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Biohacking Gut Health: The Scientific Optimization Guide

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You cannot—and will not—enjoy long-term prime health without attention to your gut microbiome (and other microbiomes!).

Over two thousand years ago, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, proclaimed that “all disease begins in the gut”. While true, it underplays the value of biohacking gut health.

Unhealthy guts also impede your ability to perform at your peak. Manifesting with issues like:

  • Low energy
  • Brain fog
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Intense cravings and inability to fast
  • Unexplainable weight gain
  • Distracting & embarrassing digestive problems
  • Inability to absorb nutrients
  • Rampant inflammation and blood sugar issues

Knowing this importance, I recently took a few different forms of microbiome health tests. From Viome to Bristle to SelfDecode, each came back with the same finding.

My SelfDecode report even showed that I’m more genetically to gut inflammation than 93 percent of people.

I need to rebalance my gut microbiome immediately!

I already eat extremely clean, live in an optimal environment, regularly immerse myself in nature, move my body throughout the day, and follow all the tenants of healthy living.

Having read several books on this subject and compiled a vast amount of research for previous articles, I knew how to improve my gut health. But when I Googled how to biohack the gut, the results were severely misguided. I read dozens of articles that all dispensed bad advice!

This post starts by explaining why gut health is possibly the most overlooked facet of health, wellbeing, and human performance. Then I’ll break down the protocol, tips, and hacks I’m using to rebalance and optimize my gut microbiome FAST.

Your Gut Makes You Human

Gut Microbiome Health & Second Brain

The gut is physiologically and anatomically, literally our core.

You may have heard it called “the second brain”. Indeed, it’s part of a bidirectional superhighway; constantly exchanging information with the brain and other organs.

Yet it does much more…

Vital roles of the gut microbiome include:

Mind control may sound like a dramatization, but it’s not. An unbalanced microbiome produces high levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a potent endotoxin associated with depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, chronic fatigue, and much more.

So reliably, that researchers inject LPS into mice in order to induce these conditions for their studies.

But there’s good news.

You can change your LPS levels and overall microbiome quickly. The digestive lining regenerates approximately every 72 hours and the microbiome begins adapting to new diets in just one to two days.

If you need more convincing, in his book Regenerate [Amazon], Sayer Ji speculates that it’s what makes us human,

The seemingly supra-human genetic capabilities of our gut microbiome may have been the primary determinant in our species’s survivability because they allowed our species to adapt quickly to changing environments and available diets. We must make a conscious effort to get out of our own way to preserve and leverage our relationship with the natural world.

Sayer Ji

The contents of your gut microbiome also determine what foods you can eat. Many people lack the microbes necessary to metabolize phytochemicals in “health foods” like oxalates (in nuts, chard, kale, spinach), phytic acid, and trypsin inhibitors (nuts, grains).

I find the plasticity of the gut microbiome especially interesting. Our genes allow us to digest and assimilate specific foods. The microbiome extends our digestive abilities. Proteins and enzymes help us tap into different biosynthetic pathways and metabolize foods that we otherwise couldn’t.

A few examples:

  • Seaweed — components in the guts of Easterners facilitate the assimilation of seaweed
  • Grains — bacteria in the guts of Westerners help us breakdown digestion-resistant grain proteins

Microbiomes from other parts of the world lack the ability to easily digest these foods.

While modern science is currently working diligently to explain all the roles of the gut and microbes, medical texts from thousands of years ago already highlighted gut health.

Understanding Gut Health From Ancestral Perspectives

Both the ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda (roughly translated as “the science of life”) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) documented the importance of digestion and gut health. Dating back millennia.

Life force comes from our digestive “fire” and ability to convert food into energy. Ayurveda and TCM both underscore gut health as key to preventing disease and vitality.

Symptoms of gut problems, give us an early warning of larger more serious impending health complications.

