotonin and serotonin. So, that you know that feel-good hormone. So, when that the gut microbiome is out of balance or when there’s an excess of say LPS in the system that endotoxemia, we can shut the tryptophan in a different pathway, which is the kynurenine pathway, which makes less serotonin more available to us as a human. So, therefore that alters the mood. So those are a bit of a summary, but did you want me to get into some of those in particular because that’s just me spraying it all out there in the different in the ways in which they communicate with each other?
Natalie K. Douglas 15:44
Yeah, yeah, I think that’s really interesting. I think probably the first place to start is maybe explaining what LPS is and maybe expand on the involvement of LPS in terms of what it does in our body.
Lynda Griparic 16:00
Yeah, absolutely. So, LPS is like a structural component of the external membrane of gram-negative bacteria. And, you know, some of the bacteria that are gram-negative maybe E. coli, for example, but there are many more. So, as bacteria die off, and bacteria actually have a short lifespan as they die off LPS is shared into the lumen, and it can create numerous things in the body. Now, we all have a certain amount of LPS in the gut, however, the amount differs. And we only really want minuscule amounts, it’s when it’s in excess, it can create a problem. And so, it can create systemic inflammation, for example, and we know that those that have depression have this underlying low-grade systemic inflammation going on. It can also impact the blood-brain barrier. It can also, you know, affect, you know, cause things like brain inflammation and again that can contribute to alterations in the mood. It can also affect the intestinal permeability, so otherwise known as leaky gut. And that’s a bit of a vicious cycle because when we have LPS we get inflammation in the gut and that can create leaky gut. And that leakiness leads to more LPS going into the bloodstream and therefore inflammation but that inflammation and the endotoxemia, that LPS in the blood is called endotoxemia. That can create leaky guts and that’s a bit of a vicious cycle. So, LPS kind of underpins a lot of the mood alterations and can really affect the way in which we feel in the way of depression and anxiety. Did you want me to get into like, say ways in which we end up with higher levels of LPS, like certain things like diet and other things like that, because that will probably land for people to.
Kate Callaghan 17:57
Yeah. That’ll be great and also, how you know if someone’s actually struggling with this? I mean, we know that things like anxiety and depression are multifactorial. So, how do you know that the LPS and the endotoxemia causing these issues or contributing to these issues? What are some warning signs for you?
Lynda Griparic 18:17
Yeah, I guess you definitely want to be looking at some symptoms. So, I can get into that but you also, I mean, luckily, some of the newer the Metagenomics stool testing actually shows LPS in the system. So, certain parameters I guess you want to be looking at when it comes to stool testing, for example, that may indicate that someone may have you know, issues with depression or anxiety and obviously going to be looking at their symptoms and what they’re telling you as well. But you might see inflammatory markers like CRP, Interleukin-6, you might be looking at, you know, leaky gut parameters as well. So, the lactulose and mannitol test would be one way. Other things you know, when it comes to, I’m just thinking dietary wise if you’re looking at someone’s diet if they’re been shrinking, for example, or if they’re having an excessive amount of alcohol that can impact the gut lining and integrity, that can also increase blood levels of LPS when they’re using medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as like ibuprofen, or even, you know, PPIs that can increase LPS concentrations because it really does serve the intestinal lining and permeability. If someone’s got like a very Western diet that is high in fat and low in fibers and you know, prebiotic-rich foods and resistant starch that can certainly lead to higher levels of LPS in the system. And the reasons why is that, and what I’m talking about higher fat levels that could include things like even animal fats like saturated fats and even coconut oils, you know being included in that saturated fat picture. And I know a lot of us these days are eating lots of those foods. And if we’re having excessive amounts of them, what we might be doing is affecting the gut lining and integrity. And again, I mentioned that if there is that leaky gut present, we can be creating more LPS concentration in the blood, but also we could be producing lots of bacteria that go into the phylum of proteobacteria and bacteroidetes. And this particular bacterias love to feed off bile. So, not necessarily feeding off fat altogether, but when you’re eating lots of fats, you’re producing more bile to break down that fat and so these bacteria like to feed off the bile. So, for eating lots of fats, we’re producing more of these bacteria that are Gram-negative bacteria that contain LPS. Hopefully that makes sense. Is that makes sense?
Natalie K. Douglas
So, you want to be looking at that in the stool as well, like do they have high levels of proteobacteria and bacteroidetes and those sorts of phylum. But I guess you know, you want to be marrying it up with their cyst symptoms, you want to be looking at those parameters in the blood, as well as those inflammatory parameters in the blood, as well as the stool testing would be what I would be. And I would always just be looking at the symptoms. I will be looking at, you know, looking at their diet, looking at what they might be experiencing, what sort of inflammatory symptoms, like depression or anxiety are they experiencing, but are they experiencing other things like bloating, or joint pain, or you know, those sorts of things?
