Ray Peat Rodeo
A picture of Marcus Whybrow, creator of Ray Peat Rodeo From Marcus This is an audio interview to do with Ray Peat from 2019.
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00:00 Well, welcome to the Get Fit with Jodell podcast. I am Jodell as usual and I am happy once again to have Dr. Ray Pete with me here today. Dr. Ray Pete is officially my forever go-to source for all things nutrition and health and he has a PhD in biology. He has taught at many renowned schools and universities regarding all things nutrition and women’s health specifically. You can learn more about him by visiting raypeat.com that’s r-a-y-p-e-a-t.com and you will be as inspired as I am today as we are talking about digestion. So Dr. Pete, I’m so very honored to have you back on the podcast again. You are always so generous with your knowledge and I wanted to pick your brain about digestion today and all the digestive distress that at least I have seen in my practice and you know from what I understand digestion is one of the top five reasons people come to see their doctor and also in my practice it’s one of the top five reasons people give me a call too. So 01:02 I wanted to pick your brain. What do you think or why do you think there’s so much digestive distress in our modern society and was it this bad 40 or 50 years ago? One of the things that has been a general problem is the physical inactivity. Like people who live in apartments have to take their dogs out for a walk every day because the digestive system tends to slow down when you aren’t walking. There are reflexes between especially the legs and the intestine and in general physical inactivity affects the whole process of appetite and digestion and elimination. But the change from 02:03 a crude diet to a very refined diet was one of the factors and around the beginning of the 20th century there were health organizations that emphasized using whole grains rather than refined whole wheat flour rather than white flour for example because of the bulk forming effect of the bran of the wheat and people who have studied the difference between for example Africans and Americans found that because there was a lot of potato in the diet of the Africans and other fibrous foods their transit time on average was about 12 hours from in to out and the average American at the time the study was done had a transit 03:07 time of 72 hours. Oh my goodness. A tremendous difference and I noticed that the rising incidents of bowel cancer in America has been really huge so I looked up the the rate of the same kind of cancer in Africa and there’s almost no colorectal cancer in the undeveloped parts of Africa where they still eat a fairly fibrous diet. Well you mentioned right at the first about people going for walks a lot more or they used to walk a lot more and now do you think that a lot of our digestive distress is from a kind of a society of sitting? Yeah definitely. Everyone who takes up 04:08 the habit of walking for an hour or so a day notices improved digestion. The general sense of well-being is largely because of the improved movement of the intestinal muscles but also improved secretions the feeling good and relaxing and moving around reduces the nervous tension and that increases the secretions. You can see it even in saliva when you’re very anxious your mouth tends to go dry because of the shift from one part of the nervous system to the other shut-off secretions starting in the mouth but affecting all the way down. Yeah so there is kind of a north to south process right so would you say that the saliva is just as important 05:13 as the stomach acid? I mean as it starts there and it works down to the stomach acid and then the cck and all the different secretions that happen from the pancreas and the liver like is there is it pretty important to start with the fundamentals like keeping a good cephalic head phase of digestion going as well as good adequate stomach acid? Oh yeah anyone who has taken the drug that shuts down saliva production has generally had an outbreak of cavities. The anti-colonergic drugs and some of the antihistamines reduce the production of saliva so much that the it’s not just the drying of the lower quantity of saliva but the composition changes chemically and instead of washing away and inactivating bacteria and their 06:18 products it tends to favor their growth so you can see it as increased deposits on the teeth but especially in the extremely fast development of cavities when the mouth is dry. Isn’t that fascinating that digestion even translates to teeth health so I really I didn’t even have any idea about that I just assumed you were going to say something like the not having the adequate saliva would lead to poor digestion too because they need that enzymatic breakdown in the mouth so is that also the case? There is a little that begins in the mouth and 50 to 70 years ago some people were getting sort of fanatical about having to chew your food so many times to make sure you liquefied it but the quantity of enzymes in the saliva is not very great compared 07:24 to some animals and those same enzymes are secreted later in the stomach and intestine so if you miss getting some of the digestion started in your mouth your stomach can make up for it by secreting a lot of the starch breakdown enzymes too. Okay well let’s talk about that that north to