Dr. Paul Clayton. is a leading scientist in the field of nutrition: he is the author of the book “Strengthening Your Immune System: How to Fight Infection, Allergy and Autoimmune Disease”, and today we talk with him about dysbiosis, leaky gut, and how they can influence Rheumatoid Arthritis.

We discuss in this interview:

  • Natural pharmacology
  • Dysbiosis and the relationship between diet and lifestyle
  • Four major drivers of disease
  • Re-configuring our diet and metabolism
  • Microbiome and its diffusion throughout the body
  • Probiotic bacteria and the importance of Butyrate to manage inflammation
  • An experiment on autoimmune response
  • Zinzino balance oil
  • Fish oils
  • Prebiotic fibers

Clint – Hello, my wonderful friends. Thanks for joining me for this episode where we have a very special guest, his name is Dr. Paul Clayton. He is a leading scientist in the field of nutrition. He is a former chair of the Forum of Food and Health in the UK and senior scientific advisor to the UK Government’s Committee on the Safety of Medicines. He’s a clinical pharmacologist and the author of six books. I’ve read one of those books called Strengthening Your Immune System, How to Fight Infection, Allergy and Autoimmune Disease. Now, I’ve been following Dr. Clayton for about eight months watching his information online, and I wanted to reach out to him. Basically, as a sort of fan of his work and supporter of his work, I ask him if he would speak with us today about prebiotic fibers and what they are, the connection between dysbiosis and our health, leaky gut, and autoimmunity. So that’s what we’re going to cover today. Good day, Dr. Paul.

Dr. Clayton – Good day Clint, nice to meet you electronically.

Clint – Yes. The reference here is that we met up in person and then we needed to get into separate spaces so that we could record this over Zoom. So thanks for joining us today. Why don’t we start with the fundamentals? What is a pharmacologist?

Dr. Clayton – Pharmacology really describes the study of (inaudible). There’s also an area of pharmacology that is rather less familiar to many people because it’s not economically as important. You’ve got pharmaceutical or synthetic pharmacology, which is what I was taught at Edinburgh University. Then, there is the much more diverse world of what used to be called natural pharmacology. It is where we focus instead on the pharmacological attributes and that is the very specific functions of foods and food derivate. It turns out that not only is this much more diverse science than the science that focuses on synthetics, but it is also very much more important in determining our overall health and health prospects. After I left medical school, which is a long time ago now, I started gravitating to the dark side, which is the non-commercial. At that time world of natural pharmacology and almost by default I became known for doing this. I wrote a textbook on this, which is probably 15-20 years old now. It is where I was trying to take all of this science that was being generated by different experts in different labs and universities all over the world. Also, I was trying to put it all together into something that was at least partly coherent. For example, the first geographers who were putting together maps of the continents or the dark continent such as Africa, going round the edges, and each one of them was contributing a little bit to the outline. Then, what I was really trying to do was to join all those bits up and show what this new continent might be. I think I got a reasonable amount right and I got plenty of it wrong. But science, like history is revisionism, you change and you adapt as you go. People come and tell you that really you’ve made a huge mistake here, or you could have put it better there. Thus, that’s the most interesting and useful part of being a scientist and a researcher. Those bits where people can demonstrate to you that you’re wrong. Thus, that is when you’re forced to start rebuilding the model and hopefully making it into something better. I’ve been doing that for a long time and that initial textbook. I think it was a stab in the right direction. Not a bad first attempt, I suppose. However, I think we’ve moved on considerably in the last couple of decades. Now, we are at a point where we can actually understand with some clarity what the nature of the relationship is between the dietary shift which has occurred over the last three or four generations. Thus, resulting in changes in patterns of public health. Once you’ve got that background, we can begin to assemble or design antidotes to the modern diet and lifestyle that are manifestly harming us so much and in so many ways.

Clint – What would be some of the top few shifts that we have observed in society over those decades or even prior maybe in the last hundred years?

Dr. Clayton – Probably the thought leader in this area is a man called Barry Popkin, who is an emeritus professor at the population Center associated with the University of North Carolina. He’s published a lot of papers about this and you go back 25 years or so. When he started talking about nutrition transitions, he was really originally talking about a period that was dominated by food insecurity. But when the foods that you did have access to really basic produce, you could fish or farm or hunt in an era of not just food security but food overabundance. Thus, those foods no longer have very much to do with basic produce at all, but a diet that is now consisting more and more extensively of ultra-processed foods. We’re like Wily Coyote and those old Roadrunner cartoons. We’ve run over the edge of the cliff. Then, we haven’t quite realized it was starting to look down. What I’m saying and what many other people are saying is, we’ve got something really wrong here. It is because if you look at the trends for cancer, almost all cancers, they’re trending up. For example, heart disease is trending up. Diabetes, neurodegenerative conditions, allergies, and your own specialty, autoimmune diseases are all of these are going up. The only things that are coming down are life expectancy and health expectancy, fertility, and IQ. We’re in a mess, a real mess. It’s absolutely blindingly obvious that the pharmaceutical strategies, which is where the money and pharmacological research are totally unsuited to getting us out of this predicament. We need to look elsewhere. It turns out that the solutions which are becoming clearer by the day, derive from the world of natural pharmacology or from food.

Clint – You frequently used the word dysbiosis and I’ve heard you describe dysbiosis as a leading cause, or if not the leading cause of diseases in our modern world. Would you define dysbiosis for us and clarify if indeed you do believe that or if I’ve misinterpreted it?