Natalie K. Douglas
It’s interesting that. Sorry, Nat.
Natalie K. Douglas 21:45
We’re two like go.
Kate Callaghan 21:47
I’m going on a little tangent. So, you mentioned the excess fats. And I think that’s really interesting to just touch on there. Because you know, in the last 10 or so years, we’ve really been given that permission to go back to eating those traditional fats and some of those saturated fats but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think we’ve taken it to the extreme? You know, we’ve gone okay, we can now we know these fats aren’t going to give us heart disease and know that we’re just going to eat all the fats all the time because there’s no issue but what I think with you just touched on then is we can’t have too much and that can negatively affect our gut.
Lynda Griparic 22:21
Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, I think with a lot of us have gone too far, me included. I mean, I did my stool test and I tell the story often because it’s a personal experience of this LPS situation. So, that’s why I’m so passionate about it, because we’re using you know, say for example, coconut oil, butter, and ghee, which are great. I’m not saying no saturated fats altogether they’re awesome for us but just in moderate amounts, and you know, up your monounsaturated fats, your olive oils, your macadamia nut oils, your avocados, and those sorts of things. But my stool test I think it was last years, showed quite a bit of these bile eating bacteria. And so, I would assume at the time I was using a 16S rRNA stool testing and it didn’t show the LPS concentrations but I was producing a lot of these Gram-negative bacteria that would be creating LPS. High levels of LPS concentrations in my blood. So, biophilia was worth year and various different species and so I changed my diet through the guidance of a health practitioner because we all need only that. And I was having lots of coconut oil, lots of ghee, lots of butter, you know, lots of animal protein, you know, lots of those things and yes, I’m still having olive oil, I love olive oil, and avocado, and all the rest of it, but it was probably more skewed in the saturated fat direction. So recently, I just did a stool test and I’ve been, my diet has probably changed in the last five months where I’ve started to increase the monounsaturated fats and decrease my saturated fats. And I’m started to bring in big gasp for everyone a bit of legumes. And I know that yeah, so I’ve started to bring in well, I know.
Natalie K. Douglas
I actually do as well.
So, I started to bring in you know, so well selected legumes like you know and well-prepared you know, making sure that you know, you’ve broken them down with soaking it overnight or if you’ve bought you know, really good organic brand like Ceres Organics, you know, knowing they’re sitting in the water. So for example, the lentils for some time and then you rinse it off thoroughly. So, I’ve brought in certain legumes here and there, just to start to improve those concentrations in my diet because I wasn’t getting a lot of legumes. To be honest, I hadn’t had it for a long time. So, I started to bring in lentils, black beans, maybe a bit of chickpeas and those were the main ones. And after four to five months, my butyrate, levels had increased and butyrate, which I mentioned before is one way that the microbes communicate with the brain. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid, and it’s like the main fuel source for your intestinal lining like your colonic cells. And so, it really helps to support the gut lining and integrity, but it’s also really anti-inflammatory as well. And it helps to really decrease levels of LPS concentrations in the blood, which is really important. So, my butyrate levels had increased because I was bringing more of that sort of resistant starchiness and those sort of fiber-rich probiotic-rich foods into my diet. My diet was very heavy in vegetables, which was awesome. It was always that way, but it was lacking those other forms of prebiotic fibers. So, that had increased but also those proteobacteria, those pro-inflammatory Gram-negative bacteria had decreased dramatically. So, my microbiome had shifted to one and my LPS concentrations because I’m now using a shotgun metagenomics, which shows LPS concentrations, the LPS concentrations were minuscule. So, I changed it dramatically within, you know, four to five months, because I had changed a lot of those parameters that really increase LPS concentrations in the blood. Did I got some tension there? But yes, I think to answer your question, yes, I think that we do take it deeper. And I certainly did, like I love that. I really, really do. And I think that it just needed to, I probably went too far with, you know, those were my main cooking fats, butter, and ghee, and you know, coconut oil and probably a lot of people would resonate with that or they’re making, you know, paleo desserts with a bucket load of coconut oil and, you know, that sort of thing.
Natalie K. Douglas 26:52
Yeah, I think that’s. Yeah, it’s a good point. And I definitely have had that same experience. I went too far in the other direction at one point as well, but I think a question I have because I’m just thinking of the listeners listening as listeners do.
