Heroes of Healthcare
Heroes of Healthcare

Episode · 1 month ago

Microbiome Medicine: Why Bacteria Should Be Your Hero

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Without bacteria, there would be no life on earth. Even as human beings, micro-bacterial cells outnumber the conglomerate of human cells 10 to 1, yet we haven’t scratched the surface of understanding the interactions between bacteria and human cells.

In today’s episode, Dr. Raphael Kellman, Internal Medicine Specialist/Integrative and Functional Medicine Leader at the Kellman Wellness Center, tells us how understanding bacteria can lead to better diagnosis for both our physical and mental well being.

Join us as we discuss:

  • Improving your microbiome
  • Non-pharmaceutical treatments to depression
  • Treating covid with stem cells and exosomes 

To hear this interview and more like it, follow Heroes of Healthcare on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wh erever you listen to podcasts.

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And Depression is an epidemic in this country in many other countries. So here we have an incredible treatment. It's non pharmacological, there's No side effects, but very few people know about it and that's that's too bad. That's a shame. You're listening to heroes of healthcare, the podcast that highlights bold, selfless professionals in the healthcare industry focused on transforming lives in their communities. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the heroes of healthcare podcast. I'm your host, Ted Wayne. I'm interested to jump in today's episode with our guest, Dr Raphael Kellman. Dr Kellman is the head of Kellman Wellness Institute and Pioneer groundbreaking new brand of medicine and healing called microbiome medicine, a pioneer in holistic medicine, author of the best selling book the microbiome Diet and the microbiome breakthrough. His books are published in fifteen languages all over the world. Some refer this as to gut medicine and and today we're gonna better understand how our diet and our digestive system influences our overall health and mental well being. Dr Kelman is a graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and as an internist and functional medicine physician. He seamlessly integrates holistic and functional medicine with his visionary understanding of the world and nature, the root of who we are and its connection to health and healing. Dr Kellman was first doctor to recognize the profound importance of the microbiome. He speaks on this topic around the world. So let's get into the show. Welcome to the heroes of healthcare podcast. Dr Kellman, thanks for joining us. Welcome. Thank you for having me. It's a very it's a pleasure. Thank you. Yeah, well, let's let's let's jump right in. Or you what I'd like to do. Usually is asked folks. First is, how did you get into medicine? What was your passion about that and what what led you to the to the path of looking into medical and becoming a doctor? Uh, answer simple. I've always wanted to help people and I found, I thought that getting into the practice of medicine would be a very um, profound way to a launch scale, to help people in a very deep way. Additionally, I you know, I wanted to have this body of knowledge, Um, because I think it's important to know as much, as much as we can about health and healing. Over time my interests became broader and broader to understand healing on a deeper level on many levels of human being and also globally what healing means for the world, for the planet. So it's it expanded both in lateral went up vertical and horizontal directions, my under my interests and my understanding of health and healing. That's great. Well, that's what really excited about, excited us...

...about having you join us on the show is because you've done so much great work in the microbiome world and what people, some people call gut medicine and how the digestive system and our stomach is such become such an integral part of our overall health and well being, and you were really a pioneer on the forefront. I think you mentioned that you you wrote your first book on the topic in two thousand fourteen, and so I know that a lot of our listeners are starting to look into this sort of medicine to help find curative avenues for different things. I have some colleagues at work who have found some great success with it. Um So if you wouldn't mind, would you, for the listeners, just kind of delve into a little bit basic what is microbiome? What is kind of this sort of medicine, and what have you learned over your years and and how is it having a big impact? So here's the revolutionary idea, the extraordinary concept and in fact, is that we're mostly bacterial cells. We we look like we're a conglomerate of human cells, but the truth is we're more bacterial cells than we are human cells. The are micro bacterial cells within US out number our own cells tend to one, which is just a staggering statistic. It's just impossible to comprehend that most of our cells are bacterial cells, and not only that, the genes that they provide in us. That plays a vital role in our physiology. There their genes out number our genes one fifty to one, meaning most of our genetics is really genetics from bacteria that also are producing all kinds of metabolites that influence our physiology, and many of these metabolites actually change genetic are genetic expression. So we're now in a universe of profound inter connections and interactions between bacteria bacterial cell products, compounds and our genetics, turning genes on and off, in addition to all the metabolic uh interventions, or the metabolic effects that bacterial byproducts have. So now it becomes a universe. It's just staggering in terms of the complexity and the interplay between bacteria and human cells to such a great degree that we're just scratching the surface and in fact I don't even think we have a good direction to understand how to properly evaluate this profound interaction and interconnectedness between back...