south process so I’ve always been an advocate for adequate stomach acid for proper digestion so what are your thoughts on the stomach acid itself and how we can keep it adequate? That’s another thing that’s regulated strongly by the nerves and hormones and the ultimate source of the acidity is in oxidation and production of carbon dioxide which then is involved in the secretion of hydrochloric acid but it’s a respiratory 08:27 process essentially and so if your thyroid is very low your stomach acid is going to be low and the muscles become weaker at the same time that the secretions are weaker and so slowing down the transit time for various reasons including inactivity but the slower transit gives time for abnormal even yeast can develop at an extreme in in the stomach when the acid is very low and the muscle contraction is very slow food can stay in the stomach so long that around 1955 or 60 there were some cases in the news of people who were thought to be drunkards because they always reeked of alcohol 09:28 and were half drunk all the time it turns out that they had a little brewery always going in their stomach and intestine if they would eat carbohydrate starch for example the enzymes their own enzymes could produce enough sugar that yeast could grow on it producing alcohol and carbon dioxide and they can produce enough to to make a person chronically a little drunk but at the same time the yeast is poisoning them but there are there are different degrees short of that when you look at the health look at a big population like the U.S. for a high proportion aren’t very healthy and look at microorganisms at different points of the small intestine and stomach a small percentage maybe 10 percent have a completely 10:33 germ-free stomach and small intestine sterile all the way down until it gets to the colon and then a larger proportion 30 or 40 percent the lower half of the small intestine is fairly well infected and then I think it’s about another third of the population has detectable germs all the way up to around where the the pancreatic enzymes get in the enzymes have weakened to the extent that germs can survive right up to the area where where the proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes are being secreted so the the slow transit and weak secretions allow organisms that sometimes can be passive genetic and in general they go with a reduced 11:42 status health a very high proportion of the population suffers from having some degree of microorganism overgrowth between the stomach and the beginning of the colon what they grow only in the colon they’re pretty harmless yeah I want to come back to those microorganisms because as you know there’s a big movement of people advocating for all of these gut healing protocols with probiotics and prebiotics and stuff like that so I want to come back to that but as far as like um like going down the north to south process so going through the stomach acid now we come to like the liver and the gallbladder I’m assuming the liver and gallbladder are pretty important to digestion too but as I’m seeing a lot of people have liver stagnation and then a lot of people don’t even have a gallbladder anymore so can you talk about the importance of making sure that even if you don’t have a gallbladder how important it is to keep your liver functioning well yeah the liver absorbs nutrients and along with the nutrients 12:53 will come the toxins especially if you have bacteria growing with the digesting foods where they shouldn’t be they’re necessarily going to produce toxins that will burden your liver and so one of the first things that goes wrong when your digestion flows from the bacteria and yeast start growing where they shouldn’t is the high endotoxin will start slowing down your liver function and swamping the ability of the liver to detoxify and excrete these toxins uh that’s where even if a person is sedentary if they eat enough fiber the fiber is going to 13:54 bind and move along some of the bacteria and in the process of a bulk of fiber moving through you uh the fiber reduces the absorption of endotoxin and the one of the functions of the liver besides detoxifying endotoxin is to keep the level of hormones under control your glands increase the amount of hormone in your blood the liver decreases it by attaching sulfuric acid or glucuronic acid to the molecule making it water soluble so that it can leave in your kidneys but some of it is excreted uh into the bile especially if if you’re overloading the excretion glucuronidation process then these hormones like estrogen are coming out in the bile 14:59 and they will be reabsorbed and give you a chronic excess of circulating estrogen if your liver slows down and that can be uh to some extent overcome by making sure that you’re taking in fiber all the time to to bind and move along uh both the endotoxin the bacteria and the excreted hormones such as estrogen and cortisol yeah and then a little bit I want to touch on exactly what some fiber foods are that you would recommend for healthy digestion but also can you explain like in really layman’s terms for people to understand endotoxin how would you explain that it’s chemical name is lipo polysaccharide it’s it’s a group of fatty acids attached to a carbohydrate that has something analogous to a soaping action physically 16:02 that uh it is the fat is absorbed in