Dr. Clayton – It’s a gross misinterpretation. Dysbiosis is important, and let me just come back to that in a minute. I think that where we’ve got to this idea of diseases of civilization that are becoming so rife, the increase in frequency, and decreasing in latency is a huge problem. There are at least four major drivers. One of those is chronic inflammatory stress, which dysbiosis sort of feeds into, but it’s a different thing on its own type in malnutrition. If you’re eating a lot of empty calories and not that many calories anyway, you’re going to be low in a lot of vital cofactors. Then you have something called glycemic mismatch, which is where we’re eating a diet with lots of sugars and simple carbs. At the same time, we’re very physically inactive. The muscles aren’t removing all this glucose from the bloodstream and that leads to all kinds of metabolic problems as well. The fourth major driver of disease, I think, is dysbiosis. I won’t say it’s the most important and I won’t even say it’s (inaudible) it’s certainly in the top four. I think the whole point of breaking down this very complex relationship between diet and lifestyle on the one hand and our increasingly sick society on the other. Then, you have to move away from calling them diseases of civilization because it’s a resonant term, but it is very unhelpful. It’s much too diffuse with what we need to do or what I’ve been trying to do for many years is to parse the thousands of variables that are implicit in the modern diet of lifestyle. From this, this noise tries to derive the drivers of the disease. I think those are the four drivers I mentioned, you are then in a position for the first time to develop antidotes. But you have to be granular, more granular in your approach if you want to do that. Thus, this led to our developing an anti-inflammatory regime as a way to restore the micro and fashion nutrient profile, which is type b malnutrition. Another strategy for glycemic mismatch and a force to prevent or reverse dysbiosis. Then what we find is in real-world terms, when you put these four things right, the vast majority of people who have a chronic degenerative disease, or let’s call them diseases of civilization or the symptoms become less. In many cases, they go into remission. In the majority of cases, these people become pharmaceutically independent. Are they cured? No, I don’t think that the concept of cure or prevention or maintenance. They don’t actually make much sense when you look at the disease from this perspective. Now, that’s the big picture. Let me focus on dysbiosis.

Clint – Before you do, if people at this point are thinking those addressing those four things, that sounds brilliant. How do I access whatever it is that you’ve mentioned? As for the audience, I don’t know what this answer is. So what does it look like? How do you help these people and how does our audience access this as well?

Dr. Clayton – All right. Okay. Sorry, I wasn’t really being commercial enough.

Clint – Unless it involves some commercialism, in which case you could speak in general terms.

Dr. Clayton – This is a complex regime. We’re talking about reconfiguring your diet or adding or creating a set of pharmacy nutritional tools you can add to your diet that will basically take your metabolism. Your metabolism and send it back in time, put it in a time machine, send it back 150 years to a time before the industrialization of food. When you do that, what we think is going to happen is you will then assume not just a metabolism, but a level of protection against the chronic degenerative diseases that we know was the case 150 years ago. We know this from the historical records. You don’t have to go back to the Neolithic era to find a population that has an ideal diet and was extremely healthy. You only have to go back, for example, to the mid-Victorian era, the period from 1850 to 1895 in England. Wherein they were eating a much healthier diet and had a health expectancy that was far greater than ours and a life expectancy that matched ours. You can’t put all this into a pill. What you can do is you can put it into four tablets, a shot of a rather complicated version of fish oil, a scope of prebiotic fibers, and either some dietary and physical exercise changes or a couple of shortcuts, which we can perhaps talk about if you want to go there.

Clint – Well, I don’t know any shortcuts to exercise, so that piqued my curiosity.

Dr. Clayton – Well, people hate this idea because there’s this ingrained idea that we have no gain, without pain. I like physical exercise because I walk or run 30 miles a week. I love doing that because I’ve always been involved in athletics and athletic activity one sort or another, but not everybody does. I say to people don’t eat so much sugar, quite so many carbs, do take more physical exercise, but some people won’t because some people can’t. People with hemiplegia, paraplegics, diabetic neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, or other arthritis involving the ankles and knees, and hips. So for people like that, there are shortcuts, there are hacks, and we can get into that at some point if you want to do so. But let’s hone in on dysbiosis.

Clint – Yes, perhaps we can pick that up on another discussion, another time.

Dr. Clayton – The whole genome, which is your genes and the microbial genes which far outnumber your genes, by the way, and that’s the microbiome. A large amount of that, microbiota lives in the colon, but there’s not a single physiological or anatomical compartment in the body, which doesn’t have its own microbiome. I mean, there are bugs of various sorts inside the central nervous system in your lungs, kidneys, liver, and they’re everywhere. It’s important to have the right numbers of the right ones, the extent to which we cohabit with them, it’s incredible. They are absolutely interwoven through every one of our organs, every one of our tissues, and our health absolutely depends on them having them in the right place and at the right time. Now, one of the places where you have to focus your attention, to begin with is on the microbiota in the gut, in the large bowel, to be precise, or mostly. It is because that’s where the largest numbers of these unicellular organisms live. If you are eating a preindustrial diet, you’re going to be eating quite large amounts of carbohydrates, which are non-digestible. So when you eat them, you don’t digest them, you don’t break them down into sugars, but they’re fermentable. They have a slightly different structure from glucose, sucrose, or starch. They pass through a small intestine intact because you can’t break them down. You don’t have the enzymes to do that and they become fuel not for you, but for the probiotic species that live predominantly in the large intestine. Now, because the bacteria that like to use this as fuel, they’re mostly gram-positive because they’re looking for fuel. They stay in the lumen of the gut and that’s where they go to find their food source. When they find it, they will take these fermentable carbohydrates and break them down into various short-chain fatty acids. Butyrate is the one that has all the publicity, but it is just as important. Butyrate is a very powerful anti-inflammatory compound, and it reduces inflammation in the intestines to a low and physiologically appropriate level. There’s always going to be a low level of inflammation. It is because that’s where you are meeting the outside world substances that you’re ingesting. Butyrate is also very good at killing cancer cells or telling cancer cells not just to commit suicide, but also to re-differentiate. Then become something close to being normal cells again, as opposed to being aggressive, unruly, and invasive. So if you’re eating these prebiotic digestible fibers, you’re encouraging the growth of the probiotic species and they are saying thank you. In a way, this is a very happy discussion that’s taking place or a collaboration. They are then telling your gut, don’t be inflamed, and don’t be cancerous. By the way, we’ll do some other good things for you as well. It is because that has now been deeply implicated in, for example, various conditions in the central nervous system and elsewhere in the body. Now, we always used to eat these fibers. Basically, the microbiota was always traditionally anti-inflammatory and this is a good configuration. What has happened is that, especially over the last generation or two, the development of the industrialization of foods and the formulation of increasing numbers of ultra-processed or processed foods has led to a substantial decline in our intake of these prebiotic fibers. Probably by about an order of magnitude and in some cases more. So what that means is the probiotic species. They’re stopped or they don’t disappear altogether. The numbers are sort of whittled down and there are a few still hanging on in there, but they’re no longer able to do very much. Then, what happens is that the ecological niches that they occupied are taken over by other microbial species, many of which happen to be gram-negative. Now, I’m not saying that all gram-positive is good and all gram-negative is bad because it’s not like that at all. But in the gut, if you’re starting to develop overwhelming numbers of gram-negative species, there are a couple of characteristics of this population that isn’t quite so good.

