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Intermittent Fasting for Leaky Gut Healing

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Peter Osborne: Intermittent fasting for healing. What do we want to know about it? What are some of the benefits? What are some of the impacts that fasting can have on our health? Let’s talk in generalities before we start diving into the big questions from everyone. Number one, what is intermittent fasting and how does it work for healing? Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting, very simply put, number one, it helps to regulate insulin. Think of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar and too much insulin over time actually accelerates the aging process. It’s been linked to cancer. Too much insulin over time can affect your pancreas and affect your nutritional status, vitamin D, and zinc, and chromium. So all of that being said, that excessive insulin over time, from over abundance of eating, in other words, not enough fasting/over abundance of eating, can really, really tax your pancreatic organ reserve, affecting your insulin, creating an increased weight gain, reduction in muscle growth, and increased visceral fat storage.


When we apply intermittent fasting, we get the benefits of preserving our pancreas. We get the benefits of improving our insulin output, optimizing our insulin output, which helps with weight loss and, again, insulin being the hormone that regulates blood sugar control also can help stabilize our blood sugar, which can help stabilize our mood, enhance our cognitive function among other things. Regulating insulin is a very important job.


Fasting has been shown to improve growth hormone secretion. Now, why is that one important? Growth hormone is necessary for your body’s ability to heal and repair. It’s an anabolic hormone so it helps us to repair damaged or inflamed tissues. Of course, when we’re chronically ill or we’re struggling with a chronic autoimmune condition like a rheumatoid arthritis or a chronic celiac disease or inflammatory bowel syndrome or multiple sclerosis or any number of chronic autoimmune diseases that are underlying causes, are triggers of inflammation, if we can calm those fires down, we can turn on the healing elements of our DNA through the anabolic production of growth hormone. What better thing can we do? As opposed to taking the drug or taking a medication, one of the three ways to get the medication is just to fast. It’s to intermittently fast. It improves growth hormone secretion.


Fasting can accelerate weight loss. This happens for a number of different reasons. What I was talking about earlier where fasting kind of helps to regulate the hormone insulin. This is one of the big reasons why it helps to do that. Excessive insulin over time will actually lead to visceral adiposity. That is fat storage around your heart, fat storage around your abdomen. This the difficult to get rid of fat. It’s not necessarily even the visible fat that you might see like the fat around a person’s love handles or the fat around the thighs. This is visceral fat. It’s fat around the organs, the most inflammatory dangerous type of fat, the type of fat we don’t want to have. Again, fasting accelerates the loss of visceral fat so it helps with our lean body mass.


Fasting also impacts the microbiome. There’s now some really, really fascinating wonderful research coming out on how fasting can actually improve the microbiome, certain types of bacteria, et cetera. Remember, food can impact … One of the correlations with this is certain food, especially food that triggers an insulin response like a diet that’s too high in carbohydrates, can trigger a response. We all have yeast in our gut. We’ve done a number of shows about yeast. I talked in depth about this a couple of months ago, but a yeast population in our gut, which is somewhat normal, but yeast overgrowth in our gut can create a alcohol response. Think about that. We’re eating excessive carbohydrates and we’re promoting an overgrowth of yeast within the GI tract. The yeast are taking these carbohydrates, converting them into alcohol. Alcohol has more calories than carbs or protein, so we’re getting more calories from the alcohol effect of the fermentation of our food. Even beyond that, we’re creating alcohol, which reduces our brain cognition, reduces our capacity to think, makes us tired and fatigued and, again, increases our weight gain.


In that essence, reducing food as a whole, not just necessarily reducing carbohydrates, because there are some people that go on a ketogenic diet and that’s completely different topic, but we’re talking more specifically reducing total caloric intake for stretches of periods of time allows for your GI tract to repair and recover, but it also allows for those normal bacteria to grow and flourish and it doesn’t allow for the aggressive feeding of a yeast colonization. We’re going to get an effect on the microbiome when we’re fasting that is absolutely a positive impact. There are now studies showing how fasting can actually help to improve mood and to improve symptoms of dementia or brain fog or lack of mental clarity.


The other thing though with fasting, one of the big, big benefits of fasting, is that it helps the GI tract rest. Remember what the gut is. The gut is a quarantined zone where your gut goes to war against your food. It extrapolates nutrients from your food and expels the waste. In that process, that requires a lot of blood, a lot of oxygen. It requires a lot of nutrients. Your gut has to be able to take that food to be able to break it down. That requires a lot of energetic. If you are eating every few hours, if you’re eating consistently, constantly, and your get never gets a rest, never gets that break that it needs, then we’re constantly, our bodies are being constantly told to push blood to the gut to help digest the food that we’re eating on a very, very consistent basis. That blood is not now going to your brain. That blood is not now going to your muscles. Some people who overeat, they go to the buffet, they’re eating very frequently, they’re eating all the time, they get this brain fog. They get this lack of clarity type of problem that starts to set in, a symptom that can start to set in. Fasting lets your GI tract rest and lets it recover.