the cells and it drags in this carbohydrate that acts as an irritant and the cells are basically irritated and inflamed when they absorb it and the gallbladder every tissue is is damaged by endotoxin but the gallbladder are receiving the chemicals estrogen and endotoxin for example that haven’t been completely detoxified the the system leading up to the gallbladder and the muscle and duct leading out of the gallbladder became becoming inflamed and this will show up for example in pregnancy if estrogen is extremely 17:03 high that the cholesterol will tend to accumulate there and the bile becomes abnormal tends to precipitate cholesterol and a variety of chemicals that form sludge or stones in the gallbladder at the same time that the the endotoxin is weakening the contractile function of the gallbladder but the estrogen besides creating that tendency to be unable to excrete it can cause a spasm of the duct leading out of the gallbladder and that can bring on a crisis in which a stone might not be able to 18:08 be expelled or the bile can accumulate and just build up pressure the thyroid deficiency is extremely closely associated to gallbladder problems because of the the lord that detoxifying function of the liver when the thyroid is slow and so I think without exception the people that have known who’ve had a gallbladder disease especially surgery were extremely hypothyroid chronically and that usually goes with too much estrogen that can cause spasms anywhere in the in the smooth muscles starting with the the gallbladder and the 19:09 duct but even the small intestine in x-ray studies they’ve given a big dose of estrogen and they can see the small intestine going into a cramp so it blocks the the duct out of the gallbladder or it can cause spasms anywhere along the line and when you get into that overexcited under energized state of the smooth muscle of the intestine a local irritation can send out waves of contraction and it can go backwards especially during sleep when the nervous system is relaxing irritation way down the small intestine there it can go into spasm not 20:10 allow passage and instead the wave will head north from the spastic block in the intestine and it can cause it can cause regurgitation irritation of the esophagus and lots of people wake up with a bad taste in their mouth that’s often because of reverse peristalsis and andrologists who had medical students to experiment on put microscopic particles that could be easily identified club moss spores and I had them put it into their rectums in the afternoon and then in the morning they took swabs from their mouth and those who regularly had morning breaths found that the spores could be identified in 21:17 their saliva showing that it’s extremely common to have reverse peristalsis all the way from the rectum to the mouse during the night wow um you also were talking about um how the gut can go spastic as well as the um I think you mentioned something else about endotoxins there was another symptom you had mentioned but what are some of the digestive symptoms someone might experience if they have a high level of endotoxins um when when the intestine gets in trouble the symptoms can be throughout the whole body because the when the um energy is low permeability is high in other words the blood vessels leak uh in the wall of the intestine 22:19 and what should be absorbed as digestive food going into the lymphatic system to uh to be processed by the liver as nutrients uh the instead of going the proper route all of the blood vessels in the intestine have become over permeable and uh the toxins then get into your general circulation as so when the intestine is in bad shape the so-called leaky intestine uh is letting the toxin go straight to your brain and heart and lungs so it can contribute to symptoms like obstructive pulmonary disease emphysema uh shock-like symptoms uh just poor lung function in general reduced heart function heart failure uh various insomnia uh the sleep 23:28 apnea all of these things involve endotoxin poisoning uh as a rule those are some huge I mean that really tells us that there’s so much correlated with endotoxin when you lay out that list what about some lesser known symptoms you know like would gas and bloating for someone be and that’s a clear cut issue that they’ve got some endotoxins going on or thing the uh gas and bloating uh if you tap on your belly and it sounds like a drum uh that’s the accumulation of gas and if the muscle tone is proper uh as gas forms it should be constantly released a little bit at a time but when when you’re in that spastic state the sphincters don’t let it out the peristalsis doesn’t move at all and and so it forms uh great balloons of gas that that can cause pain uh and uh 24:36 the uh that that pressure in itself uh can for example cause migraine uh the same endrologist that I mentioned before experimenting on his medical students uh at the time uh they were shifting the paradigm at 19th century everyone uh believed that the intestine was a source of toxins very well-based scientifically but around 1910 to 1920 uh the medical industry was being modernized and they wanted to get away from all of the traditional uh food can be your medicine they wanted to throw away that concept and so they they suppressed the idea of self intoxication from the intestine and did various things to argue that