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We can prepare the healthiest meals in the world, but they would be nothing if our bodies can’t absorb them well. In this episode, Corinna Bellizzi invites guest, Marc Washington, to take us deep into understanding how digestion works. Marc is the Founder and CEO of Supergut, the leading clinically proven gut health nutrition brand that aims to reintroduce missing nutrients back into our diets. He expands our knowledge about building better digestive health as he discusses the differences between prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes. Going beyond the hype, Marc brings you the real science of gut health in this conversation. So tune in to not miss out!
Key takeaways from this episode:
- It is not easy to live a consistently healthy life in today’s society
- The difference between prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes
- The science of gut microbiome
- The product you can incorporate into your diet to improve your metabolic health
Guest Social Links:
We are going to deepen our understanding of how digestion works. We are going to cover the difference between prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes. We'll even touch on the science as we talk about mucosal linings and their enzymes on this show. The body is comprised of more than 37 trillion human cells, all of which require Omega-3s to function properly, but we have more than 37 trillion additional cells, microorganisms, that make up our entire body's ecosystem. These help us digest our food.
These two systems, our human cells and the rest, make our bodies so much more complex than they might first appear. Science is emerging. We find out new things every day as research is published. Our bodies essentially contain a network of symbiotic relationships, and when in balance, we are at our healthiest. We live long and have a healthy health span, which means living young for as long as possible.
When out of balance, you've seen and heard the stories too. Systems fail and health collapses. Metabolic functions create problems for us. These health systems essentially fall apart which relates to metabolic syndrome, diabetes type 2, and diabetes type 3. We could talk about all of these things. Before I introduce our guest, I want to also remind you that this show is all about serving you, about helping you reach your best health.
If you are compelled by what you learn here, please subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever platform. My favorite happens to be Google Podcasts because I like their search functionality. While you are at it, please give us a thumbs up and a five-star review. Write us a review or a comment. This will help more people to discover the show.
Furthermore, I know that we often touch on health topics that connect to our need for omega-3s. I alluded to that at the very start. It helps your immune system even work like a rock star. If you are ready to give Örlö Nutrition a try, use coupon code, NWC10, for an extra 10% off your shopping cart at OrloNutrition.com. This can mean a total discount to you of up to 37% given the promotions we are presently running. They are our sponsors. They help the show come to you every day.
The specific Omega-3s that we talk about are the EPA and DHA. Stop consuming an Omega-3 from fish and go to algae. It can be as much as three times more absorbable than that found in fish oil because the Omegas that Örlö Nutrition produces are in the polar lipid form, which is best absorbed. I wanted to touch on that for a moment because as we prepare to talk about digestion with our guest, we will also be talking about absorption. The best nutrition in the world means nothing if you don't absorb it.
Without further ado, I'm going to introduce our guest. I'm joined by Marc Washington. He's the CEO and Founder of Supergut. They are the leading clinically proven gut health nutrition brand. Their goal is to reintroduce missing nutrients back into our diets to make it easier for people to live healthier, have that healthier health span, and live long and healthy times. We all know that the industrial food system optimizes cheap calories that inspire overconsumption packed with sugar, salt, and fat. Mark, with his team of researchers and contributors, aims to turn that system on its head with gut healing science and nutrition. Marc Washington, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me.
It's lovely to have you. That intro may have been a little longer than normal, but I feel like I always forget to tell people.
It's important stuff. It’s fun. I'm looking forward to diving in. I think you teed up for quite well.
I understand that you've been first off in this nutrition and health industry for a long time from Beachbody days to Irwin Nutrition, which I'm intimately familiar with because I have been in the world of supplements for the last several years. I learned a little bit about your inspiration for shifting, for pivoting from where you were to this company to founding Supergut. I wanted to offer you the opportunity to talk about your inspiration to start this. What ultimately got you so excited about it and this quest to help people have a deeper understanding of gut health?
Thanks for that. I'm similar to you. I have been in this space of health and wellness and all things better for you throughout my career. From food and beverage, there are two, supplements and fitness. As you can imagine with many founders and entrepreneurs, there's a personal side. There's a personal inspiration. Mine is frankly, deeply personal.
My inspiration is my sister. Monica is her name. Unbelievably vivacious character full of life, but like so many, she struggled with her health and never was in good control. She lived with diabetes and was clinically obese and hypertension, so high blood pressure. Tragically, she passed away far too young due to complications with her health and a combination of a high-risk pregnancy.