Dr. Clayton – Firstly, they’re not necessarily sacrilege. Their fuel source is not the fibers, the prebiotic fibers that the probiotic species, like many of them, are proteolytic. They start eating up the proteins in the gut and they start to erode or break down the mucosal layers that lie over and protect the monocytes, the cells that line the colon. They come into direct contact with the colonocytes and that’s one problem. The second problem is that they’re gram-negative for a reason. When Nils Gram, the Danish microbiologist, developed a gram stain the gram-positive bacteria take the stain that gram-positive because of the nature of the chemistry of the cell walls. The gram-negative bacteria don’t because they’re coated with a very waxy lipid substance, which doesn’t accept the stain. Thus, the stain that got gram-negative and this waxy substance is something called lipopolysaccharide or it’s a family of liquid polysaccharides and they are extremely pro-inflammatory. Now, all these gram-negative bugs coated in lipopolysaccharide are coming into contact with the lining of the gut, causing obviously huge amounts of inflammation or chronic inflammation. The butyrate that used to be there is gone because those good bugs are gone. Now, you have a totally different conversation or environment taking place inside the gut. This new microbiome, this matter which is just biotic in the sense that it’s no longer healthy, is creating inflammation and inflammatory stress does two things. It encourages the growth of cancerous cells and tumorigenesis in general, plus metastasis and angiogenesis. But the other thing that it does is a huge amount of inflammation in the lining of the gut. The colonocytes start to separate the tight junctions that normally hold them together, start to take a different configuration altogether, and the normal barrier epithelial function of the colon is lost. This is what some people call a leaky gut, and then various other things start to go wrong. For example, one of the things that start to go wrong is macromolecules, which should stay in the gut because you don’t want them inside the body. Now, they get into the bloodstream and into the portal circulation, and one of those is the lipopolysaccharide itself. This is a condition that is known clinically as endotoxemia. Now you’ve got these highly pro-inflammatory compounds floating around in the bloodstream. Where does the blood supply from the colon go? It goes to the liver. This is deeply implicated in one of the factors that drive is driving the current epidemic of non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease. If left untreated, will progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and then to a couple of different types of liver cancer. Then, all of those problems are spiraling out of control and they’re really numerically very important now. So that’s one set of problems that is serious enough on its own. The LPS doesn’t stop at the liver because it’s being circulated elsewhere. Now, this is being implicated in cardiovascular pathology and in central nervous system pathologies. It’s a mess. You’re reconfiguring really a large part of your whole metabolism and you’re moving it into a direction that is involved in causing a wide range of different clinical disease states. That’s bad enough. But wait, there’s more. If the gut barrier function has broken down past a certain point, you now get what looks like the translocation not just of macromolecules. Likewise, the microbes push out of the gut and into the bloodstream. Now, you’re getting mixtures of bacteria and some of which are extremely problematic. It is because it moves into other tissues in the body. This is beginning to change our idea about what autoimmune disease might be. This is where I think we’re coming very close to your own main subject of interest. It is because rheumatoid arthritis is one of the conditions that we now know is associated with dysbiosis. How is that?

Dr. Clayton – Well, very recently a rather beautiful experiment was done. If I had all my papers in front of me, I’d be able to impress you all by saying, it was done by this group at this university, but I can’t. Basically, what they did was they took gut microbes and allowed them to be introduced into other parts of the body, and it triggered the autoimmune disease. How is that happening? The first model of autoimmune diseases and it was known that this very often followed an infection was molecular mimicry. There’s a grouping on the surface of the target organ, which is a bit like the molecules that you find on the surface of the bacterium. Thus, the immune response was directed initially towards that pathogen. Once the pathogen is gone, that immune response, those antibodies, and those adaptive immune cells are now looking at a similar target which might be in your thyroid or in your joints. As a result, that’s what autoimmune disease was. I was never convinced by that and many other immunologists, and I’m not a serious immunologist. We don’t see how that’s possible either. This is where the new model comes in. Maybe when you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system isn’t reacting to you or it’s not reacting to your tissues. What it is reacting to is a component of the bacteria that in this case is migrated out of the gut. It’s an intracellular pathogen and it’s got inside the cells in your thyroid or in your joints or in any other tissue where you have an autoimmune disease. It’s inside the cells where the immune system can’t get it. However, fragments of that bacterium are being expressed on the cell surfaces in the target tissue. Then, the immune system is now trying to attack the pathogen and it’s damaging the target site incidentally, that is not what it’s actually reacting to. Yet, it’s the fragments of the pathogens. Now, there is evidence accruing to support that. There was this first little study that I told you about, and I referred to that in my blog.

Clint – Would that fragment that’s showing up on the surface of human cells that is pathogenic be a peptide or a small protein?

Dr. Clayton – It might be, but I don’t think anybody knows yet.

Clint – Yeah, right.