Lynda Griparic 27:11
We wouldn’t have noticed if.
Kate Callaghan 27:14
I was having a chuckle but yeah.
Natalie K. Douglas 27:17
Maybe there’s something wrong with my brain got to because. So, anyway. So, I guess, I treat a lot of people with SIBO and parasites, and for a lot of those people listening, they would get really symptomatic if they just started increasing these kind of really resistant starch and fiber-rich food. So, if you have someone that comes to you who perhaps is eating a higher fat diet because they can’t eat higher kind of fiber foods because it gives them such digestive discomfort, what would be the process that you’d recommend for them in terms of being able to get to a place where they can actually eat something like legumes or higher I guess FODMAP food without the symptoms but still getting the benefit of all the wonderful kind of butyrate production and healing their colon sites or gut lining.
Lynda Griparic 28:15
Oh, great question, and especially I work with SIBO as well. So, I can completely appreciate that. So, I think the first thing I would do would I’d, I tend to use the bi-phasic diet. So, for starters, I would check their fats and oils intake, like is it more skewed in a saturated fat direction because that’s an easy one that they can change you know, they can change that to be more skewed in the monounsaturated fat. That’s not going to really affect the symptom picture when it comes to SIBO I guess. Then you, then probably I would look at things I could include. Like you definitely just make sure that you’re getting enough vegetables with every meal, you know, aiming for about two cups, you know, per meal. That may not be realistic for breakfast for example but just aiming for around about that much per main meal of the allowable SIBO friendly vegetable. So, you’re getting a bit of fiber there that are going to be feeding your gut bacteria, your short-chain fatty acids. I would also as part of that Bi-phasic Diet, lentils is allowed. So, that would really be case by case. So, you just want to be looking at okay, maybe seeing if they can tolerate a really small amount of well-prepared lentils. So, making sure there’s salt, and the water is discarded, it’s rinsed well, all that sort of thing. That’s probably better tolerated for a lot of people, but just small amounts, maybe a teaspoon, maybe a tablespoon in a meal, once every second day, see how you tolerate that. Expect a little bit of gas that’s normal. But hopefully, that’s self-limiting and that will sort of reduce over time. If they can tolerate it. I know that with my SIBO treatments, and even during the antimicrobial treatment, I tend to give partially hydrolyzed guar gum. And that’s a good way to increase your short-chain fatty acids. So, you could use certain prebiotic supplements like that. Some are better tolerated than others. So, partially hydrolyzed guar gum. I would start at a very low dose and then increase to the maximum dose that I want to give them because people are going to be responding differently. And it could just be that you’re giving them like, you know, the tip of a knife for a week and increasing it to a quarter of a teaspoon and then increasing it to one teaspoon, you know, on a weekly basis until you get it to a place that you want to get it too. An omega-3, so things like fish oil if you really wanted to. I guess if you suspect that there’s higher levels of LPS concentrations in their blood or in their body, then your omega-3s in the way that fissure can be very supportive. In a few ways, it really it’s been shown to improve gut microbiome diversity, but it also helps to decrease LPS absorption in the blood. So, what saturated fats do is actually bind to LPS and make it, I guess they increase the absorption of LPS, whereas omega-3s helps to reduce LPS concentrations in the blood. So, those are those probably are the main areas that I would look at when it comes to someone that does suffer with and I wouldn’t go too hard with legumes absolutely not, especially in the early stages. So, after you’ve done the antimicrobial work, if you’ve reduced the gas levels to where you want them to be, I would then start to reintroduce some foods eventually. So, maybe a couple of months of. So, you know, not maybe not straight after treatment, you want to kind of you know, try to avoid that sort of relapse that can happen with SIBO. So, you want to keep them on say the phase during the Bi-phasic Diet to, so still lower FODMAP and then start to eventually do a bit more gut restoration, improve the gut lining and integrity. Because again, like I said, that really supports reducing LPS concentration. So, making sure you’re using nutrients that really support the gut lining and integrity. And some of those can be, you know, like I mentioned, the partially hydrolyzed guar gum, could be glutamine, but at the adequate doses. People just don’t take enough glutamine. You actually need 10 grams or more a day, a lot of the supplements out there do not have that amount. Things like vitamin D and zinc are important too. And then I would start to just reintroduce them foods like slowly slowly, maybe bring some well prepared black beans in, maybe some sweet potato cooked and cooled, and that sort of thing because you can have it in the Bi-phasic Diet. You can actually have white potato in phase two so you could probably bring that cooked and cooled in to give them that resistant starch earlier. So, there’s various ways that you could work with that and still support gut restoration and short-chain fatty acid production. Hopefully, there’s some in there that you could that people might want to tap onto.
