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097: The Links Between Gluten, Your Brain and Your Gut with Dr. Tom O’Bryan

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Joining us today is the foremost expert on the links between gluten, your brain and your gut health: Dr. Tom O’Bryan. Dr. Tom is considered a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ for chronic disease. He holds teaching faculty positions with the Institute for Functional Medicine and the National University of Health Sciences.

He is also a recognized world expert on gluten and its impact on health, along with being an internationally-known and sought after speaker and workshop leader. His specialty is the complications of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, Celiac Disease, and the development of Autoimmune Diseases. Dr. Tom has leveraged his knowledge by training and certifying tens of thousands of practitioners around the world in advanced understanding of the impact of wheat sensitivity and the development of individual autoimmune diseases

On today’s Awesome Health Podcast, Dr. Tom fills us in on the various ways wheat can impact our health from psoriasis to joint pain and inflammation. He also delineates why just going gluten-free isn’t enough. According to a study done in Sweden on 335,000 people who received endoscopies, 30,000 of them were diagnosed with Celiac. The other 300,000+ people had other issues.
This same study followed these people for 30 years. They found that those diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease had an 86% increased risk of dying from a heart attack and a 3.86 fold increase of dying from cancer within the first year of their diagnosis.

Dr. Tom describes why this is happening, and he answers my questions about gluten and glyphosates: which is worse for our health? He also dives deep into the scientific data supporting the links between gluten, your brain and your gut and why all ill health starts with a leaky gut.
For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield (a healthcare insurer) recently reported that among adults between 30 and 64 years old, there was over a 200% increase in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in a four-year span.

He says this is because we’ve completely crossed the threshold of what our bodies can handle in terms of the amount of environmental toxins that we’re all exposed to, our bodies cannot handle all the toxins in our environment, including in our food supply.

Which led me to ask Dr. Tom if he could give us an action plan. What can we do if we want to lower our exposure and help our bodies stay healthy longer?

First, realize there will never be a pill to treat Alzheimer’s. Second, change your paradigm and your mindset about this by understanding it will take a year or two for you to dial in the approach that works for you. Commit to spending one hour each week on changing your paradigm of how you live. You might spend one hour this week focused on getting rid of the plastic in your house and replacing it with glass, especially for food storage. The next week you might spend your hour learning about phthalates and then removing them from your day to day life.

Dr. Tom lays out several more steps you can take, along with what testing you should order and how to do it. Please join us to learn all of that and so much more on this insightful and thought-provoking episode of Awesome Health podcast.

Episode Resources:

Read The Episode Transcript:

Wade Lightheart: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. It's Wade T Lightheart from BiOptimizers with another edition of the Awesome Health Podcast and boy boy, we got a great topic for you today. It's all about brain health. It's all about gluten and some late breaking news. Basically, we've got some new information that could potentially change your life. You really need to listen to this because we have none other than Dr. O'bryan. Now you might be saying, is that the O'Brien that you learned from years ago? No, this is dr. Tom O'Bryan and he's considered the Sherlock Holmes for chronic disease and teaches that recognizing and addressing the underlying mechanisms that activate an immune response is the map to the highway towards better health. He holds teaching faculty positions with the Institute for functional medicine and the national university of health sciences. He has trained and certified tens of thousands of practitioners around the world in advanced understanding of the impact of wheat sensitivity and the development of individual auto-immune diseases.

Wade Lightheart: So he focuses on areas like gluten health, gut health, brain health, auto-immune health detox. He's recognized as a world expert on gluten and its impact on health. He is internationally recognized and sought after a speaker workshop, leading specializing in the complications of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, celiac disease and the development of auto-immune diseases as they occur inside and outside of the intestines. Dr. Tom is the founder of and the visionary behind the gluten summit. A grain of truth. One of the first online summits that brought together 29 of the world's experts on gluten connection to diseases disorders in a wide range of symptoms and ages. We will have all his social media posts on here. Dr. Tom, welcome to the show.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Thank you so much. What an introduction. Thank you.