Dr. Clayton – Some evidence for this comes from various trials that have been done treating autoimmune diseases with long courses of antibiotics, which have produced some very positive results. I think until now, no one quite understood why that would be effective. But now we have a model which actually helps to explain why long-term antibiotic therapy could be effective. Interestingly, it is only those antibiotics that have the ability, however limited, to get into the cells. Now, I can tell you that this is not yet published, but I can tell you without creating too many problems. There is a new antibiotic in town, which it’s effectively an amplification of one of the humoral components of the innate immune system. I’m sorry about the jargon, but at the end of the day, what it produces are effector molecules, which have a very low molecular weight with between 85 and 95. So unlike most antibiotics, where the molecular weight is probably 400 and up. These are very small molecules and they can get into every biological space in the body. They can even cut through caseous tissue. So we’re pretty certain this is going to be a very quick fix for tuberculosis. But the nice thing is not only are these compounds, do they get inside cells, but we’re mimicking the action of the part of the body’s own immune system. It’s absolutely non-toxic and you don’t kill off the symbionts. This is designed to kill off pathogens and it doesn’t cause the other problems that antibiotics do, which can make you rather ill by killing off the good bacteria. This doesn’t do that, and it’s very specific and it is very good at getting into cells. Then, the results come out of this and I can’t say very much more about it because, as I said, the study is ongoing. The preliminary results are absolutely phenomenal. The groups of patients with longstanding autoimmune diseases are now off their meds because they don’t need them anymore. It is because the chronic intracellular infection that was creating the symptoms of autoimmune disease has been cleared.

Clint – I’m going to get a lot of questions about this. To the extent that you can tell us, is it a natural antibiotic or is it a synthetic lab-made thing?

Dr. Clayton – It’s natural in the sense that we use an enzyme that is derived from in this case because it’s the best source of cow’s milk. But the enzyme in cow’s milk is almost identical to the enzyme that we have and that all other mammalian life forms have as well. What we then do is take that enzyme, stabilize it on an inert platform and feed it its natural substrates. Then the enzyme does its thing and it produces these effector compounds which are hypothyroid (inaudible) and hypothyroid cyanide ions. These are the ions that get into all of your tissues and wipe out the bad guys. Then, what we’re seeing in the clinical trial. Basically, it can cure autoimmune diseases. Now, again, I’ve got to be very careful. I think we have to be when we use words like cure because patients like this if they go back to their old diet. Then, you recreate dysbiosis and you then start more of these bad-acting microbes getting into the blood and getting elsewhere or causing problems. You’re back to where you started. With the way we look at it, let’s restore you by meiosis. Thus, there are no more of these microbes getting into the blood. Of course, people feel better anyway, because if you have endotoxemia, you don’t feel like it, right? Then, we’ll start bringing in this novel antibiotic treatment. Once the symptoms of the autoimmune disease have basically disappeared, we say to them, now you have an obligation. You must make a commitment to maintaining a healthy microbiota from here on in. Otherwise, you may go back to the way you were and this is very different from the way in which most medics practice. Most medics practice hit-and-run medicine, and it’s not particularly joined-up thinking. What we’re saying is, okay, there is an initial hit that we can do with this novel antimicrobial compound. But then once you’ve done that, let’s reconfigure you so that you’re now in a holding pattern that is not going to drive you back to either autoimmune or other forms of the disease.

Clint – In which brings us back to those four, four approaches that you mentioned before. Well, I know one of the research areas that you’ve done very much so. It is because it’s the Zinzino balance oil, which I have mentioned on a past podcast, but only in passing. We’ve never gone into detail about it. It’s the omega three supplement that I take and recommend. You were part of the research team for that. In fact, sorry, was I incorrect there?

Dr. Clayton – No, I didn’t develop this. This was actually developed almost a quarter of a century ago by a group of Norwegian researchers. I must give credit where credit is due. They were people like Austral and Alvo, and there’s a group of people who did this work. I mean, just really beautiful work. I got into this much later and I was probably the first person to explain why it worked and why commercial fish oils don’t. It is because there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance going on here. We have a lot of data that says eating fish and particularly cold water, oily fish is very good for you, but fish oil is useless. It’s not just me saying that, it’s the Cochrane Collaboration. They’ve come out with numerous studies which say that fish oil doesn’t work and we know it doesn’t protect against cardiovascular endpoints, neurological points, or ophthalmological endpoints, and it’s just a wash. But why is that? Why is oily fish useful and fish oil isn’t? The answer very simply is two very different things. There are lots of things in oily fish which aren’t necessarily in the fish oil at all. So what we did and what the Norwegian researchers before me did was to reconstitute the oily fish by putting something very important back into the fish oil. These are a group of compounds called polyphenols. They’re unfulfilling, which means they are part of the molecule, have solubility in oil, and part of it has solubility in water. Thus, it means that these compounds will graduate around the surface of a droplet of omega-three and stabilize it. Then, the marine food chains are they coopetition together from the marine algae that produce them both into the gut and then the body of the krill, the gut and the body of the pelagic fish, and so on. Then, all the way up to the apex predator who might on this occasion be an inmate or it could be someone living in Tromso, which is where a lot of the research was done. All we’ve done with balance oil is approach this from a slightly different angle. Instead of using the flora tannins, which are the amplified polyphenols formed in nature. We’ve used equivalent compounds from olive, which tastes a little better and also have connotations of the healthy Mediterranean diet. It’s a little bit spurious in my view, but the physicochemical characteristics of the olive polyphenols are crucial. Here they do the same thing as the polyphenols from the seaweed and that’s why anyone can produce fish oil which would get into your blood. However, it doesn’t go any further. If the polyphenols are there as well, they’ll get into your blood and then it’ll be incorporated in your cell membranes, and that’s where you need to happen. I did a little bit I added a bit to that, but I did not do the original work.

Clint – I’ve explained this before and I think picking up on maybe something you said or a research paper I found. In fact, it was your research paper that you wrote about the fish oils publication that you did. It was about how in some cases when there is a lot of inflammation in the body and therefore a high degree of oxidation, fish oils can be contraindicated in some elderly folks and those with high inflammation because of the potential. Essentially the oils just get oxidized quickly in a body that has a lot of free radicals.