It struck me to my core, as you can imagine. It poured gasoline on this fire to the fact that this shouldn't have happened especially in this day and age. Even though the circumstances of Monica's situation were unique, the factors that led to it were not. You mentioned at the outset, metabolic syndrome and obesity. This is an epidemic that is affecting far too many of us that are either there or on our path to there. We don't even know it. This fire is built up. It's like we should have the ability to gain more control over our bodies and our health, and I'm incredibly passionate about finding natural ways to do so through our diets or supplementation.
I'm a huge believer in the power of food, and a huge believer in the power of the human body at the right things. It's that inspiration for starting Supergut and seeing the gut microbiome as a pathway to do this, to translate that science into practice and functional foods that give people more control over their health, whether it's ideally preventatively, but even if not, it can help regain control of your health if you've already dealt with some chronic metabolic issues.
As we learn about the start of your company, tragic beginnings but honoring her in a way that is beautiful. You mentioned metabolic syndrome. We hear about type 2 diabetes. It's such a touchy subject because it's so preventable. It's like there's a bit of blame that comes with the diagnosis like, "You should be able to eat better, and then the type 2 diabetes will go away." It's not like type 1, which was unavoidable.
This gets me going because it can and, in many times, is touchy or sensitive. For many, it’s a great sense of shame for those that are living with a metabolic disease. It's “preventable.” The reality is the game is rigged. Let's be clear. It is so rigged and it is why these diseases and conditions are so pervasive. When you take a step back, it is not easy in this society to live a consistently healthy life in control of your metabolism, insulin response, weight, and your heart health. There are food deserts.
It's big food. It is the food that we are consuming, ultra-processed, the industrial food complex. I say that we are overfed and undernourished. We are bombarded with ads, fast food, ultra-processed, and sugary snacks. It's this system that for so many years and decades optimized for cheap calories. How do we fundamentally feed people in a way that's going to get them full and try to make it tasty and cheap? That's what has been optimized. When you optimize for those, you know what you are not optimizing for. You are not optimizing for nutrients, the quality of the nutrition, and things that your body needs and wants to keep in a healthy orientation.
One of those missing gaps is when you head down that pathway, you are not feeding the nutrients that are important for your gut. Based on scientific advancements and research, we know now that the gut is foundational and critical, not just for digestion but for total health. Metabolism, mental health, and all of these things have a connection to what's happening in your gut. If your gut is out of whack, not in a state of balance, if you are not feeding your gut the right things and maintaining a healthy gut lining and foundation, not only is your digestion going to be out of whack. There are other things in your health that are going to be out of whack as well.
This whole topic of metabolic disease and these areas that are generally supposedly preventable is hard. We have made it way too hard for people to live healthier. That's a big thing of what I'm about personally and frankly, what we are about at Supergut is how we make it easy for people. To fit into your life in products that you want to consume and that you enjoy, but that are truly functional and reintroducing like some of these nutrients that have been stripped out of our food supply, out of our Western diet. Getting them back into your diet is the key.
What you are doing with the company aims to make it easier for people. Give them choices that they can take on the go. Many of the challenges we face are that we are living in this lifestyle where we don't get into the kitchen and make whole foods and shop 2 to 3 times a week the way many Europeans still do and maintain better health because they have got more produce in their diet and more real live foods. Let's put it that way. Shouldn't we be able to get the prebiotics, the probiotics, the fiber, and all of the enzyme-inspiring nutrition in our diet by eating, fruits, vegetables, and non-processed foods?
Theoretically, yes. That has been the tagline in the health and wellness space. Frankly, even physicians promote it as well, which is all right. That is the way to live. Eat whole plant-forward foods. Mediterranean style diet, get these nutrients in your diet, and there's nothing better for you. We have been saying this for centuries, "Eat better and move more. It solves everything."
I believe that we need to move beyond that. It's all true. I'm a huge proponent of whole foods, and plant-forward diets. Practically speaking, in our society in this day and age, it's not easy for most of us to do that on a consistent basis. To have access to the freshest produce and to not be bombarded by all the different temptations out there and, frankly, to not be on the run. Even sometimes when you are trying to eat healthily, even some of the produce that you are getting isn't as healthy as it once was before. I truly believe the pathway is a combination of trying to follow a healthy whole-food plant-forward diet as much as possible.