Natalie K. Douglas 33:11
Yeah, I love that and I also use the Bi-phasic Diet. So, for anyone listening it’s from Nirala Jacobi developed it, I believe, for and you can get it from SIBOtest.com. I’m pretty sure people can just download it, even if you’re not a practitioner. But I would obviously always recommend that you work with someone because there’s more to it than just the diet side of things because.
Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah. As you said, Lynda, it’s, you know, antimicrobials. It’s rebuilding that gut microbiome and I definitely agree with you there with the partially hydrolyzed guar gum. I find that works really well for people as long as it’s like a start low and go slow kind of situation. And I think another important point which you made is that you know, a little bit of gas when we’re eating these kind of foods, like legumes is normal. As long as it’s kind of transient and not, like so uncomfortable and it gives you pain. I think sometimes when people have had a lot of gut issues, and perhaps they’ve gone through a gut treatment protocol, and then we start getting to this reintroduction phase, at the first sign of any gas, they can freak out and think, oh my god, it’s back. And I think you made a really good point there just like hey, you know what? A little bit of gas as long as it’s transient. And it’s not kind of, you know, large, large amounts and really uncomfortable or really smelly, like, it’s okay, like there are bacteria in there fermenting those carbohydrates and they are going to produce a little bit of gas because I think, yeah, it can kind of get a bit scary for patients sometimes.
Lynda Griparic 34:48
Totally. And you know, that’s what happened to me too, not having like legumes is a big part of my diet for a long, long, long time. You’d imagine if you bring, introducing something new into that environment, you’re changing environment, you know, and so you’re creating these different types of bugs and they’re going to, you know, you’re altering things. So, I expect to have a little bit more gas and maybe an early stage, a little bit more bloating as it all starts to adjust. But you’re right, if there’s extreme pain, or if it’s debilitating, like doubling over, you know, really, really uncomfortable, then, and if it persists, then it’s something that you might want to not bring at this stage and do some more repair work before you do start to reintroduce those things.
Natalie K. Douglas 35:31
Yeah, definitely. So, I guess, in relation to maybe taking like a slight step backward. In relation to you know, testing with all these kind of situations. I’m particularly interested in how we can actually use stool testing to help navigate treatment for a patient that might be you know, having mental health issues in relation to depression or anxiety and that kind of thing. Like where would you start with that and what do you see as being useful in that situation?
Lynda Griparic 36:01
Yeah, absolutely. Great question. And so I, when I’m looking at a stool test, what I really want to be assessing is the diversity of different bacteria in your gut. Species richness, I want to be looking at levels of, say, anti-inflammatory sort of bacteria, like faecalibacterium prausnitzii and bifidobacterium. So, making sure they’ve got enough of that and they’re not deficient in those particular bacteria because they really are anti-inflammatory in the body and they support us when it comes to because like I said, there is that low-grade systemic inflammation that occurs in depression and anxiety. I’d be wanting to look at levels of those Gram-negative bacteria, so proteobacteria, bacteroidetes, even our stirpes, and enterobacteria, so those things can indicate that there’s higher levels of LPS in the system and that were producing more systemic inflammation and that might be damage to the gut lining and integrity. And like I said, with the newer, with the more sensitive type of stool testing, like the shotgun metagenomics, they can go down to, you know, species and strain level, but they can also show us metabolic pathways and microbial genes, but they can show us that LPS concentration specifically. So, those are the main things that I’d be looking at when it comes to stool testing, just to sort of, and like I said, I’d want to be doing some blood work too. So, I probably want to be doing, you know, looking at the inflammatory markers in their blood, as well.
Kate Callaghan 37:40
Great. And then and so with that information, what are some general things that you would be recommending to help support the gut and the brain relationship for your clients?
Lynda Griparic 37:51
Yeah, there’s, and a lot of them I’ve probably mentioned already, but let’s go over them again. So, people can really drive at home and start it today. So, I guess the main things that you want to be doing is you want to be really reducing the inflammation in the body and you want to be producing more of the bifidobacterium and faecalibacterium species. So, certain prebiotic supplements like lactulose, FOS, and GOS can be supportive in increasing those species but also things like daily consumption of fiber-rich foods, polyphenol, rich foods of those colorful richly, you know fruits and vegetables that act as food for bacteria that and produce short-chain fatty acids, things like resistant starch. Also, you know, I did mention probiotic-like foods. Also decreasing the amount of fat. So, decreasing amount of the saturated fats in the diet can really be supportive. Also, making sure that you’re avoiding the Western diet. So, high fats and low prebiotic-rich foods and lower Whole Foods. What else can we be doing? We’re looking at decreasing alcohol intake if you excessively drink alcohol or if you’re a binge drinker. That can really increase the absorption of things like LPS and interfere with the gut lining and integrity. Fissure can be really supportive as well. So, getting that in a food, in food as one of supplementation for some. And those are the main ones and making sure that you not having an excessive amounts of omega-6 in your diet because that can increase the absorption of things like LPS.