Think of it like this. When you go to work for eight hours, you want to go home and you want to rest and you want to recover from that day of work. Sometimes some days of work are harder than others, right? Well, your gut’s no different. Your gut needs a rest too. Most people are being told, this is kind of a common misconception in the field of nutrition, is that you need to eat small meals frequently throughout the day to keep your metabolism burning and your metabolic fires burning so that you can maximize your weight loss when actually just the opposite is true. The more consistently you eat in that type of pattern where you know where you don’t give your gut a break, if you have a gut problem, if you have a leaky gut, if you have some type of bacterial overgrowth, you’re actually perpetuating those problems and not allowing your body to make that recovery.


Again, all those are really, really wonderful benefits, scientifically proven benefits of fasting. Let’s talk about some of the different fasting strategies. Some of these we’ll go through. Some are easier. Some are a little bit more challenging. Let’s kind of go through some of these strategies. Let’s see here. Hang on just a second.


Okay. That’s the problem with livestreams. Sometimes the audio goes out. Those of you, if you can hear me, again, chime in if you can hear me. Some of you are coming through telling me you can not hear me so I want to make sure I’m coming in loud and clear for you before we dive into this next segment. Again, let me know. If you can hear me, let me know. I’d like to know whether or not I’m coming in. Okay, good. Looks like we’re coming back in loud and clear. Okay, good.


Let’s discuss the different fasting strategies. The first strategy, which is probably one of the easiest, is just a simple 16:8 strategy. A 16:8 strategy is where we will take a 16-hour window and we will rest. In this 16-hour time frame, we’re not doing any eating at all and the eight. 16 is the rest and then the eight is the window in which we can eat. Now, this is not a restricted calorie fast. This is a restricted time window of eating. It’s very important to understand we’re not lowering your calories. We’re lowering your window of eating opportunity.


For example, let’s say you go to bed at 9:00 PM and you wake up everyday at 6:00. From 9:00 to 6:00, that’s a nine-hour window. We’re talking about a 16-hour window so we need to add to that nine-hour window an additional seven hours. You can do an intermittent 16:8 fast by either eating a very early dinner. Let’s say you eat your dinner at 6:00 and then you go to bed at 9:00. From 6:00 til when you wake up in the morning at 6:00 AM, there’s a 12-hour stint, and now maybe you’re going to wait an additional four hours. Instead of eating at 6:00 AM, you eat breakfast at 10:00 AM and that gives you that 16-hour timeframe at which you’re not putting food into your gut. That’s a 16:8 intermittent fast.


The timing is up to you. The timing, it’s not that you have to eat an early dinner and a late breakfast, especially some of you who might be shift workers, you have to time it to what will work for you, but really typically eating an early dinner and a late breakfast is the easiest way to schedule this. Again, eating early, again, 6:00 is an example. You don’t have to follow that to the exact T but it’s just a 16-hour where you’re not putting food in followed by an eight-hour window where you can put as much food in that eight hours as you would normally put in your day of eating. It’s just confined to that eight-hour period so that you’re not bombarding your gut throughout the day with tiny small snacks and causing your gut to have to work hard all day long without rest. That’s the 16:8 strategy.


Now, for many, that’s an extremely effective strategy. What we see with that 16:8 strategy is that a lot of people who don’t tolerate the longer fasts do really, really well with that 16:8. Some of the things that will happen with that 16:8 strategy is if you have blood sugar fluctuations, you’ll be able to handle it a little bit better. Some people have a hypo/hyperglycemic problem because of … Well, there are a lot of reasons why that can happen. For example, if you’ve got a chromium deficiency, a vitamin D deficiency, a zinc deficiency, that impacts or affects the way your body processes blood sugar and so if you’ve got those deficiencies, a fast might be a little bit more challenging for you because, again, your body’s not regulating blood sugar as well.


It’s also a good idea, if you’re considering starting a fast, make sure you’re taking a really high-quality multivitamin that contains zinc, that contains magnesium, that contains vitamin D, that contains chromium. Those probably are the four nutrients that are the most important in blood sugar regulation. If you’re deficient in any one of those four nutrients, you’re going to find that a fast might be a struggle because you’re going to hit blood sugar lows and then your blood sugar’s going to yo-yo and you’re going to be cranky and irritable, what some people call hangry. We don’t want to see that happen to you. Again, a 16:8 is a quick and easy way to start a fasting process without too severe of a blood sugar fluctuation. Again, if you’re taking those four nutrients as an addendum to the fast, it might make that easier for you.


Now, there’s another strategy. For some people, 16:8 is not enough, especially the chronically ill who have inflammatory bowel disease or they have a lot of gut dysfunction, gut problems. Sometimes we have to take that fast longer, give them longer periods of a break. This brings us to our next strategy, which is a 20 and four strategy. 20 hours of rest followed by a four-hour eating window which is best served, for most people, somewhere in that noon to 4:00 PM or 2:00 to 6:00 PM window of the day. The rest of the time, you’re not eating but there’s that four-hour window either from noon to 4:00 or from 2:00 to 6:00, which can be really optimal for this particular strategy.


kind of wean the fast in. Don’t think it’s all or none. Let’s see how your body responds to it initially before you dive deep into it.


