Our monthly wellness review contains four segments, the segments in this month’s episode are as follows:
➡️ Wellness Journey: What other people see
➡️ Article 1: Artificial sweeteners and your gut bacteria
➡️ Article 2: Exercise saves you money
➡️ Supplement Discussion: Zinc (From Alpha Male X) – https://www.alphatherapeutics.com
Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. HarrisThe Ultimate Wellness Course: https://theghwellness.teachable.com/p/5pillarsbundle
How You Can Benefit From Rootine: https://rootinevitamins.df7rps.net/c/2446411/853842/10924
[00:00:00] Dr. Richard Harris: Greetings and welcome to the Strive for Great Health Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Richard Harris. This is a podcast where we empower you to take control of your health with lifestyle medicine and the health mindset to live with purpose and joy. And this is our wellness review. It’s basically a monthly jam where we cover four different subjects.
The first is our wellness journey, which is an aspect of the health mindset. And today we’re going to be talking about what someone else sees. Then we dive into two different articles. The first article is getting a lot pub right now. And it’s because it’s about artificial sugars and the effect that they can have on our gut.
Very interesting article. The second article is about money. It’s about how exercise puts more money in your pocket. Don’t want to miss that. Then last we’re going to be talking about zinc. We’ve started actually a new series. We’re be talking about alpha male here. One of my favorite supplements, something that I take daily.
And zinc is in there. We covered zinc in depth in one of our previous podcasts. So this time we’re going to be talking about it mainly from the perspective of hormones. So that’s what’s in store for this wellness review. Are you ready to boost your health IQ and EQ? ue the music Welcome ue the music.
Join me, Dr. Richard Harris, as we strive to unlock the secrets of the human body. Strive for wellness, strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Android.
Real quick before we get started. The Strive for Great Health Podcast is a lifestyle wellness and mindset podcast, but we can’t put everything about health, wellness, and mindset into the podcast. There’s just not enough time. It’s such a complex subject. That’s why we created our lifestyle medicine and health mindset wellness courses.
Now you may be asking, are these courses right for me? If you’re someone who wants to increase their health span, longevity, how long we live without chronic disease. If you’re someone who’s been told you have risk factors. If you’re someone that’s been told, there are some things that you need to watch out for. Some things you need to change otherwise you’re heading down a road that leads to disease. Or if you’re someone who has a chronic and you’re wanting a more holistic approach to fix your self, to heal yourself, then the wellness courses are for you. If you’re not willing to invest in your health. If you’re not someone who is willing to do things in a sustainable manner, if you’re someone who’s looking for a quick fix, then the courses are not for you.
The courses are designed to teach you everything that I have learned reading hundreds of studies, hours of clinical practice, years of devotion to this lifestyle medicine and the health mindset so you can live a life full of joy and purpose. If that sounds good to you, head to theghwellness.com and click courses at the top. Now to this week.
Welcome to the strive for great health podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Richard Harris, and let’s dive right into this wellness review. It’s July. It’s my birthday month. It’s my wife’s birthday month. So there’s a lot of excitement. There’s a lot of good things happening in my personal life and a lot of good things happening with the podcast.
[00:04:00] Wellness journey. This is the health mindset. What we think about health often determines what we do about our health and what we’re going to be talking about today is what someone else sees. And this actually hit me when I was stopped at a stop sign. You know Gary Vaynerchuk says don’t create document.
And so this is something we actually documented. And what happened was we were stopped and a car behind us probably thinking that I was on my cell phone or not paying attention or something like that, but actually I didn’t move because I looked to my left and I saw a car speeding through the intersection and that car wasn’t going to stop.
And it didn’t, it ran through the intersection. If I had just gone, I would have gotten T-boned on my side, on the driver’s side, and that could have caused significant harm or even worse to me .Until the person behind me honked because they thought I wasn’t paying attention, but really I was paying attention.
And what I saw was something dangerous. I saw a car speeding, it didn’t look like it was stopping and it didn’t stop. And so this is what someone else sees. You really don’t know what someone else’s perspective is unless you ask. The person behind me thought I wasn’t paying attention, but I was, and this is what we call the self-transforming mind, where you have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
And you have to ask about their experiences, ask about their assumptions because we all filter things through our own assumptions, unless we’re in the self-transforming mind. And when we do this, we’re able to better ascertain where this person is coming from, why they said what they said, why they’re doing what they’re doing.