You complement it with packaged foods that are nutrient-dense and that are functional. To parrot the old advice of, "Eat less and move more," it's not the pathway to further success. Back to the subject on diabetes, one of the things that we hear a lot from some of our customers who are struggling with their health is, “I didn't even know about this gut health thing. I went to the doctor. They diagnosed me as diabetic and said, 'Eat less carbs, move more, and take this pill,' and that's all I knew what to do and all I could do." There are so much more.
I want to touch on this for a minute because part of the challenge there is that we, as individuals, often think, “They said don't eat sugars, so I'm going to stop eating that whole apple. I'm going to stop eating that banana. I'm going to stop eating the raspberries. I'm going to stop eating all of these things that have health-promoting enzymes within them, prebiotic fiber, and all these other nutrients that help us keep our digestion working well.
We stop eating things that we define as, “I'm not going to eat pasta or bread anymore,” but then they also stop eating the things that could be helping them rebuild their health. It’s people who fail. Often what we need is to give ourselves the starting seeds to help move us in the right direction, and sometimes that is a healthier replacement for that snack that they might have grabbed before, protein bar, or whatever it is.
It's accessibility and sustainability. I'm of the firm belief that it is contingent upon us, as we call it the food and supplement industry, those who are producing the nutrition that people are consuming. It's on us to figure out ways that we can inject nutritious healthy and tasty nutrition into people's diets versus asking everybody to change their culture, change their entire diet, and stick to this unbelievably regimented type of diet that is not sustainable. It's on us to do that. The part of the problem is back to your point, this concept of, "Don't eat carbs." It's well intended but it is misguided.
A lot of times, as you said, people will cut out some sources that do have some carbs that also bring some important nutrients. The second thing is most people don't realize that fiber is a carb. Carbohydrate is a broadly defined scope of products and nutrients. There are types of carbs that you should avoid in your diet.
I am a big anti-sugar person. You have to be super cautious about sugar, but also not sugar, obviously, the hidden carbs and fruit juices and highly digestible carbs. The things that when you consume them, your body digests them right away. It spikes your blood sugar and energy. A quick rush and then, you crash thereafter. That is damaging to your insulin response. That's damaging to your metabolic health. Other types of carbs, more complex carbs, and in particular, fiber is a carb. That's what you need to get more of.
The prebiotic fiber, in particular, is slowly digested by you in the traditional sense. We hear from people, “My doctor told me no carbs,” and they will look at a bag and they will see a ton of carbs in this. They are like, “No. Not all carbs are created equal. Fiber is a carb. You need more fiber in your diet. You should be looking at more like net carbs which is a good indicator of more digestible carbs.” That's what you want to avoid, the digestible sugary things that spike your blood sugar, but you need more fiber in your diet. This tagline of, "Don't eat carbs," is misguided, unfortunately.
It's not even something that personal trainers would push you to. They will say something as simple as 30% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat, or something like that. I think it was 40%, 30% and then the remainder was on the fat side. If you get a diet that's tailor-made for you, you can make more thoughtful decisions. As we talk about this overall, there are some sources that are interesting. I heard you talk on another show about the simple banana, which I mentioned for a moment because many people are automatically afraid of banana because this is true but, so let's talk about the but.
This is a fascinating thing. Nature is amazing. The life cycle of a banana, it completely changes over time. When bananas are on the tree and they are deep, dark, and unripened green bananas, the composition of that banana is fundamentally different than the banana by the time you are buying it in your grocery store. Where it's maybe some green, but starting to turn yellow and especially by the time you eat it when it's going to be delicious and it's going to be a nice yellow. Maybe even in the start, they get some brown.
What happens is the banana that's deeply unripened and very green on the tree, it's high in fiber and starch, which is a specific type of starch called resistant starch. That is unbelievably good for you. The problem is, you eat that deep and dark green banana off the tree. It's not the most pleasing to the taste item to eat.
I have always felt that they get so ripe so fast in some cases. The flavor of it, for me, is overpowering. I always like my banana when they are green. The only way they consume a banana when it's yellow is basically frozen.
I would say that's unique relative to the majority of consumers. I'm along with the majority. I prefer a nice ripened banana, but the way you are eating them is much healthier. Over time as they ripen, that starch turns to sugar. It's one of the primary ingredients we use because we want to pack products to fill this fiber gap, this prebiotic fiber. Get these nutrients back to feed the good bugs in your gut microbiome.