Dr. Clayton – Well, if you co-ingest the fish oils with iron or heme or various other compounds like that, you will get an accelerated breakdown of these long-chain highly unsaturated fatty acids. Also, they’re really quite fragile. I think the fish oil industry made a huge mistake when they took the omega threes out of the fish and stabilized them with the Alpha Tocopherol or (inaudible) or Ascorbic Succinate. Those antioxidants will keep the oil sweet while it’s in a capsule or in a stainless steel holding tank, but not once you eat them. We know this because, first of all, Cochrane Collaboration fish oil doesn’t work. The second thing is we’ve got this huge library of blood samples now, which is, I think close to a million. It is the largest in the known universe by far and what we know is that in Europe. For example, people who don’t eat fish and who don’t eat fish oil supplements have a 6 to 3 ratio in their cell membranes of about 15 to 1, which is pro-inflammatory. Also, it is why the inflammatory disease is so common. If you take a fish oil supplement, that does bring the ratio down a bit from an average of 15 to 1 down to about maybe 11 to 1. You’re moving in the right direction, but you’re still pro-inflammatory, which is why fish oil doesn’t work. But in those very small communities that you still find in parts of the northwest of Europe, where people eat a lot of mackerel, herring, and things like that. Their ratios are down between 3 or 4 to 1, and they have far. They really don’t have very much inflammatory disease at all. If you take balance all uses, they’re in that same group. So omega-three’s really are important and we always knew that. Now, we know how to make them work and it’s by adding these very specific polyphenols, which are the chaperone molecules that nature designed to actually undertake that task.

Clint – Love it. Okay. Well, we had a great discussion around that and it was unplanned. So that’s wonderful if people are interested in this particular product. Head over to www.rheumatoidsolutions.com/omega-3/ and you’ll learn more about it there. There’s a link there if you’d like to get yourself that particular oil. I use the vegan version of the oil and the lemon flavored and I found that one to be the best.

Dr. Clayton – Have you tried the Tutti Frutti?

Clint – I haven’t had the tutti frutti.

Dr. Clayton – I mean, it’s the food tech who does all this stuff and I don’t care what it tastes like. But what I do know is that the food techs have done a really good job in producing a product that I can actually drink and I can get my kids to drink it. I grew up in the fifties, in that situation after the war, we were fed with orange juice and cod liver oil. Then, the cod liver oil was a nightmare and it was traumatic having to drink that every day. I mean, compared to that, everything says things are so much better.

Clint – My four-year-old asks for this particular oil. He says, is it my time? I only give it to him every couple of days and when he sees me have it, he says, is today my day daddy? He’s leaning in thinking he gets it. He likes to be perceived as also like of high tolerance like he’s hardcore because he can have daddy’s oil. It tastes great.

Dr. Clayton – Well, I’ve seen the commercials for it and you see these models that are sipping fish oil as if it was fine wine. I don’t go along with that because it’s not that great, but it’s not bad.

Clint – I want to make sure we allocate enough time to prebiotic fibers. Let me ask you a bunch of questions at once so that you can go on another thought rollercoaster. Can we eat enough diversity of foods that contain a range of different prebiotic fibers to adequately serve our healthy bacteria to create butyrate adequately? So that’s question number one. Then question number two, tell us about the product that you co-designed or researched yourself that can achieve this task.

Dr. Clayton – Well, let me answer them in order. Can we eat enough of all the right foods? Thus, the answer is absolutely yes. You would have to be you have to do a little bit of research and some of it wouldn’t necessarily be easy to access. FOS and inulin are two really important prebiotic fibers you can find in chicory roots. In fact, you can buy inulin for £5 bags of the stuff over the internet. I think a lot of it is derived from either chicory root or Jerusalem artichokes and that is half of the solution. It’s not all of the solutions because you need a whole range of different chain lengths of fibers. The importance of that is because the short-chain ferment quite quickly and the intermediate chains ferment rather more slowly. Also, its very complex prebiotic fibers take a long time to be broken down into ferment. The reason why you’d need this kind of time-release approach is that once this blend of prebiotic fibers passes through the small intestine, it arrives intact in the large bowel, and everything’s moving. I mean, if it’s not, you’re in serious trouble. Then, the short fibers ferment first and they’re starting to give you this shift away from gram-negative towards gram-positive in the very top end, which is the ascending colon of the large bowel. Then as you’re progressing through it, the longer, larger, and slower fibers then start to take over. Its effects will be it’s a relay race and you want to be able to change the population of the microbiota all the way through the colon. It’s really important to change it also in not just the transverse but the descending colon. Then, you’re getting towards the end of it now and all the way through to the rectum. Because if you graph the frequency of tumors in the large bowel, they tend to increase in frequency as you get further down the gut. You want to be able to provide a kind of protection, not just at the beginning, which is where Inulin mostly comes in but all through the rest of it. We use a very small amount of FOS in the blend I did design a larger amount of inulin. It has a longer chain version of FOS for oligosaccharides larger amounts again of 1314 beta-glucans from oats. Then, the larger amount of a much more complex and a much more slowly fermenting prebiotic fiber which is called resistant starch, which you can get from sources like a green banana. That was great fun to design and that’s actually my own brainchild. I mean, that it was something that I actually spent a lot of time on because the maths are quite complicated. It is because the very short chain fibers work really fast. Thus, their mode of action is can be quite explosive if you take too much of them. You really only want just enough of the very rapidly acting fibers to start the process. The longer and slower fibers are easier. Then, the slower they are the launch of the therapeutic index. The more you can eat, the more you can consume before you start running into problems of stuff getting really windy. Then, you’ll develop explosive diarrhea if you eat too much of them. It was based on what is the fermentation rate of this length of the fiber. What is the therapeutic margin of this fiber? What is the transit time in the large bowel? I sort of juggled all these things together on the back of a very large envelope and finally came up with a kind of algorithm, a series, or a set of ratios of these different fibers. You start off with one part of the FOS, three of Inulin, and then five of so and so it wasn’t quite like that. However, it worked out that way in the end. At the same time, I was also very much at the forefront of my mind. We have to produce something that people will have problems eating and it’s got to taste reasonable. Thus, we tried a couple of prototypes and we got to a version that people can tolerate really well. It tastes good and it’s got a very mildly sweet taste. It’s thermally stable so you can mix it into yogurt or whatever you have. Let’s say porridge, you can blend it into a soup or a smoothie. You can bake it into bread or biscuits and it’s going to work the same way. If I’m in a hurry in the morning, I’ll just take a scoop, throw it back, and then maybe a glass of water to wash it down. I don’t recommend that, by the way for kids, because if you’ve got too much of this dry powder in your mouth and then someone pats you on the back and you inhale it, you don’t want that. It’s not a good idea, but it’s very user-friendly and it tastes good enough so that compliance is not a problem. No matter how good something is for you. If it tastes really bad, compliance is going to fall off a cliff after a week or so. This is really always been a part of our approach. We want something that is going to work. It’s got to be measurable and it’s got to be acceptable. I think that the xenobiotic in some ways it’s not a complex formulation, but it was a complex process to get it right. Thus, I’m very proud of it.

