Rewilding the Gut: Restoring Ancestral Diversity to the Microbiome

Sept. 10, 2021

At the 2021 Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Los Angeles last month I was able to catch up with microbiome researcher and writer Lucy Mailing, PhD. This year Lucy presented on the topic of Rewilding the Gut, noting the detrimental effects of our modern environment, diet, and lifestyle on the gut microbiome. Lucy has been on the podcast twice before, talking about optimising the gut microbiome and debunking microbiome myths and misconceptions. Lucy’s research and writings are truly cutting-edge and have consistently shaped our recommendations and approach to gut health with our clients. 

On this podcast, Lucy shares some of the concepts she outlined during her AHS Talk, including the specific aspects of modern living that interfere with microbiome diversity and establishing a basis for chronic disease.  She talks about the hygiene hypothesis, including the need for early childhood exposure to microbes, and some of the best ways to support a healthy gut ecosystem.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Lucy Mailing:

[00:00:32] Video: Rewilding the gut - Lucy Mailing (AHS21).

[00:02:27] Book: ”Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character, by Richard P. Feynman.

[00:03:25] Environmental mismatches.

[00:04:35] Book: Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, by Martin J. Blaser MD.

[00:05:03] Effects of diet on the microbiome; Study: Smits, Samuel A., et al. "Individualized responses of gut microbiota to dietary intervention modeled in humanized mice." Msystems 1.5 (2016): e00098-16.

[00:05:29] The Hadza people of Tanzania.

[00:06:53] Herman Pontzer, PhD; Paper: Pontzer, Herman, Brian M. Wood, and David A. Raichlen. "Hunter‐gatherers as models in public health." Obesity Reviews 19 (2018): 24-35; Podcast: How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight, and Stay Healthy.

[00:07:37] Jeff D. Leach, microbiome researcher.

[00:07:55] Article: I spent three days as a hunter-gatherer to see if it would improve my gut health, by Tim Spector.

[00:09:47] Rewilding.

[00:12:11] Video: What are the ethical implications of anti-meat dietary policies? - Diana Rodgers (AHS21); Podcast: Kale vs Cow: The Case for Better Meat.

[00:12:10] Allan Savory on desertification.

[00:13:06] Keystone predator species; Blastocystis hominis.

[00:13:55] Blastocystis associated with distinct microbiome ecological patterns; Study: Nieves-Ramírez, M. E., et al. "Asymptomatic intestinal colonization with protist Blastocystis is strongly associated with distinct microbiome ecological patterns." Msystems 3.3 (2018): e00007-18.

[00:15:04] Lucy’s previous appearances on the NBT podcast: How to Optimise Your Gut Microbiome, and Microbiome Myths and Misconceptions.

[00:17:05] Article: The oxygen-gut dysbiosis connection, by Lucy Mailing, PhD.

[00:18:33] 4-Quadrant Model.

[00:20:13] Podcast: The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters, with James Estes, PhD.

[00:20:55] C-Sections and the microbiome.

[00:22:41] Mom-to-baby fecal transplant; Study: Korpela, Katri, et al. "Maternal fecal microbiota transplantation in cesarean-born infants rapidly restores normal gut microbial development: a proof-of-concept study." Cell 183.2 (2020): 324-334.

[00:25:22] Are we over-sanitizing?

[00:28:33] Benefits of exposure to animals.

[00:29:09] Podcast: The Dog as the Ultimate Health Upgrade (an Introduction for Pre-Contemplators), with Toréa Rodriguez.

[00:31:30] Rewilding the nervous system.

[00:34:37] Secure attachment; Podcast: Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy, with Jessica Fern.

[00:37:41] Dr. Julian Abel; Podcasts: 1. Building Compassionate Communities to Improve Public Health, 2. Maintaining Social Connection in the Era of COVID-19, and 3. The Compassion Project: The Power of Hope and Human Kindness.

[00:40:12] Eating for a healthy microbiome.

[00:40:32] Metabolic flexibility of the gut; Study: Sholl, Jonathan, Lucy J. Mailing, and Thomas R. Wood. "Reframing Nutritional Microbiota Studies To Reflect an Inherent Metabolic Flexibility of the Human Gut: a Narrative Review Focusing on High-Fat Diets." Mbio 12.2 (2021): e00579-21.

[00:41:21] Jason Hawrelak’s new course: Functional Gastrointestinal Testing: A Critical Review; Podcast: How to Use Probiotics to Improve Your Health.

[00:44:06] NBT Podcasts with Ben Bikman, PhD and Ted Naiman, MD.

[00:45:51] Find Lucy at; Patreon, consultation.

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