And what will be the main sources of omega-6?
So, you’re like, so your vegetable oils would be your main sources of omega-6.
Kate Callaghan 39:43
So, we’re talking things like canola, sunflower, safflower, soybean.
Lynda Griparic 39:47
Absolutely. Yep. Those ones.
Kate Callaghan 39:49
What are your thoughts on baking with like almond flour and the content of omega-6 in those, what’s your opinion on that?
Lynda Griparic 40:00
Yeah, good question. I haven’t really thought about that. Oh, I guess in moderation. I wouldn’t be doing it every day. I don’t have a big issue. I just make sure that you’re getting really good quality when it comes to your source of the almonds, like preferably organic wherever you can, just to avoid eating sort of pesticide. You know, use on them, but you know, what’s your thoughts on them? Sounds like you’ve got an ideas around that.
Kate Callaghan 40:32
I generally recommend not going overboard with them.
Natalie K. Douglas
Not going nuts.
Because, you know, I like to think of how we would have eaten things back in the day and you generally wouldn’t have a cup or two of ground almonds that you’re going to chuck in the oven. You would be shelling your almonds yourself and then eating them in small quantities in that whole food form rather than baking them at high temperatures which could potentially negatively impact those polyunsaturated fatty acids, those omega-6 fatty acids. Potentially, that’s my thoughts.
Natalie K. Douglas 41:08
Yeah, I agree. I think some people tend to fall in the habit of just kind of like paleo finding everything in terms of like, oh, I need like a paleo cookie and I need like a or like I need a raw vegan like a doughnut, and you know, the most common things that are used in those kind of recipes are not flours. And so, I feel like I’m with you guys, like moderation is key. It’s not like you have to avoid it completely, but kind of not making it like your daily snack. I think sticking to more unprocessed Whole Foods is a better way to go for sure.
Lynda Griparic 41:48
Absolutely. Absolutely. And the one thing I did, did forget to mention was like, making sure you’re not getting enough of like that free fructose, like the you know, high fructose corn syrup, because that actually does increase the levels of LPS in the system too. And that can include you know, that those sort of things you find in like soft drinks, or fruit juices, or fructose-rich drinks, but not whole fruit. So, I want to get people to understand it’s not avoiding whole fruit. Whole fruit is really important and you’ve got the fiber component to it as well. But it’s just the soft drinks and the fruit juices and fructose-rich drink that you want to be kind of, you know, decreasing in your life.
Natalie K. Douglas
Kate Callaghan 42:26
What are your thoughts on dates? I know a lot of people will make baked goods with dates. And then there’s a big camp of saying no dates. I don’t have a particular opinion on this, but I would like to.
Lynda Griparic 42:36
Yeah. I think what you were saying before though, like in moderation, you know, absolutely in moderation. I don’t think dates are something that we should be like an everyday handful consumption sort of thing. I think, you know, if you have a date in a smoothie here and there, no big deal. But again, it goes down with the whole paleo raw foods thing. People are just probably. I don’t know if they’re doing it much anymore but in the early days and those roll treats don’t come out there was a bucket loaded dates and nuts and nut butters and all the rest of it in those things. But I’d say in moderation because I would think that that would start to really interfere with your blood sugar balance having a bucket load of dates every day.
Natalie K. Douglas 43:19
Yeah, get your dates elsewhere everybody. I think like it’s, it does it adds up really quickly and there are, I don’t know about you guys, but those like date ball things are addictive. No, like, I find it very hard to just have one little tiny date ball and then be like, okay, I’m satisfied. I am, I’ve got those in front of me I’m like, somebody hide them.
Once you pop.
Natalie K. Douglas 43:48
I know, right? It’s like Pringles but it’s like whole food version.