Me, personally, I like the 16:8 strategy and I like to do that seven days a week for most of the week. I’ll sometimes deviate off of that during the weekends because my schedule is not as set in stone, but I like that 16:8 fast because what I find is that when you wake up in the morning and you don’t bog down your gut with food, your blood going to your brain is much more efficient. The oxygenation to your brain is much more efficient. It allows you a much greater degree of clarity of thought and it allows you to get more work done. I can get more accomplished early in the morning because I’m not eating and bogging my gut down and distracting my brain’s oxygen and blood supply, I can find I get more done in two hours early in the morning without eating than I can get done all day if I’m applying this fasting methodology. Many of you may find that you struggle at work, especially after lunch. People come back after lunch and they’re super tired after a big meal. Again, implementing a fasting strategy and implementing that 16:8 or that 20:4 is going to help bring that blood sugar regulation around and it’s going to help preserve the blood flow to your brain when you need it most.


There’s a 16:8. There’s a 20:4 strategy. You can create a new variation of this if you would like, although, again, it all boils back down to your capacity to tolerate it. If you feel like fasting puts you to the floor and crashes your blood sugar to such a great degree, the very first thing you should have done is have your nutritional status measured because, again, if you’re already vitamin and mineral deficient, your body’s not going to probably tolerate fasting as well. Checking those nutrients first and then supplementally putting those nutrients into your diet so that you can tolerate fasting better so that you can use it as a strategy becomes an extremely important element.


Then there’s the 24-hour fast. Again, we have the 16:8, we have the 20:4, and then we have the 24-hour fast. Now, I don’t recommend 24-hour fasts more than once a week. If you wanted to try and implement a 24-hour fasting strategy because you’re, again, suffering with a chronic illness, I don’t recommend doing that more than once a week without medical supervision, without somebody kind of watching over you, monitoring your nutritional status. There are several reasons why. One of them has to do with your circadian rhythm and your adrenal output. Beyond that, the biggest aspect of this is how well your body is going to be capable of handling that fast, how malnourished you might already be.


Some people going into chronic illness are wasting. They’re already in a state of cachexia where their body, their muscle’s being eaten to supply nutrients to the rest of the body. In those types of cases, there has to be a good supervision because it can be a very delicate balance. You don’t want to fast somebody who’s massively losing weight to cachexia, to that metabolic wasting, without guiding them and making sure they have the proper nutrition. There’s an art and a strategy to that because you have to do it in small incremental bursts. You don’t want to just every week I’m going to fast for 24 hours twice a week. Every week I’m going to fast three days. Again, if you’re wasting, it can set you into an even greater catabolic state.


Remember, when your body is in a catabolic state, it’s not healing. It’s breaking down. If you’re chronically ill, we need you to start healing. We need the anabolic hormones, not the catabolic hormones, to turn on. Fasting for too long or for too prolonged period of a time or fasting for too aggressively when you’re in a state of wasting might be a very, very bad idea. Again, medical supervision in those cases is a pretty important component.


Now, another caveat to fasting that can be quite helpful and one of my favorite is the liquid fast. This is not a calorie restricted fast. This is not a time restraint fast. It is just simply we’re going and we’re going to use liquids instead of solid foods. The premise behind this is, one, if we’re using liquids, there’s little digestion that has to occur. We’re still getting some nourishment. We’re still getting the nutrients from the fluid that we’re consuming, but we’re not putting the stress on the GI tract. Remember, one of the benefits of fasting is we’re taking away the stress from the GI tract and we’re allowing that leaky gut to heal and seal itself.


If we use a liquid, we’re still taking some of that stress of digestion away from the GI tract but we’re also getting nourishment, nutrients, into the body. This is a strategy that maybe you’re nervous about a fast, maybe your blood sugar’s a little bit too dysregulated for you to want to begin that or maybe you are in that wasting state, but your gut’s on fire and you’re still not recovering. This is where the liquid fast can work really, really well. I recently had a patient, she was full wasting. I mean, she was down and she was under 80 pounds and she couldn’t put the weight back on but her gut was inflamed. She had an inflammatory bowel disease. We really had to strategically put her on a liquid diet that included things like bone broth or vegetable broth and water. Highly nutrient-dense broth, we’re getting vitamins and minerals so her body’s getting nutrients, but we’re making it easier on the gut.


Now, many of you will use like collagen proteins, you’ll use bone broth proteins, and some of you may have already found this to be the case, but if you use them and they’re not watered down enough, they can be really, really hard on the digestive tract. That’s because some of these broths, depending on how much or how thick you’re making your broth, how much of the bone and how much you’re pressure cooking that bone and how much of the amino acid concentration you’re getting into the water, it can be too thick for some people and that can be really, really hard to digest or hard on the digestive tract. Sometimes if you found that you tried a broth, especially like a collagen powder broth or a bone broth and it’s too thick and you’re not tolerating it well and it’s irritating your stomach, water it down. Go to a 75:25, so 75% bone broth, 25% water or even a 50:50 mix. Even in some cases, even a 25:75 mix in the other direction and see if that’s better tolerated by you. Those are just, again, strategies if you’re doing a liquid fast.