Clint – You just mentioned the name of it, xenobiotic. People can get that from or why I don’t just put a link to that as well on the blog. If you go to the blog for this episode, just click on the link and you’ll be able to get that if you wish. Just to repeat back, so understand, you call it FOS. Now, FOS is an acronym for a very complicated molecular. Is it a Fructooligosaccharide or what’s the pronunciation of that?

Dr. Clayton – You pretty much got it Fructooligosaccharides. People who have got SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, need to stay away from FOS and they need to stay away from xenobiotics. It’s because it provides you with the small intestine that is working well and you don’t have bacterial overgrowth. You can eat these fibers, they’ll get into the large bile and they’ll do their thing. They’re going to be really good for you because they’re so anti-inflammatory. For people who have got rheumatoid arthritis or any kind of inflammatory condition, really important. But if you’ve got SIBO, you can’t eat these fibers because they’re going to stimulate the growth of the good species, which are good microbes but they’re in the wrong place. If they’re now fermenting in the small intestine, producing hydrogen and also producing short-chain fatty acids, it’s going to be uncomfortable. If you have SIBO, you can’t go down this road. You have to clean out the small intestine first and there are other ways you can do that.

Clint – Okay. Did you want to give us just the headline? If someone does react to taking the prebiotic fibers they want, they also have some problems eating things like onions. I think it is another source of inulin and as well garlic although maybe a small percentage. I guess that’s why on things like the GAPS diet, they avoid those if someone is having issues. Ultimately my view of this is that avoiding them forever is never going to enable you to have those important prebiotic fibers in your bowel to be healthy. You’ve got to kind of get yourself back in there somehow.

Dr. Clayton – Absolutely. Because if you are on the FODMAP diet that came out of the University of Monash, by the way.

Clint – Sorry, I meant to say FODMAP and not GAPS.

Dr. Clayton – I wasn’t quite sure where you were going with that. If you’re on the FODMAP diet, that’ll help to alleviate the symptoms of gastrointestinal distress caused by bacterial multiplication in the small intestine, but there’s a price to pay, The price is you’re going to have severe dysbiosis in the large colon and the large bowel. Then over the long haul, that’s going to create serious problems. I think you can do FODMAP for a while, but I really don’t recommend you stay in it for long. I think it makes much more sense to normalize the microbial population in the small intestine and then start consuming the prebiotics. So how do you do it? Well, we took a leaf from the UTI natural sector. If you look at urinary tract infections, there are some people who have recurrent urinary tract infections and there are various reasons for that. There may be an anatomical abnormality, they may be diuretics, or they might be diabetic, and diabetes is another risk factor. But we know that those microbes are able to stay inside a hollow viscose where there is movement in either the movement of water or in the small intestine, the movement of food. How are the microbes staying there? The answer is they’re locking on to compounds that are present on the surface of the cells that line the urinary tract or with SIBO in the small intestine. The various microbes have got a portfolio of adhesions, and grappling hooks, which are designed to grab onto these compounds on the surface of those cells. Thus, that’s what enables the microbes to stay there and maintain an infection where otherwise you’d think they’d normally be flushed away. In the urinary tract, one of the really effective treatments for many UTIs is a sugar called al mannose. The reason why al mannose is effective is that it actually is the same sugar that has expressed on the cell surface of many cells that line the urinary tract that the bacteria are grappling onto. Now, if you flood that system with that same sugar, it gets into this grappling system, dislodges the microbes and they’re flushed away. This is not an antibiotic treatment because it’s an anti-adhesive treatment. It’s very safe, very effective, and it’s highly recommended. I’m just wondering if there might be a similar approach that we could adopt to treat SIBO. Sorry, you had a question.

Clint – No, because you’re still on the same train of thought. I’m going to come back to this with anti-adhesions and with seaweed. We’ll get there in a moment.