Wade Lightheart: Well, you know, I get so excited about this stuff because I love to just flow and exchange with people that have spent so much time. And you've been in this for so many years and a lot of people don't understand just what it is, what it takes to be the person out there, banging the drum, oftentimes for decades and everybody accusing you being crazy or quackery or this, or that's not t rue, or whatever, push them away. But guess what? The truth is out. Everybody knows what's going on and you have information that can transform people's lives in such a profound way, but they need to get it straight from you. Tell us what's going on in the whole gluten world.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Oh my goodness. Well, many people have heard about gluten and your friends are doing gluten free or something, and there's a lot of confusion about it. Well, it doesn't affect me. I feel fine when I eat and all of that, the ratio is eight to one for every one person that gets gut symptoms with when they have a problem with wheat, there are eight that don't. So you don't feel bad when you eat wheat because it's affecting your brain or it's affecting your joints. It's creating inflammation in your joints, or it's affecting your skin. You get psoriasis or it's affecting your gallbladder, you get stones or it's affecting your heart, your shortness of breath or regular heartbeats, just go on Google and type in irregular heartbeats and gluten. And here come the studies pick any topic you want and you see that there's good science that sometimes that's the problem causing the symptoms that you're developing.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: And let's just go to, why does this happen? How come this thing about wheat, the most common food in the Western world and a critical thing to know. I'm sure on your show, you've talked about probiotics, the environment of the microbiome in the gut and throughout the body and that prebiotics feed the probiotics and how important that is. You know, most of us who are following shows like yours, we've heard that kind of stuff before, but what people don't know is that when you that 78 to 80% of the prebiotic in the Western diet are the arabinoxylan in wheat, 78 to 80% for all of us, which means when you go gluten free and you replace it with gluten-free foods, gluten-free foods are just white paste. You know, they're crap, excuse me, but they're crap. And I eat gluten-free pasta once every few weeks, because I really like pasta.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: And I'm happy. I'm half Italian, you know? And you know, you do it once in a while, who cares, but people are eating this stuff every day that has no prebiotic fiber in it. So you've taken away 80% of the prebiotic in the person's diet unknowingly, but the person was gluten free. So the proteins of gluten are now gone. So your inflammation goes down, you feel better, your brain's functioning better. You lose 15 pounds in the first three, four weeks without trying, because you're now less inflamed, but unknowingly, you're also starving the good bacteria in your gut that have been on the arabinoxylan wheat. So give me six months down the road of that and the person who went gluten-free six months ago and felt great after a month, two months, and can sing praises about being gluten free.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: All of a sudden six months to a year later, they're not feeling so good. Something else is going wrong. Why? Because the good guys started starving in the gut and the bad guys that were kept suppressed mainly by numbers, they're just outnumbered by the good guys. But when the good guys start dying off, because they're starving now, the bad guys rear their ugly head. Now you've got an imbalanced gut called dysbiosis and the results in the largest study ever published on celiac disease. They looked at 39,000 celiacs. They did 335,000 endoscopys and biopsies. This is in Sweden, they've got socialized medicine. They got records on everybody. So he did 335,000 endoscopy biopsies cause people had gut problems. 39,000 of those people were diagnosed with celiac disease. The rest were diagnosed with something else. So about 300,000 were not celiacs. They followed these people for 30 years and what they found those diagnosed with celiac disease, their increased mortality.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: They had an 86% increased risk of dying in the first year after diagnosis from a heart attack and a 3.86 fold. That's almost, four-fold increased risk of dying in the first year after diagnosis of cancer compared to the other 300,000 people, because when you're diagnosed with celiac or gluten sensitivity, what do you do? You go gluten free. What else do you do? Nothing? And we listen to the marketing messages about gluten-free cookies and gluten-free breads. And we're feeling we're taking care of ourself because while I'm eating gluten-free, now I'm really doing something. I really want the regular pasta, but I'll try this gluten-free pasta. And you think you're doing something good for yourself and you are by avoiding the bad proteins, but you're unknowingly creating a worst problem in your gut. So that's the first thing that everyone needs to understand.

Wade Lightheart: I identified this years ago in a book I wrote called Staying Alive in a toxic World. And I called it the starving and polluting cycle. We're starving ourselves of the essential things and we're polluting ourselves with the non-essential things. And I remember when this gluten free kind of got legs, and we have you been in this industry long enough, we see rise and fall of trends. And they kind of come around with a new branding and a new twist or whatever, every, you know, 10, 15, 20 years.

Wade Lightheart: And I was horrified when you'd go to the big nutritional trade shows and you would see all this stuff, quote unquote, gluten-free healthy for you and people who looked anything but healthy. Singing the praises of whatever the gluten-free cookie they were having or the gluten-free ice cream or the gluten-free pass or the gluten-free whatever. And I was like, you know, I always say you can't starve your way to health. There are benefits of restriction restricting the bad things, but you got to put the good things in.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Yeah. Please understand. This is not trashing. Gluten-Free caresses trashing the way people do gluten free.

Wade Lightheart: Good topic. I've always had this question and I'd like to get your opinion about it as we get more and more into the topic. How much is gluten a factor and how much is glyphosate is a factor which is present on a lot of the gluten that we have here in kind of, particularly in the Western world where we use a lot of commercial farming practices and stuff like that. Do you see them independently of other, do you see them concurrently have ever, or you see them as two separate items?

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Well, that's a really good question. And there's no question. There's no question that it has an impact. There's no question. It makes it worse because glyphosate has a very negative impact on your microbiome. That's where it starts to have problems, but that's not the reason why wheat is a problem that since 1975, depending on the country, you look at, there's been a four to five fold increase in the number of celiacs diagnosed four to five, fold that not 10%, but 400 to 500% increase. And the GMOs didn't come on the market until the late nineties. So that's not the reason there are other reasons. And I hope we have time. We'll get into it. Yeah, that'd be great. The other basic point that I wanted to talk about about this gluten thing, first one is you have to do gluten-free right. You have to do it correctly.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: That's the first thing. The second thing is that we have the same body as our ancestors, thousands of years ago, the same kidneys, the same gallbladder, the same muscles joints. You know, we use our brains more. So we've got food all the time and housing, but we have the same bodies, our ancestors, when they were forging for food, they find something, what do they do? They smell it first. They taste it. Then they eat it. If there was bad bacteria in that food, dangerous bacteria though, that I'm God in the job, it was a hydrochloric acid in our stomach to kill it. Cause HCO kills anything, pure acid. But when the food comes out of the stomach, there are centuries standing guard right there to protect us in case anything that we ate didn't get killed by hydrochloric acid, both centuries standing guard are called toll like receptors.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: And there's nine of them. Toll-Like receptor four specifically is just, it's all over the body. But what we're talking about here is just inside the first part of the small intestine. And there are guards. They don't do anything. I think they're just standing around, but they're centuries on guard. They're always looking out. And if any bugs comes in, that is a threat toll-like receptor four. It gets activated immediately. And it does two things. First, it turns on the gene to increase the protein called zonulin. Zonulin is the control for leaky gut. So if you think of leaky gut, if my hands are two cells in the gut, the way the cells work are most of our food, most of it is absorbed in between the cells, but the way they work, it's like the Panama canal, the Gates at the top open, the food comes in, the Gates closed.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: The immune system, checks it out. The next Gates open, goes out a little further between the cells, the Gates closed, the immune system checks it and there's four or five or six different levels in between two cells. For everything that we're eating. That's what I callthe Panama. Leaky gut is when you open up the Gates. So that water comes from the bloodstream and from the internal body sections out into the gut to wash out some kind of poison. That's why we make increased zonulin. It's like he got mud on your driveway. You have to get the garden, hose, pressure, really high to wash it off. Right? So zonulin proteins they're really good for us because they open up, allow water to get into the intestine, to flush out the bad guy with the stool.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: You get a little diarrhea, loose bowels. That's how the mechanism is supposed to work. And that's the first thing that toll like receptor four does. The first thing turn on zonulin. Turn on the genes for zonulin. The second thing is it activates the genes for the masses amplifier of inflammation called NF-kappa B, sorry to be geeky with you. But total like receptor four turns on the scent turns the Panama canal to open up, flush out. Let's just wash this thing outta here. And then it turns on the master amplifier of inflammation in your gut to kill anything. That's trying to hold on to the sidewalls of your intestine. Hey, that's toll like receptor for Maureen Leonard at Harvard famous gastroenterologists. Due the literature review in 2017, she looked at 64 studies on wheat and the gut and she published it in the journal of the American medical association.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Number one journal in the world, right? What did she say? Previous studies have identified that gluten in wheat activates zonulin, transient, intestinal, permeability. This process takes place in all individuals who ingest wheat. That means you and you and you and you, and you. If you're an individual, if you're a human, when you eat wheat, you activate toll-like receptor four because your body misinterprets gluten as a put as a component of a potential harmful bug, it's a misinterpretation by the body. Wheat is not a food that the body recognizes. It's recognized as a bug. And so it activates it for everyone. Well, I feel fine when I eat wheat . Wait, if your mind is doing that right now, you're playing defense because I already told you, it doesn't matter how you feel, right? Because it's an eight to one ratio, but that's happening every and all individuals who ingest gluten.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Now that's a literature review of 64 different studies. So that's the two basic points I wanted to make sure everyone understands. Dr. Leonard identified it as transient intestinal permeability. What does that mean? Well, Mrs. Patient, you have an entire new body every seven years, every cell in your body regenerates, except your teeth. Some cells are really quick, like the inside lining of your guts every couple three days. So you have toast for breakfast. You tear the lining of the gut, but it heals. That's transient, intestinal permeability sandwich for lunch, you tear the lining of the gut, but it heals transient permeability, pasta for dinner, croutons on your salad day after week after month after year, until you cross a threshold, it's called loss of oral tolerance. And when you cross that threshold, you don't heal anymore. Now you've got leaky gut, and that can happen when you're two years old, 22 years, 92 years old. It depends on the environment in the gut, how much insult is in there as to whether the offensive response to wheat is transient, or if it becomes pathological and you don't heal anymore.