Tia and human cells. Uh, I think that right now we just we just jumped into the water, but no one's really thinking about, well, what is really happening and what would be the best way to navigate through this incredible see of into connections, uh, inextricable, intoconnectedness between bacteria and human cells and how that effects are not only are basic metabolism and microbiology, but also affects our genetics. Yeah, so, so in. So what I obviously we've all become more and more aware about is that is the taking of probiotics. Right. You know, five or ten years ago, not many people would supplement vitamins or whatever with taking of taking a probiotic. So what is it about our digestive system today that fifteen years ago nobody felt like they needed these things? Is it just the relevation, revelation that this is where the problem is emanating from, so we can treat it with probiotics? Or what is depleting our system of probiotics that's causing us to now need to supplement? Well, yeah, probiotics is just one facet of improving the microbiome. probiotics are just a few of the bacteria that I found in our microbiome uh as. Some of them are not even human bacteria. So the probiotics is just a small part of microbiome medicine. I coined this term microbio medicine to show it it's not just about throwing into the gut some probiotics. That's a very, very simplistic way of understand thing the complexity of the microbiome and how to change it and improve it. So yes, probiotics has played some role, of course, but it has to be targeted probiotics, because different probiotics work differently from each other and some are good for or to immune disorders, some are good for it neuro the Genera of disorders. Some are good for depression, some are good to activate the immune systems, some are good to tone or modulate the immune system. So they're not all the same and you know, we need to categorize them and to know which ones to use under which condition. That's number one. Number two, the best way to improve the microbiome is for the microbiome to get healthy endogenously, which means from within, and in order to do that it has to be diet, it had...

...to be the right types of prebiotics or compounds that help the bacteria to flourish. It could be and there's a wide range of prebiotics and and also resistant starches, which in some way also helps the nourishment and proliferation of the microbiome. And then there's postbiotics, meaning the compounds that bacteria produce that can be used in this field of microbio medicine. So it's a very complex field, very nuanced and it needs to develop, because we're just not even getting started in this and I don't think we have a clear direction in terms of understanding how to tap into their power. But I can tell you this. I want to show you how powerful and and the great potential bacteria have to help us with our health soon, or maybe it's already happening, that they're using bacteria to actually deal with the plastic problem across the globe, because bacteria can actually do great plastics, detoxify plastics with no negative effect to their own cells. You know our selves can't do that. Ourselves will die from plastics, but bacteria, because bacteria really can do everything. You know, you mentioned before who's my hero? Well, besides God, you know, the next thing I can think of is bacteria. I don't have any I don't need to have any other hero Um. You don't have to put God in bacteria in the same category. But back to but I mean bacteria. They set the stage for the development of life on earth. Without bacteria there would be no life on earth, because they produced the carbon cycle and the nitrogen cycle and and also they have this exquisite ability two shuffle DNA from one bacteria to another, and they don't have to be so close to each other. They could just have an incredible way of communicating and Shuffling and sending out their DNA to other bacteria, which is like it's like mixing a deck of cards and the more you mix them, the more diversified your your cards will be, your hand will be, and that sets the stage for the growth and development of evolution, because evolution is a language, right. It's uh, you know, four different letters that can be um combined and the myriad of ways...