Unripened green banana powder is one of our key sources of resistance starch that we use in our shakes, in our bars, and even in our standalone fiber mix. It's highly concentrated. Bananas that are specifically bred to be high in this resistance starch fiber, and then, obviously process at the right time to capture that in the form of resistant starch fiber as opposed to how it turns into sugar over time as it ripens.
I took your vegan vanilla protein shake, and I blended it with the greenest bananas that I could find at the health food store. They are dark green. I'm like, “Perfect. I'm going to blend this up. It'll make it creamy because it also removes some of the grittiness that's often in a vegan protein shake." I haven't found a vegan protein shake that didn't have some grittiness to it. You take this green banana, blend it up, and it'll cut through some of the sweetness too, because almost every protein shake that I have tried, and yours was not an exception to this. It was too sweet for my palate.
I would have guessed so. If someone who partakes in deep unripe and green bananas, I would have imagined that would be the case.
To make this easy for myself, I have developed a few tricks over the years and I throw them in every protein shake I ever make. It helps to bring this vibrant crispness to the palate without negatively impacting the nutrition I'm getting, without spiking my blood sugar and things like this. Now that I know the green banana can be a gut-promoting healthy truth for me, I'm adding this back to my diet more.
That's a great move. We created it so that you can have the steak shake on a standalone because it's packed with all this fiber. We still work hard to make them delicious. I'd love for you to give it a test even without the banana to check on the grittiness factor because in our vegan protein shakes, we work hard to mitigate some of that grittiness and earthiness that you find in a lot of vegan shakes that are out there. When you add things to yourself, it's great. You made an unbelievably healthy shake. That was good for you.
I did split it up with my boys because I wanted them to try it as well, and my 5-year-old didn't like it, but my 8-year-old was asking for more. Every palate is a little bit different. I added a dollop of Örlö’s spirulina to that to help with the immune bolstering effect and also, it's powerful with these antioxidants and inflammatory issues that can help to resolve. It ended up being a little blue, which wasn't a bad thing either. It's a blue shake. It's interesting for those tuning in to the show, I would love for you to give us a breakdown of the difference between enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics.
It is foundational and fundamental. When you talk about gut health, the first place that the vast majority of people go to is probiotics. That's why most of the products out on the market that are talking about gut health are in the probiotic form. Whether that's in a pill or probiotics that are added to a beverage like a kombucha or what have you.
Probiotics are intended to be alive micro things of trillions of bacteria in your gut. Know that every single one of us, as you've mentioned at the outset, we have literally trillions of bacteria already resident in your gut microbiome. These unbelievable soldiers are in there and they have this outsized control over your health.
There are beneficial ones and then there are detrimental ones as well. The concept of a probiotic is, “Can I add more good guys to that colony that exists in my gut?” That's a probiotic. A prebiotic, on the other hand, is where we are more focused. Regardless of what you are adding and how many probiotics and bacteria you have, in order for your gut to thrive, those bacteria need to be nourished.
The question is, “What do you feed them? What do they like to eat?” The good bugs in your gut like to eat prebiotics. Prebiotics is, essentially, fiber, but it's a fiber that's incredibly resistant to digestion. Think of prebiotics as the food for the good guys in your gut. When you consume prebiotics, it's not digested like through the normal process and usually through the traditional digestive process.
Prebiotics is the food for the good guys in your gut.
It's incredibly effective and, in particular, resistant to starch in the fibers that we have. Incredibly effective at bypassing that process and getting deep into your large intestine, your gut, where they disproportionately feed the good bugs and they help reduce the population of the bad bugs in your gut, and then lots of great stuff happens thereafter. They produce important byproducts called fatty acids that connect to different functional mechanisms in your body that are responsible for keeping you healthy, metabolism and mental health. That's prebiotics, the food for your gut.
Enzymes are more through the digestive process to help you break down food in the more traditional sense. A lot of that is happening in your upper gut or in your stomach. When you are taking enzymes, it's to help absorb food and make sure that you are breaking it down so that your body can use the nutrients of the food that you are consuming. That's the basic breakdown of the three. Our angle, our focus, and what we believe is the most missing element in particularly the Western diet is the prebiotic side of it. Feed your gut the nutrients that it needs to survive.
That’s one of the biggest misunderstandings that consumers have. A lot of companies are complicit in creating these ideas. They say, “Go ahead and take these probiotics and they are going to survive and get down into your gut.” Some will even combine probiotics with prebiotics in a soft gel, capsule, or formula. They claim that it's still shelf stable and going to get there. I have been in this industry long enough. I have tested quite a few products that are on the shelf with certain probiotic strain claims on them, and they don't test out even the ones that will say that they are shelf stable.