it’s nothing but pressure 25:42 not toxicity and and so what Walter Alper is the professor did was to insert big wads of cotton in the rectums of his medical students in the afternoon and when when they came back those of them who had a susceptibility to headaches and migraines they all had a headache brought on just by the pressure of cotton in the rectum he said see it isn’t auto toxicity it’s just pressure from not not moving the bowels often enough and uh so he in a way was blaming it uh on on behavior rather than uh on the nature of the food and the chesty process do you think that anxiety has anything to do with uh 26:43 the endotoxin or gut distress i mean you hear the whole gut brain connection so what do you feel about that anxiety you know it goes both ways uh the absorption of toxins they have fed different kinds of fiber to uh experimental animals rats in particular and found that type of fiber soluble fiber that feeds bacteria that’s the kind of being recommended by a lot of companies as a prebiotic feeding bacteria but in the rats they found that soluble fiber increased their fearfulness and their aggression a definite brain changes just from adding this one type of fiber feeding bacteria but it can go the other way if you have some kind of 27:46 an emotional experience the shift towards high sympathetic adrenaline activity uh takes the blood away from your digestive system makes it available to your muscle system for the fight or flight reaction but the intestines suffers oxygen and sugar deprivation meanwhile and if that’s continued that energy deprivation leads to the increased permeability and absorption of toxins so it can cause a chronic brain syndrome all the way to epilepsy animal experiments have shown that the combination of pressure and irritation and hypoglycemia is enough to bring on epileptic seizures in animals but short of that you will experience 28:50 mood changes aggression fearfulness anxiety and so on from different lower degrees of bloating and toxin absorption you mentioned with the cotton how it was kind of a the what that they were calling the prebiotic fiber but and let’s talk about that what about probiotics what about this trend where everybody’s taking these mega spores and probiotics as well as eating prebiotic fiber what do you think about that um i animal experiments uh when the um a doctor uh Dennis Burkett showed that uh Africans were pretty free of bowel cancer because of eating fiber that’s sort of a fiber craze but instead of saying people should eat potatoes which he was saying in Africa uh Americans had uh waste cereal fiber to sell 29:53 bran and so that started the the craze of using oat bran as the fiber and so people started doing research on oat bran happens to break down into bowel carcinogens estrogenic fiber breakdown products and so they compared a clean cellulose fiber relatively uh wheat bran uh broke didn’t break down to the carcinogens uh the way the the oat bran did but the good thing about cellulose is that uh it’s practically uh resistant to bacterial breakdown so it functions only as fiber uh stimulates paracetalsis cleans out uh binds a lot of the estrogen and endotoxin so it’s it’s very safe and usually effective 30:58 but what they’re selling now it’s a very ornate a bunch of assumptions building on the function of how it breaks down they like to see the the short pain fatty acids which they concentrate on on some local effects that seem to be protected to the intestine but when you look at the systemic effects of these uh uh lactic acid tends to go with butyric acid and propionic acid as products of the breakdown of these soluble fibers and uh these contribute to uh the systemic problems as well as local uh damage to the intestine so there’s a huge amount of research but it’s very selective and in a limited context i see it as as a giant advertising industry 32:04 uh supported by the food uh food products manufacturers yeah and as far as like the the probiotics that they’re selling do they have any benefit like you know you’ll hear bifidus bacteria is a big one and even in my early career like i would i always thought that that was the one that i wanted to help people with their digestion with because 70 percent of our bacteria is made up of that and it seemed like a lot of people were lacking it um so is there any benefit or now i don’t advocate for probiotics anymore because i’m i don’t understand the mechanism of adding bacteria in when we’re in a world of bacteria if we could just eat the proper foods like what you’re saying we can remedy some of this so what are your thoughts i i yeah the people who lose the safe type bacteria well first of all the small intestine shouldn’t be having any bacteria right but the the uh the safer bacteria in the colon uh are 33:12 competed against by the more irritating bacteria and it’s the bacteria which are present that establish a whole ecosystem and even if if you eat a yogurt type bacteria a lot of them will not survive a healthy digestive system the the stomach and and pancreas secretions will simply keep them from growing but when they do get through uh and reach the colon the existing bacteria will usually just suppress their growth and um so you need something which along with the harmless bacteria like the lactobacillus you need something that produces basically a competitive antibiotic that will give