Dr. Clayton – Okay. I read quite widely and you might pick that up from my blog. I’m not really a specialist and I’m more of I have a kind of a magpie mind. I’m always looking for shiny little facts that I can bring back to the nest and try to make sense of. I came across a very obscure reference in German folk medicine to a cure for what looked a little bit like SIBO (wasn’t really well described) and they used to treat these patients with carrot soup. I thought, wait a minute let me see the recipe for that. I go back to the original herbal descriptions and it talks about boiling the carrots in a certain way. It says you’ve got to wait until the carrot soup starts to turn a little bit sweet and I thought that sounds like al mannose. However, it’s mannose because you don’t find manners in carrots, But if you break down the oligosaccharides in carrots, which you do, by boiling them to the point where they’re the sweetness emerges. Thus, it is a sign telling you that the larger sugar or carbohydrate molecules have been broken down into smaller ones, which have the sweetness. The sugar that is produced when you hydrolyzed carrots is working in the small intestine in the same way that al mannose does in the urinary tract. I thought, well, maybe let’s see whether we can make this work. We tried this with a couple of people who are SIBO. By golly, there are symptoms kind of disappeared and I don’t think it works in every case. Nevertheless, it certainly seems to be very helpful in a significant number of people with SIBO. I think what you’re doing is because this is not an anti-microbial. I think you’re dislodging these bacteria from their foothold in the small intestine. You’re flushing them back into the large intestine, which is where they should be. Now, you can start using probiotics. Then the question is, how do these bacteria get up into the small intestine in the first place? And that’s a different question. If you look at my last blog post, which is about everything in its place. I think I go into that in much more detail.

Clint – What’s that blog URL?

Dr. Clayton – The blog URL is www.drpaulclayton.eu and it’s going to be there for as long as there is an EU, which is probably not for much longer. Thanks to the incredible stupidity of Brussels and the idiocy coming out of Washington.

Clint – Okay. I don’t know much about that backstory, so I’ll stick to the questions about health. Let’s do one more question and then I’ll wrap this up. Then, we’ll see if I’ve understood what you’ve taught us today and if there are any final comments. The last question stems from something I read in your book, which I found really fascinating. It was around the potential capacity of some seaweeds to dislodge certain unhelpful bacterial strains from our mouth and therefore to essentially reduce period periodontal disease.

Dr. Clayton – Yeah.

Clint – Could you talk about that?

Dr. Clayton – Yeah, sure. Well, this is another category of anti-autism therapy. Periodontal disease is really common and it gets more common with every decade that passes. n fact, it’s a more significant cause of tooth loss than dental decay as you lose far more teeth through gum disease. It is because the inflammation caused by chronic infection at the roots of the teeth leads eventually to the loosening of the ligaments that bind the teeth into the jaws, and into the sockets. Then, they wobble and they just fall out. If when you’re brushing your teeth and you spit into the sink and you see a spot of blood there, that’s actually really serious. It’s not a trivial thing and it’s telling you that you have got a periodontal disease or the beginning of the periodontal disease. When you see that if you go to the dentist, they have absolutely barbaric treatments. They will sort of trim the top of her gums off surgical debridement, which then you have a mouthful of blood and you have fewer gums. Each time you do it, you’re actually destroying tissue, it doesn’t regrow, and it’s not very sophisticated at all. It’s typical first-order thinking, which has no place in dentistry or in medicine. Again, I’ve been looking through the literature and I come across some references, this time from the world of veterinary medicine. There was a small company there that had been using the seaweed, very simple seaweed extract, or just dried granulated or powdered kelp. They had shown reduced dental disease in cats and dogs, and this was a veterinary product. So again, I started looking at it and I started jumping into the wider scientific literature. It turns out that these seaweeds and in fact almost all seaweeds contain non-stick compounds called Fucoidans and (inaudible). These are place-operated oligosaccharides to give them their full (inaudible). They act like the natural biological equivalent of Teflon. Why do the seaweeds make them? Because it’s to stop fouling or otherwise species like barnacles and other types of species would be continually infecting settling down on the seaweeds and basically killing them or smothering them. The seaweeds produce this in order to remain free of infestation. When you eat those seaweeds and you can eat quite a lot of different seaweeds, there (inaudible) you shouldn’t and you’re ingesting these compounds. It turns out that after a while, the bacteria in your gut adapt to the point where they can use these compounds as fuel. They develop a set of enzymes to metabolize them and they break down these larger molecules into slightly smaller ones, which you can then absorb. They get into the bloodstream and then they’re secreted in by the intra-curricular glands that you have between your teeth. Thus, they bathe the roots of your teeth with these non-stick compounds. When you do that within a day, you can see that plaque starts to disappear. You can see this for yourself just by using that plaque disclosing tablets, which you can buy off the internet or get from your dentist. One day you are all stained horrible red or blue or whichever color you’re using. Use these fucoidans for a couple of days and you’ll see that most of the stain has just gone. It is because the plot is not able to form your teeth anymore. If you keep on doing this after about three or four weeks tartar, which is mineralized plaque, just crumbles up and falls off the roots of the teeth. When that happens, the periodontal disease goes away and the inflammation goes away. Thus, the dysbiosis in the oral cavity is resolved. Now, you can stop bleeding your teeth settle themselves back in the sockets. At the same time removed a major risk factor for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s because dysbiosis in the mouth you’re producing these nasty inflammatory compounds and bacterial toxins that are being processed. They get into the olfactory nerve, they move retrograde in the olfactory nerve, and they get into the brain. Bad oral hygiene and periodontal disease are inextricably connected to neurodegenerative disease. You don’t want to be importing these toxins into your brain. These fucoidans and (inaudible) are not only protecting your teeth, but they’re protecting your brain as well. There’s one little last wrinkle. If you’re eating these on a regular basis, which I do and they’re in the blood. Protecting ourselves against prosthetic infections. So a lot of people now walk around with artificial hips, knees, heart valves, and things like that and what we have known actually for quite a long time. You might recover from the initial surgery, you might be fine for a couple of years, and then one day you wake up dead or someone else wakes up and finds you dead. When you cut this person open, you find they’ve got a deep infection on that artificial heart valve or on the knee joint or the hip joint. This is why every time a dentist does a dental extraction on someone who’s got a prosthetic device, they shoot the patient full of antibiotics first. Because when you do a dental extraction, you get a big transfusion of bacteria into the bloodstream. When they’re in the bloodstream, they don’t settle down anywhere until they find the prosthetic device because that’s not immunocompetent. They settle down very happily, they start to grow, and they produce biofilm. A year, five years, and maybe ten years later you’re in serious trouble.