Natalie K. Douglas
I definitely think that. One other thing I’m curious about your experience with particularly in clinic. I don’t know if you see it much, but what’s your opinion on the gut health of people following a long term or moderate, or I guess medium-term ketogenic diet, because I think that there’s a lot of benefits to keto in some situations. But I’m also interested to hear the you know, the opposite side of that. Kate and I speak a lot about it in relation to hormones and that side of things, and also thyroid health as it not being the best option in that situation? But what about for gut health? What’s your opinion there or experience in practice?
Lynda Griparic 44:27
I love this question. And I’m with you there like I really do. I think that there are so many different varieties of the keto diet isn’t there, I mean, people, but for the most part, I think that these particular diets. The keto, the keto diet was designed therapeutically, you know, for short term. I personally don’t think it’s a long-term diet that wants you to stay on. And in fact, like a very high protein and very low carb diet can decrease butyrate and butyrate-producing bacteria and that’s that short-chain fatty acids that we love, and we want more off because it protects the gut lining and integrity and is anti-inflammatory to the body. So, I would be kind of cautious of going keto for a long period of time. I think if you’re using it therapeutically, for a short period of time under the guidance of a health practitioner, great, but I don’t see it as being beneficial for the gut microbiome long term at all. And having said that, you know, and this might be controversial too like, I don’t think low FODMAP for a long period of time is great for the gut microbiome either. You know, so, I think, you know, that’s my stance on keto. I think we, a lot of us have just jumped on the bandwagon and jump using it long term because maybe it has led to some weight loss or you know, the rest of it, but like you said, it can really interfere with hormonal health. And I’ve seen that in practice, absolutely. But also the gut microbiome too. And again, I can be an example of that, because I went very low keto. I went pretty keto, very low carb for a long time, and again, started to see all of those parameters in my microbiome that works fantastic for my overall health, even though physically, I wasn’t presenting with any major symptoms, like eventually that probably would have caught up to me. So yeah, that’s where I stand with the keto. I think it serves a purpose. But again, just a therapeutic purpose, not a lifestyle.
Natalie K. Douglas 46:31
Yeah, I’m with you there. And agree with the low FODMAP thing long term. I’ve had lots of people come to me and they’ve been following the low FODMAP diet for years to manage their symptoms. And I think if you’re finding that you need to follow a low FODMAP diet to manage your symptoms, you need to go after the root cause because once you fix that, I find you know, you can expand your diet so much more and without symptoms. I think that you know, needing to follow a low FODMAP diet is a hint to you that there’s, you know, an overgrowth, an imbalance, or something there that needs addressing. And again, it should be a short-term therapeutic intervention type thing and then expand, to be able to kind of include the most amount of foods with the least amount of symptoms, and it is totally possible. But I think working with someone in that kind of situation is really important because even just I’m just thinking, like, listening to this people are probably like, oh my gosh, like, there’s so many options and there’s, you know, there’s benefits to this. There’s benefits to that, there’s this test, there’s that strategy. So I really think, you know, when it comes to gut stuff, certainly there are things that you can practically implement yourself but working with someone if you do find that you still have issues after you’ve, you know, implemented some of the basic strategies of anti-inflammatory and trying to expand prebiotic foods and then you know, if you run into a bit of a barrier there, definitely investing time and money into getting it sorted out. Because once it’s sorted, it’s very easy to maintain good gut health once you’ve got more balance there, which is that what you see Lynda?
Lynda Griparic 48:13
Yeah, definitely. And I like what you said there. I think and you might have experienced this as well, where you might have someone that has come into the clinic they might have, they might have done a, you know, food sensitivity test, and they’ve ripped out all these foods from their diet. And maybe they’ve gone on some antimicrobials but they’ve done nothing to look at what is driving the fact that they’re sensitive, or they’ve become newly sensitive to all of these foods. There’s been no gut restoration work or investigation on why that is happening. There’s just been let’s take it all out. Let’s kill off something and let’s keep killing, killing, killing, killing, killing. And so, I’ve had to often go in there and say, okay, well what sort of gut restoration work could be done. It’s not, it’s not good enough to just come off the foods forever like why, why can’t you tolerate this now? You used to be able to, there’s a reason for that. So, and we don’t want someone starting to become so narrow, like we want to be able to get as much of like diverse diet as much as we can to create all these different types of bacteria that have multiple different functions in the body that support our overall health.
Natalie K. Douglas 49:23
Yeah, agreed. I’m not a huge fan, actually did a post about this the other day. I’m not a huge fan of food intolerance testing.
Oh, me too.