themselves the chance to compete against 34:19 the more irritating bacteria and uh the years ago they were selling a product called earth based bacteria i think or earth derived bacteria and that started in the second world war the germans in north africa noticed that the indigenous people didn’t suffer from dysentery where that their soldiers were all having terrible diarrhea and they found that the remedy locally was to eat a little bit of camel camel done and so they looked at what was in the camel done and i think it was three main bacteria uh and uh those were sold in american health food stores as these earth based bacteria and uh in the ukraine and some eastern european countries 35:24 that has continued i tried one product called biosporn which was i think acilis subtilis and like an aphormous i think was the other one and they produce a very strong antibiotic and at certain times of the year uh unpasteurized cow’s milk has a lot of these which make the milk very extremely resistant to bacterial growth which it would be a good condition to have in your colon uh in uh grants pass when i was in in school there uh one of the dairies was proud of its raw milk and there was no air conditioning in the county fair building during the summer and so it was always hot where they displayed milk his competitors uh milk would go sour 36:26 by the first afternoon so they had to change the display because it would separate into a curd and cream or yellow clay and he kept his raw milk on display all the whole week of the fair and that that can only be explained by the presence of antibiotic bacteria such as subtilis which are natural when the cows are healthy and the milk isn’t too pasteurized yeah and that’s not when you hear about normally in any of the supplements but you mentioned uh since you mentioned camel dung it got me thinking about what about our poo like is our poo like a marker of how our digestion is doing would you say that you you can look at your poo and decide do i have a lot of endotoxins am i doing okay like the the structure of our poo itself you know it should be basically of the color and odor as a baby’s and if it starts smelling rotten 37:32 usually you’re feeling rotten and getting getting that through you quickly is one of the functions of a good inert fiber and the right kind of bacteria can survive your digestion and living in your colon it can simply act as an antibiotic to kill off those horrible rot producing bacteria so let’s talk about some of those fiber foods and maybe a food like that’s an antibiotic type food that you recommend for someone to improve their digestion if you look at foods at plants that grow in a warm moist dark environment which is at like our intestine to survive in that kind of a bacteria and fungus rich and supportive 38:36 environment they have to contain their intrinsic antibiotics and root vegetables typically are contain that sort of antibiotic and if you the difference between a moist above ground vegetable like lettuce i’ve experimented putting it in a room temperature or warmer place in a low oxygen environment like a bag and then put a carrot in the same situation after three days or the usual transit time the lettuce will be a rotten mess and the carrot will show be almost like you put it in showing that the carrot has a very powerful antibiotic 39:41 system so that got me started on the carrot salad idea if you shred the carrot finely and leg flies so that you have maximized the fibrous property of it that’s a physical binding agent that releases as it travels along slowly releases some of its antibiotic substances but if you eat it with a little olive or coconut oil and a little vinegar both of these saturated fats are bactericides or bacteria stats and fungicides and so you have three types of antibiotic substances in a pleasant tasting salad and doing that every day kept my intestine healthy for about 20 years 40:42 and I eventually wanted to branch out for something less boring and I found that bamboo shoots if they’re well-boiled don’t have any intrinsically harmful properties a little bit of cyanide but that’s harmless in the slow absorption but they contain quite a bit of antibiotic and inflammatory effect as well as lots of cellulose and very little of the type of material that could support bacterial growth and well-cooked mushrooms are very different kind of fiber that carries with it antibiotics and anti-inflammatory chemicals and then for for a short use a well-cooked 41:45 oat bran or wheat bran that is fine for for getting a temporary cleaning out you just don’t want to eat a lot of oat bran every day for 30 years because it does release that mild carcinogen what foods would they want to eliminate obviously there’s a lot that they could choose from but what are some of the key foods someone would want to eliminate with digestive issues the things that are hard to digest so all raw vegetables except for carrots as far as I know there were experiments early in the food industry in which they would make a selection of raw vegetables that were popular canned items in grocery stores and then they would feed one group of rats nothing but those vegetables and then another group of rats they would feed 42:51 the exact choice of vegetables but from cans cooked at a high pressure and and quick cooking to make them soft and tasty and the rats that ate the