Wade Lightheart: Great definition of discerning between what that is. And when you cross over that critical line, that's I think that's a key point because we always had identified that people will say there's a range of one to 10 of sensitivity on their awareness of the impact or its influence and effectiveness. You know, celiac being, say 10 and say someone that says I'm feeling okay, but what you're saying here is that their mental awareness is not acute enough to actually pick up the damage that's being done. It's impossible. And that this damage is continuing until the point they will get their intention at some point in the future. And unfortunately that may because of an endoscopy or like we have 12% of the emergency hospital visits in the United States are now related to gastrointestinal issues or emergency hospital visits. So this is a massive crisis. What else have you got for us? I mean, I think that was really great in a beautiful definition of how food crosses over the barrier.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Let's let's take this to the big, big kahuna.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. I love it.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Arguably, every chronic disease is a disease of inflammation at the cellular level. The cell is always on fire kidney, cell brain cell. It just depends. Is it a brain cell? Is it a kidney? Cell is a gasoline is a kerosene, but it's always a fire at the cellular level, right? If it's okay, may I share my screen too?

Wade Lightheart: Please. For our YouTube list watchers, you're going to want to see this Dr. Bryan's gonna get here and share his screen and show some key slides that he's worked diligently on to illustrate some of these things.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: So let's bring this up and let's put it on the presentation mode so that it's full screen and let's move on now. Now what's the big picture in functional medicine to begin with for chronic disease. Where does chronic disease come from? And to begin this discussion, I go to my friend and my mentor, professor Alessio Fasano at Harvard. If you look at his credentials, professor of pediatrics, Harvard medical school, professor of nutrition, Harvard school of public health, chief pediatric gastroenterology, mass hospital, Harvard director, mucosal immunology center, Harvard director center for celiac research and treatment, Harvard director, mucosal, immunology, and biology research center, Harvard. I mean any one of these titles is a lifelong goal for somebody, but we have so much respect for professor Fasano. We think he's going to win the Nobel prize we truly do because he identified the mechanism that causes this thing called leaky gut.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: He and his team identified these proteins, the zonulin proteins back in 1997. And they've been researching it ever since tying together another piece of the puzzle. Another piece of the puzzle, another piece of the puzzle. So this is my opinion, the number one expert in the world on this topic of chronic inflammatory diseases. And I'm going to show you a recent paper that he published. Look at the title of this paper. All disease begins in the parentheses, leaky and parentheses gut. All disease begins in the leaky gut. The role of zonulin that's that protein zonulin, mediated gut permeability in the development of chronic inflammatory diseases. Well, what about diabetes? All disease begins in the leaky gut. What about Alzheimer's? All disease begins in the leaky gut. What about vitiligo, all disease? What about sarcopenia? All disease begins in the leaky gut. You can't be any clearer.