Now, if you’re doing a liquid fast for the purposes of healing an inflamed gut, then you don’t want to introduce some of these beverages that are low calorie, like for example, almond milk. A lot of your almond milks are full of gums. They have like acacia gum or carrageenan gum or some of these other different kinds of gums. Not good for your gut. Gums are really hard to digest and can be really, really tough on the GI tract. If you’re considering some of those kind of milk substitute based products as part of a liquid fast, I would recommend that you look at the label and if it contains high quantities of any of the different types of gums, again, the purpose is to give your gut a break. I would avoid those types of, again, substitute milks that are gum rich. Now, what you can do if you’ve got a Vitamix or some other type of industrialized blenders, you can make your own nut milks without the different gum thickening agents to get some of that liquid nutrition.


You can also do some juicing. Now, if you’re doing juicing as part of your fluids, again, we want to water it down. We don’t want to add a ton, a ton of fruit and we don’t want to put in our juicer hard to digest forms of vegetables. For example, in your juicing, you also much want a lot of cabbage or cruciferous vegetables which, in their raw states, can be a little bit harder to digest, can have more of the goitrogen components to them. Again, what you can do there is you can boil them and you can puree them and you can make them in a liquified form and you can add that to your liquid meal, but I wouldn’t put certain foods in raw because, again, that raw, those components to certain raw vegetables might create a problem on the digestive tract that we’re trying to solve.


Again, we’ve got broth, whether it be bone broth or collagen based powder protein or some type of vegetable broth or fish broth. We can do juices where we’re, again, using easier to digest fruits and vegetables and water them down to get some of that liquid nutrition in but, again, keep the stress off of the digestive tract. Then we can even do some watered down purees. All of those are potential options for the liquid type of fasting. Again, that’s an easier way to start this process. If you’re scared about the 16:8 or the 20:4 or the full 24-hour fast, you can start with a liquid fast and kind of graduate your way toward periods where you have more and more breaks between it.


Now, let’s talk a little bit about certain scenarios. Some people with chronic illness have an infection. Maybe they’re in and out of hot flashes or in and out of fevers. Now, there’s this old adage, “Starve a fever. Feed a cold.” Starve a fever is true. One of the reasons why we don’t want to put a lot of food in when the body is running a high fever, because remember where your immune system is. 70 to 80% of your immune system is wrapped around your gut lining so your gut lining itself is surrounded by gastro-associated lymphoid tissue. That is your immune system and that’s where your immune cells conglomerate. That’s where they’re concentrated to protect you from anything bad that you’re eating that might come through and have the potential to leak through and damage or create a problem.


If you’re running a fever, this is one of those areas where fasting really, really works well. If you got a cold or a flu, you don’t necessarily want to dump food in. That’s one of the ideal times really consider either a liquid fast or to consider a prolonged fast if you’re running a fever. Although, again, if the fever’s prolonged for multiple days, you know, and you’re starting to lose a lot of weight, again, going to back to what I said earlier. If we’ve got severe weight loss that’s occurring, you need to get some supervision with a doc under your belt. Remember, that’s just a side note because many of you maybe you’ve got chronic Lyme, maybe you’ve got some other type of infection in your gut like Klebsiella or pseudomonas or maybe you’ve got a parasite infection and you’re in and out of fevers. When those fevers are spiking, that’s the time to not be eating. Kind of keep that in mind. Again, I know that’s kind of a unique situation for some of you, not for all of you. Just keep that in mind that we want to definitely starve that fever until that fever subsides or until we can bring it down.


One of the best ways to bring down a fever is a cold shower, a cold bath, cold compresses without taking … Remember, some of the drugs that reduce fever cause leaky gut. Ibuprofen as a fever reducer is one of the worst ideas. Aspirin as a fever reducer can be one of the worst ideas if we’re battling with a chronic inflammatory bowel condition and we’re trying to seal that gut lining. Even though you might have that tendency to gravitate toward one of those types of medications, over-the-counter medications, might not be the best idea if you’re also suffering with a leaky gut component.


Again, in summary, those strategies for fasting, we’ve got the 16:8. The 16:8 is 16 hours of not eating followed by an eight-hour window where you can eat. Then the 20:4, the 20 hours of not eating followed by the four-hour window of food introduction. We’ve got the full 24-hour fast, which works well as an advanced strategy, but probably better done with supervision. Then we’ve got the liquid fast, which is kind of like a fast light where you can inject liquid nutrition into an individual and kind of work them up to a longer and longer fasting period, maintaining that they’re still getting their nutrition.


Those are the big elements within fasting. I talked about the benefits of fasting which is, aside from the fact that fasting gives your gut a rest and allows for the gap junctions in the gut, if they are permeable, it allows for that leaky gut to start healing and sealing up. It improves your growth hormone, which is part of one of the hormones of the cascade of anabolic hormones. It helps your body heal and repair. It improves your insulin response. It can impact your microbiome, reducing the capacity for yeast overgrowth and the consequences of fermentation as a result of that overgrowth. Then, again, it lets your gut recover. Your gut cells have a lifecycle of two to seven days. What that means is your gut is a fast healer if you take good care of it. That’s why fasting can work so quickly. It’s one of the quickest strategies to implement. Two to seven days. Every two days, in a perfect world, your gut lining is brand new. Those cells are brand new and recharged. If you’ve got a fasting strategy, you’re going to see improvements relatively fast. It shouldn’t take a really super long time to see improvements.