canned vegetables thrived as long as the experiment went on the ones on the raw vegetables couldn’t digest them got diarrhea and wasted away with digestive problems so raw vegetables are people people often tolerate them but they aren’t really good for anyone would you say like eliminating gluten would be another one people would want to do like gluten containing food oh yeah all of the seed substances combine either protein and oil or protein and starch and that combination is always hard on the digestion when the protein is 43:59 in the if you just grind the seed in its natural form the protein is in a storage form in in which the number of molecules is much smaller than the the sprout will contain the sprout uses those as growth substance before the plant develops the ability to make its own food so it needs some way of concentrating the essential amino acid equivalents they are not in the seed but the atoms needed to make the essential amino acids are there so if if you eat the seed the bean for example has supposedly a high percentage of protein but it’s the atoms that are needed to make a high quality protein that you find in the bean 45:02 or the cereal rather than the protein itself if you soak the seed to the point of sprouting one experiment found that there was as much as two and a half times more protein value for soaking a seed to the point of sprouting and in the process of making those functional proteins those resemble animal proteins to a great extent but in the storage form gluten is just one storage protein that has been famous for its irritating properties these proteins that are designed for storage have to have a lot of ammonia stored in a bound form so the lysine for example all of the amino acids with an amino side group these are concentrated in the storage 46:11 proteins and then they’re broken down and the amine the nitrogen is released and re-synthesized in the different amino acids arginine for example is one of the potential irritants and when when we digest it it can feed the increase of nitric oxide that goes with irritated intestine from endotoxin so a combination of bacteria and arginine from a grain or bean becomes multiply toxic and irritating and the quality of protein is simply so low that some specialists have said you can’t consider legumes and cereals as food 47:11 proteins at all they rank at six percent or so or milk ranks at 70 percent egg yolk at 100 percent and on that scale potatoes at least of some varieties are rank at higher than 100 percent because they contain materials that can use the ammonia or nitrogen containing groups that are waste in our bodies recycle them and make them into essential amino acids so their protein and potato equivalent is basically more than perfect that is so fascinating i’ve heard you say that before and i just think that that’s such an interesting thing you don’t hear as far as like advice you would give someone and supplements or lifestyle habits what other advice would you give for someone who’s looking to improve their digestion 48:19 the setting of living living in an interesting way avoiding anxiety is an essential thing you don’t want to eat while working on something anxiety provoking you want to chest it properly and avoid the indigestible raw proteins and the undercooked cereals and keep keep the nutrients in balance the milk protein and other things in milk have non-food values they have they milk is designed biologically to facilitate digestion and assimilation both of the nutrients so it 49:20 it’s a very complex system of favoring the working of the intestine the for a long time people investigating digestion have found different ways to study it for example uh have loved uh used a pouch into the stomach to watch what happens uh the conditional reflex psychology uh grew out of his discovery of what happens in the stomach uh he found that uh if the lab workers are dressed in a certain way it could disturb the dog’s digestion unexpected things could delay their their digestion by a long time so he made it very clear that the setting in which you eat it is a very crucial part to the 50:26 whole process and that’s now uh being amplified to see that those changes occur all the way along your digestive system saliva stomach uh gallbladder angrius uh wall of the intestine all the way down mood is very powerful yeah i think i could do a whole another part too with you on this i mean digestion is just unbelievably related to good health so i appreciate your time today this has been wonderful as usual and um could you just tell the listeners briefly about how they can get your newsletter because i think it’s really important that people keep up with what you’re putting out um can you let them know how they can do that um you know if you email rey pete’s newsletter at gmail.com uh you can get information on how to subscribe it’s by email it’s 28 dollars for 12 bite monthly issues that’s two years 12 issues yeah and it’s the least we 51:35 can do for all of the wealth of knowledge you give to us so so generously in these podcasts so we really appreciate your time and thank you i hope that this gives people some insight on how to improve their digestion because it seems to be very important so thank you dr pete and uh i look forward to talking with you again okay thank you okay bye bye

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