Gut Health Conference Call with Dr. Gordon and Dr. Bush
April 21, 2015
Please click here listen to the teleconference. Below is Dr. Bush’s talk portion of the teleconference.
Garry Gordon Interviews Zach Bush on Gut Health
Dr. Gordon: Good evening everyone! This is Dr. Garry Gordon, and I’m really excited about tonight’s presentation. I was so lucky to have the opportunity earlier this year to meet Dr. Zach Bush in person. The reason I met him is I had many friends say, “You’ve got to go and learn what this man has put together because it is so exciting!” The name of his product — RESTORE for Life – it’s a great name but that doesn’t mean anything until you understand what we’re talking about. I’m telling you on this line that if we had tight junctions we’d live longer and better. We’ve all heard all about the gluten story and we all think we understand it and maybe all of us need to eat more and more expensive and organic every year the rest of our life and maybe we haven’t got the full story. Only when you have the opportunity tonight to hear Dr. Zach Bush, who was trained at the University of Colorado Health Science Center and at the University of Virginia and is triple-board certified in internal medicine, endocrinology, and palliative care.
So, he is using RESTORE in his clinic, Revolution Health Center, and he’s seen real improvements — as I already am seeing in my patients and my colleagues’ patients — who are having a fight with leaky gut, gluten intolerance, autism, Type II diabetes, autoimmune conditions, Crohn’s, irritable bowel. This product may absolutely let many people avoid the current phase of getting a fecal transplant. You may be amazed what something retailing for about $70 for a two-month supply, about a dollar a day, that any child or adult can take, might do. So please, with no further ado, Dr. Zach Bush, thank you for being on the call tonight. We’ll give about fifteen minutes for the general introduction, and then we will be getting into Q&A, so we’ll try to wrap this up a little after 6:30, but thank you, and there’s going to be a great opportunity for our participants to get a coupon code at the end.
Dr. Bush: Great, thanks for the introduction Dr. Gordon — this is Zach Bush, thank you for everybody who’s on the phone joining us. Dr. Gordon gave a great overview there of my background in cell biology and biochemistry as well as clinical medicine developed at the University of Colorado and then later at the University of Virginia. My research was primarily in tumor research so stemming into infectious disease and some other areas. During that time, seeing cancer cells under the microscope and seeing diabetes in my endocrine clinic, I increasingly became aware that the pharmaceutical model was really broken and increasingly aware that we only really had one problem in the United States and that was inflammation — the cancer cells under the microscope looking a hell of a lot like my patients in clinic. And so with that phenomenon and that realization that everything is inflammation, it set me and my group of scientists that now are outside of academia we had really started to delve into not the science of disease but the science of health. And that’s taken us down some really interesting and unexpected avenues.
The biggest one has to do with the gut, and so what we’re introducing to you all on the phone this evening is this new, novel dietary supplement category, which is a supplement category that’s really based around a molecule family that we discovered back in 2011. All of you as clinicians and scientists involved in the fields of health and medicine are increasingly aware of the incredible role of the microbiome in the health of the host, or the human host there. On the front page of Clinical Endocrinology News today is an article on the microbiome driving the course of diabetes and obesity, and that’s not the first time this message has gotten out. In fact, every week or so you see a similar headline. But what all of these headlines are really highlighting is that we have about 25,000 genes in the human genome and those 25,000 genes are roughly just twice that of a fruit fly. So genetically we’re actually incredibly simple organisms; really not much biodiversity at the genetic level. What really blows that out of the water is the microbiome genome. And so, we are outnumbered roughly ten-to-one bacteria to human cells, somewhere between a hundred, a hundred trillion to maybe a quadrillion bacteria in the body. But that hundred trillion is dwarfed by the gene story. So if we only have 25,000 human genes — the 30,000 species that we have in the human gut are carrying somewhere around two million gene products or genes in that microbial genome. And so, 25,000 versus two million — we get to see how potent and exactly by which mechanism that microbiome is starting to program the human genome.
Many of you are very aware of the epigenetic story and then more recently perhaps you’re also aware of the story of microRNA. But all of these increasingly minute qualities of the gene projects are starting to prove that one genome can easily imprint another genome. And so, we’re now recognizing as a field that these 30,000 species in a healthy human gut really are the front line of not just the immune system, which has been recognized for a long time, but also the front line of actual genetic programming of our genome. And so the microRNAs and the bacteria of our gut are really programming what our genes are going to do and what they’re going to produce.