And we don’t want to always assume the negative. We don’t always want to assume the worst, like this person that they just assumed that I wasn’t paying attention. But really I was doing something for self-preservation by paying attention by watching this car speed. And then don’t run everything through your own assumptions.
Try to think about the situation. Think about information you may be missing. Think about what we need in order to better help that person or better understand the situation. And that will get you out of a trap that a lot of us get in. And that’s when we have misunderstandings and miscommunication, because we think, well, I just can’t see eye to eye with that person.
Because you’re still running everything through your own lens. And I thought that this was something so powerful instead of just thinking and assuming we have all the facts and know everything about a situation, ask do I know everything about this situation? Do I have all the information I need to make an informed decision?
What could I be missing? And if you ask these things, then you’ll start to see things from someone else’s perspective and seeing something from someone else’s perspective may be what you need in order to achieve your goals. Article number one, artificial sweeteners, negatively regulated pathogenic characteristics of two model gut bacteria E. Coli and E. Faecalis.
So these are two different gut bacteria. That are found obviously in our gut. And so what this study did, was it looked at, Hey, do these artificial sweeteners actually increase the ability of bacteria in our gut to go from good guys to bad guys. So let’s dive into this study. It’s really interesting. It’s getting a lot of pub right now and for good reason, because gut health is all the rage.
So there are, are over a hundred trillion microbes in the gut, which encode a hundred fold, more genes than the human genome. We are [00:08:00] our gut bacteria, our health goes as our gut bacteria goes, as our microbiome goes more and more and more evidence is coming out to this day by day. And we talk about dysbiosis.
One of the first episodes of the podcast goes in depth about that. And we’ve talked about things like leaky gut and gut inflammation on numerous of our episodes. Microbial byproducts our gut bacteria is active. They make things that our bodies use or they can make things that harm us. It really depends on your diversity in your profile of your gut.
So things like short chain fatty acids, we’ve talked about these before, butyrate, acetate. These are short chain fatty acids, indole, lactate. They can regulate gut barrier function. We’ve talked about leaky gut before. Where the barrier between our cells gets eroded and now things can escape the surveillance and get into the body that aren’t meant to get into the body.
So microbial dominance, meaning having certain species of bacteria in your gut that are dominant, can lead to barrier function issues can lead to dysbiosis and actually higher short chain fatty acids. Wait, you said these before were good. They are, but if the levels of certain of them are too high, that means that there’s not enough diversity, which is bad.
So we know that one of the most important aspects of our microbiome is having diversity and not having a dominance or over abundance in one type. So high short chain, fatty acids are associated with dysbiosis with gut permeability in various diseases. Gut bacteria help us produce things like B vitamins, vitamin K.
They help us produce precursors to our neuro-transmitters. They help us detoxify, and we know that our nutrition plays a large role in gut health. In fact, we’ve talked about this on the podcast before where we mentioned a study showing that the Mediterranean type of nutrition improves microbial diversity.
So our gut bacteria will change depending on what we eat. And this is something that we covered before, where we talked about the meat. If you eat a lot of meat, you can get more of a species called Bilophila, which actually helps make bile. And this actually helps detoxify TMAO, which is one of the reasons why people say you shouldn’t eat me.
That’s something that we’ve talked about before. Now, what we know is food additives can impact the gut in mice, carboxy methylcellulase, and polysorbate 80. These are things that you’ll see in a lot of different products. They actually increase mucolytic bacteria. So on our cells, there’s a mucus layer that sits between ourselves and the lumen or the inside of the gut.
And this mucus layer is designed to help protect you. So, if you reduced the mucus layer, that’s linked to the development of metabolic syndrome, leaky gut dysbiosis, it’s impairing the normal function of the gut and artificial sweeteners are used commonly very commonly, but some studies in animals and even humans are linking these to metabolic diseases.
So mice studies show that there are increased glucose levels, insulin resistance, something we’ve talked about on the podcast, and dysbiosis associated with artificial sweeteners. Some human studies showed no difference in diversity. So now you’re saying, well, you told me before that diversity was the most important thing.
So if human studies are showing no change in diversity, then we don’t need to worry about that. And I say, not so fast. Because other studies show an increase in pro inflammatory mediators, following consumption of these sweeteners. And that means that more [00:12:00] inflammation and you can get things like dysbiosis and leaky gut and even inflammatory reactions and sensitivities because of that.
So just because it’s not changing the diversity of the gut doesn’t mean it’s not impacting other areas of key gut function. Some studies show an increase in permeability. So leaky gut and cell death and intestinal cells. Now let’s get to the meat of this. So E. coli and E. faecalis are commensal meaning these are things that can be normally found in our gut, but, and this is something that a lot of us see when we do GI mapping.