Wade Lightheart: Which interesting enough. I mean, this is what Hippocrates identified 2000 years ago. He said like all disease begins in the gut. And now thousands of years later, we have one of the most decorated medical doctors in the world suggesting exactly the same thing and backing it up with, I think it was like 213 peer reviewed publications. It was like that. That's right. That's right. That's hard to imagine that one person could publish that many papers.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: I agree. I agree. And he's going to be at it for a number of years more and every year his papers are clear and I mean, they're the deep dive into geekiness. But when you understand, and this paper is a little bit more of the big picture and that's why I'm bringing it up here. So he tells us that there are five pillars in the development of chronic inflammatory diseases. And for those of you that can see the slide. I love this photo. If you look at this guy, you know, he's got his hands in his pocket, lean back against the walls, left knees, bent foot against the wall. And with all the chaos around him, this is the chaos that we all have in our world today. It's called environmental pollution. This is, this is the chaos. So how do you get comfortable in here by understanding the mechanism of the five pillars in the development of these diseases, genetics, you can't do anything about that.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Environmental triggers, that's everything internal to us and everything outside that we take in and all of the hormones and the stress hormones that inside that we produce, they're all environmental triggers. That's number two, altered microbiome, creating dysbiosis, meaning too many bad guys, not enough good guys in your gut. That's number three, the leaky gut intestinal permeability is number four. And these molecules that go through the leaky gut into the bloodstream, your immune system says, what the heck is that? I better fight that. And now you get systemic inflammation. That's number five, systemic immune response. And then depending on your genetics determines where it's going to accumulate and what disease you develop. That's the big picture on the development of chronic inflammatory diseases.

Wade Lightheart: One of our doctors that came on the show, dr. Cory Holly talked about this, it's the silent killer. It's the thing that you can't feel like if you hit your foot with a hammer or your hand, you can feel it. If you cut yourself, you can feel it. If you fall off your bicycle or get hurt or punched in the face or whatever it happens to be whatever your lifestyle is, you generally can feel when you're taking damage. But with inflammation, it's attacking every part of your system. And you know, you don't know it and you don't know it.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: That's exactly right. If you pull it a chain, the chain always breaks it. The weakest link always it's a one end, the middle, the other end. It's your heart, your brain, your liver, your kidneys. You can't feel when you're killing off brain cells. Now you don't know this, but when you're pumping gas, do you sometimes wait, do sometimes smell the gas. And you're killing brain cells. You're breathing benzene. Benzene goes right up your nose, straight to your brain, killing off brain cells. Well, I don't feel bad when I smell gas. I kind of liked the smell. We'll put that on your tombstone. He kinda liked the smell, right? You don't, but it's the number of brain cells that you kill off. When you're pumping gas, that negligible, I'm going to make up a number. Let's say it's 5,000 brain cells and you've got 200 billion brain cells.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: So 5,000 is nothing, nothing at all. But do that once a week for 20 years now, you've got that one environmental trigger that accumulatively has caused a whole lot of damage. Correct. And it's the, of the environmental triggers that we're exposed to that accumulate in the body over time. And the, the immune system let's go back to our ancestors. What did our ancestors immune systems have to protect them from bugs, parasites, viruses, mold, fungus, and bacteria. That was it. There was no red dye, number 42, or benzene or polystyrene or bisphenol a or chloride. Our ancestors never developed any protection against any of that. Cause there was no such thing. And it's only in the last hundred years that we have been exposed to all of these things. And accumulatively every decade escalating exponentially, not just doubling, but just going up like this every year.

Wade Lightheart: Bring up a good point because I've always suggested to people, whatever state of health or quote unquote disease, which are actually just one singular parameter. In my opinion, I always say that health and disease are a result of the internal and external conditions inside of inside and outside your body. But you identify something here that I think is really important. There's not only the gluten factor, which is a particular toxic substance that can result in horrific problems. But it's also the cascade and increasing cascade of these other things that are smashing on the immune system as well. So that it's not just the punch to the face. It's the punch of the face, the kick to the knee, the stomp to the ankle, you know, like our immune systems are now today subjected to far vaster arrays of agents that can disrupt their functioning. Is that an accurate statement?

Dr Tom O'Bryan: You have hit the nail on the head as to what causes the loss of oral tolerance, whether it's at two years old, 22 years old, 92 years old, what causes the loss of oral tolerance is going over the threshold of what our immune system like. It's a minor bug orals. Everybody would have elevated antibodies to wheat whenever they eat it. That's not the case, but when you cross that threshold of just environmental toxins and your body says your immune system, that's it no more any now, even the minor bugs, don't slide by. And now you start making elevated antibodies to wheat. It's that loss of tolerance which occurs. I'll give you an example, Chicago, 2014, 346, pregnant women in the eighth month of pregnancy, they collected their urine and they measured five different valleys in their urine. Validates our chemicals use to mold plastic.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: One, most of us have heard of is called Bisphenol A, but there are many, many different valleys and they measured five of them. They took the measurements and they grouped them into categories. The lowest one fourth, the next one fourth, the third and the highest one fourth. They followed these children born to these pregnant women for seven years. When the kids turned seven years old, they did Wechsler IQ tests on them, the official IQ tests, what did they find? There's not much in medicine. That's all or every, but this was every Wade. Every child whose mother was in the highest category of phthalate in urine, in pregnancy compared to the children whose mothers were in the lowest core tile of phthalate in urine in pregnancy. Every child the highest core tile, their IQ was 6.7 to 7.4 or points lower. Now that doesn't mean anything to anybody until you realize that a one point difference in IQ is noticeable.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: A seven point difference is a difference between a kid working really hard, getting straight A's and a kid working really hard, getting straight C's this kid doesn't have a chance. Hell of ever doing well in school because his brain hasn't developed properly, then just go to Google and type in phthalate and neurogenesis nerve growth. And here come the studies, how fairly it's inhibit nerve. So the higher the mom's level of phthalate during pregnancy, which comes from accumulating it for 25 years from nail Polish and many other sources. I'm going to give you a handout about where, what are the sources of these things for 25 years of accumulating these minor amounts like plastic storage containers. When you put leftover chicken in a plastic storage container in the refrigerator, the next day you take the chicken out, it's got phthalate in it. You're increasing your phthalate exposure because it was stored in a plastic container or the lid on a coffee cup from the coffee shop, the hot steam from the liquid condenses.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: On the other side of the lid, drips back down to the coffee full of bisphenol A you put the coffee cup up to your lips. The hot liquid hits the underside of the lid, tapers down into the opening full of bisphenol A and we get these exposures all day, every day, every day until you lose tolerance. And when you lose, when you've got a loss of oral tolerance, now your immune system says, that's it no more fight wheat, no more bugs, not even the minor bugs. So that's why if you look at the timing, that's why since the 1950s celiac disease has had a four to five fold increase in the last 70 years. Not because of better tests, not at all. It's because there's more environmental toxins. We're all acumen. Your grandfathers didn't get exposed to all this crap. There wasn't flame retardant chemicals in their bedsheets and in their blankets and comforters, there wasn't scotch guard on their sofas and their chairs in the living room. They sat on every night, all of these things out gas into the air and just Google indoor air pollution versus outdoor air pollution. And you start to, Oh my God, I didn't know this. And you start to understand it's the cumulative nature of all this that we're exposed to. Now, I'd like to go back to this slide for a minute, if I can.