I’ve seen patients with chronic autoimmune pain where they can fast, do some of these intermittent strategies. They’re doing two to three days in a row of these intermittent fasting strategies and they’re getting 50% to 80% reduction in their pain. Then when they go in and they break those fasts and they try to bring in bigger meals and more consistent food throughout the day, their pain starts to creep back in. Part of the reason why is their gut’s not fully healed and sealed. Again, these strategies can be implemented long-term. That’s why I like intermittent fasting, because you’re not reducing calories. You’re just reducing the window of eating and allowing your gut a prolonged period of rest so that it can heal and seal, so that we can get one of the triggers for autoimmune disease better tightly controlled.


Now I’m going to open the field for your questions. Let’s back up here and dive into to some of your strategies. Let’s see here. I got to do a shout out here. Peter Vasquez, an old buddy from high school. Hey, good to hear from you, Pete. Thanks for chiming in. Thanks for joining me on Facebook Live. Sarah says, “Aloha! Thank you for your generosity.” You’re welcome, Sarah. Thanks for being with us today on the Pick Dr. Osborne’s Brain Show. Those of you with questions, let’s go ahead and start chiming those questions in. I want to make sure I do my best to get all of them answered before we dial off today.


On another note, as we’re waiting for some of these questions to come back in, I want to talk a little bit about some of the sidebar strategies with fasting that you should absolutely make sure that you’re also doing. One of the effective things that you can do, especially with the liquid fasting, but you can do it with the liquid fasting or you can do it with the other strategies, the other intermittent fasting strategies, is using a very strong dose probiotic, especially one that’s high in lactobacillus, one that is high in bifidobacteria. Those two species of bacteria, very, very critical for the gut function. If we can get, because a lot of people that have these gut issues have a microbiome deficiency, meaning they don’t have enough of these two species to populate their gut, that’s why there’s a leak in the gut in the first place.


As we’re fasting, we can introduce probiotics in a liquid format that allows us to honor the fast but also, as a strategy, allows for repopulation of the gut flora. Remember what those bacteria do. Those probiotics are responsible for talking to the immune system. One of their jobs is something called immune crosstalk. They are sending chemical messages back to immune your system in your gut and these chemical messages are telling your gut how to behave, how to respond, how not to overreact. If you don’t have adequate bacteria in your GI tract, those messages can get skewed and we can get a pernicity toward inflammation. Those probiotics, again, particularly lactobacillus species and bifida species, can really have a profound impact on immune crosstalk, how your gut communicates to your immune system about how to behave with what’s in your gut. Again, one of the most important strategies here is to take a high dose probiotic. One I recommend is called Ultra Biotic Defense. It’s a very, very strong dose. It’s about 400 billion colony forming units of those species of bacteria, but it can be extremely helpful in a fasted state to regulate. That rhymed. Fasted state to regulate.


The other thing about these probiotics that can be very helpful is probiotics produce a byproduct. When you have probiotics, they actually take what you’re eating when you are eating, that intermittent fasted state, so when you are eating, those probiotics will take the fiber from the food that you’re eating and convert them into a compound known as short chain fatty acids. Now, a short chain fatty acid, or SCFA for short, one of the most common ones is called butyrate or butyric acid, this particular … Take out the O. The O doesn’t belong there. Short chain fatty acid and butyrate is one of the most common. It’s actually one of the biggest fuel sources for your gut cells. For your colon cells to make new colon cells, you need these short chain fatty acids. Your probiotics are how you make them.


If you’re probiotic deficient, you’re not going to make adequate short chain fatty acids. If you don’t have adequate short chain fatty acids, your colon cells will not be able to generate the energy they need to go through cell replication and replace themselves when they die. Why is that important? As I said before, your cells, every two to seven days, your cells in your gut should turn over and should be brand new, but if you don’t have adequate short chain fatty acids to do that turnover, what’s going to end up happening is they’re not going to renew and you’re going to get cells that should have replaced themselves with new cells. In other words, you’re going to get old cells that are hanging around longer that don’t have the functionality. They’re not as good at extrapolating the nutrients from the food. They’re not as good at electrolyte balance of the fluids in your stool and so they’re not going to work as well and your gut’s not going to recover and heal as well. Again, the strategy of the probiotic is very important because if you don’t have an adequate microbiome, again, not only will you not talk to your immune system, but you won’t get enough short chain fatty acids to replicate and help your gut cells generate the energy they need to produce new gut cells to heal the old gut cells or to replace the old gut cells.


There’s one other thing that these bacteria have been shown to do that is extremely important. That is to synthesize B vitamins and other vitamins. One of the vitamins that your gut bacteria, if you have them adequately, what they will produce is a B vitamin called biotin. Biotin is sometimes referred to as the skin, hair, and nail vitamin. It’s when people are losing their hair, their nails aren’t growing in, they’ll take biotin. A lot of hairdressers might recommend biotin. Well, that’s what we’re talking about. Anywhere but from 40 to 50% of your daily need for biotin is actually produced by your gut bacteria. If you don’t have an adequate microbiome, you’re not going to properly produce adequate quantities of biotin.