This is something I check for. These things can also be pathogenic or meaning they can cause harm to the body. So what the authors of this study looked at is they wanted to see the effect of saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame on gut cells, exposing the bacteria to the sweeteners for 24 hours, this is an in vitro or Petri dish.
And the results and they looked at multiple different things. First off, they looked at growth. Does the sweeteners impair growth and only saccharin in high concentrations reduced E. coli growth. The others did not. And E. Faecalis, nothing changed to the sweetener. So there was no change in growth for E. Faecalis for any of the sweeteners.
The sweeteners were found to increase biofilm formation. Now this is something that’s very important. I can’t remember if we’ve talked about biofilms on the podcast. I think we have biofilms are basically a material that bacteria make that hides the bacteria from the immune system. So these are things that are basically like a fortress, like a wall, like the bacteria go in there hide and so they can do whatever they want without having to worry about the immune system. And so immune cells, it makes it very hard for them to penetrate biofilms and it makes it very hard for antibiotics and other anti-microbials to get through that fortress. That’s what a biofilm is. The sweeteners were found to increase biofilm formation for E coli, with all the sweeteners.
But E. Faecalis all of them increased it, but only aspartame increased it significantly. Now, the authors also looked at something called hemolysis. Hemolysis is breaking down of cells, and this is a way that bacteria can be pathogenic. They can be directly toxic by doing hemolysis. There was no effective hemolysis on the cells, so that’s good.
Next they wanted to look at some other characteristics of bacteria to be infectious. So there is three things that they looked at. One is adherence, meaning that is the bacteria able to stick to the cells because in order to get into the bloodstream or attack the cells, it’s gotta be right next to them.
Was it able to invade, was it able to break through that mucus layer, breakthrough those tight junctions, the junction between the cells. And then did it have direct cytotoxic, cytotoxic mean toxic to the cells. This basically means does it kill the intestinal cells more efficiently? So all three sweeteners increased adhesion for both E. faecalis and E. coli, sucralose and aspartame increased invasion of both bacteria.
But saccharin only on the E. Faecalis. They also looked at cytotoxic factors, basically looking at certain markers that bacteria use to increase their ability to kill our cells and the cytotoxics factors in E. coli increased with saccharin and sucralose and E. Faecalis was sucralose and aspartame.
Now, [00:16:00] we want it to look at, well, why does this happen? Right. They wanted to look at, does this happen because of something that we have and that’s taste receptors, taste receptors are receptors for taste. That’s how we taste sour, sweet and all the different tastes. So what they wanted to do was look at it’s an inhibitor of these taste receptors.
And of course, we’ve talked about receptors before receptors are like locks that a key binds to them and opens it and that causes something to happen. So in this case, the taste receptor is the lock and the zinc sulfate is the key, but instead of activating something, the zinc sulfate just kind of holds itself in the keyhole and prevents anything else from activating there.
So it’s kind of like if you had a key and you tried to open a lock and you broke the key in the lock, now that lock is stuck. It’s not going to activate. So that’s what zinc sulfate is doing in this situation. So they wanted to see was there an effect and it had no effect on growth, biofilm, formation adhesive, invasive ability in the absence of sweeteners. So in the absence of sweeteners, there was no change . Now in E. coli it reduced the biofilm formation and adhesion. It also decreased aspartame and sucralose mediated, invasiveness. In E. faecalis, zinc, attenuated the biofilm formation by aspartame, and all sweetener effects on adhesion and invasion and also the cytotoxic effects were also blocked. So in the discussion, the amount of sugars used are easily achieved in nutrition. So the study did manage to parallel what would be the average intake for a person. And we saw an increase in biofilm. We saw an increase in pathogenicity adhesion, invasion, cytotoxicity, meaning these bacteria went from good guys to bad guys.
We’ve talked about this before, but bacteria in biofilms are more resistant to treatment. They also express more virulence factors. Virulence factors are how deadly or how effective at causing an infection is this bacteria. So when exposed to a biofilm, the bacteria tend to activate. They tend to become more infectious, more deadly.
And that’s like, if you had that Fort analogy, now the Fort is activated, they’re ready, they’re looking for trouble. And then they also make more exotoxins. We’ve talked about exotoxins a little bit on the podcast before they’re basically little sugar, like molecules that are on the outside of bacteria.