Wade Lightheart: Let's keep going. This is just awesome stuff. It's so in alignment with everything we talk about, and I love the way that you illustrate and explain these things. So let's keep going. This is great stuff.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: So it's the three pillars in the middle that we've got more control over. You can't control your genes. That's what you were born with. That's your deck of cards. But whether those genes get turned on or turn off, depends on these three in the middle, right? And that's the environmental triggers, the altered microbiome and intestinal permeability, or the leaky gut. And that's where we want to focus is on the three in the middle. It's going to take you a year to two years of listening to waves, podcasts, reading my books, picking up little bits and pieces of information. Applying these principles like ordered glass storage containers and get the plastic out of the kitchen. Don't use any of that stuff in there. It's going to take you a while to do this, but where do you start? You start with the environmental triggers.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Cause those are the ones that we have the easiest control over. And it's not really easy, but it's the easiest of the three. So where do you start reducing the environmental triggers? Well, professor Paisano tells us that the two most powerful triggers for leaky gut are the bacteria in your gut. And it's exhaust called LPs lipopolysaccharides and gluten. Those are the two most powerful triggers. And so now I want to talk a little about why this is so important because the most common system of the body affected by a sensitivity to wheat is your brain, my clinical experience. Now here's an example, and I don't have that study here to show you. But when people went to see their family doctor and the family doctor couldn't figure out what was going on, why they had the nerve symptoms that they had. They refer them to a neurologist, okay?

Dr Tom O'Bryan: The neurologist does his exam, make some recommendations. Patient goes home. The protocol work, they come back the neurologist try something else. The protocol doesn't work. They come back again. You're now a year into this suffering or more finally, if you have a good neurologist, he refers you to a tertiary neurology center. It's a research center. So when the neurologists don't know what's wrong, they send them to a research center. And this was an article published in from a tertiary research center that said when the cause of a neurological condition is known, the percentage of people with a sensitivity to wheat is 5%. Okay. That's not a big deal. When the cause of a neurological condition is unknown. The percentage of people with a sensitivity to wheat is 57%. And when they put them on a gluten-free diet, they get better. There may be more they have to do, but they get better because that's gasoline on the fire for those people.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: And the weak link in the chain is their brain and their nervous system. So in our practice, we find that the most common set of symptoms and biomarkers that we look at are with brain function. So I want to talk about the brain for a minute because it's so critically important that we talk about this. A canary in a coal mine is an advanced warning of some danger. The metaphor originates from the times when minors used to carry caged canaries while it were a coal miners. Cause if there was a leak of gas like methane or carbon monoxide, the canaries are much more sensitive to it and they'd fall over dead. So the miners listening to the canary song when they don't hear the song anymore, they go over and check. If that canary went down, everybody gets out of there really quick. It's an advanced warning that saved thousands of lives during the coal mining days.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Now let's see here. Where's my slide. Come on. There we go. The brains, the canary in the coal mine. Oh, here's the paper. I forgot that it's here. This is the paper from the tertiary research center. When the cause of a neurological diseases known the percentage of patients with elevated antibodies to gluten is 5% when it's unknown 57%. That's the difference. And so this just came out from these Alzheimer's association and they tell us that one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another dementia. That's the statistic. Now one in three, I mean, that's just a horrible statistic.

Wade Lightheart: And there's literally that the medical costs that are going to be associated with so many seniors in this situation is paralyzing for many westernized countries. And of course the damage of caring for people as they lose their essentially their identity or their ability to take care of themselves. It's very emotional, psychological, and social costs, scale exponentially as well in these situations.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Exactly. Right. And nobody talks about it. Why everybody knows someone that had a heart attack and survived. They changed their diet. They started exercising. They look better than they've looked in years. Most of us know someone that diagnosed with cancer. They went through the protocols. It's in remission. They feel good. No one knows anyone with brain deterioration who feels good. And it terrifies us. Cause we don't know what to do. I'm bringing this up because I'm telling you what you have to do. This just came out from blue cross blue shield and everybody knows, they're a multi-billion dollar industry designed to make a profit in healthcare insurance. We'll look at what they tell us. Look at these numbers, adults between 30 and 64 years old in four years, there was over a 200% increase in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's in four years.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Look at this by decades, 30 to 44, it's 407% increase in four years. What's going on now is that we are in an escalating crisis of brain deterioration because we've crossed the threshold. We've completely crossed the threshold of what our bodies can handle in terms of the amount of environmental toxins that we're all exposed to. And once again, the ratio is eight to one. So you don't feel it in your gut when you're being exposed to more of these toxins that are impacting. And the weak link in your chain is your brain. And that's where the inflammation is going, killing off brain cells, killing off brain cells, killing off brain cells and just keeps going on and on.

Wade Lightheart: So we understand now that we have a lot of the inflammatory agents, the things that are trying to take us out, we've looked at the sentinels that are checking to guard against these things. And we know when we cross the point of no return, right? Can you share with us maybe? Okay. Number one, what we need to do from a preventative measure and number two, what happens if I've crossed the point of no return quote unquote, Oh what do I do in those two different situations? Because we're probably almost everybody listening to this is at least at the first stage and maybe entering into that secondary point of no return stage. So can you kind of break that down for our listeners?