“Constipation is one of the earliest, and often overlooked, signs of the disease”

The best, cleanest food can still harm your health if it’s not compatible with your biological systems.

That’s why both systems advocated precise diets (and lifestyles) tailored to your unique constitution.

Ancient systems like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine were the original precise, individualized medicine Click To Tweet

To illustrate my point, we’ll consider two unique cases validated by modern science.

In each, the state of the gut determines how we process nutrients and if they help or hurt the body:

  • Choline and carnitine into dangerous TMAO. The exact same ingredients can go down one of two biochemical pathways and have opposite effects. Depending on the health of the microbiome.
  • Certain herbs improve health despite low bioavailability. Cultures worldwide have prized botanicals and plant compounds. Despite modern science showing that the body does not absorb them. Yet they have potent effects, which likely stem from the way they modulate the gut microbiome.

Ancestral medicine advocated tuning into your body. Benign symptoms today should alert you of impending serious problems.

Symptoms of Gut Dysbiosis

Gut issues mascarade as just about any condition.

That’s what makes them so difficult to pin down without quantifiable testing.

Here’s a list I’ve compiled from my own research and personal experience.

Common symptoms & conditions related to an unhealthy gut include:
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Excessive gas
  • Acid reflux
  • Nasal congestion
  • Allergies
  • Skin issues
  • Food sensitivities and intolerances
  • Immune problems
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Thyroid disorder
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Unexplainable obesity and weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Sugar cravings
  • Diabetes and blood sugar swings
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Mitochondria dysfunction
  • Toxicity from impaired detoxification
  • Accelerated aging

Experience one or more of the above regularly, and you may consider getting a gut test.

Personally, I had a few symptoms that warranted further investigation.

They included: nasal congestion, what appeared to be allergies (I’ve never had them), huge blood sugar fluctuations from healthy foods, suboptimal mitochondria despite deliberately doing deliberate activities, excess gas, and a few food sensitivities.

So in 2022, I became a student again. I cracked open a new book on gut health and went back through my old biohacking gut health notes.

How to Heal the Gut Naturally

Biohack Improve Gut Health Process

Properly caring for your gut isn’t as simple as buying a kombucha keg, topping all your meals with sauerkraut, or popping a few probiotic pills.

Each has a time and place.

On its own, that approach isn’t effective and can even backfire.

Now, we’ll explore the protocol I’m using to heal my gut quickly, effectively, and most importantly, safely.

This five-step process takes you from wherever you are to full resolution.

I’ll explain the tests I used to quantify my current state, the hidden things destroying our guts, how I am rebalancing my microbiome, and the tools I’m using to maintain my fully optimized gut.

Step 1: Quantifying Gut Issues

You can’t improve that which you don’t measure.

Since indicators of gut health present so differently, you may have difficulty pinpointing the root cause.

You can go either any of these routes:

  1. Manually log and track symptoms of your experience
  2. FoodMarble AIRE device
  3. Diagnostic kit

The first option requires nothing more than a pen, paper, and your own diligence. Log symptoms you regularly experience, especially 30-90 minutes after eating. Note down the quality of your hair and skin, which reflect the condition of your gut.

With this approach, you’ll just get a 10,000-foot overview. You won’t know what’s out of balance. You won’t uncover any specific causes.

A while back, I discovered a cool device called the FoodMarble AIRE. It detects hydrogen gas (and now methane) in your breath. What makes this so special is that only an imbalanced gut (with SIBO/SIFO) produces significant levels of these two gases. As I mentioned in my FoodMarble AIRE review, you can therefore check your gut health by doing a protocol and tracking breath levels over time.

One of the awesome things about it is that once you own the device, you don’t need to purchase any follow-up tests or gear. Self-test as often as you like. Even gift it to a friend once you’re optimized. Grab a FoodMarble device here and use the code NURBAN to save you 15%.

If you have the budget, I suggest that you use a service specially designed to decode the contents of your microbiomes. These can identify the exact contents of your gut (viruses, bacteria, fungi, molds, archaea, eukaryotes, yeasts).