And these things can actually cause direct activation and inflammation in the immune system and also some of them can damage our tissue and ourselves. So overall biofilms are bad news. The inhibition by zinc sulfate means bacteria have some sort of taste receptor or similar mechanism, but the effects are not universal.
So there must be a different pathway as well. And the authors thought that previous evidence shows that sweeteners can damage DNA and bacteria, increase mutation, increase ROS reactive oxygen species. We talked about ROS and depth in the metabolism podcasts, but these are basically molecules that go and attack our DNA, our proteins they’re bad news. So there may be an ROS like pathway here, meaning the sweeteners activate more ROS species, which mean the bacteria get alerted. It sends that alert signal to the Fort and the bacteria go from being good guys to being bad guys. The problem is sweeteners are everywhere. Data shows that they’re in wastewater and surface water and drinking system.
And one of the [00:20:00] main concerns here is that there’s also data showing that the sweeteners activate horizontal transfer. And what that means is bacteria can actually talk to each other. They can actually take up pieces of genetic code from other bacteria. And then start making those proteins. And so horizontal transfer is very important when it comes to bacterial resistance.
And this is how different species of bacteria can pick up resistance to antibiotics and anti-microbial agents from each other and artificial sweeteners have been linked to horizontal transfer of resistance genes in the environment. And this is concerning because there is a huge problem with microbial resistance.
There’s not a whole lot of antibiotics in the pipeline. This could spell bad news. Now, I don’t want to say this is all doom and gloom. We need more research. Number one, this was a Petri dish study. This was in vitro. Right. There are times when you see something in a Petri dish and you try to replicate it in human physiology or even mice physiology, and it doesn’t happen because our bodies are more complicated. The other thing is aspartame is broken down into amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, and then menthanol. It happens with saliva is exposed to aspartame. So what they should’ve done was taken the aspartame breakdown products and use that in the study because that is more representative of what happens in our bodies.
So I think more research needs to be done on this area. I think it’s interesting. I think that there is enough smoke to avoid artificial sugars. And this is something that we see. I mentioned this earlier, when we do the GI mapping, we will see that there’s an increase in commensal bacteria. And when I see that, I say, okay, let me look at these byproducts and see, are we still having the good byproducts?
And not too many of them. Is the ratio, right? Because if I’m seeing that there’s a lot of these bacteria, which may can cause problems, and then they’re making things that are causing problems. Then, what we have to do is decontaminate. Get rid of those bacteria, do a gut restore program. And this is something that a lot of us holistic providers do.
Let’s move on to article number two, talking about one of my favorite things, that’s exercise. We know I’m a big exercise guy, title of the article and for all the new listeners, if you want access to these articles directly, head on over to our Facebook group, Strive for Great Health Podcast. You get a link to a Google drive with all the articles and then on the website, I will post the pubmed link to the article.
So you can go and look at them yourself. If you’re able to download them, sometimes you can download them directly from pubmed, sometimes you can’t. Article two is called leisure time physical activity throughout adulthood is associated with lower Medicare costs evidence from linked, NIH-AARP diet and health study cohort overview.
This study was basically looking at, Hey, the lifetime cumulative effects of exercise. How much money does it save? In the introduction, physical activity we know is associated with lower risk of just about every single type of chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, several types of cancer and premature death.
Now the sad part is only about half of adults and a fourth of children, which just blows my mind that only a fourth of children get enough physical activity to meet current guidelines. One of the reasons why we have so much chronic disease in this country, inadequate physical activity by itself is estimated to cost us annually almost $117 billion.
[00:24:00] Thinking about what we could do with 117 billion, more dollars annually. If we just got enough exercise, most of the studies looking at fizzle up coal activity looked at one point in time in middle age or short periods. And this isn’t the best way to do it because we know that people’s activity levels can go up and down.
And so this study aimed to look at physical activity throughout adulthood and implications for health care costs. What they did is they had all this survey data from that NIH-AARP study, they asked an additional questionnaire and then they looked at leisure time, physical activity, meaning not activity related to work.
For people between the ages of 15 and 18, these were adolescents 19 to 29, this was early adulthood, 35 to 39 middle age, and then 43 to 64 later adulthood. And they looked at Medicare costs. This was a large population study of AARP members between 50 to 71 years of age. The final group had about 21,750 people.
And then they looked at this once they were at 65 and able to get Medicare eligibility. And they also looked at 12 months of claims data and looked at their comorbid conditions. So they wanted to make sure people had no major conditions that limit physical activity. What were the results while the participants were 95%, male, 54% married and high school graduate 72 and 78% respect.