I have big questions about whether this works when people consume a probiotic that isn't obviously alive. What I mean by obviously alive is something like a Bio-K of the world because it's in a base of super concentrated yogurt and it's refrigerated. You consume it and I believe more that will get into your system or live sauerkraut, not the kind that's in a jar pickled and thrown on the shelf. These things, these truly fermented foods like natto, for instance, can be truly health-promoting. they can contain a lot of these active probiotics in the body can integrate, but a pill in a bottle on a shelf.
It's hard. We shouldn’t go there. I'm going to call a spade of a spade. Most probiotics are store-bought probiotics that are out there commercially available and aren't significantly impacting your health. I will put it out there. They have not been proven effective at modulating your gut microbiome in impacting your health. The reality is, it's hard. You think about the lifespan of a probiotic, in particular, a store-bought pill sitting on a shelf. It has to be the right strain, to begin with. For you, you need to modulate your health and different people have different needs to be served in the right quantities. It needs to be alive and have any effect. They have to survive a rigorous digestive process.
The probiotics that are commercially available out there aren't significantly impacting your health.
Your body is built to break things down through enzymes and through the digestive process in your stomach. If it doesn't get reside in your gut, then they do not have any effect. Even for those probiotics that survive the journey. Do they survive in sufficient numbers and are they colonizing? Are they going to stay around that they are with you for the long haul? Are they passing through?
Are they passing by whenever you are going to the bathroom? Are they flowing right through you? They are not fundamentally colonizing and impacting your health. That's a hard thing for something to make it all the way there. There are some companies out there like live biotherapeutics that are doing live microorganisms.
Some of them don't even like to call themselves probiotic companies to differentiate from the majority that is out there that haven't proven that their products pass through all those different stages and that they reside in your gut. I do believe and we have seen more compelling research consistently around things like fermented foods that are live that do reside.
We have seen some great research in particular at Stanford that has shown a diet that is rich in fermented foods does increase the population of beneficial bugs in your gut. It does create a healthier balanced profile and a diverse profile of microbes in your gut. It's something that we promote, even though we aren't producing them. We are like, “If you are looking at gut health, we have a big play in that. You have to eat healthy food.” Fermented foods are one angle that is specifically targeted toward increasing the diversity of your gut. For store-bought probiotics, you got to think twice. You got to do your research to make sure that you found one of the few that is truly functional.
I wanted to speak about this for a moment too because we have seen that there are particular probiotic strains that are getting more attention of late. Some of them are quite expensive. One example is Akkermansia. Halle Berry is promoting them. It's a Pendulum product. It's all over TikTok. I wanted to see what this was like for a three-month subscription because I will commit sometimes to trying something for that length of time. The price of the product is roughly $2 a day.
The promise is that it will help people lose stubborn weight because of the fact that it's helping your digestion improve. This is like the low-hanging fruit of what can you often get people to make that supplement purchase. I will try it because it's going to help me remove some stubborn pounds or something to that effect.
I have not noticed a particular difference myself, but I already had such good dietary and activity habits already that I'm not sure I'm necessarily the best use case. With that being said, asking someone to spend $2 a day for something that isn't providing basic nutrition first and then something that they can feel, I wonder if it will take hold beyond and prove itself long-term, but I remain somewhat skeptical. I'd love your thoughts on these sorts of magic bullets that are being out there.
As I said, there are some businesses out there that are doing good work. In particular, from my standpoint, those that commit to science. Both evidence-based approach formulation, but then as well, clinical validation to prove that their products are delivering on the promise. I have seen Akkermansia as one strain. There are lots of strains out there.
There's some good research coming out about some of the strains. Some of it is still inconclusive around how directly beneficial it is. Can we go beyond correlation? Some of them have been correlated with positive health outcomes to causation. You proved that supplementation with this particular strain leads to this outcome. To me, the only way that you can get there is through some original clinical research to show that works. A lot of still needs to happen on many if not most probiotic strains that are commercially available in the market.
To your second point, this is fundamental to our approach. As we tapped into and looked into the science of the gut microbiome, there are many different pathways and routes that you can go. Some of it comes back to my fundamental belief and the power of food, and the fact that if we want to have the level of impact that we aspire to, we need to make it easy and accessible as much a part of someone's life that is already happening so that it's not having to do one extra thing.