Popular gut microbiome testing services and panels include:

  • Viome Health Intelligence (my favorite)
  • Gut Zoomer (best prescription-required option)
  • Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory GI-Map
  • Genova GI Effects Comprehensive Profile
  • Thryve Gut Health Test

Most of these give you a long, dense printout that requires intense studying or a medical professional to interpret. Many require a doctor’s prescription.

I use and like Viome’s Health Intelligence product, because it’s fairly inexpensive, available over-the-counter, and provides more actionable information than other tests. It even recommends a custom protocol to rebalance and optimize your unique microbiome.

These aren’t your generic eat more veggies and less sugar type of recommendations.

My results showed that I’m missing the microbes to digest beets, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other “health foods”. Eating those disrupts my digestion, abnormally elevates my blood sugar, and increases systemic inflammation.

Viome has two tiers:

  • Gut Intelligence
  • Health Intelligence

Gut Intelligence is cheaper, but I recommend the slightly more expensive Health Intelligence kit. The latter gives the best possible snapshot of full-body health.

Check out my Viome review for more information.

As a side note, I recently tested my Oral Microbiome (the body’s second-largest microbiome after the gut!) using a service called Bristle. From my saliva’s microbial communities, they detected off-the-charts inflammation down in my gut.

Once you’ve quantified your gut and know there’s a problem, don’t run off to the latest gut health trend. First, you must stop the current onslaught.

Step 2: Identify & Remove Gut Destoyers

Our one-cell-thick gut membranes shields us from our environment, foods, and toxins that enter our bodies.

Virtually every facet of our existence impacts our gut:

  • Products we consume
  • Chemical exposure
  • Nature exposure
  • Daily habits
  • Activities

Ignore these, and once you stop popping probiotics, you’ll return to square one.

So first we must recognize and change what led us here.

I’ve separated the most pernicious gut disruptors into several categories.

Foods and drinks

There are two types of gut-disrupting foods: individual and universal.

Tests like Viome will help you identify which foods you specifically should avoid, based on the microbes present (and missing) in your gut.

Certain foods increase the permeability of the gut in virtually all humans. Others impair normal physiological processes. These consumables include:

  • Grains
  • Grain-fed meats
  • Ultra-processed foods
  • Fructose and sugar
  • Consuming fat with sugar simultaneously
  • Oxidized industrial vegetable/seed oils
  • Alcohol
  • Other refined carbohydrates

We’ll start with one of the most widely consumed foods today.

Grains. Consuming gluten increases levels of a protein called zonulin. Zonulin alters the body’s “tight junctions” which increases intestinal permeability and can lead to leaky gut syndrome. Plus, it has similar effects throughout the body, such as increasing the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.

Grain-fed meat impairs normal gut function for the same reason grains do. Conventionally raised animals, however, consume enormous quantities of grains. Some sources claim up to seven times their body weight! Concentrating gliadin proteins, heavy metals, pesticides, and other gut irritants into every bite of meat.

Ultra-processed foods have been stripped of their beneficial fiber and generally contain all kinds of gut-damaging preservatives. More on these in the chemicals section below.

Fructose and processed sugar, removed from the naturally present matrix of fiber and beneficial phytochemicals, both promote leaky gut, endotoxemia, and liver fibrosis. High fructose corn syrup, abundant in many processed snacks, can cause leaky gut.

Fat and sugar, consumed together in the same meal, are a surefire way to increase LPS and digestive disorders. Sweet and fat never occurred together in nature. Plus, this combination of foods is highly addictive.

Alcohol doesn’t fare much better. Just one binge drinking session increases endotoxication and levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the blood.

Oxidized industrial PUFA oils cannot be broken down by microbes that normally consume essential fatty acids and fiber. It also leads to deleterious gut development, endotoxemia, systemic low-grade inflammation, and a wide range of other health disorders. Grass-fed butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee, and the like are all great. Metabolically toxic oils include canola, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, and the like.

