Gut Health & Microbiome: Ayurveda & Modern Science with Prof Keith Wallace
This is a transcription from Mark's Ancient Wisdom from Modern Health Podcast.
Original PODCAST Available Here (Scroll to Episode #46)
Mark Bunn: (MB)
Welcome to an absolutely fascinating chat about gut health with one of the world's leading researchers and scientists on this whole area; Dr. Keith Wallace. If you're like me, 30 years ago you probably never spoke the term “gut health”. Today, gut health is spoken about everywhere. Keith is one of the world's premier researchers and scientists in the area of physiology and consciousness. He was the first scientist to show a fourth state of human consciousness in his doctoral dissertation at UCLA.
After being the founding president of the Maharishi International University in Iowa, he's the chair and professor of the Department of Physiology and Health. He also supervises all the PhD programs in physiology at the University. For about the last 50 years, he has traveled the world speaking on all things Maharishi Ayurvedic science, consciousness, and what we're going to talk about a bit today; Ayurvedic medicine.
In addition, he's written and published many books. I remember the first book I ever read of Keith’s, almost 30 years ago, The Physiology of Consciousness; was one of the best books I've ever read. More recent books include Dharma Parenting, Total Brain Coaching, The Coherence Code, and what we're going to talk about today, his book; Gut Crisis.
Microbiome & Gut bacteria
That idea I touched on earlier was when you were a boy and when I was a boy growing up, we'd never heard of these terms: gut health, probiotics, sauerkraut or kefir. If someone had said the word “lactobacillus”, I would have thought it was an Eastern European soccer player. Today you can't go anywhere without someone being gluten free or dairy free, etc. What's your take on this? How have we gone so quickly, within 20 or 30 years, from almost never talking about it to now it being absolutely everywhere?
Paleo Diet & Ayurveda: Healthy or Harmful?
1 Minute Overview
The Paleo Diet (and other similar ones) and the general Paleo philosophy is great in terms of focusing us back on ‘real’ food (eliminating processed/junk food), minimising or avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sugar, as well as for promoting good exercise. However, according to ancient, time-tested health sciences such as Ayurveda, the heavy emphasis on meat, and completely avoiding grains, dairy, and legumes is not ideal.
It’s the ignorant way we consume these foods in our modern world, not the foods themselves, that is harmful. Consume them as they were designed and we can get all the benefits of the Paleo diet, plus even more benefits.
Recent research from Japan backs up what traditional health systems have suggested for millennia – that eating too quickly can lead to stacking on the kilos.
Scientists from Osaka University looked at the eating habits of 3,000 people and suggest stuffing down meals in a hurry may be enough to nearly double a person’s risk of being overweight. The study which was reported in the British Medical Journal, showed that compared with normal-speed eaters, fast-eating men were 84% more likely to be overweight and women were just over two times as likely.
Standing Desks – The Latest Buzz in Office Health
About three months ago I bought myself a standing desk. What’s a standing desk you might ask? It’s an electronically controlled desk, that is height adjustable. You can put it down low to work sitting down, or you can raise it up so that you can stand upright while working.
Why would you want to do this? Because it’s been shown to be one of the best things you can do for your health (and productivity). Research suggests that office workers who spend most of their day sitting down have significantly poorer health, including problems with weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and musculoskeletal injuries due to poor posture/ergonomics.
Low Carb Beers – Healthier or Not?
If you are a beer drinker, but are conscious of your weight, you might have been sold on the marketing of low carb beers recently. Apparently, since their inception, sales have gone through the roof. Unfortunately, we are the bearer of bad news.
Though carbohydrates are getting a bad rap of late, it’s not them alone that are important for your weight. It’s the total number of kilojoules, that is most important. And unfortunately, most of these low carb beers have similar (usually slightly less) total kilojoules as their more conventional counterparts. This is not to mention the fact that they have the same amount of ‘alcohol’, which of course, seems to be overlooked in the whole debate. If you are thinking about your ‘health’ and not just your weight, then that alcohol factor is even more of a consideration. They are low carb (sort of), not low alcohol.
Is water good for weight loss?Do you know someone (yourself even) that eats ‘moderately’ sized meals, exercises, is always drinking lots of water etc, but still can’t shift those excess kilo’s? Frustrating huh?