The obesity epidemic that we’ve seen in America has really stemmed to a transformation in the gut biome between the big family of bacteria that deals with carbohydrates and proteins and the other family that deals with fat and metabolism. We used to have a much different bacterial population as a group and now we’re seeing this increasing fat metabolism emphasis in the human gut as we get more and more microbial imbalance. This imbalance has long been blamed on antibiotic use and many of you are aware that the overuse of antibiotics in humans is really dwarfed by the use of antibiotics in the agricultural world. And so, somewhere around 90%, some say 86%, of all of the antibiotics sold worldwide are actually going into animals to increase their fat absorption or to increase their milk production, in the case of dairy cows. All of this aberrant antibiotic use has been blamed, but our group has really found that there’s a much bigger category that we’ve been missing in the story of microbial reprogramming, and that’s the big herbicide/pesticide category.
Coming out of World War II, we started to really change the farming practices and went to nitrogen fertilizers and destroyed the soil bacteria. What now happened after the destruction of the soil bacteria is we lost the nutrient density in our food system. As we lost that food system density, we’ve really seen an oversimplification of bowel bacteria in the human. And so, the combination of antibiotics, herbicides, and pesticides with their direct toxicity on the biome, as well as the human status with our eating patterns, has all changed the spectrial patterning drastically. What we’ve seen overall is a steady narrowing of the microbiome. Instead of 30,000 species, we’re seeing a tenth of that in our population. In a sick population, which you might see in your clinic, you’re probably down even further to one to five to ten percent in your cancer patients and things like that. So, this huge oversimplification in the gut happens in the course of exposure to Western medicine and all that we do.
What our group discovered in 2011 is a carbon molecule family, and it was in the course of studying a series of papers coming out of the agricultural sciences that we discovered this molecule. My field of endocrinology and palliative hadn’t really prepared me to recognize that molecule in the sense that I had been studying mitochondria for many years. And the mitochondria, as you well know, are the metabolism or digestion component of the human cell. Like the bacteria, the mitochondria have an enzymatic breakdown process, they are not human genome either, they have their own genome, they replicate within our cells. And as they digest our fatty acids and glucose from our meals, an enzyme process creates ATP and, as a byproduct, oxygen redox molecules. So that’s kind of where the field was when I left academia and started dabbling in the science of health. And so as we stumbled upon the carbon molecule, we realized some huge similarities between this carbon family coming out of soil and that seen under the microscope in biochemistry coming out of the mitochondria. And so, that reality started to shift us to a new concept of a communication network between the bacteria. And so, understanding redox molecules or the positive/negative charged metabolites of mitochondria, or in this case discovering that in bacteria, we suddenly realized that we might have stumbled upon a really key component to any hope for any future balance of the ecosystem.
As everybody knows that disease processes, many mentioned by Dr. Gordon earlier on the Introduction there, have increasingly pointed to microbiome and different patterns in the microbiome. But the complexity of 30,000 species and two million gene products make it pretty much impossible for us to hope that we’re going to be able to engineer a healthy human gut from some kind of external process. Up until now, our only tools have really been the probiotics and as an adjunct to that, digestive enzymes, in an effort to kind of bulk up the metabolic capacity of the human gut that’s been wiped out from biodiversity. And so those two schools — the probiotic industry is now enormous; we’re selling somewhere around $30 billion/year of probiotics, if you consider the yogurt industry and all of that included. And so that huge emphasis has been a good step forward in recognizing that there are good bacteria that need to be in the gut and we’re learning how to introduce those.
On the downside though, if you look at any of the probiotics you’re using clinically, you’re using somewhere between three strains or species and twenty-four species in your probiotic. If you keeping taking the same twenty-four species or the same three species, especially in billions and billions of copies like are coming the new state-of-the art probiotics, you’re actually creating a monoculture in the human intestine. You’re not creating biodiversity at all. And so, what we see over and over again clinically is a momentary improvement clinically of irritable bowel or whatever you’re treating when you use probiotics, but that’s a self-limited effect. You’re not going to continue to see improvement; very rarely do you see resolution and sustainability using a probiotic. More concerning, if you have patients who are on probiotics long-term, you are again forcing this monoculture into the intestine and they are probably losing key features of that really important biodiversity.
And so the discovery of the carbon family of metabolites that are now on the market in this product RESTORE is our first realization and really exciting announcement of “Guess what? The bacteria talk.” And when you give back this communication network between the bacteria, we just see stunning clinical results. The fastest things that are noted when you start giving back that is a bulking of the stools. The healthy human gut teeming with somewhere around a quadrillion bacteria is somewhere between six and eight pounds of bacteria. You can imagine how vast a Petri dish that would be to hold the eight pounds of bacteria there. So, the first thing you see is a bulking of the stools as you get biodiversity and proliferation happening in that bacterial microbiome.