Most of these foods and drinks we can consciously avoid. More worrisome, however, are our “invisible” exposures.

Chemicals

We ingest chemicals deliberately through pills and powders, and also unintentionally through our skin and breath.

Many of these are well documented gut disruptors. Including:

  • Glyphosate, pesticides, fertilizers
  • Genetically engineered organisms
  • Proton-pump inhibitors
  • Anti-fungals
  • Anti-biotics
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Emulsifiers, artificial sweeteners, other food additives

Glyphosate, the world’s most popular pesticide, was also registered as an antibiotic. A powerful one at that. Since it didn’t harm human cells, it passed under the nose of regulators.

Yet this powerful biocide wipes out huge swathes of beneficial flora, and hardly touches the pathogenic types. In addition to disrupting the body’s ability to synthesize and use amino acids like lysine and glycine, glyphosate has strong associations with a dozen diseases and conditions. The cancer lawsuits alone cost Bayer a $10.9B settlement.

Glyphosate also kills bacteria helping us to metabolize oxalates, convert the sulfur in cruciferous vegetables, and hampers production of certain hormones like progesterone.

While glyphosate is the most well-researched, we still don’t know the health implications of newer alternatives like LibertyLink. Whenever possible, choose organic foods to avoid pesticides.

Genetically engineered organisms may not directly harm human cells, but they mutate gut microbes. Through a process called gene transfer, microbes can rapidly transfer genetic material. Bacteria can transfer this information laterally between themselves. This is how microbes develop antibiotic resistance and how they mutate rapidly when facing selection pressure. Or even horizontally from gut microbes into the human genome.

As a survival mechanism…

Genetically engineered organisms can transfer their genes to other organisms via lateral gene transfer, and to humans via horizontal gene transfer Click To Tweet

Researchers have been sounding this biosafety alarm and falling on flat ears. One 2017 study concluded,

“Given the extensive [horizontal gene transfer] processes in the gut, assimilation of these incoming genes may affect the previously established and fine-tuned host–microbe interaction. Thus, these two factors of the contemporary lifestyle and dietary habits, i.e., a lessened exposure to natural microbiota and the increasing exposure to the previously un-encountered ones, may affect the host–microbe crosstalk and compromise the host health.”

Potential Effects of Horizontal Gene Exchange in the Human Gut

The simple solution?

Avoid consuming anything genetically modified.

Antibiotics and antifungals, like glyphosate, destroy healthy gut diversity. An antibiotic called Amoxicillin, for example, decimates up to 95% of gut’s biodiversity. The effects of a single course of antibiotics persist many years (even decades) after ceasing use. Some experts claim that one course perminently kills off certain species. Which explains the association between one course of antibiotics and:

  • Depression — 25 percent greater risk
  • Anxiety attack — 19 percent greater risk
  • Major depression — 60 percent greater risk (when taking 2+ courses in a year)

While certain cases warrant antibiotic usage, I see it more as a last resort.

PPI’s, anti-psychotics, NSAIDs, and other prescription medications aren’t much better. Just one dose of Aspirin, for example, opens the gastrointestinal floodgates for toxins, microbes, and undigested food proteins to enter systemic circulation and cause inflammation. New clinical findings constantly warn of major gut microbiome damage and other freshly discovered side effects of medications that have been on the market for decades. Work with your doctor to find a medicine that doesn’t impair flora.

Artificial sweeteners and other additives are quite possibly the most overlooked gut disruptors. Manufacturers add them to preserve and shelf-stabilize foods. They prevent microbes from spoiling snacks, but they also inhibit your gut function.

The artificial sweetener, Splenda, for example, imbalances the microbiome and harms your metabolism.