People love to eat. If we can find ways to help people get functionally healthier through food, I believe that is the pathway towards impact. The additional benefit of it is you have to eat anyways. If you are going to eat, what if you can eat some tasty food that's functional and doing something for you? Budgetary-wise, it is more accessible. It's not on top of your budget, you can be replacing something.
For our shakes, maybe you saw this. It's a very filling shake relative to most shakes out there. We have got 20 grams of fiber, but also 15 grams of protein and healthy fats, so it's a full meal. Roughly about $3 through $50 a shake or so, but as a meal. How much are you spending for breakfast or for a lunch in the day? That is a big part of the rationale of tapping into the science of the gut microbiome but doing it through food, through nutrition that it is not feeding your gut but it's feeding you as well and it helps make it more accessible.
I have got one of the packages right here. I ate the vegan version. I have the regular here but it says right on it, “Clinically proven resistant starch fiber blend. Regulate digestion, boost metabolism, curb cravings, manage a healthy weight, and balance your blood sugar.” Now, those fibers do help to balance your blood sugar. I believe you are using stevia to sweeten. It was the rebaudioside.
We have a two-part sweetener system. We use a part of the Stevia plant that's less metallic called Reb M in combination with allulose, which you may know of as a non-nutritive sweetener. It's incredibly low in calories. It doesn't spike your blood sugar, but it tastes like sugar. More research coming out about allulose is showing that it's not only neutral to health. They are seeing some perspectives being beneficial to health as well. It's the combination of those that we use for our sweetener system.
Overall, it’s about less than 200 calories. This one is 170, and the fat is balanced now. It's not like it's you have oleic and high oleic sunflower oil in here. This one has a milk protein concentrate but I use the vegan version because I'm a little dairy sensitive and this is something I discovered. I wanted to get to this because you talk about it being scientifically proven. What specifically are the studies that you are conducting focused on? What can we expect to see from the research that you are in midway?
I will talk about the fact that we take this evidence-based approach to formulations. When coming up with our proprietary resistance arch fiber blend and coming up with our formulation, we literally pour through hundreds of clinical studies to identify the right types of prebiotic fibers, the right levels, concentration amounts, and the right combinations of which to go into our blend.
It got this evidence-based approach. We knew it worked because we followed and made sure that dosage levels complied with what we saw in the research, but in addition to this, this is where we go beyond the traditional food or supplement company. We have a Chief Medical Science Officer, Chris Damman, who used to lead the gut health program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He's driving not just innovation but our clinical validation efforts as well.
We completed and have now been selected and approved for peer-reviewed publication a rigorous gold standard clinical trial to show how effective this shake can be on your overall health. It starts in digestion. That's the foundation but we went well beyond that. We wanted to track metabolic health outcomes, things that you know measured or your doctor measured.
One of the main things that we measured was blood sugar control. We saw results that lowered your A1C, which is a measure of blood sugar control on par with the leading diabetes medication, metformin. This is from drinking a delicious shake every day for a three-month time period. In addition, we saw healthier blood pressure. We saw better times and ranges for blood sugar levels so it kept them nice and stable.
We saw modest weight loss. I obviously mentioned it started in digestion, so we saw better digestive health, more regularity, less bloating, and less nausea. What’s fascinating, given that we are tapping into the gut microbiome and we are helping build that balance foundation, when you do that, wherever you are out of balance, you start to see come into balance like in your health and your life.
Some people showed up in quality of life and wellness measures. Things like sleep quality, energy levels, brain fog, and all of these complimentary areas improved. A lot of them are connected to what's called this gut-brain axis. We saw inside it. We co-conducted this study with Stanford's Research Lab which did a lot of the microbiome work.
We looked not just at these outcomes, but also at the mechanisms. How did this work and how did this modulate the gut? We saw improvement in some specific beneficial bacteria in particular those that are shown and known to produce these short-chain fatty acids and byproducts that are important mechanisms for improving your health.
We are incredibly excited about the results and we were accepted for peer-review publication. It's coming out very soon in a leading medical journal, Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism. To our knowledge, we are one of the only commercially available nutrition products that have researchers past Master for them to publish. The vast majority of what they publish are medications and therapeutics, whether pills, needles, or what have you. This is a tasty shake that they are publishing, but the results speak for themselves.
