The Gut Health MD: Dr. Will Bulsiewicz On Optimizing Your Microbiome (In A Pandemic)


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Your brain's best friend is your gut. You can't separate the two. If you have an unhealthy gut, it's going to affect your brain.
Will Bulsiewicz, MD

We are living in a moment of compounding collective stress---personal, pandemic, economic, civic, and political. This trauma and tumult comes with side effects both physical and psychological.

How do we take care of our bodies during this incredibly stressful moment? Furthermore, how do we buttress our immune system to combat the virus?

The answer, we are increasingly coming to understand, begins with the microbiome. In fact, you might be surprised to learn, the gut is home to 70% of our immune system.

To glean a better understanding of what that means, I convened with Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, a lauded gastroenterologist & gut health guru whose life’s work is devoted to better comprehending the microbiome and the crucial role it plays in all facets of health, from brain function and hormone balance to weight management and everything in between.

Affectionately known as 'Dr. B', Will is a graduate of Georgetown School of Medicine and a former chief medical resident at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and chief gastroenterology fellow at the University of North Carolina Hospitals. In addition, he received his Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) from Northwestern University and a certificate in nutrition from Cornell University. He's authored more than twenty articles in the top American gastroenterology journals and his New York Times bestselling book, Fiber Fueled: The Plant Based Gut Health Program For Losing Weight, Restoring Your Health, and Optimizing Your Microbiome, is a must-read primer on why gut health is so crucial--and everything you need to know to optimize it.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve lamented the mainstream media's lack of attention to caring for our immune system. So today we dive in.

This is a conversation about all things microbiome and gut health. The mechanisms behind it and latest research findings.

We discuss our epidemic of dysbiosis (lack of gut biome balance) and its relation to a litany of chronic diseases that unnecessarily plague too many.

We explore the gut-brain connection. The paramount need to increase the biodiversity in our bodies and our environments. And (sorry carnivores) why fiber is king.

In addition, in this time of excessive sterilization and sequestration, Dr. B provides practical takeaways on how we can improve our gut flora and optimize our immune system, without putting ourselves and others at risk.

And finally, we talk fecal transplants. Because, let's face it, I can’t have a gastroenterologist on the show and not ask about that.

It was an honor to to converse with Dr. B--a fresh, new mind making big waves on the plant-based, microbiome scene. Passionate, empathetic and whip-smart, I enjoyed every minute. And I promise you will walk away from this episode armed to take your health to the next level.

Note: I first came across Dr. B's work by way of his many appearances on my friend Simon Hill's wonderful Plant Proof Podcast (which you should all check out). The pandemic prevented an in-person exchange, so this conversation was recorded remotely a few months ago. Apologies in advance for any audio issues. We did the best we could.

Final Note: Will just released The Plant-Fed Gut, a comprehensive 7-week online course about microbiome health and reversing dysbiosis that goes beyond what he was able to offer in his book. To learn more and sign up, visit (I have no affiliate or financial entanglement here--just sharing good information).

The visually inclined can watch it all go down on YouTube. And as always, the podcast streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


Peace + Plants,

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Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering and show notes; Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, editing and graphics; and theme music by Ana Leimma.

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