Food emulsifiers prevent ingredients from separating. Carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate 80, two common emulsifying additives, “profoundly impact intestinal microbiota in a manner that promotes gut inflammation and associated disease states”.

Other additives to avoid include Aspartame, Sucralose, maltodextrin, xanthan gum, BPA/BPS/BPF/BPE, microbial transglutaminase, sulfites, and artificial colors.

It’s virtually impossible to avoid everything on this list, so aim to minimize exposure.

Lifestyles

Lifestyle plays a major role in overall gut health.

It starts early…

Babies born via C-Section deliveries have less diverse microflora. Breastfeeding is another essential means of bolstering the gut. Formula lacks vital nutrients and microbes.

Low fiber intake skews the composition of the gut towards pathogenic species.

Circadian rhythm disruptions and irregular sleep schedules both impair the normal processes and increase levels of the LPS endotoxin.

Chronic infections and stress further impair the gut through changing hormones, inflammation, and the autonomic nervous system. Inflammatory diseases and underlying viral infections can further reshape the towards a pro-inflammatory state, conducive to dysbiosis.

Most of these are general healthy living practices.

Try to deliver and raise your baby normally. Eat fiber-rich produce, maintain a steady schedule, practice stress management, and eliminate chronic infections.

Excessive exercise

Over-exercise, especially chronic cardio, has major consequences on the gut.

Likely how I exacerbated my own issues.

Mechanical stress, heat, hypoxia, and hypoperfusion all harm the gut. Maximal output reduces nutrient-rich blood flow to the gut by as much as 80 percent.

Long, steady-state exercise seems most detrimental, with small intestinal damage and increased gut permeability found from:

What to do instead?

To avoid disrupting the gut barrier and still get the cardioprotective benefits of endurance training, I like:

Once you tamped down some of the common disruptors, you’re ready to focus on your microfloral composition.

Step 3: Rebalance

Skipping the previous steps is akin to watering an unmaintained garden.

Your produce may grow, or the weeds may suck up all the water instead.

Similarly, starving pathogenic bacteria and selectively feeding the lacking species stacks the odds in your favor.

My rebalancing process consists of four main steps:

  1. Supporting the body’s built-in defense mechanisms
  2. Disrupting biofilms
  3. Starving the overabundant species
  4. Fortifying beneficial microbes

Stomach acid and bile are one of our first defenses against pathogens. Taking acid-blocking drugs or proton pump inhibitors directly impairs a primary means of sterilization and sets the stage for the wrong microbes to take over. Inadequate stomach acid production is far more prevalent than too much. Contrary to popular belief, many digestive symptoms (like reflux) are actually caused by acid deficiency.

If you don’t yet make adequate stomach acid, you can use this popular protocol until your body does. Supplement with a betaine HCL capsule during meals. To find your ideal dose, increase your intake by one capsule every meal, until you feel heartburn. Neutralize it with a pinch of baking soda. Going forward, your dose is the previous amount minus one capsule. As your body produces more acid, you’ll need to gradually decrease your betaine dosage.

Fixing stomach acid comes first because your body requires it to produce bile.

Bile insufficiency is another common cause of gut dysbiosis. Bile acids have antimicrobial properties, so low bile enables a bad microbiota in the large and small intestines (SIBO). Betaine should also promote healthy bile flow, but you can also supplement bile salts or ox bile.

Biofilms are a special coating that microbes surround themselves with to protect them from eradication. This formation shields the colonies from our immune system and antimicrobial treatments. Natural agents like N-acetylcysteine (NAC), garlic, apple cider vinegar, berberine, oregano, cinnamon, ginger, and curcumin all help destroy biofilms so that we can eliminate these cloaked pathogens.

Note that biofilms aren’t always bad. Good microbes use them too, so we do not want to take biofilm busters indefinitely.