...to produce all kinds of organisms. And then, and it goes on and on and on and and then the way these DNA are, genes combine in different ways and the way they turned on and off all determines the ultimate genetic expression and the development of evolution and organisms and their evolution. Bacteria set the stage for evolution of life on earth and just like they've done that for life, they continue to do that to maintain life and to help life to evolve and grow and become more and more complex. And it does this within our bodies. So just like they have vital role in the maintenance of health on earth, they also have a vital role in maintaining our health in the in ourselves, in the human body, and a vital role, that is, in orchestrating our health. So if we could imagine that they could degrade plastics, then they could do almost they could do anything. So so if somebody is suffering from something chronic and they can't seem to get a handle on it, the conventional medical path isn't working for them and they say, Hey, I think this could be a biome issue or I want to investigate that that path, how does how do you and your your group assess that? How does somebody assess well, here's what we see as a deficiency in your in your gut. We want to try a pre or a post biotic because of this. Is What we see. What is it? What is that process like? Well, there are a number of different types of tests and you could do a test like vioment kind of maps out your whole microbiome, but then there's tests like from vibrant labs that will zero in more on pathogenic bacteria and the results could be very different. Again, the technology is is still crude. Is sophisticated as it is, it's still crude and you could do different tests from different companies and you get very different results. So I like to combine like a test like biome and other companies that map out your whole microbiome and then a test like from the lab like vibrant labs, which really looks more for bacteria that are upsetting the ecology and different bacteria that have been associated with different issues in the gut, deficiencies in certain bacteria that could lead to certain issues in the gas from testinal track and in the body in general. So I to get tests like that to kind of classify deficiencies and imbalances...

...of bacteria and it that it hones in on that. So it's really a combination of different tests that we can get the best evaluation. But the clinical, uh right, part of this can't be underestimated. That's most important is the clinical presentation. Someone has an auto immune disorder, someone has neurological symptoms, neuropsychiatric symptoms, someone has inflammation, even post covid long haul problems. You know that there's a problem with the microbiome. So you don't need even you don't need a test, you just know that these problems exist and we also know which bacteria tend to be helpful for auto immune disorders, which ones tend to be helpful for neuropsychiatric issues. And then it's ultimately working on improving the microbiome, which is what I said before, is Diet, uh, the prebiotics, understanding which foods could be creating inflammation, understanding the role of inflammation on the microbiome, understand the role of the brain on the microbiome, so that that means the state of stress, but not on the current stress, but the stress that you have had for many, many years. Perhaps someone you are you know a child or a toddler. And so again, we can't underestimate the myriad of factors that effect the microbiome. And it's not just about tossing in some probiotics and then thinking that we're going to turn around the microbiome. It's not so simple. You have to delve deep into many ass facets of the physiology, which includes the emotional mental aspect of the human being, which tremendously impacts the health of the microbiome. You could take all the probiotics and probiotics in the world. If You'R is still stuck with and harboring emotional trauma, your microbiome is going to struggle. I think that I find that so interesting right because I think we often think of the the brain and the psychiatry and and the physiology of our brain and our stomach and our hearts or the other major organs as beings in some ways separate, but yet they're really so interdependent. The thought that you could think, the thought that you could treat a mental illness with a digestive Um medication or treatment or process or or probiotics sort of thing, it's just it's it's just very it's fascinating to that that that can have the result. Yeah, there's no doubt.