Natalie K. Douglas
Because I just think if you’ve got leaky gut, which most people do if they’ve got any form of gut issue or inflammation, then, of course, you are going to have food intolerances and we can do a food intolerance test and then we can take out those foods that you’re intolerant to but all that will happen is the ones that you start eating the most of next will be the ones that you start to become intolerant to because you haven’t actually addressed why there’s a leaky gut in the first place. I think it can be like sexy and attractive to do a food intolerance test and be like, you can’t eat these foods, but it doesn’t really solve the kind of root cause of it all. I think you’re better off investing in a really good kind of stool test or if you’re a big red flag for SIBO then investing in the SIBO breath test as opposed to a food intolerance test in most situations.
Lynda Griparic 50:22
Absolutely. It’s almost just like a band-aid treatment but and I get that it gives relief to people. So, I get that when you start to remove these foods that you’ve that has come up to be a bit of a sensitivity for you. You then go okay, I feel, I feel great. I feel good. I’ve got less into the less bloated less gassy. You know, I get that but there’s, there’s that’s not enough. That’s just, you know, mopping up the water on the floor sort of thing. We’re not turning it off at the tap. So yeah, I’m with you there. I’m very, very rarely if at all do the food sensitivity testing.
Natalie K. Douglas 50:57
Yeah. I mean, if people have like money to just throw everywhere then I’m like sure, if you want to do it. Like it’s, I love testing so you want to do it then we can but in like most people like when it comes to functional testing in my experience can only afford usually one test. And so, it’s kind of like a decision between, for me a stool test or a SIBO breath test, and sometimes to be honest I do struggle with that decision of when they’re coming back with symptoms of both. What do I, what do I test if they can only afford one? I would, I’m interested in your opinion on this if that happens to you as well. I mean, for me, I would say most of the time if they’re coming back with red flags, before both like SIBO and maybe a parasite or dysbiosis. I usually lean towards the stool testing because I get more information. And then, but yeah, I do definitely struggle with that decision sometimes. I’m interested. Do you have that experience or what’s your kind of thought process there?
Lynda Griparic 51:59
I’m definitely with you. If I could do both that would be ideal. But, again, if they have if they’re coming up with all of this, like many of the symptoms of SIBO and some of their past history show that they might have had a post-infectious gastroenteritis or something going on and something yells at me that yeah, okay, you just really need to figure out if SIBO is present because I might tend to go there first because I’ll then because the treatment for that is very specific, as you know.
Natalie K. Douglas
So it’s like, okay, I just want to rule that out that that exists. And it’s usually less expensive tests as well.
Natalie K. Douglas
At least, like any less expensive by little amount, but it’s, it’s, I want to rule that out because that treatment is really, really specific, but I definitely think, you know, eventually, if that comes out as being negative, and they’re still experienced quite, quite a bit of symptoms then I will, you know, encourage them to do the stool test when they can afford to do it. So, we can get a bigger picture of the large bowel and what’s going on in there.
Natalie K. Douglas 53:03
Yeah, totally. And which if you don’t mind me asking, which stool test do you use at the moment? And is it one that patients can order without a practitioner or do people need a practitioner to order it?
Lynda Griparic 53:14
So, the two ones that I have used lately, so I used to use the 16S rRNA sequencing technique, and I used to use the smartGUT Microbiome Testing. So, that can be ordered online through smartGUT, I think, but you would need to go through a practitioner to do the interpretation, as you know.
Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, and but now at the moment I use the shotgun metagenomics by Microba, because it’s a little bit like I said it that it gets to the species and even the strain level, and it’s a little bit more sensitive. So, it detects genes from bacteria, archaea, fungi, protozoa, and viruses and it can determine the abundance. So, it’s a little bit more sensitive and specific, and yes, they can do it online. But again, you’d want someone to interpret those results to you because you wouldn’t know what to do with half of the information on there.
Natalie K. Douglas 54:08
Totally, smacking it another degree. I agree. I, I love using kind of the DNA sequencing type ones and I’ve been using lately and I’m always open to changing because I think there’s, there’s kind of pros and cons to every kind of gut test you do really, like in terms of.
There’s not one perfect one is.
Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah. So, I’ve been using the GI-MAP lately, the one I designed for health and I find that quite useful. It also tells you beta-glucuronidase levels.
Natalie K. Douglas
Which is in I guess, for me, when I’ve got a lot of patients that have hormonal dysregulation, it is an interesting thing to see but I’m going to look into the ones that you mentioned because I have, I have used smartGUT before but I haven’t used the other one and yeah, they’re all so so interesting, but totally like, if anyone bought this one by themselves, like, you just, it’s impossible. Like you’d look at it and be like, okay, I have no idea except for maybe if they give you some kind of indicator, but really the like the gold is in the detail for a lot of these things. So, it’s really important that you do get a practitioner to kind of help you along that path.