Killing pathogenic bugs isn’t the easiest feat. Even the gold standard medications have a mediocre success rate. Entire posts could be devoted to just this topic. Basic options here include:

  • Prescription antibiotics that target the right microbes
  • Natural over-the-counter herbal and botanical nutriceuticals
  • Super Gut SIBO yogurt (homemade)

Each works but with varying treatment times and safety profiles.

No matter which you choose, when these bugs die they can trigger a temporary Herxheimer (”detox”) reaction. Dead microbes flooding your bloodstream can cause a few days of low mood, anxiety, fatigue, brain fog, and headaches. You can take a binder like chlorella or activated charcoal to alleviate these symptoms.

I chose homemade yogurt because it’s the least disruptive and most natural.

Why yogurt?

Adding prebiotics, a few capsules of specific probiotic strains, and extending the fermentation time to 36 hours (most commercial yogurt fermented for less than four hours), amplifies the microbial content up to 1000X what’s in commercial yogurt or probiotic pills.

You can find the full recipes in Dr. William Davis’s brilliant book Super Gut. In essence, this is what I do:

  • 10 BioGaia Gastrus tablets, crushed (total 2 billion CFUs)
  • 1 capsule Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 (10 billion CFUs)
  • 1 capsule Bacillus coagulans GBI-30,6086 (2 billion CFUs)
  • 2 TBSP prebiotic fiber (inulin or raw potato starch)
  • 32 oz grass-fed half-and-half (or other liquid)

The secret to this process lies in those specifically chosen strains. These ones produce bacteriocides. Chemicals that kill and prevent pathogenic microbes from replicating. Over time, letting only the beneficial species thrive.

Inside a large mason jar, I crush the probiotics, add the prebiotic fiber, and slowly mix in the half-and-half.

Then, I simply click the Yogurt button on my Instant Pot, set it to 36 hours, and add the mason jar mixture. I cover the jar with a Ziploc or something to keep the dust out, and return 36-hours later to fresh, incredible, homemade yogurt.

The fermentation process converts the lactose sugar in milk to lactic acid, and breaks down some of the problematic proteins in A1 dairy.

For 4-6 weeks daily, I’m consuming 1/2 cup of this anti-SIBO yogurt will a small handful of berries.

So far, my FoodMarble AIRE device shows giant decreases in breath hydrogen levels. Meaning that I’m killing the bad bacteria overgrowing in my small intestine (SIBO).

Once you’ve diminished the overabundant bad bugs, you’re ready for the popular yet generic gut health hacks.

Step 4: Support Your Optimal Gut

Probiotics, fermented foods, organic produce, and phytonutrients in foods certainly have a role in promoting optimal gut health.

After rebalancing, it’s time to feed the good bugs. Again, I’ll divide modalities into categories:

  • Foods
  • Supplements
  • Lifestyle

Many of these match what we covered in Step 2.

Where possible, I’ll order each from most to least impactful.

Foods & drinks

Fermented foods top every gut health list for good reason.

Ferment products work, are easy to find, and contain well-researched bacterial strains. They contain prebiotic fibers which feed the probiotics produced via fermentation. The main drawback, however, is that they’re a shotgun formulation of random (often cheap) strains. Not always the best for our purposes. Nonetheless, I consume them daily, and my favorite fermented products include:

  • Super Gut Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Kombucha

But there’s more to gut health than fermented foods.

Chicken soup has a long history of use for immunity and also healing leaky gut. Plus, the hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate in chicken soup help regenerate bodily tissues.

Produce, herbs, and spices are another optimized gut non-negotiable. Ginger also contains microRNAs that favor beneficial growth. Organic varieties are much higher in protective phytochemicals, especially polyphenols. Go for the widest range, and cook with them whenever possible.

Polyphenols are a category of plant defense compounds. They even act as prebiotics, feeding beneficial Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria bacteria. Other great sources of polyphenols include berries, green tea, and coffee.

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, the shortest chain fatty acid which feeds the gut.

On to the crowd favorite.

Supplements

The right supplements can have a dramatic impact and greatly accelerate your results.