Yeah. The more leisure time physical activity in middle age, the more likely you were to have a normal BMI that makes sense more activity, healthier body weight, less likely to be a smoker or have diabetes, right? Baseline higher leisure time, physical activity in middle age about one to three hours per week saved on average about $1,365 on healthcare costs.
And if you’ve got seven hours a week, save about $2079 per year on healthcare. This was 15 to 22.8% lower than those reporting, less than one hour per week. And then also they wanted to look at the maintainers, increases or decreases. And maintainers they saved about $1,350 for moderate activity and about 1200 for high physical activity.
Those who increased in adolescents and early adulthood, and then maintained throughout adult. Saved $1,874 per year. And those who initiated in late adulthood after 35 to 39,, $824 per year. When they controlled for BMI, the results held, but it was a lower magnitude. And what this study is basically saying is adopting a physically active lifestyle in adulthood is associated with lower costs and the lowest cost start when you start the earliest in life.
Life time exercise has a cumulative benefit. Just like lifetime stress has a negative effect. The more lifetime stress you have, the faster your biological age increases. Just like that, the more lifetime exercise you have, the more benefit you accrue from that exercise and the lower the costs.
And this is in line with previous studies showing a 1200 dollar reduction. And that was a one-time survey for active Medicare enrollees. The main strength was they did look at changing nature of activity limitations. It’s an observational study. So the usual caveat applies. Generalizing it to other populations this population was very limited in the scope of inclusivity. And [00:28:00] then the activity was self-reported so it could be biased and they didn’t include pharmacy claims because of Medicare part D was not included. But overall, this is showing that the earlier you start an exercise routine and maintain it, the bigger the health savings are and who doesn’t want to save money.
All right. Last but not least, we’re going to be talking about supplements. So we moved out of our Rootine series. We are now talking about alpha male. We’ll talk about alpha female too. Alpha male X is something that I formulated with my good friend, Dr. Jobby John. We talked about it in the male health portion of the podcast.
So we’re just going to go through the ingredients in this product. The first one is zinc. Now we discuss zinc in depth in our wellness weekly from January 21st, 2021. So if you want to know more about zinc in in-depth fashion, go check out that episode, but we’re gonna be talking about zinc in regards to m en’s health in regards to testosterone.
So zinc deficiencies are associated with lower levels of testosterone, lower testicle volume, impaired prostate gland function and reduced sperm generation. Zinc is necessary for five alpha reductase, which is an enzyme that turns testosterone into the more active version 5-DHT. You need zinc to activate fully testosterone. Zinc is also necessary for the brain’s hormone axis to tell the testicles to make testosterone. This is part of the HPA axis that we’ve talked about before. We’re going to dive in depth on another episode coming soon about the HPA axis and cortisol and stress.
Zinc is also needed for epigenetic expression. We talked about epigenetics before, lots of times on this podcast, but how we turn our genes on and off, that’s very necessary for how we deal with stress and adapt to our environment. In fact, zinc also helps protect DNA and is necessary for DNA repair mechanisms. Zinc presence in sperm serves as an anti-inflammatoryto prevent the lipids, the fats in sperm from getting oxidized and stabilizing sperm membranes .Zinc also helps protect the reproductive organs from heavy metals and it’s necessary for the sperm to penetrate the egg. These are just a handful of the functions of why zinc is important for reproductive health and why zinc is in alpha male X, because alpha male X is designed as a supplement to boost your testosterone levels naturally. And it works. I take the product, we have several people taking the product. It’s going to be part of our new company, Nimbus Healthcare. You’ll be hearing more about Nimbus once we go live. We’re beta testing that in Texas, but the product works.
It’s something natural. It does help balance testosterone, balance cortisol. And these are things that are necessary for normal sex hormone function in men, normal testosterone function. Now we’re going to dive more in depth on the rest of the ingredients in alpha male like our previous supplement discussions, but we’ve already talked a lot about zinc.
I just wanted to keep it focused on what zinc does specifically in regards to testosterone. Well, this has been our July wellness review. Hope you guys enjoyed it. Hope you learn something. Like I said before, these are once a month where we come and talk to you in this exact format. So we’ll see you again next month.
Have a blessed day.
Thank you for listening to the [00:32:00] Strive for Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal at the podcast to impact as many lives as possible. To empower individuals, to take control of their health and live a life full of joy and purpose. You may help us achieve this mission by leaving a five star rating and review on your preferred podcast platform.
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Thank you for listening and God bless.