There may be a reason – here’s something to think about (even if you aren’t trying to lose weight).
The French Paradox – how eating should be !!!
Wish you could eat like the French – lots of oil, cheeses, creams, wines and still be slim and healthy? Well you can, you just need to …..eat like the French!!!
This is taken from an article written some time ago. It’s quite detailed, so I’ve highlighted main points if you just want to scan.
Ayurvedic Wisdom – Eating ‘Light’ at Night
The evening meal – a key to super energy, good sleep and weight loss … or to sickness and suffering
Food that we do not digest by the time we go to bed sows the seeds of sickness and disease.
If there was a pill that could give us up to 50% more energy, significantly reduce our risk of chronic disease and almost guarantee a healthy weight for the rest of our life, many people would probably pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars for it. Ironically, 90 – 95% of us (Westerners) do something each and every day that, if changed, could deliver all the above benefits and more. It doesn’t take any more time out of one’s day, actually saves money, and is a hallmark of the healthiest, longest living people throughout time. It is the most basic, simple, yet rarely followed wisdom of ‘eating light at night’.
The 80% Rule – how effective is it?
Ever felt frustrated that you just can’t do everything you are ‘meant’ to, in order to be ‘healthy’? Do you even get to the point where you create ‘more stress’ trying to fit all the ‘healthy’ things into your life?
Well, I can assure you, that you are not alone…and I have a funny little story that has a lesson that I’m sure will help.
This is just a simple reminder for anyone looking to lose weight.The most important thing in losing weight is to…..NOT TO FOCUS ON LOSING WEIGHT.
Focusing solely on ‘what we weigh’ is a recipe for disaster and often results in compromising our health.
Everyone of us is different, and you have a healthy (ideal) weight range for your particular body type – pre-determined genetically.Some people are naturally slim – these are the people with a ‘high metabolism – commonly known in scientific/technical terminology as ………….’BASTARDS’.Others are NATURALLY of a bigger build (the ‘cuddlies’). This is perfectly normal & healthy for them.
Grazing – is it healthy? NOT REALLY!!!
“Don’t be a Cow” …nothing personal, I’m talking about ‘grazing’. Grazing – eating lots of small meals regularly throughout the day has become an all popular pillar of many weight loss & energy boosting regimes in recent times. It came about because most people generally eat ‘too much’ at any given meal, thus overloading their digestion, leading to sluggishness & weight gain etc.
Science therefore looked for ways to increase our metabolism. Of course, research showed that eating food increases metabolism! Therefore it made sense to modern science to advise eating smaller meals more often – as a way of keeping metabolism active! Now, this logic makes sense when you consider metabolism ‘in isolation’ – which modern science loves to do. However, remember ‘health advice’ like this (and fad diets like Adkins etc) generally come about from findings based on one narrow result – e.g metabolic rate/weight loss – they are almost never based on the fundamental laws of nature that support ‘all-round health’. So, while many people feel better on this ‘grazing’ regime, the improvement is due to the fact they are not overloading their digestion at any one time, not the fact they are eating ‘more regularly’.
Total Weekly Activity Time – how do you rate?
Take a minute to add up your ‘Total Activity Time’ for last week – or a typical week. Include any activity over 3 minutes in duration – do not worry about intensity – just that you are moving, e.g. any walking – to bus stop, to office, to church, to the ice-cream shop!! Any structured exercise – gym, jogging, ‘real’ sports (lawn bowls only counts for 25% – no offense!). Other activities – chasing/playing with your kids, chasing/playing with spouse!!
Weight Loss – Is High or Low Intensity Exercise Best?
If exercising for weight loss/weight management, don’t make the mistake that you have to exercise at high intensity. It’s commonly prescribed that the higher intensity, the greater the calories we burn. While this is true (during exercise), the calories burned in one high intensity workout is insignificant in comparison to the calories from one decent meal.
Breakfast – Is ‘NOT’ the most important meal of the day
An abbreviated excerpt from ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health’ – Book 1.
If you have heard anything about healthy eating in recent times, you will no doubt be aware of the suggestion that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. Alternatively, ‘You need to have a good, hearty breakfast to get your day off on the right note’. Or, ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper’.
As this is a fairly universally accepted part of modern health science these days, it is worth seeing if it is true. In two words, it’s ‘ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!’