There are several main types of gut supplements:

  • Leaky gut healing and protection
  • Microbial species support
  • Nutrient support

My favorite products fill multiple roles.

If you have (or had) leaky gut, that’s the first order of business. Without addressing leaky gut, you won’t absorb your nutrition from foods or other supplements. You’ll eventually develop nutrient deficiencies, which will send your health into a downward spiral.

The best ingredients to heal the lining of the gut, and specifically tight functions, are:

  • Colostrum
  • Lignite
  • Glutamine

As a bonus, these also help heal tight junctions in the blood-brain barrier.

Akkermansia is a strain praised for improving body composition and its ability to heal tight junctions. Increase levels too much, however, and it eats away the gut’s protective mucus.

Instead, I prefer to take a well-formulated probiotic.

BiOptimizer’s Leaky Gut Guardian consistently gets folks awesome results. It contains an egg-based immunoglobulin—called IgY—which seals up any holes in the gut lining. Reducing gut permeability up to 95 percent. And the trifecta of the Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Lactobacillus gasseri, and Lactobacillus helveticus probiotic strains are researched to:

  • Boost immunity and undo gut damage
  • Suppress harmful bacteria
  • Reduce waist size
  • Protect against future infection

When I’ll be indulging in gluten, NSAIDs, or anything that increases gut permeability, I’ll use Gluten Guardian beforehand.

But there’s a product I use even more.

One of the best overall supplements, however, has been anointed “the Navy SEALs of probiotics”. It’s called P3-OM. This product is a combination of prebiotics and the advanced proteolytic, Lactobacillus Plantarum OM.

P3-OM is the holy grail of probiotics.

It eliminates bad bacteria, breaks down protein, reverses slow metabolisms, and contains the bacterial equivalent of eating pounds of kimchi, sauerkraut, and cultured vegetables. This strain is one of the few probiotics that survive the acidity of the stomach and exerts effects throughout the rest of the digestive tract.

The patent for this particular OM strain describes the following uses and characteristics:

  • Proteolytic
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-retroviral
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-tumoral

When I’ve had food poisoning, a handful of these capsules resolved my symptoms about 30 minutes later. For those following high-protein diets, P3-OM is a proteolytic, meaning that it scavenges the body for out-of-place undigested proteins. This can mitigate the inflammation, high homocysteine, and other downsides of overconsuming protein.

I’m currently investigating how to make P3-OM yogurt for even stronger effects.

I’m currently taking both Leaky Gut Guardian and P3-OM right now to heal my gut.

Click here to get these products bundled (code URBAN saves 10%). If for any reason you don’t love it, both products are backed by an industry-leading 365-Day Money Back Guarantee.

Disciplined, and have some free time?

Many gut health basics are free and accessible.

Lifestyle

There are far too many supportive habits, activities, and therapies to list.

Special cocktail. I start every morning with a glass of warm water, a squeeze of lemon, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. This is a powerful drink, and one of the first recommendations of holistic health practitioners.

Filter your water since most taps contain trace amounts of antibiotics, pesticides, and other toxins. These trace levels can still contribute to gut issues.

Early morning sunlight has numerous health benefits. Real light sulfates (activates) vitamin D which has immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and gut barrier–reinforcing effects. Sunlight also structures the water in our bodies and increases our levels of antimicrobial peptides like LL-37 and cathelicidin.

Compressing the times when you eat, called time-restricted eating (TRE) or intermittent fasting (IF), gives the gut a break from digestion. Digestion takes a surprising amount of energy, and simply skipping breakfast allows the body to redirect that energy towards healing.

Plus, fasting pauses the onslaught of digestive disruptors.

Reduce stress, however possible. The combination of elevated blood sugar, epinephrine, and norepinephrine shunts blood away from the gut. Which reduces digestion and absorption. Meditate, take a nap, smash something, however you best release stress. One of my favorites…

Practice parasympathetic breathing. Before eating, take a minute to do deliberate breathwork. Inhale for 4-6 seconds, and make your exhalation ~2 seconds longer to activate your parasympathetic “rest-and-digest” response. This shifts your nervous system into healing mode.