Look, look, it's not the only path to helping with neuropsychiatrications. It looked at some severe cases that they're altering the microbiome is not going to be sufficient. There are some situations where you can have a profound effect. Um. I wrote a book called the whole brain and mostly what I've I wrote about with is anxiety, because it can definitely help with anxiety and depression, but mild to moderate the severe depression. You still have to have a complete holistic approach where you've got to go at it from many, many different approaches and sometimes it does require antidepressants. Sometimes there's I use something called the tms machine, transcranial magnetic stimulation, which is Um magnetic pulsations to the brain, which is a totally, you know, harmless, No side effects treatment which opens up the brain and pathways that are not functioning well in depression. So there's multiple pathways that we need to use in order to help people with different conditions. So, but yet that being said, absolutely the microbiome does impact on brain function and it does play a role in the ideology of depression and anxiety and, like I wrote in that book, the whole brain. That improving the microbiome goes a long way in improving neuropsychiatric issues. So if somebody wanted to just improve their their biome, their microbiome, how would they start? Would they have to should they go get a test? Should they go get things, or did they just start? Uh, you know, does it just start with diet? I would have them start reading, reading my book the microbiome Diet. That's a good way to start to learn about it, to learn about bacteria, but to learn also the role of the mind and the brain and the emotions and and the foods that you're eating and the foods that you're not eating and your social interactions, uh, your state of mental emotional health and your state of being today. That impacts on your microbiome. So it's it's it's very it's multi factorial about, you know, how to get going in improving the microbiome. But in my book the microbiome, Diet and also the whole brain, I talk about these different facets, uh, are the human being, in human physiology and Um, the different causes that contribute to an altered microbiome and and how to address them. And that's the way to start. So, certainly, leaving out the emotional and mental component for a second, certainly dietary changes are vital in order to get started.

Testing is not the first way to go. You know, technology and all it has to be put aside at the beginning. Right now it's just really about improving your diet, improving your life, mental, emotional, Um, physical, every different level of the human being that to improve those different facets. And then down the road you could certainly do, you know, testing and get a better handle. Now, if someone has severe symptoms, then I would recommend uh a test that looks into pathology, looks into really imbalance. Is Not necessarily the biome test that maps out the whole microbiome. But really on like I'm just using an example of a company that we use called vibrant lamps, which, and there are others which show the deficiencies in certain bacteria and Zeros in one. That in a mapping of the entire microbiome. So it's more of where you're depleted or where you low versus here's what you have. So let's look it. They're not always consistent. You said that earlier, that sometimes you get varying results. Um, let's let's shift gears a little bit. You talked when you and I talked before, we talked a little bit about some of the Um work you're doing with stem cells and how that's helping and how that's helping treat long haul covid and some other things. Can you share with the listeners some of that work and what you're what you and your team are learning? Yeah, yeah, absolutely so. Stem cells are are kind of are stored cells that are progenitor cells that they can turn into any type of cell in the body. They're like a faceless cell and then they can turn into a cardiac cell, a neuron, a liver cell, a red blood cell, which is just astonishing that it could turn into anything because it all carries the same DNA. Every cell in our body, let's say the liver cell and the lung cell and the cardiac cells. They have the same DNA and yet they look so different because certain genes are turned on and certain genes are turned off, and then that makes their whole different expression of a cell. So these them cells pregender to cells. They can then turn into any cell. Now they're like our reserve cells, like when cells get old and then I functionally well or they die off, these them cells come in and replace them and repair but as we get older this themselves begin to diminish as well. So you can get them cells from umbilical cord, which we do, and that could be a great treatment for a number of different problems. We can also use exosomes that come from themselves. Now, exosomes are these all little vesicles or bubbles or packets that contain...