We have taken patients with really annihilated guts, mainly our cancer patients; a patient with pancreatic cancer was our first patient on the product. I was the first individual to take the product orally and prove its safety, if you will. And then we went through a whole series of biochemistry studies with renal tubule cells to prove their safety later. But as we went through those trials and everything else, we had the opportunity to treat this patient. She was down to 59 pounds. She was a 59-year-old woman. She had had pancreatic cancer for two years. She had white chalk stools. This is where she had lost all organic material in the gut. She’d been unable to eat for a couple of months, but mostly the chemo and the combination of the antibiotics had wiped out her gut flora so completely that all she was passing was these white chalk stools every couple days. So, the very first thing we started her on was scant amounts of RESTORE under the tongue, because at the time she was having a hard time swallowing because of her bowel obstruction from her cancer. And within four days she called and said in a cheerful delivery that she had had her first large brown bowel movement in over a year. That was pretty good evidence that we have indeed found something that is far in excess of our usual probiotic experience. We have found this communication network that really dials that biome back in. That’s an exciting caveat there to give you a sense of just how fast that biome can adjust itself.
Most of the bacteria that are scant in the gut are also represented in our diet in fermented foods, so it’s been always a good idea to add those in. But in a patient like this, it’s a good example of somebody that only did RESTORE and saw a huge restoration of the gut biome and that diversity and bulk of the stool.
So at any rate, as we move forward over the years, this has been in clinical use now for three years now in our center in Virginia, Revolution Health Center, and the applications were really rapidly going far beyond just an explanation of “Well, the biome is working.” And what happened subsequently was our chief scientist, who is Dr. John Gildea, basically did a couple of experiments knowing his background in cancer and cell signaling and he figured out pretty quickly within the first few months of clinical results and everything else flowing back in from the clinic that we were affecting a really fundamental structure within the body called the tight junction. We have now over the last couple of years done multiple studies in a whole bunch of different cell types, but the human small bowel and colon studies have been the most compelling. We have done rat small intestine and human colon and such, and we’ve done a number of cancer cell studies as well.
But the tight junctions are just a phenomenal uncovering of the story of this relationship between the gut bacteria and the human structure. The tight junctions, as you probably know, tie together the epithelial layer of your intestinal lining all the way from your sinuses, nasal sinuses, all the way to the rectum. It also ties together the blood/brain barrier. And it also ties together the filtration network in the renal tubules, etc. Anytime you have a cohesive endothelial or epithelial layer, you’re going to see tight junctions. And so these are really the structures that create intelligent membranes. They allow passage of materials carefully across the cecum. And what we’ve shown, and you can see this on our website at restore4life.com, on the Science page there, you’ll see the chemistry that happens within minutes to hours of introduction of RESTORE to these membranes — you see a very rapid restoration and increase in the tight junctions. And what we’ve determined is that as the human gut gets oversimplified, as we were talking about, with the lack of bacteria in the intestines, we become vulnerable, without enough carbon redox molecules coming out of this bacteria, we become vulnerable to tight junction injury.
And gluten, it turns out, acts through the same pathway as Round Up, the famous herbicide, and so as you take Round Up and put that into the diet, as we have, and put it into our water system, as we have, we get a diffuse damage to these tight junction structures, that are now vulnerable because of the lack of bacteria. When you add RESTORE, you get this almost instantaneous effect on the microbiome and, within minutes of introduction, even to sterile cultures, you get an increase directly on the tight junctions. So you get this very incredible clinical result in the weeks following starting a patient on this product. You’ll see a rapid change. And the patient will first start recognizing the blood/brain barrier effect. Even within minutes of taking your first dose, we’ve had patients within fifteen to twenty minutes recognizing an improvement in brain fog, just a clarity of thought that’s been lacking for years in many of our patients. And so the lifting of the brain fog is a classic example of the blood/brain barrier effect. If you take children with autism, who are the classic leaky gut/leaky brain population there, and put them through a similar process; again you see that tight junction effect very quickly happening, clinically. And so again it will be the blood/brain barrier scene first, with improved cognition, and you’ll see bulking of the stools, decrease in the irritable bowel and bloating classic for that population, etc. And so it’s a really exciting process as a clinician to have a tool that gets at one of these most fundamental injuries that leads to inflammation in the body, and all human disease thereafter. So that’s the discovery that we’ve made here at Biomic Sciences in Virginia and the exciting product line that’s coming out from them with our first big introduction with RESTORE here.
The Question & Answer portion of the Garry Gordon Interviews Zach Bush on Gut Health Teleconference will be posted Friday 4/24.