Now, why is that important beyond hair and the vanity of hair? Biotin itself is extremely important for the proper metabolism of fat so it helps your body to convert fat into an energy source. Again, if you’re fasting and you have weight to lose and you need to turn and you need to be able to break that fat down to drive energy production to keep you in that fasted state, to keep you energetic, and you don’t have that biotin, then you’re not going to be capable of doing that very efficiently. Biotin is extremely important for you to be able to tap into your fat cells and to break those down and to be able to generate the energy from the fat when you’re not eating food. Biotin is one. That’s one B vitamin.


Another vitamin that is produced, 60% of your need for vitamin K is actually made by your bacteria that live in your gut. Your vitamin K, remember what vitamin K does. Vitamin K is important for calcium absorption into the bone, but vitamin K is also important for the regulation of your blood clotting and vitamin K is also very, very important, actually, I think some doctors are now calling vitamin K a prehormone. Its role in cancer prevention is being studied. As a fat soluble vitamin, one of the things it’s being studied for is its ability to kill cancer cells. Vitamin K plays a number of different important physiological functions to include bone health, to include absorption of nutrients into the bone, to include the clotting mechanisms and how your body regulates the way it’s supposed to clot. All important through vitamin K and the power of vitamin K in its function.


Again, low probiotic levels can lead to the deficiency of those nutrients that can alter your metabolic processes and create bigger, greater issues for you. Those are just kind of important strategies. Again, the probiotic strategy with your fasting, if I were to say, look, we’re fasting so it’s hard to take vitamins, it’s hard to take a lot of supplements when you’re fasting for longer periods of time because generally supplements are taken with food, but a powder probiotic can be taken with a glass of water and so that’s what makes it. It will not cause the nausea and it will make your fasting a much more effective experience. Something I would highly recommend considering if you’re going to be diving into a fast.


Question coming in. “Does fasting apply to the yeast protocol? I am 99 pounds now, don’t want to lose any more.” Okay, if I didn’t put you on a fast, if I’m working with you and I didn’t put you on a fast, then don’t worry about fasting. You know, if you’re seeing me, I’m strategically taking all of that into consideration. I don’t want you to so much worry about implementing fasting if I’m monitoring you. Now, again, those of you who aren’t under the care of somebody, again, this is just a strategy that you might want to attempt to implement as you’re going through the process.


Okay. Let’s see if we got any other questions coming in. We got a quiet audience today. Either that or these questions not being filtered into me properly because usually we’ve got about 50 questions toward the end and I think we had a Facebook glitch earlier. I don’t know what’s going on. Anyway, I’m not seeing any additional questions coming in so I’m going to wait just a second and if … Oh, here we go. This is a question coming in, delayed question. “Can one do intermittent fasting with a stomach ulcer?” This is a great question. Intermittent fasting with a stomach ulcer, yes. As a matter of fact, is a very, very good idea, especially if you have a chronic stomach ulcer that’s very hard to heal. What you have to be careful of with a stomach ulcer is the intermittent fasting is great but the prolonged fasting might not be as good of an idea because as your hunger mechanism kicks in and you start producing gastric acid because your body’s hungry, if it’s a gastric ulcer, it can create an irritation to the ulcer. One of the things that, again, if you have an ulcer and you’re looking at fasting, I would recommend more of the intermittent fasting as opposed to the long-term 24-hour fasts as a strategy in that situation.


Now, one of the other things that I would recommend in that scenario would be the potential for liquid. One of the things that can be done with ulcers that is extremely effective … Remember, the problem with the ulcer is that we have this stomach has a lining of mucous or snot and that’s what protects it from the acid, but an ulcer is when that mucosal layer, that mucous lining is eroded away so the cells are exposed so that when acid is secreted, it’s bathing those cells and it’s damaging those cells. That’s what an ulcer is. How can we create a mucous lining? How can we help promote the formation of a mucous lining for somebody who has an ulcer? Well, nutritionally, you can not form a mucous lining without vitamin A. As a matter of fact, some studies show vitamin A being more effective for gastric reflux and ulcer disease than drugs like Zantac and Tagamet. Vitamin A is a very, very good strategy to help rebuild the mucosal lining. Of course, there are blood tests that can be performed to measure vitamin A status in individuals, which I would recommend doing, but vitamin A as a strategy, 2500 units for a week, might be an effective strategy in this situation.


Other things that can be effective for enhancing the stomach lining, one of them is zinc. Zinc is very important for that mucous production in the stomach. Another nutrient, which is more of a symptomatic reduction effect than necessary for your lining to heal, it’s actually going to help serve as a coating, and that’s marshmallow root. We can use deglycyrrhizinated licorice. We can use aloe vera. Those are all just different strategies for natural agents that can be taken orally, even on a fast, can be taken orally to help coat and line the GI tract so that you’re protecting it from acid secretion. What that does is it buys time for it to heal.


Now, some doctors will put patients on drugs like Nexium and that does the same thing. The effect there is that it’s trying to buy time for that ulcer to heal. No acid reducing medicine should be used long-term because the long-term side effects create infection or can increase your risk of infection. One of the long-term side effects of blocking stomach acid is actually H. pylori infection. Another long-term is yeast overgrowth or other forms of bacterial infection. We don’t want to create a problem by trying to solve it with another agent, but again, long-term, we shouldn’t be trying to reduce stomach acid artificially. We should be trying to find out what the problem is and what we can do to mediate it better than just drugging or suppressing the body’s natural capacity. Those strategies can be very effect, the marshmallow, deglycyrrhizinated licorice, and the aloe. Some people, if you’ve got aloe vera plants, you can actually ingest aloe vera. Some stores will actually sell aloe vera juice, which can be very, very effective at helping the GI tract lining heal.