...all these healing compounds, trophic factors, compounds that reduce inflammation, that modulate the immune system, that stimulates cell regeneration and rejuvenation, that improves cell to cell communication. They're found in exosomes. So sometimes we use exosome treatment because exosomes gives a real hefty dose of just the exosomes but without the cells, while when you do stem cell treatment you're getting a lower amount but more continuous, continuous pumping out of exosomes. So now exosomes are much cheaper than just than doing the stem cells. So I usually start with exosomes and for some conditions that's all you need is the exosomes. So it depends on what type of disorder and the severity of it. So exosomes is and stem cells is an incredible treatment for order, immune disorders like Lupez and Hashimotos and rheumatoid arthritis. Uh, you name it, children's syndrome and SCLERODERMA, Myasthenia Gravis, graves disease, and the list goes on. It's also good for just general inflammation. It's good for neurodegenerative disorders, including dementia and Alzheimer's, early stages, but absolutely helpful for that, for cognitive decline, the patients with complaints of brain fog and the brain is not working like it used to work. Uh, that's where exosomes shine. In developmental disorders like autism and a s D, I'm seeing phenomenal results. Um, as I said, long haul covid, which is real epidemic, just like covids and epidemics. So was you know, long haul covid and epidemic and also from the vaccines. A lot of people have had significant problems in the back scene. That's just, you know, a common but this way it's not uncommon and and the way to deal with that, the best way from what I'm seeing, is the exosomes. It could reverse these problems. I've seen many order and new diseases reversed with with exosomes, and people have said that to me and you know, some pretty severe order immune disorders that have been reversed. I've seen excellent results with long haul covid that. It just turned things around. I mean, I use other treatments too, but that's one of the most important ones. So that's a very cunning edge, novel, New Frontier Treatment that we're using. I've had a lot of experience with using this. It's not out there as much as it should be, um, but it will look at them. Sorry, I was gonna ask you. Is are, though, is the treatments with the xsomes, xsomes. Is that F a approved or...

...is that in clinical trials or where is that in the what's the proliferation of it? Well, what you know what's FDA approved or what's not? It's not necessarily correlated with what's good for you and what could help you. You know, they could be diametrically opposed. Unfortunately. Sometimes, uh, I it's not FDA approved, but it's doctors could use them. You know, they're not. They're not. They don't have negative effects. There's it's it's really up to the doctor to decide to use there's many, many studies about the benefits of themselves and exosomes. So, you know, I don't know if anyone's trying to get these things FDA approved. You know, you have to seek FDA approval, but then you've got to do the types of studies that they need to to give approval and I don't think any is going to do that. Yeah, it's it's not. It's not the it's not the vaccine process we just went through now, because there there, you don't have. It's not that type of money involved and it's not coming from major pharmaceutical companies that are gonna be able to fund these types of things where you're gonna see profit. Because, remember, these are not chemicals that can be patented, right, so there's no big incentive to do studies here. So, you know, I wouldn't wait around for the FDA to tell you this is a good thing to do. Yeah, no, I was just curious and typically, and typically, how are those? How were the exisomes or the stem cells administered on naive to that intravenous yeah, okay, interesting. Are there any other places you you're seeing? Um, I mean you talked about a lot of them. Are there any other places you're seeing where the exces homes or stem cells are having big results or there are certain new areas they're starting to look into? Well, I mean it has quote unquote anti aging effects. People who just uh, you know, feeling Achy. They can't do what they used to do as efficiently without feeling, you know, crappy after they do it. We're seeing improvement in those types of issues. How do you categorize that? I guess just the effects of quote unquote aging. I bet people feel younger, greater vitality, sleeping better, just overall um improvement in health. Like the clock, biological clock has turned back a bunch of years so and for brain function, neurodegenerative disorders, as I mentioned, or the immune disorders, developmental disorders, uh, diabetes also. I've seen it have a significant improvement in payations with diabetes, Um heart disease. I...