We hope that this inspires a movement where we raise the bar. Those consumers start to look for real clinical evidence, not just a claim but an actual clinical study. This whole, “Food is medicine,” is like we need to bring data. We need to show that these products are delivering what we say they are doing. I hope this sparks this movement more toward science and evidence-based. That's going to be good for everybody if successful in that.
I did want to touch on something that relates. People don't often know what their gut health is like. How might they know whether they needed more prebiotics? Is there a specific test that they can take to help inform them much like you would take a blood spa test to check your omega-3 levels or even just get a vitamin D test? Is there some way that they can see where they are as a baseline?
This is an emerging space. You are seeing a lot more now of these gut tests that are coming out where you have to send in a fecal sample. A lot of times, you'll do it before and then after changing your diet or after supplementation to see how that has changed the composition of your gut. There are a number of brands out there that are getting into this space that are mapping out your gut microbiome based on fecal samples.
Where some of the science still needs to come and develop is what to do about the data and what defines good and healthy, and how that changes individuals. It's coming but I believe that we still have ways to go to get to that gold standard the same as for a blood test, cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, or what have you.
It's a gold standard. This is healthy. This is less healthy. This is what you need to do. We still have ways to go to do that. However, remember, your gut is connected to about everything in your health and your body. If there's something going on in your health that feels out of whack, odds are that it has some connection to what's happening in your gut. Whether that is in your blood sugar control or in your metabolism, you feel like it's slowed down. You are not able to shed weight the way that you used to.
Whether that is cholesterol, blood pressure, or digestion regularity, all of these have been shown to have a direct indication of one specific test, but it is pretty much universal that if something's out of balance in your health, there's some connection to what's happening in your gut. The other thing that we know is we you know is, essentially all need to get more prebiotic fiber in our diets. It’s a fundamental thing. Everybody is different and different people react differently to different solutions but that's a pretty universal truth.
It's a universal truth that we all need more fiber and omega-3. These two things could create a nice pairing. I would love to be able to explore with you the possible collaboration of doing a giveaway that combines both these things for our readers as well. I hope that's something we can follow up on.
That's a nice idea. We should do that.
I want to say how much I appreciate your time. I feel like we have started to delve into this story. I'm looking forward to bringing one of your researchers on. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that so that the audience knows what to expect and when we next talk?
This is part one. The business guy knows enough to be dangerous. If you want to go deep, Dr. Chris Damman used to run the microbiome program at Bill & Melinda Gates. He's a practicing gastroenterologist. I look at him as one of the leading gut health experts in the country. He knows a lot himself as well. He knows many in the space, and has, frankly, helped build out an amazing scientific advisory board that supports us in our efforts at Supergut as well. Chris can go incredibly deep, as deep as you want into the science of the gut microbiome, but he's super passionate, not just about the mechanism of how it works, but the practicality of it.
That's where Chris and I connect very well, the impact orientation of what it is that we are doing. Not science for science’s sake, but science for impact’s sake. We also share a deep love for food and food is medicine as well, which is why he decided to join us, and lead our innovation and clinical validation efforts. You guys will have a great chat. You guys can go very deep into the science of the gut microbiome and omega-3s enzymes. You will have a great conversation.
These things work together. We were already in this teaser conversation I got to have with him. We talked about the gut-brain axis which we have touched on to dive deep and specifically talk about how these things all work together to create the healthiest biome that we can have so that we can reach our best health and so that it's not something that's a pipe dream so that we can be our best health.
I understand you have an offer for our audience. If they use the coupon code, NWC, for Nutrition Without Compromise, NWC will get you an extra bonus of 20% off your order at Supergut.com. I want to thank you so much. Is there another thought that you'd like to leave our audience with before we part?
We covered it all. Know that this gut health it's not a fad. It's real. You are hearing about it for a good reason. That doesn't mean every gut health solution out there is real. Do your research before diving in, but believe the hype. Gut health is the future of health and we hope to be there for you to help you on that journey as well.
Gut health really is the future of health.
If you have questions about what we covered now or topics that you'd like us to dive more deeply into. Please hit us up on social channels @OrloNutrition. You can always send me an email note as well to Hello@OrloNutrition.com. As we close this episode, I hope that you'll raise a cup of your favorite beverage with me as I say my closing words. Here's to your health.
Marc's deep experience in the wellness industry inspired him to found Supergut to help people regain control of their health by harnessing the powerful science of the gut biome. Marc holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and B.S. from Princeton University.