Lynda Griparic 55:18
Yeah, absolutely. I agree.
Kate Callaghan 55:21
I personally, am quite excited about doing my own gut testing because I’ve been pregnant and breastfeeding for the past five years and now I’m not. So, I’m going to get poo test.
Natalie K. Douglas
Oh, We can’t wait to look at your poo.
Lynda Griparic 55:28
Yes. Have you, have you, have you read Dr. Oscar Serrallach’s book, The Postnatal Depletion Cure?
Kate Callaghan 55:39
Not that you would need it, you probably have supported yourself prior, during, and after, no doubt.
Kate Callaghan 55:44
Yeah. No, I did actually see that. I screenshot something the other day. I was just looking at like a screenshot that it was because of that book. So, thank you for the reminder. The book is yeah, Postnatal Depletion and who was the author?
Lynda Griparic 55:55
Dr. Oscar Serrallach. I had him on my podcast. He’s awesome. And yeah, he speaks very much to the depletion that happens to women post-birth. And that can last for up to 10 years. You know, and I guess you know, you, but you know, for someone that’s been supporting their health pre, during, and after, then you know, it’s not a given for every single woman. But for those that are quite healthy, they’re probably less likely to be experiencing those symptoms, but it’s awesome. It’s really good, really supportive for women who think that they’re going crazy because they feel so tired and they feel depleted.
Kate Callaghan 56:32
Yeah, yeah. And they just accept it. So, yeah, definitely something that we should all look into. Maybe we’ll have to get you back to talk about postnatal depression. But before we let you go, this has been awesome. So much information. Is there anything else that you’d like to share with our listeners?
Lynda Griparic 56:50
Um, I guess, probably the only thing I would say. I mean, we do cover a lot but the only thing I would say is to you know, don’t ignore your symptoms. Whether it be a digestive symptoms or whether it be mental health, that you feel is a bit under par, like anxiety or depression, you know, seek the support of a health practitioner, there’s always some place that you can start regardless of your financial situation. And it can really make a huge impact in your life. And you know, we’ve only got this, you know, you’ve only got one life but we but you know, we want to live the best quality of this life as we’ve got it. So you know, you might as well seek the support and get some assistance so that you can start to change and increase the quality of your life.
And your best life starts to.
And your best life. Yes, that’s absolutely. Yes, and that’s one thing I would like to say though, the bowel movements you want to make sure that you’re moving your bowels every day for your gut health. That’s absolutely what you want to be doing. Otherwise, you’re just recycling hormones and toxic waste and increasing inflammation and leaky gut and all the rest of it. I cannot believe I left that out. Probably just started talking about it.
Natalie K. Douglas 58:04
Pooing also releases endorphins. So, you’re missing out on a good time every day.
Natalie K. Douglas
Kate Callaghan 58:12
Why are we leaving all this good stuff to the end?
Natalie K. Douglas
Lynda Griparic 58:16
Jesus Christ. What’s wrong with us?
Natalie K. Douglas 58:20
So, funny. All right, Lynda. So, where can people find you and what kind of like, what services do you offer? Tell everyone. Yeah, how they can get more of your brain?
Lynda Griparic 58:31
Beautiful. So, thank you. And so my website, LyndaGriparic.com is probably the best place to find me. Lots of content on there. You can also obviously schedule an appointment if that sounds like something you’d want to do. But also I do have a podcast channel as well called Love & Guts. And we go through lots of stuff related to gut health, but lots of other topics in the way of health and wellness and so and yeah, BetterMe Tea. So, I do actually have a tea to help encourage bowel movements, believe it or not. So, my website is probably the best place to find me.
Natalie K. Douglas 59:06
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing an hour with us to talk about poo. We definitely appreciate it and so much good information in there and really exciting to know that, yeah, if people want to learn more, you do actually have a podcast. And I think we will pop all of that in in the show notes and hopefully have you back on to to share some more about lots of different topics. So thank you, and we will speak to you soon.
Lynda Griparic 59:35
Thanks so much guys. I’ve had a lot of fun and I’m really great to meet you both.
Natalie K. Douglas
Kate Callaghan 59:39
You too, Lynda. Thank you so much.
Thanks for tuning in to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. Remember, we love to make the show relevant to you. If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to discuss, just submit them to [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on iTunes and share it with your friend. And if you’re looking for more info about how we can accelerate your journey to your optimal health, you can find me, Nat, over at NatalieKDouglas.com and Kate at TheHolisticNutritionist.com. See you next time!
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