Clint – Obviously, I’m in Florida now. Our neighbor, who is a good friend of mine, and his name is Patrick. His father just died a month ago from a pulmonary embolism. I said, what happened to him? He said, well, he had his hip replaced four years ago and it became septic. He had to have three subsequent surgeries to try and get rid of the bacterial infection in the hip. Then, he said after his last surgery, he was in so much pain and there were so many problems with the surgery. He said, I’m just not going to get any more surgeries. Then, he was sleeping a month ago and died in his sleep. Evidently, it was associated with his hip replacement and it’s just very real for something a conversation I had three days ago.

Dr. Clayton – This is a very real problem. As the number of people with prosthetic devices inside them continues to increase, it’s going to become a more substantial long-term medical complication. If you look at the figures for iatrogenic illness, they’re already very substantial. I think there are gross underestimations because they tend to miss these long-delayed cases where the harm is caused by a post-operative problem, which is a very insidious and slowly developing one. I think if you were to be able to identify all of those cases and add them to the numbers of cases, who we know because of the shorter duration between time and effect. In which, they are being harmed by medical treatment either in hospitals or in the short-term aftermath of hospitalization. I think that the iatrogenic deaths would probably go up a couple of notches on the league table and we might even find that there right behind heart disease and cancer. Now, that’s the worst case or maybe I’m being a little pessimistic. This is very real and it’s a very extensive problem. I would say that anyone who has a prosthesis would do well to include a fucoidan element or supplement in that daily regime.

Clint – I have a strong recommendation and inclusion of Dulse, Wakame, and Nori in our program for none of the reasons that you mentioned. It’s just another argument or another reason to include these seaweeds in our diet on a regular basis and that’s a wonderful reinforcement. Just before we sort of wrap this up, a comment here, there’s a doctor who practices a lot of ozone therapy called Dr. Robert Rohan out of California. He published a study a few years ago that showed he was able to take a patient who had a bacterial infection in their knee replacement. Then, the person was going to undergo revision surgery and would be on systemic antibiotics for a long time, and so on. He used ozone gas directly into the joint on multiple occasions. Then, he was able to then reverse and clear out the infection with injected ozone plus a local or just a tablet antibiotic. Just thought I’d mention that because I thought that’s pretty interesting.

Dr. Clayton – I hadn’t heard of that approach before. I mean, I guess it makes sense. The other approach that I would take is if you actually had an existing infection. The one that I mentioned before has these very low molecular weight compounds. It’s difficult to treat bacteria where there is an accumulation of biofilm. That’s just how the bugs actually protect themselves in a way. It is because you can’t get the antibiotic into the biofilm in high enough concentrations to be biocidal. I think in a situation like that, this very low molecular weight antibiotic would be probably what would be the first place and that’s where I would start. It is because it doesn’t require interacting killer delivery. You don’t need to be jamming needles into your knees. Basically, it’s a tasteless drink or it looks and tastes pretty much like water that you just drink twice a day or probably between three and five days.

Clint – Now, that’s on this topic again of this sort of naturally derived antibiotic. Is that something that is commercially available or something that people can access?

Dr. Clayton – Yes, there is a company in Britain and it’s called Reg Chemicals. I think they are very small outfits and they are selling mostly to therapists. The way to find them would be by putting them into your search engine KIB 500. I think without breaking too much confidence that the reason why it’s called KIB is that the person who discovered it wanted to call it to kiss it better. The technology is amazing and it’s a real breakthrough.

Clint – Okay, wonderful. Well, we’ve learned that and I’m not going to do justice to all that we’ve covered this so much. Civilization has changed a lot in the last 150 years. We’re eating far fewer fibers which are beneficial to our microbiome, I think you said, of an order of magnitude. We might only be eating a 10th of the special fibers which are a subset of just all plant fibers, but ones that are specifically beneficial to our microbiome. It’s hard to restore gut leakiness without covering the entire bowel length. I love that imagery of we need to go coverage through the ascending, the transverse, and the descending colon. It is because at any point if we’ve got this disruption to our mucosal lining and therefore intestinal permeability. At any point we have a leak in a long hose, then we’re going to get this toxic substance that you’ve described as endotoxin or lipopolysaccharide. When that enters the bloodstream, we get an immune reaction or we get inflammation. If our bacteria or undigested food particles are entering our bloodstream, we’re triggering immunity or immune response. I loved all the explanations that you gave us around this potential new paradigm of what’s causing autoimmunity. It is not just the molecular mimicry model, but the concept that we might have these sub-cellular particles in the lining of our own tissues that need to be removed through some other mechanism. All of this is extremely valuable If we’re happy to eat chicory root, green bananas, and maybe some reheated potatoes, and we’ve got to eat some oats for breakfast. And if we eat, let me see if.

Dr. Clayton – Don’t forget the seaweed.

Clint – Yeah, eat some seaweed. Then, we’re going to reduce periodontal disease. We’re going to restore gut health and we’re going to have a better microbiome. We’re going to produce tons of butyrate which can fix up and heal the colonocytes. We also touched briefly on the oils to optimize our omega six to three ratios. I’m delighted and so grateful to have you on this episode. I know that we’re going to get so much positive feedback and probably a whole bunch more questions. However, they’re going to be from a more educated position because you’ve given us so much. Thank you very much, Dr. Paul.

Dr. Clayton – It’s been my pleasure and if you want to have a rematch, let me know.

Clint – Why don’t we pencil in a possible rematch and cover some things where we talked about exercise? Then, we didn’t find out this magical way of being able to get the benefits, we’ll hold that one in our pocket.

Dr. Clayton – Okay. It’s really good to meet you and next time you’re up in this neck of the woods, just drop in.

Clint – Thank you so much.

Dr. Clayton – All right, until the next time. Bye.


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  1. Enjoyed listening to this podcast. Was wondering where I can find links to products mentioned. Thank you

  2. i am having a hard time finding the fiber supplement that dr. clayton helped develop is someone able to link me to it?

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