Dr Tom O'Bryan: You bet then thanks for that. There was one more slide. I forgot that I wanted to show you. I told you before, because it took me an hour and a half to make this slide.

Wade Lightheart: We don't wanna, we don't want to disappoint or YouTube Watchers from not seeing this. I want to see it, let's have it.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Thanks. Thanks so much. So that's the last one that we saw there about the increase. Let's move this up now. Come on. Now. There we go. So when we look at the development of Alzheimer's and this comes from health and human services, the advisory council that met last year, and what they identified is that there was a normal level of antibodies to your brain antibodies are your immune system getting rid of something that's not supposed to be be there. And, you know, for example, if you do a test for thyroid function and you're looking for thyroid disease, there was a reference range for what's the normal level of thyroid activity bodies. Why is there ever a normal level of antibodies to your thyroid or to any other tissue? Because this is how your immune system gets rid of the old and damaged cells to make room for new cells is by the inflammatory process.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Let's get those old cells out of there. And the antibodies are a component, a part of that. So there's a normal reference, strange. So we all make some antibodies for our thyroid, to our liver, to our adrenals, to our bones, to our muscles, to many different tissues in our brain. It's part of the cellular regeneration process. But when we cross the line of tolerance for foods, for him, infections like too much bacteria that we're exposed to for environmental exposure for electromagnetics, EMG pollution, for emotional stress, the stress hormones, when we cross a tolerance and structural stress, when we cross that line of tolerance for each of those categories, whenever it is, we start producing more inflammation. And when you produce inflammation, because you've crossed the line of tolerance. Now you start making elevated levels of antibodies to your brain. If that's the weak link in your chain, I'm talking about the brain now, and that's the weak link for so many.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: It's very vulnerable tissue for this. So you start making elevated antibodies and there's a number of reasons why that occurs. We won't go into, but you don't feel anything. You're non-symptomatic. This is called the prodromal stage. And you can see here from health and human services, how long does the prodromal stage last. This is 20 years of killing off brain cells. It's killing off brain cells, killing off brain cells, killing off brain cells without having any noticeable symptoms. Then at some point you cross that line of tolerance. You've killed off so many cells. Now you start getting some short-term memory loss. Who's that person's walking toward me. I know that person. What's their name? Come on, come on. What's their name? Or wait a minute. Where's my car in the parking lot. What lane did I, what aisle did I park my car at role short term memory loss, things that many of us joke about because we're feeling so awkward about it and uncomfortable about it.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: And if it's not addressed and the loss of tolerance continues, cause you're still eating gluten. If that's one of the contributing factors you've lost tolerance to, or you're still breathing validates in the air in your house because they're outcast out of plastic blinds on the windows and all the plastic that you have in your house. They're, outgassing these chemicals in the air and you're breathing them in. So you're still getting these, you're still using the nail Polish. You're still using the plastic containers. So there's more inflammation, more inflammation, more inflammation. You progress to the next stage of mild Alzheimer's that has reading problems. Comprehension problems lasts for a few years, goes to moderate Alzheimer's and then goes to severe Alzheimer's. And it's at the moderate to severe stage where we usually identify it. And they'll want to try and do something about it when you've killed off so many cells. It's really, really difficult to get that person back again.

Wade Lightheart: Got it. So what are some of the things I'm sure there's people that are going to be listening to this that have some…

Dr Tom O'Bryan: By the way, how was the slide? How is that slide?

Wade Lightheart: The slides pretty epic.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Oh, thanks man.

Wade Lightheart: It's pretty epic because I think what's really important. It identifies on a kind of linear time expectation of where these starts a thing and someone can sit there and go. I remember I started to feel a little bit, not my sharpest self and for a lot of people, this happens. It used to be, you know, in a businessman's career, for example, they would say you entered kind of your prime in your forties to fifties. And I see even guys in their twenties are augmenting with a wide variety of things to keep their brain sharp. You know, it's like what's going on? And then of course you see this, this rapid increase.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Well, you saw cross blue shield study about the younger generations. Now that's exactly what's happening. Their brain cells are getting killed off much earlier in life.
Wade Lightheart: This is really, really heavy stuff. So what is it that people need to do? How do they get themselves out of this? How do they stop and reverse the trend if possible?

Dr Tom O'Bryan: You bet. First thing to understand is that there's never going to be a pill. There is never going to be a pill to do this. I know of two pharmaceutical companies that have closed down their Alzheimer's research departments and laid off the researchers. They shut them down. They'd spent billions and they finally realized we're never going to stop Alzheimer's. Let's allocate our resources to some other disease where we can still make a profit bottom line. You know, that's not the researchers, but that's the executives in the big offices, making the strategy, how to keep the company profitable because they realize you're not going to stop Alzheimer's with it. Right? So that's the first thing you have to realize,

Wade Lightheart: Which is a really important thing for people to recognize, because there's an over-reliance on pills to manage poor lifestyle choices, which give you back, not your real life. It's ,as according to professor Oshinsky, I think he wrote in the new England journal of medicine the disability adjusted life expectancy in America is 60 years old. And that means you're going to be dependent on one of these pills, some sort of intervention or something else that really creates a disability in your ability to enjoy a quality life. So how do we stop this? Like what are we going to do? People are like, Oh my God, I gotta, you know, do I run out? Do I stop eating bread? Do I stop eating pasta? Do I move ?