One of my other favorite remedies for ulcer is honey. Now, you can’t buy it at the store. You’ve got to get honey from a, I would say get it directly from the beekeeper. Here’s why. In most honeys in the store, and you don’t know this, and, again, I don’t want to blame any honey manufacturers for doing it wrong, but it’s common that honey manufacturers will add molasses or they’ll add corn syrup or they’ll add other agents to the honey to bring about a different flavor or to bring about a different consistency or to bring about a different color. Natural honey is a very, very, it’s an excellent coater for ulcers. There have been a number of studies, especially over in Europe, that have shown honey to be extremely effective for ulcers. Again, getting a locally grown natural honey and taking one to two teaspoons a day can be an effective home remedy for this as well. Again, that’s if the ulcer is there because, you know, with ulcers, you don’t want to play around with those either because long-term an aggressive ulcer can actually lead to cancer in the stomach and cancer in the upper duodenum. Again, it’s important to make sure … My advice would be to have it monitored by a doctor and really work with somebody and not just take honey every day on your own and hope for the best, but to actually monitor it. Good question.


Kayla is saying, “I want a powdered probiotic.” Kayla, what I would recommend, I can put this up in the menu tab for you. The powdered probiotic that I recommend is called Ultra Biotic Defense and what I’m going to do is I’m going to post it to Facebook for you so you’ll have that link in the commentary block. You can go and find it right there on the Gluten Free Society website.


Okay. Next question. “What about fasting or intermittent fasting on days that you’re working out? Is there anything that you could do differently on those days?” Yeah, that’s a great question, Donna. Fasting on workout days is perfectly fine. Now, this is going to be dependent on the person too. Some people, they can’t tolerate fasting before going into a workout and those people, in my experience, are the ones that already have hyper/hypoglycemic problems or diabetic problems. For those people, we try to get their blood sugar stabilized a little bit better and under better control before we really implement a strong fasting protocol, but I’m going to use myself as a perfect example.


I do crossfit so when I go workout in the morning, which is usually around 6:00 in the morning, I’m not going to eat at all. That’s part of my intermittent fasting strategy. I’m going to do my workout and I’m probably not going to eat until somewhere around 10:00 AM in the morning so I’ll do my workout and I’ll even go longer after the workout. I won’t do a recovery shake. A lot of people advocate these recovery drinks or these recovery shakes. I personally find that it’s not necessary. I’m able to maintain muscle. I’m able to maintain energy. I’m able to maintain that fasted state, feel great, and have a very, very sharp mind and recover just fine post-workout. Some people will require kind of a post-workout so this is where you would break your fast.


You might time the end of your fast to the end of your workout. Let’s say you’re not working out quite that early. Maybe you’re working out at 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning, so you may be scheduling the time to break your fast after that workout and then you go from that point to eight hours if you’re doing a 16:8 type of fasting regimen. Yes, intermittent fasting works really, really well with working out and you don’t necessarily need to do anything any different, although play it also by how your body feels. If you find you’re not getting enough energy to get through your workout, if you find that you’re not recovering well after your workout without introducing some food, then you might want to change the timing of your fast a little bit to accommodate that.


Okay. Next question. I knew there were more questions than that. I think it was just a delay in Facebook. “If you get constipated using bone broth, are you having a bad reaction to it? I have to take marshmallow root or slippery elm with it or magnesium citrate to not have a problem.” That’s a great question, Claudine. In my experience, people that get constipated using bone broth, either, one, it’s too thick, it’s too concentrated for them; or two, their blood type is blood type A and they just don’t digest the mass quantities of proteins and amino acids that are in the bone broth and so they don’t tolerate it well so it locks them up. I don’t know what your blood type is but that would be something maybe worth investigating because if you are blood type A, then bone broth might not be the best thing for you.


Either that or more of a watered down bone broth or kind of what I was talking about earlier, maybe a 50% water, 50% broth mix or 75:25, again, reducing the quantity of protein in that and seeing if that doesn’t help you a little bit better. That may be part of the issue is that you’re just not capable or your GI tract is just not in a good place where it’s digesting that bone broth. It can be thick for many people. A lot of people respond really well to it, but some just done. If you fall in that category, I would say don’t take it for the sake of what everyone on the internet is saying about how healthy it is if you don’t feel good when you take it. Listen to your body. Your body is right, not the internet. Remember that.


Everybody listening, your body’s symptoms trump what other people are saying you should or shouldn’t do. If you’re eating a food that’s supposed to be a super food that’s supposed to be healthy for everyone but every time you eat it you have horrible symptoms, you need to listen to that judgment that your body’s giving you because if you don’t listen to your body, you’re going to have problems coming down the pipeline that just get bigger and grow as that process continues to fester.


