Ep. 3a Project Badwater: Probiotics and Microbiome Health with Dr. Mark Stephany

December 23, 2015
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We’re joined by Dr. Mark Stephany of Sound Probiotics to explore how endurance athletes can get an edge by focusing on gut health.

Grab this free ebook on gut health in athletes and probiotics, which we refer to in the show.

Check out this new article “The Athlete’s Guide to Probiotics” by Alex Hutchinson, also referenced in the show.

Covered in this episode:

  • How does endurance training and racing affect athletes’ immunity and microbiota
  • What is the microbiotia?
  • Its significant role in digestion, immunity, cognition and performance.
  • The tie in with leaky gut.
  • 70% of the immune system in gut, and when we stress the body with lots of exercise we compromise the immune system.
  • Cases of pro athletes who’ve gotten sick before their A races, and the tie in with gut health.
  • Can our microbiotia tell us about how good of an athlete we are?
  • What data comes from a test like ubiome, and is it really worth it in making suggestions for better health at this point?
  • Can we improve microbiotia and have that carry over into better performance?
  • Microbiome of elite athletes vs non-athletes–differences?
  • What are probiotics?
  • How do they work?
  • Compare probiotics with prebiotics.
  • Why we want bacteria, and also why antibiotics are terrible.
  • Why are probiotics and prebiotics especially important for athletes.
  • Research on heat tolerance with probiotic use referenced by Hutchinson: “University of Tasmania study found that runners performed better on a treadmill in 95-degree heat after taking a multistrain probiotic for four weeks. Bacteria leak from the gut into the bloodstream during strenuous activity, explains lead researcher Cecilia Kitic, causing inflammation that can raise core temperature. By making the gut lining healthier, the probiotics appear to help the body tolerate hot conditions. “
  • Research on probitoics’ effects on hormones also referenced by Hutchinson: “The microbes in your gut also release hormones like dopamine, seratonin, and noradrenaline into your bloodstream, and they play a key role in teaching your immune system to distinguish between friendly and harmful bacteria.”
  • Supplements vs food form.
  • Why not eat just a bunch of kimchi and yogurt? Or food forms of resistant starch for prebiotics?
  • What’s the difference between probiotic supplements.
  • How specific strains can treat specific issues in folks: i.e. obesity, depression, immunity, and so on.
  • Formulas/strains in other top brands (Prescript Assist, Primal Defense, etc)
  • How a probiotic is created for athletes specifically.
  • When if ever is a probiotic not good?
  • If you have an gut bacterial overgrowth, candida, SIBO, or infection like H. pylori, should you be careful with probiotics?
  • Do you recommend having a few different probiotic brands to create diversity?
  • Overall, what’s the biggest gain for athletes?
  • Warding off gastrointestinal illness
  • Hard to measure the gains if you’re preventing athletes from getting sick; i.e. hard to measure that which is not there, right?
  • Questions from athletes:
  • “If I feel good, no digestion issues, etc, why do I need to take a probiotic and/or eat fermented foods?”
  • “If I’m having a flare up from a past or ongoing gut issue (i.e. overgrowth, infection, sensitive to carbs, etc) is it ok to load up on extra probiotics and antimicrobials like oil of oregano for a quick cleanse/reset?”

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