Dr Tom O'Bryan: You have to change the paradigm? That is primary to change the paradigm now to change the paradigm means it's going to change the way you think. And when you change the way you think you'll understand, it's going to take me a year or two years to really dial this down. My book that came out a year and a half ago, number one in seven categories on Amazon for brain and nervous system function, you can fix your brain, the subtitle just one hour, a week to the best memory productivity and sleep you've ever had. That's the only way to be successful is that every single week you allocate one hour, all right, Tuesday nights after dinner, Sunday morning after services, whatever it is. But every week, that hour is for you to learn a little more about changing the paradigm of how you live your life.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: So one week you'll go to the book, you'll look at the three URLs for glass storage containers, and you say, okay,, Amazon and whatever. The third one was, I don't remember. And you go, Oh, I like those over there. Those and you order three round ones and two square ones. And one for the pies pay with your credit card. Hit send, you're done. It took an hour, but you're done, but never again. Will you poison your family with my Newt amount of ballets from leftover food in the kitchen. And you give the Tupperware to your husband to store nails in the garage right? Next week, you're going to look at nail Polish. And when you understand that phthalates from nail Polish leach into your bloodstream within five minutes, you understand you need organic nail Polish, and you're going to start like we gave you two or three URLs to look at those and you'll order one and you're done for the week.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: And then it comes in, Oh, I really like color. Then you go back to look for another one. It's just going to take time. But you set yourself up for as much as possible, a toxic lifestyle, whatever that means for you, depending on where you live. For sure. No one can live in a moldy house. No one, right? This is Mrs. Patient. If you go on vacation for two weeks, when you come home, do you have to open all the windows to air the house out? Oh yeah, you got mold. Right? Get an expert in here to evaluate because every day you and your family are breathing mold. You're killing off brain cells killing off while I don't feel bad when I'm in my house. Well put that on your tombstone. If that's the environmental trigger setting you off. So what do you do except and recognize you have to work on a paradigm shift when you work on a paradigm shift and you know, my wife and I are moving into a new place and we have to buy furniture.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: I'm not going to buy any furniture. That's anything less than solid wood with oil on it. There's no varnish going in our house. We are not buying sheets that are not organic cotton. So you just start learning about these kinds of things bit by bit by bit. And it's going to take you a year. Now, I've got some handouts for you today. Then I'll tell you about them later, but so that NASA published this study NASA, and they said to six inch houseplants in a 10 by 10 room absorbs up to 74% of the toxic chemicals in the air. And so we give you the list. Here's the plants that NASA talks about. And they're in my book, you know, but it's all these simple little things that by themselves are not going to stop anything but a cumulatively. They have a huge effect.

Wade Lightheart: Just like so basic. Basically what you're talking about is implementing a systematic methodology where you take out, you add a defense mechanism for the vast array of toxic chemicals that people are going so that you say, Hey, look, it's too much to try and do it all at once one hour a week, take one of the items that we suggest execute on Amazon, get the things that you need to do. Buy the sheets, get the plants, do whatever it is that you require that week, the next week and the next week. And then a year down the road, you'll have removed a vast array of these things out of your life. And that's in itself going to STEM some of the tide as long with obviously some lifestyle changes about what you eat.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Well that's yes, those are the action steps to take the other you do. And so the first thing is a paradigm shift. The second is accepting one hour a week. It's going to take you a year, two years. The third thing is, what's my current status? Where am I right now? And the way you do that is by measuring, what does your immune system say is getting killed off right now? Do you have elevated antibodies to your brain tissue? And there is a beautiful test that came out Mayo clinic called, was it a new era in laboratory medicine? Because this technology came out that is 97 to 99% sensitive and 98 to a hundred percent specific meaning it's right on the money all the time. And that's really unusual in lab tests. Most of our readers don't know that, but lab tests are often quite inaccurate.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: If I can say it that way. Unfold gently, the sensitivity and specificity is usually in the 70 to 80% range, meaning they're ripe seven out of 10 times, maybe eight out of 10 times, which is good, but it means they're wrong. Two or three out of 10 times. That's not the case anymore with the new technology. I'm going to show you a couple more slides if I may please on the testing, because this is so cutting edge. This is game. This was game changing for me. Technology came out in 2016. And so the rules is test don't guess test. And the slides are from a presentation I gave in London last week. And I said, my apologies, because these tests are not in Europe yet. So you've got a demand. They get over here because this technology is so new, but this is one paper.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: I've got five papers from Mayo clinic that talks about this testing and they call it a new era in the identification of novel markers of disease biomarkers. Now what's the biome marker, Mrs. Patient. There's two words, ways to measure the temperature in the engine of your car. One way the hot light comes on the dashboard too late, pull over soon, or the engine's going to blow up. You got a disease. The other way is a temperature gauge. And it slowly starts to climb towards the red zone or it's too late. That's a biomarker and mail clinic is talking about biomarkers here and this technology that is a new era, and these are the numbers. The accuracy here is meaning it's right almost every single time. And it's a promising new tool for biomarker discovery. Now this is the test that is, there's nothing like it anywhere in the world.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: And I'm on stage all over the world and no laboratory, any country has got anything like this yet. It's called the neural Zoomer plus, and it tests for antibodies to your brain tissue to see if you've got a leaky brain called blood brain barrier, disruption antibodies to your eyes and your autonomic nervous system antibodies, identifying brain auto-immunity brain inflammation, antibodies to viruses causing inflammation, antibodies to deem myelination, meaning killing off the saran wrap around your nerves, which is what ms is and antibodies to creating peripheral neuropathies that's numbness and tingling anywhere in your body. This is what the test looks like. And this is a patient of mine and on the moderate and positive, these are the ones that were out of balance for him. But this test and this test results always come with these pages that explain each one of these and the blood brain barrier, the leaky brain markers. And I'm not going to go through them all because it's just geeky stuff.