...know there's some research righted that I'm not doing that much with heart disease, but I've seen it with diabetes. I've seen it, as I said, Order Immune Inflammatory Disorders, neuro degenerative disorders, developmental disorders, etcetera. Well, so, as we kind of come around the horn here for our time, you mentioned it a little bit, but let I know you're very passionate about the t ms you talked about and how the Um this this treatment is having some big effects. Can you tell us a little bit more about that than you've just explained and where do you see that going for you and your practice? Okay, so here's another treatment that should be out there, that should that the public should know about. It's called transcranial magnetic stimulation. But you know, the pharmaceutical companies have the loudest voice, and so people know about the prozacs and the Paxxel and Symbolta and all these other treatments that are produced by pharmaceutical companies, and people don't know about tms, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and that's it's this helmet we get it from a company called brain's way and it stimulates parts of the brain that research is showing is hypo functioning in states of depression, uh, a certain aspect of the brain. So this magnetic pulsation is like an M R pulsates and opens up these pathways in the brain to get the part of the brain that's hyper functioning associated with depression to be more active and activated and functioning better, and that's been shown to help with depression. There they improved. The success rate could be as high as sixty to sevent and and for the others, if you go on longer, it probably a percentage goes up even higher. And there's virtually no side effects. It's unheard of for a treatment to have no negative effects, nothing except maybe sometimes a mild headache, but very rare, extremely rare. It's just phenomenal. You do need a lot of treatment, that's true, but here you have a treatment that's drug free, that makes sense on a biological level, that you're can't you're repairing a basic, fundamental problem. So it's it's a very cellular based, functional type of treatment. And and yet this treatment is not widely known and depression is an epidemic in this country in many other countries. So here we have an incredible treatment that's non pharmacological, there's No side effects, but very few people know about it and that's that's too bad. That's a shame. And why do you think? Is it just because it doesn't have the PHARMACUTIC goal money backing it? Yeah, I mean no...

...one. It's doesn't get the same type of publicity. Doctors don't know about it. Um You don't have reps coming around the doctor's offices selling it, telling them about it. Then that it's not taught in medical school. It's you know what, what's taught and what's Um reinforced and what's in the journals that get on the desks of doctors are mostly pharmaceutical drugs. So everything else is sidelined. And unless you have this way of thinking you won't even even if that journal or that article comes on your desk. You'll toss it in the garbage unless you have an understanding, in a certain way, of understanding of how the body works and the origins of disease and Um dysfunction, and then that will give clarity in terms of the path to treatment. Unless you have this sort of paradigm. You're not even gonna be able to see the studies that show benefit. But types of treatments like t m S. so, Um, I guess. I mean I don't know, none of us, how to answer that. So how how does something like that become more mainstream? How do we get that to be more mainstream? Just by things like this? Well, uh, by doing more like what you're doing, just multiplied, multiplied by a million with, you know, many, many more viewers, and that's the way to get the word out. I need I need more listeners. Is that's what you're trying to see? You need more listeners. Yeah, and we need more people like you have this type of passion to do this type of good work. Well, thank you, um the so just kind of last question as we as we're starting to wrap up. Um, what or or second to last question? What excites you about the future? What are you seeing besides a lot of the stuff you talked about, but is there any one thing that you see coming down the path here or you think some of the work that's being done will lead to something that's got you really excited about the future in terms of medicine? I think we're beginning to touch upon some things right. I think the research on the microbiome is nature painting in broad strokes or telling us to look in a different way, what to understand deeper level, how nature works, how the body works, the interconnectedness of systems, as opposed to a very old approach, unfortunately it's still in practice, in vogue today, where systems and organs are compartmentalized and that understanding the vast into connectiveness. Well, thank you,...

Dr Kellman. We just love all the information you've been providing and it's so insightful and we just continue to wish you the best in their research and the work that you're doing, and please keep fighting the good fight. M We close each episode with the same question, but it sounds like you already gave us your answer, which was that your hero is bacteria. That's right. I think that bacteria are phenomenal and the so when to appreciate it, and it's just such a shame that we've had the opposite opinion about them. And then what we really should have and understand their exquisite capacity to produce life on earth and their ability to help the US heal and the planet to heal and to regenerate and juvenate once again. Oh, that's well, we appreciate it and that that that's definitely the most unique answer you've had, but I'd also like to say it's also the most Um enlightening one as well, because I don't think I've ever looked at it or thought of it and quite the way that you describe. So I appreciate it very much. You're very welcome. Ted. Thank you for having me. Yeah, thanks so much for your time. We'll look forward to hearing from you again. Yes, thank you. You've been listening to heroes of healthcare. For more, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit us at heroes of healthcare PODCAST DOT COM.

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