Next question here. “Is a liquid probiotic from the grocery store like a kefir a very good choice?” I don’t recommend kefirs. Kefirs are produced. I mean, you can buy organic kefirs and you can even buy organic grass-fed kefirs and now they’re even making coconut kefirs but the problem is, in my opinion, when you’re talking about chronic illness, you’re talking about kefirs are produced using sugar and a lot of them are used where they’re feeding the bacteria to make the kefir, they’re using a corn sugar or a corn medium to feed it. Just like with your cows, if you’re eating meat, you don’t want cows that are being corn-fed, especially genetically modified corn, because the cow’s diet isn’t supposed to be corn. The animal’s only going to be as healthy as what they eat and how they exercise in their life. It’s no different with the bacteria that are being used to ferment.


If they’re feeding that bacteria culture full of genetically modified corn sugar as a medium to make your probiotic, I don’t recommend that at all. Now, you can do your own home culture kits and that might be a better option for you as a liquid probiotic, but what I was talking about before with Utra Biotic Defense, it’s a powder. You pour it in water, just stir it up, and drink it. For the same reason I don’t recommend a lot of the kombucha teas, because they also are produced with the fermenting and the sugar process. Again, don’t recommend those either. Good question.


Next question. “I’m on a detox protocol with the doctor’s supervision for three months. It is on to do intermittent fasting …” I don’t know what that means. “Is it on to do intermittent fasting during my detox? Would you recommend to do intermittent fasting every day?” If you’re working with a doctor, I’d recommend asking that question of your doctor because it depends on the type of protocol he’s got you on and the reasoning behind that protocol. That’s the first thing I would have you do is just check in with your doc.


You know, detox protocols, sometimes intermittent fasting works extremely well and sometimes even 24-hour fasting works extremely well so that you’re not burdening your body with the hindrance of food and, again, digressing your blood supply to the gut, away from the other organs. If you’re doing a detox, what do we want? We want the liver in high gear. We want the kidneys in the high gear. We want those two organs to be turned on and turned up so that detox, as we’re pulling chemicals, as we’re pulling toxins, those organs that help us rid the body of those toxins are being turned up and on in an effective way.


Now, with that being said, your GI tract is one of your detoxification organs and so intermittent fasting can be used in a detox and remember that eating causes the stimulation of bile secretion, especially eating fat. Bile is a toxin binder. Remember that’s one of the ways that we poop out toxins is through the secretion of bile. Again, if you’re doing a detoxification strategy or protocol with a doc, I’d get back with that doctor because there may be some different strategies that they had in mind and that may be different or you may have a unique need that I’m just not aware of.


Okay. Next question, “Should you do intermittent fasting every day or should you alternate between intermittent fasting and regular eating scheduled days?” Both. That’s the beauty of intermittent fasting. If you’re already in a healthy position and you just want to use intermittent fasting kind of a lifestyle tool, it can be used that way. It doesn’t even have to be used per se medicinally. I love intermittent fasting. Like I said, most days I’m doing it. The weekends, I might get some deviation. I even like the feast and famine elements. There will be times where, especially around holidays where I know I’m going to be gorging, I’m going to be eating a huge meal around Thanksgiving, I’m going to be eating a big meal around Christmas, I know those things are going to happen, and I would say probably most of you probably fall in that category, what I might do on a day subsequent is do a full 24-hour fast. Again, the timing of it is unique to your lifestyle and unique to what you’re trying to accomplish and unique to what you’re trying to do. You know, there’s not a wrong answer for it. As long as you’re tolerating intermittent fasting, it can be done and there’s not a right or a wrong to it. I would say listen to your body. If you feel really good …


I feel wonderful when I’m in intermittent fasted state. You know, in that first meal, I’m hungry. That first meal that I eat around 10:00, 10:30, I’m very, very hungry but I feel very, very satisfied when I eat that meal. What I find with intermittent fasting, not just with myself but actually also with patients, is that the more they do it, the easier it gets. The longer they’re able to go without eating, without disrupting their blood sugar or creating that kind of hangry blood sugar fluctuation, so the more they practice it, the better their body gets at doing it. The better they feel, the more break they give their stomach and their GI tract, the more nutrition they get from the meals that they are eating and the better they feel overall. You know, again, there’s not a right or a wrong with the alternating of the schedule. It can be done and you can do it, but you don’t have to do it either. Either way works.


Okay. Looks like I got through all the questions. Again, we’re giving away, next week, we’re giving away copies of No Grain, No Pain. We’re giving away bottles of Gluten Shield. We’re giving away bottles of Multi-Nutrients, Ultra Nutrients, which is our premium gluten-free vitamin mineral supplement. Again, how do you get access or how do you win? You share, you like, you comment, you get this information into the hands of other people that are around you and make sure that together we can help more people reach this information out to the masses.


Now, the other thing is is if you missed the episode or you missed the first half of the episode and you want to go back and watch it, yes, we will have that posted up for you next week. Make sure you’re subscribed to my email. You can go to Dr. Peter Osborne,, and you subscribe there at the top of the page. You will get our newsletter and our newsletter is where we send out the rebroadcast of Pick Dr. Osborne’s Brain Live each week. If you’re not on my email list and you’re not getting my newsletter, make sure you go sign up at You also sign up at You can also go to my YouTube channel at Glutenology. and subscribe to the channel because we post a lot of the videos up there as well. Until next week, this is Dr. Osborne with Pick Dr. Osborne’s Brain Show. Have a great week and we’ll see you next Friday.


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