Dr. William Bulsiewicz — The Fiber Deficiency Epidemic: Using Fiber and Fermented Foods to Improve the Microbiome and Overall Health – Episode 88

In Today’s Episode

Dr. Will Bulsiewicz is one of the leading gut health experts in the country and the creator of the popular HappyGutMD Instagram account. He is a board-certified gastroenterologist with an integrative approach and a passion for gut health. He advocates for consuming more plants, prebiotics over probiotics, and do-it-yourself fermentation.  

In this episode Dr. B is going to speak to us about all his favorite DIY recipes and why fermented foods are so important to incorporate into our daily diet and also why a lack of fiber is the real health epidemic of modern times.  People ask vegans all the time "Where do you get your protein?" but really the question we all should be asking each other is "Where do you get your fiber from & how much are you taking in each day?"

Dr. B. has a B.S. from Vanderbilt University, an M.D. from Georgetown University, and a Master’s of Clinical Investigation from Northwestern University. He received the Rambach Award as the top internal medicine resident at Northwestern and was the chief medical resident. He also received the award as the top GI fellow at The University of North Carolina and was chief gastroenterology fellow. While at UNC he did advanced epidemiology training at the top-rated UNC - Gillings School of Public Health and received a prestigious grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. B. has an accomplished background in research, with more than 20 scientific articles published and more than 40 presentations at national meetings, including being selected for the Digestive Disease Week Presidential Plenary as one of the top studies among thousands of submissions.

These days he is a partner at Lowcountry Gastroenterology in Charleston, SC, and the founder of Dr. B. Gut Health. He regularly gives sold-out talks in the Charleston community and in 2016 started HappyGutMD on Instagram as a way to connect with his patients and share his perspective. It has rapidly become the most popular gastroenterology account on Instagram and the premier source for gut health tips from a trusted source. In his spare time, he enjoys hanging with his family, swimming, and experimenting with fermentation recipes.

Follow Dr B on INSTAGRAM here:
Dr. B's Medical Practice Info & Contact:


Outline of This Great Episode
[2:16] A whole-food, plant-based diet has been proven to reverse chronic disease over and over again.
[6:26] Deborah introduces Dr. B.
[7:38] We have learned so much about gut bacteria in the past decade.
[11:50] The highest concentration of bacteria anywhere is in the colon.
[14:17] We are facing totally different diseases than our ancestors did. We need to reevaluate our approach to disease.
[17:46] You can get data about your gut health and be a part of furthering gut health knowledge by joining The American Gut Project.
[20:37] The diversity of the plants that you eat may determine gut health.
[24:14] All health starts in the gut. We must eat for gut health.
[30:29] What is a prebiotic and how is it different from a probiotic?
[31:24] What is the difference between soluble fiber and insoluble fiber?
[35:42] Dr. B. recommends that almost everybody ramp up their fiber intake.
[41:50] What are “blue zones” and what can we learn from them?
[47:14] Plant-based eating is more nutritious and more exciting.
[49:37] After you make the transition, your body and microbiome will crave plant foods.
[51:01] Fermented foods are one of the missing puzzle pieces for developing a healthy microbiome.
[54:28] Dr. B. explains how to make sauerkraut.
[58:17] Kombucha is good for you.
[1:01:28] It’s time to take a break! Be sure to check out VidalSpeaks.com, where you can find my story, my favorite products, and much more! Please support this show by using the Amazon Banner on my site for all your Amazon purchases, which will pay a small commission to me with no extra cost to you. It really helps. Please also consider donating directly to keep our show going, leaving us a review, or sharing our show with a friend. All of this supports our mission. Thank you!
[1:02:48] Fermentation will eat up the sugar you originally put in your kombucha.
[1:04:50] Dr. B. ferments everything he can, including watermelon rinds.
[1:06:29] How long do fermented foods last? Can everyone eat fermented foods?
[1:12:50] Probiotic supplements are helpful in certain situations, but fermented foods are usually better.
[1:17:50] You should select your probiotic carefully.
[1:22:03] The gut is the second brain.
[1:29:58] The human body is so resilient, but it’s so important that we change our habits and help our bodies out.
[1:33:21] What causes bloating?
[1:38:11] Some people benefit from digestive enzymes.
[1:42:52] Dr. B. leaves us with his three top tips.

Mentioned In This Episode
The American Gut Project
The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People, by Dan Buettner
The Art of Fermentation, by Sandor Katz
VSL #3 Probiotic

Connect with Today’s Guest
Mount Pleasant Hospital
Eastcoopermedctr.com
@happygutmd on Instagram