Adopt a pet. If all else fails, you can foster a furry companion. The research is clear. Families with pets have greater microbial diversity. The best gut-friendly pets are the ones that track outside microbes back into the house.

Step 5: Retest

Once you’ve thoroughly biohacked your gut, you should start feeling better.

Or previous symptoms should start to subside.

Lifestyle stringency and orthorexia can help in the initial stages but aren’t sustainable long-term.

To make sure your efforts weren’t in vain, I like to see numbers. If you have the FoodMarble AIRE, you can monitor progress with free daily tests.

But if you’re going out of pocket, 6+ months after starting the protocol, follow-up testing can reveal a whole lot.

If you do Viome, you should see your scores improve. Your “Active Microbes” section should change.

Food intolerances should disappear. As will your recommended foods. A perfect gut has all the required enzymes and microbes to break down the widest variety of foods.

If you get bad tests results back, however, it probably means that you overlooked something crucial. At this point, your best bet is to work with a professional.

Biohacking Approach to Optimized Gut Health

90 percent (or more) of Americans suffer from microbial overgrowth in the gut Click To Tweet

I live an exceptionally clean and healthy lifestyle. So I’ve always considered myself part of the other 10 percent.

Dr. William Davis’s eye-opening book Super Gut made me reconsider.

I took the Viome Health Intelligence test, and could hardly believe my results.

The foods I ate daily…

Brussels sprouts, broccoli, beets, and other health foods were all off-limits.

viome avoid health superfoods

I lacked the necessary bacteria and microbiomes to properly digest and assimilate the biochemicals in these foods. My nasal congestion, bloating, gas, and other annoying symptoms began to make sense.

So I began an anti-SIBO protocol to rebalance my gut.

Articles throughout the internet advocated that I gorge on prebiotics, fermented foods and drinks, probiotic supplements, and “gut healthy” nutrition.

A backward approach considering far more people have microbial overgrowth than deficiency.

First, I had to stop doing and consuming the things that wrecked my gut in the first place.

I couldn’t exactly undo the 20+ courses of antibiotics I took throughout my childhood. I did make changes:

  • I Drastically reduce my jogging and running
  • I stopped eating those “health foods” that actively damaged my microbiome
  • I cleaned up my living environment
  • I replaced all toxin-laden products
  • I spent more time outdoors

Next, I had to kill overproliferated bad microbes.

I chose to go down the effective, safe, and gentle route of making my own “Super Gut” yogurt. I could have done an herbal protocol instead. Or even sought a doctor’s prescription for targeted antibiotics.

Four weeks later, my FoodMarble AIRE registered low hydrogen gas in my breath. Indicating that I had eradicated my SIBO and achieved some balance.

Now, I’m at the Gut Support stage. Patching up my gut lining with:

At the same time, I’m feeding my microbiome with ample organic produce. Produce rich in prebiotic fiber, polyphenols, and other beneficial phytonutrients.

I am testing new yogurt recipes (it’s surprisingly easy to make) to restore and introduce new microbial species into my gut.

All the while, following the core principles of an optimized lifestyle.

The gut is one core facet of health that I’ve always struggled with.

By taking a scientific approach to biohacking gut health, in six months, I expect a very different Viome test result!

What about you? If you haven’t quantified your gut, give it a shot. It may just give you the root cause of underlying nagging symptoms and/or conditions. Or help you reach a new level of performance.

Address it today to avoid symptoms magnifying into full-blown health crises.

Nick Urban

Nick Urban is the Founder of Outliyr, an expert biohacker of 10+ years, Data Scientist, Certified CHEK Practitioner, host of the Mind Body Peak Performance Podcast, and a High-Performance Coach.

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