Wade Lightheart: Where do we get these tests? This is one of our philosophies is to assess test and optimize in our inner system. So where do we get this test? I'm a big fan of testing.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: You have two ways. First thing you go to my website, and download the information on the neural Zoomer, plus that test the neural Zoomer. Plus take it to your doctor and say, please order this test. And if they won't order for you, you can order it on my website. And we coordinate to get a phlebotomist to you. But you know, I'd rather you go to your doctor so that he can learn about these tests also, but if they won't do it because the hospital won't authorize it, or some male clinics published five papers on this already, and Columbia has published two papers. And it's just the best technology. Since we started doing this we haven't had one come back normal yet on a first test on the followup test, they'd better be coming back normal or close to normal or else we haven't done our job. But everybody has got this just to everybody because of the amount of toxins we're exposed to in our world today.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: And I know my saying that is going to put some people like, anything he says is for everybody is just nonsense. Read the science, just read the science. That's all I'm suggesting. And when you do that, you do an OMG again and again and again. So this is the best test. And by the way, testing for wheat, there's only one test. That's at the top of the field and it's called the wheat Zoomer. Cause you zoom in on the problem, same technology, same lab, the paper I showed you there, that research paper was on the wheat Zoomer in 2016. And so you do the wheat Zoomer and the neural Zoomer. Plus every patient that comes to us, we do online consultations. Every patient does at least the wheat Zoomer and the neural Zoomer plus irrespective of how they feel because brain is the canary in the coal mine. If you're inflamed in your brain, you're inflamed in other areas. And so that's the most sensitive tissue that we want to bring down.

Wade Lightheart: This has been so amazing and so powerful. I know my listeners are going to jump on this and they're going to come and check out your website. Can you pop up that book again for everybody to see on the video, we're going to put all the show links in here. You bet You can fix your brain by dr. Tom O'Bryan. This has been incredible. You know, this has been really, really delightful. I love the research. I love the specificity and I loved the slides for our YouTube listeners. So we can see where you at. I've got a number of people that I want to get this to immediately. I know they're in that advanced stages. And here's the thing. Everybody needs to look at this because sooner or later you are going to be in that position, you're in some levers. And it's increasing, but the stats are saying it's increasing. So the bottom line is for everybody listening, grab this book, take action. Change your lifestyle, go to, right. T H E D R dot C O M.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Right. And if I can say, I've got two gifts for you there.

Wade Lightheart: Oh, gifts. This is awesome.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: The first one go to And I've got a brain masterclass that I do. It's 87 videos of listening to me talk like this. You know, it's just me with all of my analogies, but one topic at a time 87 topics. And My brain is a bunch of those… We just give them to you here, check this out. And if this resonates with you come to our class, right. And if not fine, just watch all this stuff and enjoy it. So it's And the other one is . And that's the one with the handouts about the plants and about how to clean up your bathroom how to clean up your kitchen, how to clean up your living room and to get the toxins out of there and basic little things that you can do.

Wade Lightheart: You know, one other thing I'm going to add about this book, many of us have parents or grandparents who are in that older era, who might be suffering from, you know, some of the more advanced stages in this, and they're not going to listen to us, or they're going to feel nervous about it. You know, implementing it. What I love about this is we can get them, the book, get them, get them a copy of your book. They can read this, they can go do the videos online. They can learn this themselves. And that way it takes the pressure off me. I don't have to be the bad guy with my parents. Be like, Hey, I've read this book. That's really interesting. Why don't you check it out? And they can gradually implement these things themselves in a way that they feel empowered to take over their lives and to live healthier and happier as we go into those specific golden years, I'm excited. I'm going to get a bunch of these books for a number of my friends. And I encourage everybody listening today. Dr. Tom, thanks for joining us so much on the Awesome Health Podcast. I hope to get you back soon, any last words or social media, things that where people can find you that you'd like to share with our listeners before we wrap.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Last words to empower people, 1986 microbiologists gastroenterologists in Australia wrote a paper. He said, you know, I think that sometimes ulcers are caused by a bacteria. All of his peers and his colleagues, all the gastroenterologist said, what are you a nutcase? Everybody knows that ulcers are caused by too much acid and you have to take antacids. And he was ostracized. He didn't care. What did he do? He did an endoscopy, put a tube down into his stomach with a camera, took pictures of the healthy pink tissue of his stomach. Then he drank a beaker, a beaker of a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. He drank it down, waited five days until he was sick as could be did. Another endoscopy, took pictures of the many ulcers forming in his stomach. Then he took the triple cocktail antibiotics to kill the helium factor, waited about a week until he was feeling really good.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: Did another endoscopy to take pictures of his healed stomach. Then he published it with the pictures. Then everybody knew he was a nutcase, but he proved beyond a doubt. Beyond a doubt. Sometimes ulcers are caused by a bacteria. The world health organization thought that was so important and message. They sent his paper to every medical society in the world saying, send this out to all of your members, because at the time the number one cancer in the world was stomach cancer caused most often by helium bacteria infection. So if doctors think about and test for Helio bactor when people have upset stomachs, they could prevent a lot of cancers and it actually turned out to be the truth. And that's why stomach cancer has gone down so much in the last 30 years. This guy was still ostracized, Dr. Barry Marshall, still Australia.

Dr Tom O'Bryan: He didn't care. 21 years later, he wins the Nobel prize in physiology and what the Nobel committee said. And this is the exact quote, Dr. Barry Marshall, who with tenacity and a prepared mind, challenged, prevailing dogma, the way you're living your life right now is on the dogma of what we have been taught. It's wrong. You're killing your brain. You have to challenge that dogma. And the only way you're going to be able to do that is with tenacity one hour a week, preparing your mind, listening to these podcasts, reading my books, you know, doing whatever else you're going to do for one hour, a week to challenge the prevailing way that you're operating in life. That's the only way to make the change that I know of. So you want your own Nobel prize in health. This is how you do it. One hour a week.

Wade Lightheart: Beautifully said, and it couldn't imagine more. I'm a big advocate of contrarian type philosophies in a sea of dogma. Thank you so much for joining us today, dr. Tom, and for all our listeners on the Awesome Health Podcast, thank you for joining us today. I hope you download the book. Go check out that site, get these free gifts that the good doctor has been so kind and adding to us. And more importantly, share this with the people that you love, because you just might save somebody from a horrific death. It's that serious. Thanks so much for joining us. Take care, have a great day.
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